Intel Drops Arc A750 Price to $249, With Improved Drivers
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(Image credit: Intel)
The Intel Arc Alchemist architecture brought a third competitor to the best graphics cards, and while it can’t top the GPU benchmarks in terms of performance, there’s certainly a strong value proposition. At the same time, there are areas where the drivers still need tuning — Minecraft with ray tracing being one example that comes immediately to mind since it’s one of the games in our standard test suite. But Intel hopes to encourage further adoption with the latest announcement of a $40 price cut to the Intel Arc A750, bringing it down to just $250.
It’s difficult to say exactly how many people have purchased Intel Arc graphics cards — mobile or desktop — since they first became available in the spring of 2023. I’ve seen claims that Intel dedicated GPUs accounted for up to 4% of total sales in Q4 2022, but so far Arc GPUs don’t show up as individual entries on the Steam Hardware Survey (which will be updated with January data shortly, so maybe that will change). Certainly, dropping the price of the A750 by 14% can’t hurt.
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It’s not just about lowering the price, either. Since launching with the 3490 drivers back in October 2022, Intel has delivered three WHQL drivers and at least four beta drivers. The latest beta, version 4090, became available last week, and improving performance and compatibility has been a key target for all of the driver updates.
DirectX 9 performance, an area that Intel hadn’t really focused on prior to the Arc launch, has been one of the biggest benefactors of the newer drivers. Intel claims that, across a test suite of thirteen games, average framerates at 1080p have improved by 43%, and 99th percentile fps has improved by 60%. At 1440p, the average fps increased by 35% while 99th percentile fps improved by 52%.
Granted, the test suite for DX9 games isn’t so much about making games that ran poorly suddenly run well. The worst performing of the suite, Stellaris, looks to have performed at about 75 fps with the launch drivers, whereas it’s now getting more like 130 fps. And Half-Life 2 went from just under 400 fps to about 600 fps. Even so, the overall experience has improved, and framerate consistency and frame times are much more stable.
It’s also interesting that Intel continues to show the Arc A750 as an RTX 3060 competitor, mostly ignoring (in charts) AMD’s own RX 6600. That’s probably because AMD has a much stronger value proposition, with the RX 6600 regularly selling for $225, give or take. Our testing puts it slightly below the A750 (and RTX 3060), but the price cut does make up for the higher power use on Intel’s GPU.
(Image credit: Intel)
Intel is also continuing to push its XeSS (Xe Super Sampling) AI upscaling algorithm as an alternative to Nvidia’s DLSS and AMD’s FSR technologies. The adoption rate isn’t nearly as high, but considering how new Intel is to the dedicated GPU arena, getting 35 games to support XeSS in the first six months or so is pretty decent.
Another feature of the Arc GPUs that’s more than just «pretty decent» is the video encoding and decoding support. Arc was the first modern GPU to offer full AV1 support, and the quality of the Quick Sync Video encoding goes head to head with Nvidia’s best (with AMD trailing on previous generation GPUs, though we still need to look at the latest RDNA 3 chips).
But it’s not all sunshine and flowers. Our own testing of Bright Memory Infinite (using the Bright Memory Infinite benchmark on Steam) and Minecraft shows there’s still room for improvement. Another interesting aspect of the Arc GPUs that we’ve discovered is that, using a Samsung Odyssey Neo G8 32-inch monitor, the DisplayPort connection can only run at up to 4K and 120 Hz, while Nvidia’s RTX 20-series and later (using DP1.4a) all support 4K and 240 Hz via Display Stream Compression.
Ultimately, lowering the price of the A750 by $40 probably won’t change the minds of millions of gamers, but it does make the overall package more attractive. Intel has also added Nightingale and The Settlers: New Allies to the software bundle for anyone who purchases a new Arc graphics card or system equipped with an Arc GPU. As we’ve noted before, Intel may not have the fastest cards on the planet, but the value proposition is certainly worth considering.
Which does bring up an interesting question: What’s happened with the Arc A580? That’s supposed to have the same 8GB of GDDR6 as the A750, but with 24 Xe-cores instead of 28 Xe-cores (3,072 shaders vs. 3,584 shaders on the A750). It also has a lower TBP of 175W compared to 225W and a Game clock of 1700 MHz, or at least that’s the theory. With the new price on the A750, the space for an A580 continues to shrink, but maybe Intel could still release something in the $199–$219 range. We’re still waiting…
The full slide deck from Intel is included below, for reference.
