AMD Ryzen/Raven Ridge APU Gaming Review
Published: 5th April 2018 | Source: OC3D Internal Testing | Price: |
Well, you can't say that we didn't put these poor APUs through the wringer, pitting them against some of the most demanding games on the PC market. You could even argue that we are being unfair to these two CPUs by setting up such a demanding test suite, though it is a testament to AMD that all of these games are playable when using the right settings.
We started off with Assassin's Creed: Origins, a game which is already infamous for running terribly on AMD hardware (at least when compared to their Nvidia counterparts), making this a case where AMD's Ryzen 3 2200G and Ryzen 5 2400G would have to fight to maintain their gaming credentials.
Our test area for Assassin's Creed: Origins is in the city of Alexandria, one of the most consistently demanding locations within the game. This location gives PC a heavy CPU and GPU workout. With AMD's 2400G we found that we were able to play the game at a constant 30+ FPS in this area at 720p at our custom settings, with the 2200G having some minor dips in this stressful area. In less demanding regions 900p gameplay at 30FPS is possible with both units, though sadly they fall short when we move into this stressful city area.
While this may not seem flattering form some, remember that Assassin's Creed: Origins' official PC system requirements say that users need an R9 270 or better for 720p gameplay using the game's Lowest settings. These APUs are aiming well above their weight class running this game at all, especially given its reputation as a CPU workhorse with troubles on Radeon hardware.
Given the Xbox One-like GPU specifications for AMD's Raven Ridge APUs, it is understandable why we can play most of the other games that we have tested at resolutions and framerates that are similar to each title's counterpart on Microsoft's console. Not bad considering how much Xbox-specific and low-level optimisation is put into console release, making this a great showing for AMD's latest integrated graphics solutions. Given the target resolutions of a lot of modern Xbox titles, it is clear why higher-end consoles like the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro are necessary within the console market.
What our testing shows is that gaming is possible on these two units, even for demanding PC releases, though sacrifices are necessary to game on such affordable processors. Don't expect to be able to play every game at 60FPS, especially new releases. As a ballpark measurement, Raven Ridge should find out what the resolution and framerate targets of the game's Xbox One version. Given the similar levels of GPU performance at work between the Xbox One and Raven Ridge, it is likely that the same target can be met on our 2200G and 2400G with the correct settings. From there all you will need to do is find settings where that resolution and framerate is achievable. Games that run at a native 60FPS on Xbox should run great on these APUs, with 30FPS titles being a little more problematic. Thankfully PC gamers can lower the game's graphical quality to achieve higher framerates when necessary, though your mileage will vary in this regard.
One thing that we would like to see in the future is increased adoption for dynamic resolution scalers on PC, as we have seen in Middle Earth: Shadow of War. This option provides PC gamers with the ability to lower or increase their game's internal resolution on the fly to maintain the user's desired framerate, eliminating performance dips at the expense of visual sharpness. While some PC gamers will prefer a constant resolution, it is hard to argue with how useful this option is to PC gamers with lower-end hardware and the extensive list of console games which use similar features.
With the Ryzen 3 2200G and the Ryzen 5 2400G costing as little as £84 and £129 respectively it is hard to argue with the levels of gaming performance that is on offer here. You won't get a gaming combo like this anywhere else. Most low-end graphics cards have higher prices than AMD's Ryzen 3 2200G, giving it an insane value proposition. Good luck getting a GPU and a CPU for under £84.
When comparing the 2200G and the 2400G it is clear that the 2400G has a performance advantage, this makes sense given the Ryzen 5 2400G use of SMT (Multi-Threading), its higher active stream processor count (704 VS 512) and higher clock speeds (1240MHz vs 1100MHz).
What must be noted is that the performance boosts seen with the 2400G are often not as high as one would expect from this iGPU. Our results do not line up perfectly with the 12.7% increase in clock speeds and a 37.5% increase in stream processor count, though the 2400G still offers a convincing performance lead over the 2200G in most of the titles that we tested.
If you want a CPU with the best-integrated graphics on the market, AMD's Raven Ridge CPUs are the only thing that you should be looking at right now. The Ryzen 2200G and 2400G are both ideal CPU/GPU units for lite gaming or for use with a budget-oriented build. Remember that you can upgrade to a dedicated GPU later down the line after mining craze finally dies down. AMD's AM4 platform has a lot of upgrade potential, giving users the room to upgrade to up to an 8-core CPU and a high-end dedicated graphics card later if needed, with the potential to support even more new processors in time.
Raven Ridge also has a lot of potential for the HTPC crowd, giving PC gamers the ability to play easy-to-run titles like Minecraft, Overwatch or more demanding games like the ones showcased today. AMD's 2200G and 2400G enable gaming possibilities that were previously impossible on integrated graphics, offering PC builders a new low-cost entry point into PC gaming that does not require a dedicated GPU. Are AMD's new APUs capable of playing modern games? YES, but there are more than a few compromises that users should consider.
You can join the discussion on the gaming performance of AMD's Raven Ridge 2200G and 2400G APUs on the OC3D Forums.