AMD Ryzen 5 3400G Review


AMD Ryzen 5 3400G Review


Until the release of Ryzen, a lot of our reviews of AMD processors were focused upon the top of the company product range. Simply put, AMD's older Bulldozer-era CPUs usually required more cores to overcome their single-threaded performance deficit when compared to Intel models. The first generation of Ryzen CPUs showed that AMD had turned a corner, and the introduction of the subsequent generations confirmed that Ryzen market a genuine new dawn, rather than a false one.

The 3rd Generation Ryzen CPUs with their Zen 2 architecture honed their design to a sharp edge, whilst also improving the only remaining weaknesses when compared to their Intel rivals. This mostly came in the form of enhanced single-threaded performance, an improved caching structure and support for faster DDR4 memory. With AMD's 3rd Generation Ryzen processors, AMD no longer requires the extra cores to make up the difference. Nor were they as heavily reliant on fast memory in encoding and rendering benchmarks. With Zen 2, AMD has solved many of the problems which undermined their original Zen architecture, making it unfortunate that the Rzyen 5 3400G isn't a fully-fledged Zen 2 processor. 

Yes, the Ryzen 5 3400G is a 3000-series Ryzen processor, but that doesn't mean that it is 7nm or Zen 2-based. This is a Zen+ product, and this is a 12nm processor. The reality of the situation is that this processor has more in common with CPUs like the Ryzen 7 2700X than it does with the Ryzen 7 3700X. However, this doesn't mean that the Ryzen 5 3400G isn't a good product. 

So, how desirable is the Ryzen 5 3400G? That depends on your budget and the purpose of your system. For this review, we've utilised the onboard graphics - RX Vega 11 - which is more than capable of running less graphically intensive games. With some carefully selected graphics settings, PC gamers will also get away with running most AAA titles; albeit without the graphical splendour as you'd find from a dedicated graphics solution.

The CPU within this processor is similar to the one used in Microsoft's Xbox One S. The Ryzen 5 3400G offers more RAW GPU compute while shipping with a more bandwidth constrained memory solution. With this in mind, PC gamers should be able to play most modern titles with Xbox One like visuals and framerates. 

In our testing, we were able to achieve playable framerates in Assassin's Creed: Odyssey, Far Cry 5, Gears 5, Grant Theft Auto 5, Rainbow Six Seige and Total War: Three Kingdoms. Not bad for a product that costs less than £140 for both CPU and GPU. 

While this processor can't hold a candle to most setups with a dedicated graphics card, the Ryzen 5 3400G offers more than enough performance to accomplish some basic gaming tasks. If your kid needs a PC that can be used for homework (and some Minecraft etc on the side), then the Ryzen 5 3400G is a great starting point. It also offers enough performance to be used with a dedicated graphics card in the future if needed. It is also worth noting that AMD's AM4 socket also supports AMD's new Ryzen 3rd Generation processors, offering upgrade headroom to newer processors with higher core counts. 

Memory-wise, we found that AMD's Ryzen 5 3400G liked using faster DDR4 memory, much like other Ryzen series processors. This is especially true while gaming, as memory bandwidth, is being shared between both the processor's CPU and GPU components. 3200MHz appears to be the sweet spot between memory performance and pricing, with 3600MHz speeds being bootable on some motherboard setups. We cannot guarantee that speeds past 3200MHz will work on your Ryzen 5 3400G processor and motherboard combo, making faster memory speeds hard to recommend.     

The other area that we think this processor will find plenty of love is in those of you who will either utilise it as an HTPC setup on a motherboard such as the Gigabyte Aorus X570 ITX we were testing on today. This CPU is more than capable of handling office work, light gaming and a large number of other tasks. 

Whilst the Ryzen 5 3400G won't surprise anyone with its hardware capabilities; there is a lot to be said for its performance, reliability and affordability. It can offer plenty of performance on day-1 for some modest gaming and productivity usage, while also providing the headroom for a discrete GPU upgrade. Your AM4 motherboard will also offer support for a beefier CPU if you ever desire an upgrade.

When overclocking, our sample easily reached a 4.3 GHz overclock on all four hyperthreaded (SMT-enabled) cores, and a 1650MHz overclock on the processor's integrated GPU. With a little more tinkering, we'd guess that higher GPU overclocks should be possible. 

Given its versatility and out of the box performance, AMD's Ryzen 5 3400G is more than worthy of winning our OC3D Value For Money award. 

AMD Ryzen 5 3400G Review  

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