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Jarred Walton is a senior editor at Tom’s Hardware focusing on everything GPU. He has been working as a tech journalist since 2004, writing for AnandTech, Maximum PC, and PC Gamer. From the first S3 Virge ‘3D decelerators’ to today’s GPUs, Jarred keeps up with all the latest graphics trends and is the one to ask about game performance.
8 Best Graphics Cards under $150 in 2023
The best graphics cards under $150 from famous brands.
Your computer’s performance depends on the capabilities of the CPU and GPU. You can see the images on the screen after the graphics card transforms the data you are working with. GPU power affects image quality and screen display speed. Therefore, choosing the best graphics card under $150 is a responsible task.
Top 8 Best Graphics Cards under $150
Biostar Radeon RX 550 —
XFX Radeon Rx 590 —
MSI GeForce GTX 1650 —
XFX RX 5700 XT —
XFX RX 570 —
MSI GeForce GTX 1650 —
Sapphire Radeon RX 580 —
GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1660 TI —
With the development of technology, the manufacturers of graphic processors have improved them greatly. As a result, they perfectly cope with displaying ordinary texts and images on the screen, as well as with the 3D graphics of the latest computer games. Besides, GPUs do an excellent job with other tasks related to manipulating lots of data simultaneously. In this article, you will learn how to choose the best GPU under 150 bucks and check out the most worthy options at the moment.
1. Biostar Radeon RX 550
Stream Processors: AMD Radeon RX 550 | Core Clock: 1500 MHz | Memory: 4 GB | Memory Clock: 1280 Gbps | Power Connectors: 350 w | Outputs: DisplayPort, DVI, HDMI
- ✚ Next-generation features
- ✚ Doesn’t require an auxiliary power connector
- ✚ Great cooling system
- — Lack of small form factor solutions at launch
VIEW ON AMAZON
If you are looking for the best AMD graphics card under 150 dollars which delivers great gaming performance, then you should consider this option. It includes 640 stream processors running at 1019 MHz with 4 GB GDDR5.
They are connected to a 128-bit bus and feature a total memory bandwidth of 6 Gbps. This graphic card is packed with 100% solid capacitors. Besides, you don’t need additional power connectors.
2. XFX Radeon Rx 590
Stream Processors: AMD Radeon RX 590 | Core Clock: 8000 MHz | Memory: 8 GB | Memory Clock: 1565 Gbps | Power Connectors: 600 w | Outputs: DVI, HDMI
- ✚ Amazing gaming set
- ✚ Stunning capabilities for 1080p gaming
- ✚ Can be replaced with other similar GPUs easily
- — Noisy operation, prone to overheating
VIEW ON AMAZON
This option is packed with an impressive array of features for gamers. It can easily handle streaming, optimizing, sharing, capturing and customizing your games. This 150 dollar graphics card is powered by Radeon Software providing a smooth and speedy gaming experience.
It is an amazing solution for the latest esports, AAA and VR titles. Besides, you can benefit from a powerful combination of modern APIs, like DirectX 12 and Vulkan, which allows a Radeon RX graphics card to deliver impressive gaming performance.
3. MSI GeForce GTX 1650
Stream Processors: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 | Core Clock: 1710 MHz | Memory: 4 GB | Memory Clock: 1650 Gbps | Power Connectors: 100 w | Outputs: DisplayPort, HDMI
- ✚ Almost noiseless in gaming
- ✚ Nice overclocking capabilities
- ✚ Doesn’t overheat
- — Lack of backplate
VIEW ON AMAZON
The new graphics card from the famous GAMING series features a black and gunmetal gray design. This $150 GPU has an excellent cooling system to ensure optimal temperatures for efficient operation. It also includes the new TORX FAN 3.0 that works well with stunning aerodynamic feats.
This combination allows temperatures to be kept low enough for quiet and smooth operation. This graphics card boasts outstanding performance for gaming and other tasks. Moreover, thanks to the special software, you can choose the settings you need.
