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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  • Teckk - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - link

    You mean other than Chrome and Electron apps on the system ?!?
    On a serious note, can't think of anything other than Virtual Machines, Image/Video Editing and Debugging in IDEs but I don't know if that falls under 'casual everyday programs'. But again they could be for the person buying a 16-core processor for casual everyday use :)
  • DPUser - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - link

    Audio loves multiple cores... lots of parallel processes happening in a big multi-track, multi-plugin, multi-virtual instrument mix.
  • shreduhsoreus - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - link

    Audio also prefers that those cores are all on the same die, otherwise you can't get full utilization of the CPU at low buffer settings. Scan Pro Audio has found that the 3900X starts having dropouts at 70% utilization. I actually returned a 3900X because they're not that great for low latency audio production.
  • MattMe - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - link

    Is that right? I'd always understood that single core perf is extremely important in audio, not only for latency but because if you have a complex I/O chain (instrument running through multiple plugins) it has to stay on the same core.
    In Live if I have an instrument input that runs through a gate and compressor, then into another track that is running plugins (effects/loopers), that all has to be processed by a single core according to Ableton documentation. So although other instruments can be running on other cores, the single core perf is still a potential bottleneck (and frequently is!)

    (The reason I use the example of routing audio through different tracks is for monitoring and looping at multiple points of the chain.)
  • zmatt - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - link

    I can't speak to all DAWs, it depends on which one you are talking about specifically. But I've seen good results with FL Studio with more cores and threads versus improving single threaded perf.
  • valinor89 - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - link

    While not really needing that many cores by a long stretch I am amazed at how some Antivirus software insist on analizing all the drives on my PC serially. I get that when there is only one drive it would be I/O bound but when I have multiple drives I don't see a reason they could not scan them in paral·lel. specially when I do a Scan on demand and don't expect to be doing anything else with the PC.
  • timecop1818 - Friday, November 8, 2019 - link

    Who gives a shit about AV in 2019? If you're dumb enough to download and run pornhubvideo.jpg.mkv.exe then you deserve to get buttcoined or randomware'd
  • Oliseo - Friday, November 8, 2019 - link

    lol. It's cute you thinking that's how you get viruses in 2019 and not by compromised websites instead.
  • Xyler94 - Friday, November 8, 2019 - link

    Congratulation! You're part of a 1% club who knows how to detect BS stuff! Good on you!!

    For the rest of the population, those not hooked to forums like this, Anti-Virus programs are still needed. They help with many other things than downloading Trojan viruses. The easiest way to get most is actually phishing links. Even though at home I taught my mother how to look for BS links in emails, and I have a Pi-Hole VM to stop most ads, including mal-advertisement, there hasn't been a virus in our house, but I still bought a year of Bit-Defender for my mother's PC (And I may install it onto my own PC just to help clean it)
  • Irata - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - link

    3950X is probably more of a "want" than a "need" CPU for a considerable part of buyers.

    I'd say the plus part of having many cores is that you can have several things run in parallel without having to worry much about performance.

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