AMD Athlon 3000G with Vega 3 Graphics Review 64

AMD Athlon 3000G with Vega 3 Graphics Review

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AMD today released to market the Athlon 3000G, an entry-level socket AM4 processor with Radeon Vega 3 integrated graphics. The 3000G forms the tail end of AMD's desktop processor lineup and succeeds the Athlon 200G. This is the company's second generation of "Zen" based Athlons designed to compete with Intel's Pentium Gold and Celeron desktop processors at price points deep under the $100-mark. Customers of this segment just want to put together budget builds (think $300 or less) for web-browsing, Office, and other desktop work. AMD believes it has a few killer features against the Pentium Gold series, the least of which is its price of just $49, which is less than the $59 tag the G5400 goes with.

The Athlon 3000G is based on the 14 nm "Raven Ridge" silicon, which packs 1st generation "Zen" CPU cores. This is unlike the Ryzen 3 3200G based on the refined 12 nm "Picasso" silicon that has "Zen+." The 3000G is configured with a 2-core/4-thread CPU with a 3.50 GHz clock speed, which is a 300 MHz improvement over that of the 200GE. Boost clocks are not available; the processor will run at 3.5 GHz all the time when loaded. Each of the two cores has 512 KB of dedicated L2 cache and shares 4 MB of L3 cache. The "Picasso" silicon also improves memory clock speeds with its support for DDR4-2933.

The Radeon Vega 3 iGPU this processor integrates is based on the "Vega" graphics architecture and configured with 3 NGCUs (192 stream processors). Its engine clock (GPU clock) has been bumped up to 1.10 GHz, a 100 MHz increase over the 200GE. The processor's TDP is rated at 35 watts, and a basic cooling solution capable of handling 65 W thermal loads has been included.

But wait, there's more. AMD's secret weapon against the G5400 this time around is the unlocked base-clock multiplier, which lets you overclock the CPU easily to take advantage of the TDP headroom of the included cooling solution. The cheapest current Intel processor with an unlocked multiplier is the $173 Core i3-9350K, and while there's no way you can crank the 3000G to match it, AMD believes the unlocked multiplier should give the 3000G a little more future-proofing to outlast the G5400 series.

To a lesser extent, the Radeon Vega 3 iGPU is also being marketed as a killer feature, as being faster than the UHD 610 iGPU Intel has in the G5400 series. Despite being heavily cut down from the 11 NGCUs physically present on the "Raven Ridge" silicon, AMD believes the Vega 3 has enough muscle for smooth 2D indie gaming, browser-based gaming, and even some modern 3D e-sports titles with details cranked down, and at lower resolutions such as 720p. Add to that the feature-rich multimedia engine, which supports accelerated decoding of modern video formats, making this chip viable for HTPC builds.

In this review, we take the AMD Athlon 3000G for a spin across our test bed that includes CPU and gaming tests. Don't lose sight of the $49 price tag when looking at the numbers.

AMD Athlon 3000G Segment Analysis
 PriceCores /
Athlon 3000G$502 / 43.5 GHzN/A4 MB35 WZen14 nmAM4
Athlon 200GE$552 / 43.2 GHzN/A4 MB35 WZen14 nmAM4
Athlon 240GE$802 / 43.5 GHzN/A4 MB35 WZen14 nmAM4
Ryzen 3 1200$604 / 43.1 GHz3.4 GHz8 MB65 WZen14 nmAM4
Ryzen 3 2200G$854 / 43.5 GHz3.7 GHz4 MB65 WZen14 nmAM4
Core i3-9100F$854 / 43.6 GHz4.2 GHz6 MB65 WCoffee Lake14 nmLGA 1151
Pentium G5600$1102 / 43.9 GHzN/A4 MB54 WCoffee Lake14 nmLGA 1151
Ryzen 3 1300X$1154 / 43.4 GHz3.7 GHz8 MB65 WZen14 nmAM4
Core i3-8300$1854 / 43.7 GHzN/A8 MB65 WCoffee Lake14 nmLGA 1151
Ryzen 5 1400$1054 / 83.2 GHz3.4 GHz8 MB65 WZen14 nmAM4
Ryzen 5 3400G$1404 / 83.7 GHz4.2 GHz4 MB65 WZen+12 nmAM4
Ryzen 5 2400G$1504 / 83.6 GHz3.9 GHz4 MB65 WZen14 nmAM4
Core i3-8350K$1954 / 44.0 GHzN/A8 MB91 WCoffee Lake14 nmLGA 1151
Ryzen 5 1500X$1404 / 83.5 GHz3.7 GHz16 MB65 WZen14 nmAM4
Core i5-8400$2006 / 62.8 GHz4.0 GHz9 MB65 WCoffee Lake14 nmLGA 1151
Core i5-9400F$1456 / 62.9 GHz4.1 GHz9 MB65 WCoffee Lake14 nmLGA 1151
Ryzen 5 1600$1106 / 123.2 GHz3.6 GHz16 MB65 WZen14 nmAM4
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