4. XFX RX 5700 XT
Stream Processors: AMD Radeon RX 5700 | Core Clock: 1905 MHz | Memory: 8 GB | Memory Clock: 1280 Gbps | Power Connectors: 550 w | Outputs: DisplayPort, HDMI
- ✚ Fantastic power
- ✚ Awesome quality
- ✚ Perfect for gaming
- — Heavy
VIEW ON AMAZON
This option is the best GPU under 150 bucks thanks to its excellent mix of dynamic cooling and style. Depending on the load, the system controls temperatures to ensure high-end performance. This model boasts the best FPS of the entire series. The cooling structure consists of a GDDR Heatsink, a 100mm fan, and the 2 90mm fans.
This design allows you to maintain low temperatures and virtually silent operation, achieving higher boost clocks. Dual BIOS is available. You can get the gaming experience you want by choosing between silent operation and impressive performance.
5. XFX RX 570
Stream Processors: AMD Radeon RX 570 | Core Clock: 1500 MHz | Memory: 8 GB | Memory Clock: 1280 Gbps | Power Connectors: 600 w | Outputs: DisplayPort, HDMI
- ✚ Reasonable price
- ✚ Small
- ✚ High-end build quality
- — Its architecture wasn’t improved
VIEW ON AMAZON
If you want to find the best GPU under 150 dollars for a wide variety of games, then this product is for you. It perfectly matches the demands of various games, including the most popular AAA titles and the latest MOBA games. This graphics card is based on 4th generation Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture.
Smooth gameplay performance is delivered thanks to the advanced Geometry Engine and asynchronous Shaders. This is one of the best Radeon RX graphics cards that allows you to immerse yourself in the full world of virtual games. Improved FinFET 14 combined with the latest premium technologies will deliver an incredible experience.
6. MSI GeForce GTX 1650
Stream Processors: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 | Core Clock: 1695 MHz | Memory: 4 GB | Memory Clock: 1280 Gbps | Power Connectors: 100 w | Outputs: DisplayPort, DVI, HDMI
- ✚ Super-quiet
- ✚ Decent overclocking features
- ✚ Doesn’t overheat
- — Memory overclocking isn’t available
VIEW ON AMAZON
If you are looking for the best graphics card under 150 dollars with increased energy efficiency, then check out this option. This GPU is based on the latest Turing architecture and delivers outstanding performance at high speed and with minimal noise. The graphics card features more cache than its predecessors have thanks to the new unified memory architecture.
Moreover, it features adaptive shading technology as well as concurrent execution of floating-point and integer operations. This is a great option for capturing, streaming and taking screenshots. For a more advanced performance, you need to change the game settings and update drivers in time by using the GeForce Experience app.
7. Sapphire Radeon RX 580
Stream Processors: AMD Radeon RX 580 | Core Clock: 8000 MHz | Memory: 8 GB | Memory Clock: 1280 Gbps | Power Connectors: 350 w | Outputs: DisplayPort, DVI, HDMI
- ✚ Impressive quality
- ✚ Affordable
- ✚ Small
- — Users complain about instability
VIEW ON AMAZON
This 150 dollar graphics card features an innovative cooling system. It consists of Black Diamond Chokes which are more power-efficient than conventional chokes. These unique elements provide stable gaming performance with minimal noise thanks to built-in heatsinks. This series of graphics cards comes with Dual HDMI ports designed for VR gaming.
It allows you to use a VR headset in addition to an HD monitor. It also has HDMI 2.0b ports. Their latest version has an 18 Gbps bandwidth, supports 4K 50/60 resolutions like 2160p, and includes up to 32 audio channels. What’s more, it is still compliant with old HDMI specifications.
8. GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 1660 Ti
Stream Processors: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 | Core Clock: 12000 MHz | Memory: 6 GB | Memory Clock: 1440 Gbps | Power Connectors: 600 w | Outputs: DisplayPort, HDMI
- ✚ Noiseless operation at low temperatures
- ✚ Factory overclocked
- ✚ Includes lighting
- — A backplate is made of plastic
VIEW ON AMAZON
This $150 GPU comes with a 6 GB GDDR6 192-bit memory interface. Fantastic performance at low temperatures is ensured by an efficient cooling system. To keep the graphics card from overheating, the manufacturer uses an alternate spinning fan, two 90mm unique blade fans, a composite copper heat pipe and 3D active fan functionality.
