AMD Ryzen 3 2200G 3.5 GHz with Vega 8 Graphics Review 20

AMD Ryzen 3 2200G 3.5 GHz with Vega 8 Graphics Review


Value and Conclusion

  • The AMD Ryzen 3 2200G retails for $99.
  • Great entry-level graphics value
  • Gaming at 720p possible
  • Affordable pricing for a true quad-core CPU
  • Unlocked CPU multiplier
  • Uses existing AM4 motherboards
  • Decent entry-level CPU performance
  • Feature-rich iGPU supports latest video formats and display standards
  • CPU cooler included
  • Only 4 MB of cache
  • Lacks SMT (MultiThreading)
  • 1080p gaming tough task, unless playing older titles
  • Crippled PCIe root complex, discrete GPUs limited to x8 bandwidth, no SLI even on X370
  • BIOS update needed for support on existing motherboards
AMD's new Raven Ridge processors fill a big void in the budget market. Builders of office systems don't want to pay for a discrete graphics card, which was a requirement for the original "Summit Ridge" Ryzens; neither do your parents need a graphics card for the Internet browsing or office work they do. AMD has engineered a new silicon that provides integrated graphics based on the Vega architecture that was released last year. Of course, you shouldn't expect high-end graphics performance from integrated graphics, but it should be sufficient for everyday tasks - and some light gaming thanks to AMD's experience in the graphics market.

Compared to the Ryzen 5 2400G, the Ryzen 3 2200G lacks SMT, so instead of 8 logical cores, it only provides 4 cores, which are mapped 1:1 to the physical CPU cores. This means that in multi-threaded benchmarks, performance is roughly half that of the 2400G. However, not all applications are multi-threaded, especially Office and most Internet browsing tasks, which are mostly single-threaded; for these apps, the performance hit is much smaller. On average, CPU performance of 2200G is 25% lower than on the 2400G. Overall, these results are comparable to the Ryzen 3 1200 to which the 2200G is the successor. Compared to that CPU, we see about 4% performance gained, mostly due to higher clocks. One factor here is that the CCX configuration has been switched from 2+2 to 4+0, which eliminates the bottleneck we saw on Ryzen due to inter-CCX traffic. On the other hand, Raven Ridge comes with only 4 MB of cache, which is half that of Summit Ridge, which causes a performance loss. When looking at individual tests, we see that depending on the application, performance can be lower than Summit Ridge for applications that work better with a larger CPU cache. Other applications run faster because they scale better with frequency or benefit from a different CCX configuration. Single-threaded applications generally run significantly slower than on Intel processors, while multithreaded apps work better due to AMD's offerings having more cores/threads. Thanks to the unlocked multiplier, which is included with all of AMD's processors, overclocking the Ryzen 2200G worked well. We reached 3.90 GHz, which translates into 15% CPU performance gained on average.

Gaming performance of the integrated Vega 8 graphics is about 15% slower than with the Vega 11 graphics on the 2500G. With such performance, GTX 1030 and Radeon RX 550 are faster by 18% and 25% respectively. While that might sound like a lot, in this segment, where price matters, I'd say those differences aren't as important as in the higher-end markets. Most games are still playable when you choose their lowest settings and stick to 720p. Of course, this is not the PCMasterRace gaming experience; rather, it's closer to what today's consoles are able to deliver. Older, less demanding titles, like CS:GO or DOTA, will certainly run well enough, which should be a huge value proposition for iCafes in Asia. Compared to Intel integrated graphics, the Vega IGP of the Ryzen G makes a day and night difference in FPS delivered. However, 1080p 60 FPS gaming isn't gonna happen with any IGP solution. You'll have to shell out some money for a discrete graphics card, at least a GTX 1050 or, better yet, a GTX 1060 or Radeon equivalent, such as the RX 560 or RX 570.

You can also pair the new Ryzen APUs with a separate graphics card to increase 3D performance. Be aware that Raven Ridge only provides PCIe x8 3.0 connectivity to the PCIe x16 slot, which will result in a small performance penalty (not a lot, certainly not a deal breaker, refer to one of our PCIe performance scaling articles). This also means that CrossFire/SLI will not be an option due to limited PCIe bandwidth. With multi GPU becoming less and less relevant, this shouldn't be a big deal either. We used a GTX 1080 for our discrete GPU performance testing and saw surprising performance numbers that are lower than expected, especially at high resolutions, which is strange because the GPU should be the limiting factor here, not the CPU. We reported those results to AMD a week ago, but haven't gotten an explanation for those numbers. It's not a configuration problem either. When swapping the Ryzen G CPU for a normal Ryzen CPU without changing any BIOS or software settings, using the same Windows installation and drivers, performance is back to expected values. We'll look into this some more and update the review accordingly. Another important performance result is that of Hitman 720p with the GTX 1080. Our 720p testing serves as an indicator of the CPU bottleneck. In other words, the FPS at 720p is the maximum FPS you can ever get on that CPU, no matter how fast your graphics card, and Hitman gave us 54.6 FPS, meaning that no graphics card will be able to reach 60 FPS in Hitman on the Ryzen 3 2200G. Both these issues are strong indicators that the Ryzen 3 2200G is not a suitable match for a high-end graphics card (faster than the GTX 1070).

During testing, I noticed that the whole platform does feel more mature than during the first Ryzen reviews. There are still a few little bugs, but nothing major. It's great to see that AMD is sticking with Socket AM4, which means you can use all existing Ryzen motherboards for Ryzen G. Just a BIOS update is required, which I expect to be released by all motherboard manufacturers (some already did). With just $99, the Ryzen 3 2200G is the most affordable true quad-core ever released. Motherboard choice is slightly complicated since the cheapest AM4 boards based on the A320 chipset lack the ability to do multiplier overclocking. In our testing, we saw 15% performance gained from overclocking, which can be done in a few minutes for a bit of extra performance and is, as such, worth it in my opinion. On the other hand, cost matters if you are looking at the Ryzen 3 2200G, and the B350 boards, which support overclocking, currently cost about $10 more than the A320 variants. At this price point, Intel is pretty much out of the picture. While they do have an affordable quad-core with the Core i3-8100 ($130), the company has not yet released an affordable chipset for these Coffee Lake CPUs. Only Z370 is available, with boards starting at $120, which is way too expensive. An interesting alternative could be something like a Kaby Lake Pentium Gold G4560; while a dual-core processor with HyperThreading, but much slower integrated graphics, it is still fine for applications that need minimal graphics performance, like Internet browsing, MS Office, and YouTube 1080p playback. RAM prices are also of some concern as Intel CPUs work better with slower, more affordable memory than Ryzen. For a media PC, I tend to learn towards the Ryzen 3 2200G as it has better hardware media decoding capabilities, and the additional GPU horsepower will be powerful enough to use madVR for playback quality improvements. It will be interesting to see what Intel can come up with when they release cheaper Coffee Lake chipsets in a few months. If those are cheap enough, then this could make life more difficult to Ryzen G, especially for gaming. At this time, though, there is no better option if you are looking to build an affordable entry-level system that can also handle light gaming.
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