• Architecture: AM4
  • Cores: 2-cores/4-threads
  • Process: 14nm
  • Base Clock: 3.2GHz
  • Cache: 4MB (L3), 1MB (L2), 192KB (L1)
  • TDP: 35W
  • Pros:
  • Excellent value
  • Decent iGPU
  • Cons:
  • None

Hyper Value In One Silicon

AMD has come a long way since it first launched the Ryzen series CPUs in 2017. 2018 saw the launch of the second generation, followed by three Athlon chips using the same architecture. Recently, we got our hands on the most affordable CPU from that stack to benchmark and review, so let’s take a look at how the AMD Athlon 200GE fares.

First, let’s talk about what you get if you purchase one of these new Athlon chips. It comes in a small white box with the CPU that is compatible with AM4 motherboards and a small fan cooler inside. The cooler also comes with some thermal paste pre-applied to it already, making it a complete package for most users right from the start.

For those who don’t plan to use a third-party cooler, the included one is an easy one to install. Just place the CPU onto the socket, clip the cooler into place using the existing brackets on the motherboard and you’re done. This cooler is more than sufficient for the Athlon 200GE, as the processor can comfortably operate in the 30-70° Celsius range.

The stock cooler looks small, but it's enough for this CPU before overclocking

The stock cooler looks small, but it’s enough for this CPU before overclocking

Since it’s a dual-core processor, we got more modest benchmark scores with the Athlon 200GE. This is reflected in the 106 points for single-core performance and 296 for multi-core (before overclocking). It’s not ideal for professional video rendering work, but its performance in PCMark 10 shows that it can still handle everyday tasks well enough.

Then we tested it with day-to-day applications like Adobe Photoshop and even some popular games like Dota 2. The former ran relatively smooth, while we got framerates of around 50 to 55 fps on 1080p Medium settings for the latter. This means that the 3 Vega graphics compute cores on this CPU is enough for some light gaming.

Considering that it’s a Raven Ridge chip, the Athlon 200GE is actually an unlocked part so you can overclock it if you need the extra performance. Using the stock cooler, it’s possible to push it to 3.6 GHz just by adjusting the base multiplier (if the motherboard allows it). By adjusting the CPU voltage to about 1.4v, we were also able to push it to 3.9 GHz, though it wasn’t 100% stable with the stock cooler. A solid third-party cooler should allow you to push 4 GHz on this chip, which is fantastic for a component that may cost even less than the third-party cooler itself.

CHIP CONCLUDE: If you’re looking for a CPU to build a new budget PC for tasks like word documents and some light gaming, you can’t go wrong with the revived Athlon series.

(to be published in issue March 2019)