Biostar Radeon RX 550
||CHECK PRICE →|
XFX Radeon Rx 590
||CHECK PRICE →|
MSI GeForce GTX 1650
||CHECK PRICE →|
How to Choose the Best Graphics Card under 150 Dollars?
Currently, there are two types of graphics processors, discrete and integrated ones. If you need a graphics card for email clients, routine programs, a web browser and light casual games, then the built-in GPU will be a good choice. It has enough power to drive your OS, but it can’t handle high-performance tasks.
If you want to find the best graphics card under 150 bucks, pay attention to dedicated GPUs on this list. On the market, you can find both budget standalone GPUs and more expensive models with a price tag of around a thousand dollars. Manufacturers supply stand-alone graphics cards as a component for pre-built systems, for upgrading your PC or laptop.
Mobile vs. Desktop
A good graphics processor is needed not only for desktops but also for laptops. If you are buying a new laptop or want to upgrade your old one, you need to find out if it has a discrete GPU or an integrated one.
Previously, mobile graphics cards were inferior to their desktop equivalents. However, manufacturers have done an excellent job and have improved them significantly. Now, both types deliver almost equal performance. You can easily find a 150 dollar graphics card that is great for compact and lightweight laptops.
The GPU: Nvidia vs. AMD
When looking for an affordable GPU, you will consider various video cards that will let you power a computer’s display. They consist of a GPU chip manufactured by one of the two giants: Nvidia or AMD. These two manufacturers have been market leaders for many years. Initially, Nvidia graphic cards were significantly ahead of the competitor. However, over the past few years, AMD has improved its product and now it is a worthy competitor to Nvidia.
ASUS and Gigabyte are the major brands you will come across when choosing the best graphics card under 150 bucks. As a rule, their graphic cards are based on AMD and Nvidia underlying hardware and are supplemented with other components. You should also pay attention to the GPU model itself. It will give you general information about GPU performance. However, you should keep in mind that graphics cards of the same GPU model can perform in different ways.
In general, most graphics cards last from three to five years. It all depends on the quality and cost of the GPU. Inexpensive, entry-level models last 2-3 years. Mid-range options will last up to five years. If you buy high-end graphics cards, you can use them as long as the drivers are up to date.
Of course, you can assembly your PC without a graphics processor. In this case, you need your computer to have integrated graphics for processing data and displaying images on the screen. Otherwise, you can get the best 150 dollar GPU or other, install it to your motherboard via a PCIe port, and enjoy a great visual experience.
A graphics card consists of a GPU, storage space for graphics and an integrated cooling system. It is used to provide a high-quality image. Although your computer can display pictures without a separate graphics card, a discrete graphics chip will deliver better results.
You can find out which GPU is used by a game using the Task Manager. Select the “GPU Engine” column on the Processes panel and you will see the number of a GPU used by the program. Go to the Performance tab to find out which number corresponds to a specific GPU.
Top 5 GPUs to work with the new AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D
AMD recently introduced the Ryzen 7000 3D processors, including the Ryzen 7 7800X3D, Ryzen 9 7900X3D and 7950X3D. These chips came five months after the launch of the first Zen 4 chips. With improved 3D V-caching technology, they provide significantly higher gaming performance.
The Ryzen 7 7800X3D is the cheapest of the three recently released chips. It is the spiritual successor to the Ryzen 7 5800X3D, the first processor on the market to feature the new 3D V-cache technology.
The CPU must be paired with a powerful GPU for maximum performance. This article lists the best options to ensure there are no performance hiccups.
Ryzen 7 7800X3D can handle most GPUs on the market without performance bottlenecks
7800X3D is an interesting chip. It contains as much 3D V-cache as any higher-end processor on the market — 128MB. Additionally, AMD is not allowing more than eight of the best CPU cores to be used in video games with their latest update.
So the 7950X3D can only use half of its total number of cores. In contrast, the 7800X3D does not contain more than eight cores. This makes the Ryzen 7 chip a viable option for most gamers.
