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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  • Valantar - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - link

    Last I checked $2000 CPUs generally weren't for "casual everyday programs". Not really $750 ones either.

    Performance hungry productivity applications can on the other hand make use of 16 quite commonly, though 32 is still a stretch. Then again there's some value to a workstation that's fully usable even when running a compile, render, or other multi-hour heavy workload.
  • evernessince - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - link

    People were saying the same thing 3 years ago about the 8 core Zen 1 CPUs and yet here we are, a majority of new games coming out utilizing 8 cores. Give it another 3 years, I wouldn't be surprised to see if that doubles again.
  • Oliseo - Friday, November 8, 2019 - link

    Enough with the hyperbole already. Games will NOT be using 16 cores in another 3 years.

    I know it suits your argument an all, but get real.
  • Spunjji - Friday, November 8, 2019 - link

    Agreed. What's more likely is that we'll see games / engines that depend on 4+ cores becoming commonplace, with maybe an outlier or two that can squeeze marginal gains from 8+.
  • Targon - Friday, November 8, 2019 - link

    With the Ryzen 7 release in 2017, and then the release of the i9-9900k, no one questions that we are now in the era where games and programs should at least be able to scale with 8 core/16 threads. Now, once you actually have a properly multi-threaded design, it becomes simple to just use a design to use more and more threads, and if you have fewer cores, no problem because the scheduler will just assign the threads to CPU cores.

    You don't really target a given number of cores, you either go for a multi-threaded design, or you don't. Allow those who have a higher end processor get the advantage of more cores/threads, it doesn't HURT those with lower tier chips.
  • jaju123 - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - link

    Absolute dominance, I love it. Crazy that I can use my 3700x now (which is already incredibly fast) and buy a used 3950x in a couple of years for an upgrade with double the cores (or just get a zen 3 chip).
  • yeeeeman - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - link

    Well, AMD is trying the Intel seat and it likes it. We can see that the 32 core part is now more expensive than the previous gen 32 core part, 2000$ vs 1800$.
  • Irata - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - link

    While this is more than many had expected, the only Intel CPU / platform that comes remotely close to the TR3 platform is the 28C Xeon W-3175X, which costs $ 3,000 and requires a separate very expensive mainboard.
  • TheinsanegamerN - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - link

    It also brings gen 4 PCIe, which aint cheap.
  • Kjella - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - link

    The 32 core TR2 had a very awkward memory architecture where not all the CPUs had direct access to memory and on many workloads it performed no better than a 16 core. If you wanted a "normal" 32 core CPU you'd have to buy EPYC server chips which cost a lot more for much lower speeds. So while you can't read it out of that spec sheet the TR3 is actually a much more capable product.

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