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AMD announces Ryzen 4000-series desktop APUs – new budget build heroes?

AMD’s codename ‘renoir’ processors are now making their way onto desktop in the form of AMD Ryzen 4000-series APUs (accelerated processing units). We’ve recently seen a number of leaks and rumours surrounding these next-gen processors with integrated Vega graphics, especially when it comes to the overclocking performance of these chips. Now, the processor series has officially been announced by AMD.

The 7nm, Zen 2-based processors will be coming to the desktop at first in OEM packaging, but this doesn’t mean us DIY PC builders have anything to worry about. AMD says that while processors will ship with pre-built systems to begin with, and while the company “cannot disclose its entire roadmap, there are next-gen APUs coming for both 400- and 500-series motherboards”.

So, for those of you that perhaps already own an AMD B450 motherboard and Ryzen 5 3400G processor, and who were waiting for an upgrade, there shouldn’t be too long to wait! And the same goes for those of you that have been holding off on beginning your budget gaming PC build with an AMD B550 motherboard and Ryzen 4000-series APU. They will be coming to the DIY market – not yet, but soon.

This just-announced series of APUs is the successor to current AMD Ryzen 3000-series APUs, and both lineups are intended to act, first and foremost, as SoCs (system-on-chips) with powerful CPUs that also provide stellar integrated graphics. The primary appeal of these processors is in their ability to perform graphically intensive tasks like – duh – gaming, all without the need for one of the best graphics cards.

Cores/threads Frequency Cache Graphics cores Graphics frequency TDP
Ryzen 7 4700G 8/16 4.4/3.6GHz 12MB 8 2,100MHz 65W
Ryzen 5 4600G 6/12 4.2/3.7GHz 11MB 7 1,900MHz 65W
Ryzen 3 4300G 4/8 4/3.8GHz 6MB 6 1,700MHz 65W
Ryzen 7 4700GE 8/16 4.3/3.1GHz 12MB 8 2,000MHz 35W
Ryzen 5 4600GE 6/12 4.2/3.3GHz 11MB 7 1,900MHz 35W
Ryzen 3 4300GE 4/8 4/3.5GHz 6MB 6 1,700MHz 35W

Obviously we can’t expect discrete GPU levels of performance, here, but with this 4000-series it looks like we can hope for 60fps on low to medium settings at 1080p in many games, without the use of a graphics card at all. For those wanting a budget gaming setup, or those wanting a work setup that’s also capable of gaming, this could be the perfect option. What makes us think these APUs will be capable of such results, you ask? That would be AMD’s own benchmarks.

The AMD Ryzen 5 4600G is shown by AMD to perform 21% better than the 3400G in Cinebench when testing single-threaded performance, 94% better when testing multi-threaded performance, and 6% better when it comes to graphics performance in 3DMark Time Spy. The real graphics performance is gained, however, in the Ryzen 7 4700G, with 152% increased multi-core performance and 19% increased graphics performance over the 3400G.

AMD Ryzen 4000 series chip slant

The 4000-series is also shown comparing very favourably to comparable Intel 9th Gen CPUs, even when it comes to single-threaded performance, with the 4700G outperforming the Core i7 9700 in the same single-threaded, multi-threaded, and graphics benchmarks (although this last one shouldn’t come as a surprise since the 4000-series APUs have integrated Vega graphics cores as their trademark).

While these benchmarks are comparing the APUs to Intel’s 9th Gen processors (likely due to lack 10th Gen processor availability), AMD says it thinks they would compare favourably to 10th Gen processors, too. So, with these 4000G APUs we see up to 2.5x improved performance over the previous generation of APUs, and across the board there are significant improvements not only in graphics performance, as would be expected, but even in single-threaded and multi-threaded performance, which is to be expected with the jump from Zen+ to Zen 2 architecture.

Analysis: AMD Ryzen 4000-series APUs could be the new budget build heroes

We already had an inkling that these processors would perform well, especially when it comes to overclocking. We’ve seen the AMD Ryzen 7 4700G hit 4.7GHz clock speed and also overclock its memory to 4,400MHz with a 1:1 UCLK to FCLK ratio for super-low latency. We’ve also seen how well AMD Renoir laptops perform in the wild, offering some of the best value offerings around in gaming laptops, even when we don’t consider the integrated Vega graphics. These new desktop APUs are essentially the same as their mobile Renoir counterparts, but with increased TDPs and extra fine-tuning for the higher power and larger form factors of desktop PCs.

So, it looks like we might soon have a new budget processor king in town. Our current pick for the best budget gaming CPU is the AMD Ryzen 3 3300X, and there’s also close competition with the Intel Core i3 10300 – soon, however, an AMD Ryzen 4000-series APU might be the go-to for ultra-budget builds. And by “ultra-budget” I mean any build that doesn’t require splashing out $150+ on a discrete graphics card. We’ll have to wait and see what the price to performance offerings are on the lineup once they hit the DIY PC builder market, which will hopefully be as soon as AMD implies.

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