The best video cards for the processor are listed below.
1) AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT ($549.99)
The high-end hardware on the market is specifically designed for 4K gaming. Ryzen 7 7800X3D is no exception. So the 4K capable RX 6800 XT is a good match for the Zen 4 processor. This card was launched as a direct competitor to Nvidia’s RTX 3080. Even after almost two and a half years after the release, the card supports most video games in UHD resolution.
|AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT|
|Number of cores||3840|
|Units of Computation (CU)||60|
|Base frequency||1700 MHz|
|Clock boost||2105 MHz|
|VRAM||16 GB GDDR6|
|VRAM bus width||256 bit|
|Total Board Power (TBP)||250 W|
This GPU has been heavily discounted to keep it competitive. The card can currently be purchased for just $549, which is a lot less than the RTX 3080.0003
2) Nvidia RTX 3080 10 GB ($615)
Starting with the Pascal line, Nvidia has made its 80-class GPUs 4K capable. So it’s no surprise that the RTX 3080 10GB is the champion at this resolution. The card is a powerful option for the Ryzen 7 7800X3D. Combined with the GPU assembly, it can provide excellent gaming experience in 4K resolution.
|CUDA cores/stream processors||8704|
|Production technology||8 nm|
|Number of transistors||28,300 million|
|Memory bus width||320 bit|
|Memory||10 GB GDDR6X|
|Memory bandwidth||760. 3 GB/s|
|Memory clock||19000 MHz|
|Clock frequency (base/boost)||1450 MHz/1710 MHz|
The card can currently be purchased for approximately $610 on the market. This makes it a good choice for any gaming PC under $1,500 or under $2,000 with the Ryzen 7 7800X3D.
3) AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT ($899.99)
AMD has unveiled its high performance RDNA 3 cards for high quality gaming without compromise. The RX 7900 XT is the slowest of the two cards currently available in the RX 7000 line.
The GPU outperforms the RTX 3090 Ti in most workloads. Plus, the card competes directly with the RTX 4070 Ti, which is $100 cheaper than this Team Red pixel pusher.
|AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT|
|Number of cores||5376|
|Units of Computation (CU)||84|
|Base frequency||1395 MHz|
|Clock acceleration||1695 MHz|
|VRAM||20 GB GDDR6|
|VRAM bus width||320 bit|
|Total Board Power (TBP)||300 W|
It’s worth noting that the 7900 XT was originally introduced for $899. However, some cheaper models can be purchased for as little as $849. This is the best GPU under $1000 for the Ryzen 7 7800X3D.
4) Nvidia Geforce RTX 4080 ($1199)
The RTX 4080 is a monster GPU that delivers incredibly high frame rates at 4K resolution. The card is one of the most expensive and fastest graphics cards ever made. On paper, this may look like a departure from its last generation counterpart, the RTX 3080 Ti. However, there are improvements in all aspects.
|Nvidia RTX 4080|
|Number of CUDA cores||9728|
|Base clock||2205 MHz|
|Speed up clock speed||2505 MHz|
|VRAM||16 GB GDDR6X|
|VRAM bus width||256 bit|
|Total Board Power (TBP)||320 W|
Combined with frame generation technologies and unrivaled ray tracing capabilities, the 4080 is one of the best GPUs to work with the Ryzen 7 7800X3D.
5) Nvidia Geforce RTX 4090 ($2,099)
The RTX 4090 is the king of gaming graphics. No other GPU on the market can match the level of performance this card is built for. The Ryzen 7 7800X3D won’t bottleneck this card. With this system, gamers can enjoy world-class performance.
Number of CUDA cores
Texture Mapping Units (TMU)
Render output units (ROP)
Ray Tracing (RT) Core Count
Tensor Core Count
Video memory size
Video memory type
Video memory bus width
Increase clock speed
It’s worth noting that the RTX 4090 costs a fortune. The video card was introduced for $1599. However, on leading websites, most models cost over $2,000. Thus, gamers must have deep pockets to afford this card.
The Ryzen 7 7800X3D is a powerful processor. As such, gamers will have to invest in a high performance GPU to get the most out of this chip. The cards listed above will not disappoint customers.
