AMD Athlon 3000G: Aligning Names and Numbers at $49

The odd-one out from today’s announcement is a processor at the other end of the portfolio. To put it into context, if a user wants to jump on board the 7nm and Zen 2 bandwagon, the entry price point is $199 for the Ryzen 5 3600. Below that we have older hardware based on Zen 1, and AMD’s APU line of processors featuring integrated graphics. The new Athlon 3000G sits firmly in this category, and aims to be a very interesting processor indeed.

The Athlon 3000G is a 35W dual core Zen+ processor with 3 compute units of Vega graphics, built on 12nm and falls in the Picasso family of hardware. It doesn’t have any turbo, but does have a nominal frequency of 3.5 GHz on the CPU and 1100 MHz on the GPU. Supported memory speeds are DDR4-2933 and it can support up to 64 GB. It will come bundled with AMD’s 65W near-silent stock cooler, which is absolutely overkill for this product.

If a dual core Zen+ Picasso APU sounds familiar, it’s because AMD already has a processor that fits the bill: the AMD Athlon 300GE. Following previous convention, I would have expected AMD to call this new processor the 320GE, as it has +100 MHz more on the CPU. However, AMD are changing the naming for two reasons.

First, to align it more with the Ryzen family. With the Ryzen 3000 series starting with the Ryzen 3 3200G for the 65W Zen+ APUs, moving into the Ryzen 5 3600 for the 65 W desktop Zen 2 CPUs, each of these are four digits plus a letter. By moving to 3000G, it allows AMD to equate the two families together (even if there’s still an APU/desktop CPU microarchitecture mismatch).

AnandTech Cores
TDP Price
12nm Zen+ - Picasso
Ryzen 5 3400G 4 / 8 3700 4200 11 65 W $149
Ryzen 3 3200G 4 / 4 3600 4000 8 65 W $99
Athlon 3000G 2 / 4 3500 - 3 35 W $49
Athlon Pro 300GE 2 / 4 3400 - 3 35 W -
14nm Zen - Raven Ridge
Ryzen 5 2400G 4 / 8 3600 3900 11 65 W $169
Ryzen 5 2400GE 4 / 8 3200 3800 11 35 W -
Ryzen 3 2200G 4 / 4 3500 3700 8 65 W $99
Ryzen 3 2200GE 4 / 4 3200 3600 8 35 W -
Athlon 240GE 2 / 4 3500 - 3 35 W $75
Athlon 220GE 2 / 4 3400 - 3 35 W $65
Athlon 200GE 2 / 4 3200 - 3 35 W $55

The other aspect is that the Athlon 3000G is also unlocked. AMD touts the 3000G as the first AM4 Athlon that is fully unlocked for overclocking, allowing users to adjust the CPU multiplier as high as their dreams desire (or to the limits of the silicon). As AMD is pairing the CPU with its 65W cooler, that means a lot of users, as long as the motherboard supports overclocking, should be able to push their CPU a bit higher. AMD stated that the +400 MHz in the slide deck for our briefing would represent a ‘typical’ overclock for an end-user, but then clarified they did use a high-end cooler to achieve that value. Nonetheless, an unlocked $49 chip with a cooler than can handle double the TDP could be exciting for users wanting to test their overclocking skills.

The other feather in AMD’s cap for this new chip is that it competes against Intel’s Celeron and Pentium desktop processors. Given the high demand for Intel's high-end 14nm products, the Pentium and Celeron parts have been available in relatively low in volumes as they don’t make as much money, especially when high-end demand is high. In that instance, AMD has the advantage as the company stated that there will be plenty of Athlon silicon to go around.

