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AMD finally takes on Intel’s Pentium chips with a $55 APU

AMD launches the Athlon 200GE, a $55 APU set to take on Intel's Pentium lineup

AMD Athlon 200GE

Today AMD has officially announced the return of the Athlon range after a long stint on the backburner. The budget chips, which have made a few appearances this year in the form of rumours, will finally enter the market: starting with the dual-core Vega-equipped Athlon 200GE and Athlon Pro 200GE.

The Athlon 200GE is a dual-core, four-thread APU, thanks to simultaneous multithreading, and features three Radeon Vega graphics Compute Units for just enough integrated graphical power to keep video and light graphical tasks chugging along. I’m afraid anything other than minesweeper might be a bit of a stretch for this APU alone.

The Athlon 200GE is clocked solely at 3.2GHz, so it’s not the fastest chip going either. But, realistically, this $55 processor is intended to compete with Intel’s largely untouched Pentium lineup for entry-level PCs. Specifically, AMD is selling the Athlon Pro 200GE APU as 19% faster than Intel’s Pentium G4560 in system computational benchmarks (Cinebench R15 multithreading and PCMark10 Extended), and 67% faster when it comes to graphical workloads (3DMark11).

The Athlon 200GE will be available from September 18, and later this year the AMD Athlon range will expand further with the Athlon 220GE and 240GE. However, aside from the name and launch window, we don’t have any other details about these budget chips just yet.

Cores Threads Clock Speed Max Boost/Base (GHz) Cache TDP (Watts)
Graphics Compute Unit
2 4 3.2 5MB 35W 3
 Ryzen 7
PRO 2700X
8 16 4.1/3.6 20MB 105W N/A
 Ryzen 7
PRO 2700
8 16 4.1/3.2 20MB 65W N/A
 Ryzen 5
PRO 2600
6 12 3.9/3.4 19MB 65W N/A

Aside from the Athlon APUs, there are also three more straight processors from team red on the way. AMD refreshed the consumer Ryzen lineup back in April with the 12nm 2000-series chips, but today sees the launch of three new Pro workstation-grade processors: the Ryzen 7 Pro 2700X, Ryzen 7 Pro 2700, and Ryzen 5 Pro 2600.

The Ryzen 7 Pro 2700 and 2600 both feature the same clockspeeds as their consumer brethren, albeit with the reliability, security, and workload focused enhancements AMD adds to its Pro lineup. But, the Ryzen 7 Pro 2700X, despite the same 105W TDP, actually features slightly decreased clockspeeds at 4.1GHz boost / 3.6GHz base compared to the Ryzen 7 2700X at 4.3GHz boost / 3.7GHz base.

Intel and Nvidia are both slated for big launches before year’s up (the Intel i9 9900K and Nvidia RTX 2080 if you hadn’t already heard), however, for AMD, the remainder of the year seems mostly focused on expanding the workstation and professional markets, with a 7nm Vega GPU also on the cards. AMD’s big push with Zen 2 CPUs and Navi GPUs aren’t expected until the first half of 2019.