Note. We may receive a small commission for the links provided in the article.
Best AMD Ryzen APU (Integrated Graphics) for Gaming in 2023
Could AMD Ryzen Integrated Graphics be the answer for the budget-minded gamer?
Back in 2011, AMD introduced its APUs, or accelerated processors. While the first few generations were somewhat impressive, AMD’s outdated CPU architecture stalled subsequent APU releases, and for a long time it seemed like the dream was dead. But what is the best Ryzen APU?
Luckily for us, AMD didn’t stop there. By releasing an incredible series of Ryzen processors with a completely new processing architecture, AMD has been able to release new APUs that use their latest advanced CPU and GPU technologies on a single die. Even though an APU is much smaller than a CPU than a regular CPU and less GPU than a regular GPU, there are plenty of reasons why it’s beneficial to cram both processors into a single chip.
APUs can still be powerful, but they are not expected to replace any of the standalone, stealthy hardware we know and love.
So which AMD Ryzen APU is better? Well, today we will introduce you to each APU, explain its best features, and help you choose the best one for your needs.
- How we choose
- How we test
- What is an AMD APU?
- Things to consider
- Clock speed
- In-Depth Review
- 1. Best APU AMD Ryzen
- 2. Great APU AMD Ryzen
- 3. Best 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen APU
- 4. Best APU 2nd Gen AMD Ryzen
- 5. Best Value AMD Ryzen APU
- 6. Best Budget APU AMD Ryzen
- Best APU FAQ AMD Ryzen
- Is AMD APU Good for Gaming?
- Can I run an APU with a video card?
- Will the APU replace the GPU?
- Do I need an AMD APU driver?
- How to switch from APU to GPU?
- How much RAM does the APU use?
How We Choose
Although we usually dive into how we made our choice in this section, the truth is that this time around AMD is not so eager to flood the APU market. They behave reasonably, so there aren’t many filler options to look at…for now, the only APUs worth buying are the Zen APUs on this list.
What’s more important than what we choose is how we rate them and which one is right for you. Keep reading to find the answers to these questions.
How We Test
From processors to PC cases, we love working with all the hardware we recommend. Product testing is an important part of our overall selection process and is a way to make sure a particular option is the best fit for the job.
Products must pass our testing, which is mostly games, with some other boring stuff, but most if not every recommendation goes through a rigorous testing process.
With AMD APUs, especially the latest 3rd Gen, we need to evaluate build quality, performance, and finally value.
This process allows us to provide you with an accurate assessment of how well the APU performs and, ultimately, whether it is worth your hard-earned money.
What is an AMD APU?
Although the Accelerated Processing Unit is a very attractive name, make no mistake: an APU is simply a combination of a CPU and a GPU. For example, many Intel processors that use integrated graphics are essentially the same as APUs. At the same time, their graphics chips are much less powerful than those inside these Ryzen APUs.
Note; you can also use them strictly as CPUs by adding a dedicated GPU to your rig.
Similar concept in another industry segment — «SoC». SoC stands for System on Chip and they tend to combine all the components of a system into a single chip. This is most commonly seen on game consoles (for example, PS4 and Xbox One use an AMD SoC), smartphones, and, in rare cases, laptops.
Full List of Ryzen APUs
If you’re considering buying AMD Ryzen APUs, let us share with you all the APUs available on the market today.
- AMD Ryzen 7 5700G — 8 Cores / 16 Threads & 4.6GHz Max Boost
- AMD Ryzen 5 5600G — 6 Cores / 12 Threads & 4. 4GHz Max Boost
- AMD Ryzen 5 3400G — 4 cores / 8
- AMD Ryzen 3 3200G — 4 Cores / 4 Threads — 4.0 GHz Max Boost
- AMD Ryzen 5 2400G — 4 Cores / 8 Threads & 3.9G Max Boost Hz
- AMD Ryzen 3 2200G — 4 cores / 4 threads and 3.7 GHz max boost
Older AMD Ryzen 5 APUs ship with Vega 11 graphics, while AMD Ryzen 3 APUs ship with Vega 8 graphics. Newer APUs are more efficient: Ryzen 7 with Vega 8 and Ryzen 5 with Vega 8.