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  • Death666Angel - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - link

    What are you talking about? A short trip to "" shows 16 mini ITX AM4 motherboards available, 3 X570, 2 X470, 3 X370, 4 B450, 3 B350 and 1 A320. There is even an mini STX motherboard, if you want to buy a whole barebones PC (DeskMini A300).
    And a smart TV has the smart stuff integrated. You are talking about an HTPC.
  • Midwayman - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - link

    I really wish all the PCIe lanes were available at lower core counts. Its not hard to have a lot of I/O needs without needing a stupid amount of cores. It really sucks when you go to install an expansion card or NVME only to find out that its going to drop your GPU lanes from 16x to 8x.
  • DigitalFreak - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - link

    My understanding is that Ryzen actually has 32 PCIe lanes available on the processor, at least in the 1xxx and 2xxx series. They only exposed 24 of them (16 GPU, 4 NVMe, 4 to the chipset) for some reason. Limitation of the socket?
  • John_M - Friday, November 8, 2019 - link

    It is obviously limited by the AM4 socket, though not arbitrarily - it was a conscious design choice. Some of them are used internally bt the SoC for SATA, USB, etc. Actually, If you take a look at Raven Ridge and Picasso all 32 lanes are indeed used: 8 to the discrete GPU slot, 4 for NVMe, 4 to the chipset and 16 to the integrated GPU, SATA, USB, etc.
  • Kevin G - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - link

    Kind of irked that there is a new socket for TR. The Epyc side didn't need a new socket for PCIe 4.0 and that invoked a few changes too (like an additional PCIe lane for OoBM). At the very least, it would have been nice to have had the 3rd gen TR parts work in earlier motherboards for an upgrade path even if that meant that the IO was PCIe 3.0 only and the chipset link was effectively 4x PCIe 3.0. The centralized IO chip is likely a huge reason for the generational performance leap on top of the Zen2 improvements. That's something original socket TR4 owners probably want.
  • DigitalFreak - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - link

    Realistically, how many people actually upgrade a CPU without upgrading the motherboard? That argument is getting old.
  • TheinsanegamerN - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - link

    so old. I have never upgraded a CPU only, because motherboard features have always been just as important.
  • Death666Angel - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - link

    What are the benefits you got from your motherboard after upgrading from a Z170 to a Z390 motherboard?
    Let's look at the Asus Z170-P and the Asus Z390-P:
    4 DDR4 DIMM slots
    x16 and x4 GPU slots
    Z170 has 2 PCIe x1 & 2 PCI slots vs Z390 4 PCIe x1 slots
    Z390 has 2 NVME slots (x2/SATA + x4) and wifi M.2 vs Z170 has 1 NVME x4 slot
    Z170 has USB C on the IO vs Z390 not but Z390 has more USB ports in general (other Z170 have more USB) and Z390 has USB 3.1 (10 Gbps)
    Z390 has RGB and a water pump header

    That is not a lot of features you gain for a product that launched in 2015 vs 2018. Not many people need many USB 3.0 ports. At one point in time every motherboard upgrade would bring with it better USB and SATA speeds that actually mattered, better fan controls and better DDR speeds. But it's slowed down a lot. I could mod my Haswell board BIOS to allow NVME booting from a 15€ add in card, the board had USB 3.0, SATA III, good fan controls. When it comes to pure features, my X570 doesn't really offer anything more. And I'm sure a lot of people would have liked to upgrade just their 7700K to a 8700K, getting an automatic 50% increase in a lot of tasks and kept their own board. If AMD does indeed keep their AM4 platform for 4 generations with Zen 3 next year that will be a great accomplishment for them, the consumer and the environment.
  • Threska - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - link

    I did, but then not everyone throws away the car every time they buy new tires.
  • Death666Angel - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - link

    We've really been conditioned by Intel not allowing it and doing little generation to generation to think that. I've upgraded in the AM3 days from a 2 core to a 4 core and then a 6 core. Some friends bought a first gen Ryzen CPU and now upgraded to Gen 3 and they are happy because PCIe is basically the only thing they miss out on. I also upgraded in the Athlon 64 days, I think I upgraded a socket 939 motherboard from a single core to a dual core, but I'm not too sure anymore.
    With Intel, there was no way to upgrade from a 2700k SB to a 4770k Haswell without a motherboard change. Realistically, there was no great motherboard feature upgrade in that time. Z68 boards already had USB 3.0 and SATA III, DDR3. The big jump came with the *Lake architecture that enabled NVME slots and DDR4. And then Intel allowed another generation of 4 core CPUs for that generation before breaking compatiblity when the core counts increased.
    It is always interesting when people argue against good features for seemingly no reason other than to defend a multi billion dollar corporation.

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