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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  • extide - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - link

    Dependson your workloads. Both my desktop and work laptop have 64GB and I want to move my desktop at home to 128GB soon.
  • close - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - link

    I have a machine with 1024 cores and 2TB or RAM (no joke). I think the point of the comment above was that you don't *need* 64GB just because you need a TR.
  • voodoobunny - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - link

    ... what do you *do*, and how can we do that too?
  • imaheadcase - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - link

    That is why these new CPUs are a slippery slope for people. At the end of the day even the hardcore gamer really has no incentive to upgrade past a CPU like the 2600K from Intel that was so popular. AMD is trying to put the "business" and "consumer" cpu in different category, but every year it seems kind of comical in most regards. Not saying that they don't have a advantage, but like you said the performance is getting to the point that you will not actually care about Mhz or core count, and more of feature sets of the CPU.

    Case in point:
    "3.5 GHz base frequency and a 4.7 GHz single core boost frequency; the overall all-core turbo frequency will be dependent on the motherboard used, the quality of the silicon, and the turbo in play."

    The last CPU i had boost was a 486dx intel cpu that went from 33mhz to 66mhz Boosted..even at that time i remember the controversy of it all. What i'm saving is when you get to a point that you have so many cores and are itching for a measly 100mhz or so its time to focus on integrating new tech into the cpu.
  • zmatt - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - link

    Maybe your memory is foggy but the turbo on the 486 was a misnomer. It didn't make the cpu faster. 66mhz was the base clock. It halved the multiplier to run the cpu at 33mhz for games that didn't use the rtc. Many DOS games didn't support polling system time from the rtc because a lot of 386 and earlier systems didn't have them. So they kept time relative to the cpu cycles as a work around. I remember Liero did this and anything faster than a 16mhz 386 made the game actually run faster, to the point of unplayability. Unclocking the 486 via the turbo button helped, although on some games not enough.
  • FreckledTrout - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - link

    True. They all just misnamed the button turbo :) Which even back in the the 286 days I had a turbo button it of course worked as you described albeit lower frequencies.
  • Xyler94 - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - link

    There's more to a PC than raw CPU power.

    Platform features like PCIe version, SATA version, NVMe, some things that weren't even a sparkle in the eyes of engineers back in the Sandybridge days. Sure, if you only game, there's not too much of a difference, but there is a good one to say no to Sandybridge era CPUs in modern times. Hell, I wanna upgrade my 4790k, which is 3 years younger than Sandy Bridge.

    The hardcore gamer have a lot of reasons to upgrade from Sandy, CPUs are faster, have more features, and newer stuff works better for newer OSs and such.
  • Threska - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - link

    Instructions the earlier CPU didn't.*

    *Reason I had to upgrade. The DRM needed it.
  • FreckledTrout - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - link

    You have a point for the average person, CPU performance is pretty much a commodity. It took awhile but we have hit a point where people can reasonably afford more compute power than they need. However people who do real work like say video editing and don't have server farms these advances have been huge as they can never have to much compute.
  • Spunjji - Friday, November 8, 2019 - link

    This hasn't been true for around 2-3 years now, depending how you measure. Sandy had a long life (mainly thanks to its extremely conservative clock rates at stock) but it's way outside what I'd recommend to anyone looking to game even moderately seriously now.

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