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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  • cfenton - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - link

    Almost nothing. These things are for work. A reasonably fast quad core (anything Ivy Bridge or newer, really) is fine for almost any casual programs. Going up to eight cores makes sense for gaming since the new consoles will be eight core.
  • TheinsanegamerN - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - link

    The consoles have been 8 core since 2013 dude. PS4 and xbone are 8 core. 8 slow cores, which should have prompted swift acceleration of multi threaded game engines.

    Yet here we are.
  • milkywayer - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - link

    Half of this console generation Intel was in the lead and they kept milking the core count. Until 3,4 years ago they were selling dual core cpu as i7 on mobile. It wasn't until AMD came up and basically showered everyone with 4 and 6 core cpus for half the price is when Intel dropped the BS and started offering real 6 core cpus in the lower tier consumer market and 4 core real 4 core cpus in mobile etc. I blame only Intel.
  • cfenton - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - link

    And we saw slow progress toward multi-threaded games throughout the generation. There are way more games today that can take advantage of 4+ cores than there were in 2013. It takes time to adapt game engines and not every kind of game will even benefit from more cores. All I'm suggesting is that if you play games you have some reason to go beyond four cores.
  • evernessince - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - link

    Consoles were based off jaguar, which really had 8 half cores that shared execution units. So really, 4 cores.
  • scineram - Friday, November 8, 2019 - link

  • Spunjji - Friday, November 8, 2019 - link

    You're confusing Jaguar for Bulldozer.

    Jaguar uses complete cores, albeit "small" ones in terms of area - in design and performance terms they're somewhere between the old K8 Athlon 64 and K10 Athlon II processors.

    I think the confusion comes in because the console implementation of Jaguar has 8 cores split across 2 "modules" which is the same terminology used for 'dozer, but referring to a different thing:
    Bulldozer module = 2 cores with shared FP resources
    Jaguar module = 4 independent cores, like a CCX in Zen
  • Zizy - Friday, November 8, 2019 - link

    8 cores at 1.6GHz (PS4 as the slowest) is at best the same as 4 cores at 3.2 GHz, assuming everything else equal and perfect MT. Plus those cat cores were essentially half as capable as the current stuff, normalized by clock. Therefore, consoles have about the same as 2 proper desktop cores - the lowest end CPUs you can buy.
    Anyway, there are many games that use more than 4 cores these days. Especially stuff coming out now when also Intel started offering more cores and AMD having competitive if not superior chips.
  • nevcairiel - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - link

    Casual everyday users absolutely do not need such CPUs.
  • DigitalFreak - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - link

    Exactly right. Core count is the new Mhz race for the uninformed.

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