AMD Athlon 3000G with Vega 3 Graphics Review 64

AMD Athlon 3000G with Vega 3 Graphics Review

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Introduction

AMD Logo

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 /
Threads
Base
Clock
Max.
Boost
L3
Cache
TDPArchitectureProcessSocket
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

A Closer Look


The Athlon 3000G ships in a simple paperboard box with a window that shows the processor inside. The Athlon logo has the "Zen" motif in the background telling you this isn't the Athlon of old.


AMD includes a simple fan heatsink with the Athlon 3000G. The cooler is rated for thermal loads of up to 65 W. Since the 3000G has a 35 W TDP, the cooler should run quietly or provide some overclocking headroom. It's a simple hunk of aluminium with radially projecting fins that are ventilated by a thin fan.


The Athlon 3000G processor looks like any conventional AMD processor with a large IHS dominating the top, and a 1,331-pin micro-PGA in the bottom. The processor's die is made at GlobalFoundries, USA, and it is packaged at a facility in China.


The Athlon 3000G can be paired with a fairly big selection of AM4-compatible coolers released since 2017.

Test Setup

We tested the Athlon 3000G at two settings:
  • Stock (green bar): CPU running at stock
  • OC 4.0 GHz (blue bar): We manually overclocked the CPU to an all-core x40 multiplier, which yields a permanent clock speed of 4.0 GHz regardless of how many cores are active.
  • All applications, games, and processors are tested with the drivers and hardware listed below—no performance results were recycled between test systems.
  • All games and applications are tested using the same version.
  • All games are set to their highest quality setting unless indicated otherwise.
Test System "Athlon 3000G"
Processor:Athlon 3000G
Motherboard:ASUS Prime B350-Plus
AMD B350, BIOS 5220
Memory:2x 8 GB G.SKILL Flare X DDR4
DDR4-3200 14-14-14-34
Graphics:EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti FTW3 Ultra
Storage:1 TB SSD
Power Supply:Seasonic SS-860XP
Software:Windows 10 Professional 64-bit
Version 1903 (May 2019 Update)
Drivers:NVIDIA GeForce 430.63 WHQL
AMD Chipset 1.9.27.1033

Test System "Coffee Lake"
Processor:All Intel 8th & 9th Generation processors
Motherboard:Core i9-9900KS: ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming X
All other Coffee Lake: ASUS Z390 Maximus XI Extreme
Intel Z390
Memory:2x 8 GB G.SKILL Flare X DDR4
DDR4-3200 14-14-14-34
Graphics:EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti FTW3 Ultra
Storage:1 TB SSD
Power Supply:Seasonic SS-860XP
Software:Windows 10 Professional 64-bit
Version 1903 (May 2019 Update)
Drivers:NVIDIA GeForce 430.63 WHQL

Test System "Zen 2"
Processor:All AMD Ryzen 3000
Motherboard:ASRock X570 Taichi
AMD X570, BIOS v2.50 AGESA 1.0.0.4B
Memory:2x 8 GB G.SKILL Flare X DDR4
DDR4-3200 14-14-14-34
Graphics:EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti FTW3 Ultra
Storage:1 TB SSD
Power Supply:Seasonic SS-860XP
Software:Windows 10 Professional 64-bit
Version 1903 (May 2019 Update)
Drivers:NVIDIA GeForce 430.63 WHQL
AMD Chipset 1.9.27.1033

Test System "Zen"
Processor:All AMD Ryzen 2000, Ryzen 2000G and Ryzen 1000
Motherboard:MSI X470 Gaming M7 AC
AMD X470, BIOS 7B77v19O
Memory:2x 8 GB G.SKILL Flare X DDR4
DDR4-3200 14-14-14-34
Graphics:EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti FTW3 Ultra
Storage:1 TB SSD
Power Supply:Seasonic SS-860XP
Software:Windows 10 Professional 64-bit
Version 1903 (May 2019 Update)
Drivers:NVIDIA GeForce 430.63 WHQL
AMD Chipset 1.07.07.0725

Super Pi

SuperPi is one of the most popular benchmarks with overclockers and tweakers. It has been used in world-record competitions since forever. It is a purely single-threaded CPU test that calculates Pi to a large number of digits—32 million for our testing. Released in 1995, it only supports x86 floating point instructions and thus makes for a good test for single-threaded legacy application performance.



wPrime

While SuperPi focuses on calculating Pi, wPrime tackles another mathematical problem: finding prime numbers. It uses Newton's Method for that. One of the design goals for wPrime was to engineer it so that it can make the best use of all cores and threads available on a processor.

Rendering — Cinebench

Cinebench is one of the most popular modern CPU benchmarks because it is built around the renderer of Maxon's Cinema 4D software. Both AMD and Intel have been showing this performance test at various public events, making it almost an industry standard. Using Cinebench R20, we test both single-threaded and multi-threaded performance.



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