Things to consider
There are many things to consider when looking for the best AMD Ryzen APU. Choosing the best AMD APU for your specific needs is important so that you don’t end up with a product that doesn’t meet your requirements. Let’s look at a few key terms.
Pairing your Ryzen processor with the right set of RAM is more important than you think. The speed of communication with the Ryzen CPU core is directly related to the speed of the RAM, in essence, this means that the slower the RAM, the slower the CPU without excessive complexity. Intel processors are not affected in this way as their processors are built slightly differently.
This is especially true for APUs since system RAM is also used as video memory for integrated graphics. Whether it’s a Vega iGPU or a Radeon RX iGPU, it’s the same case for both.
This is because the integrated graphics part of the chip is built directly into the CPU, rather than on the spacious GPU PCB where video memory can easily be built. Due to space constraints built into the CPU package, the iGPU has to get creative and use the already available system RAM as video memory.
The best place for AM4 Ryzen processors is 3600MHz, this RAM speed gives you the best bang for your buck, any speed above that and you’ll get diminishing returns and therefore less value for money. If you are planning to build an APU-based PC, it is recommended to invest in a higher RAM capacity for the reasons we mentioned earlier to ensure that the iGPU RAM requirements do not overlap with the rest of the system requirements.
Clock rate is a measurement of how many times per second the CPU can complete what is known as an instruction cycle, this cycle consists of three main steps. These actions are: fetch, decode, and execute. And it is these three actions that form the basis of the work of the CPU as we know it.
This does not only apply to desktop processors, it also applies to the mobile platform and OEM, although the clock speed is lower for efficiency due to the power limitations associated with the mobile platform.
Generally, when discussing and comparing CPUs with the same architecture, CPUs with the same or more cores and higher clock speeds will perform better. is also a measure of single core performance, as higher clocked cores will perform better in single core workloads.
Number of cores
The more processor cores your processor has, the better it will multitask. However, it all depends on whether the application or software you are using is coded for multiple cores. Some older programs don’t and usually won’t work better if they are given access to more cores. For software that supports multi-core usage, the more cores the better.
The number of cores is a measure of multi-core performance because processors with more cores will obviously perform better in multi-core workloads due to the abundance of available CPU cores.
If you’re interested in seeing how these APUs stack up, check out our CPU hierarchy.
Threads tell the same story as cores: the more threads, the better the processor can multitask. However, cores and threads are not created equal.
All APUs in the list support SMT (simultaneous multithreading). This is AMD’s version of Intel Hyperthreading. This is a technology that allows one CPU core to process and execute two instructions at the same time. This means that the operating system can see and use your processor as if it had twice the number of physical cores. The set of cores and threads are labeled «logical processors» by operating systems.
These threads are known as V-cores and are virtual because they do not physically exist and do not take up space on the CPU die. These virtual cores have to share resources with the physical cores, and as a result, the processing speed of threads is reduced.
Again, SMT relies on software integration and compatibility, but it’s better to have and not need than to need and not have. Most modern programs have integration and support for multithreading.
If you want to learn more about SMT, you can read our detailed article on SMT.
Graphics refers to the included «GPU». In this case, the hierarchy starts with Vega 8 on the budget APU and ends with Vega 11 at the highest level at the moment. If you’re interested in comparing the two, check out the comparable graphics cards below and our GPU hierarchy.
The iGPUs inside these APUs are very underpowered compared to the dedicated graphics running on your GPU. That being said, however, you should not write them off. APUs can be powerful enough for low-cost 1080P gaming. Especially given the achievements of AMD FSR.
1. Best APU AMD Ryzen
AMD Ryzen 7 5700G
- Speed 3.8GHz — 4.6GHz
- Core (th reads) 8 (16)
- Socket AM4
- Graphics Vega 8
- Most Powerful
- Whopping 8 Cores & 16 Threads
- Improved Efficiency and Performance
- Very expensive
- Speed 3.9GHz — 4.4GHz
- Core (threads) 6 (12)
- Graphics Vega 7
- Budget option
- 6 cores and 12 threads
- Integrated graphics suitable for basic games
- Speed 3.7GHz — 4.2GHz
- Core (th reads) 4/8
- Socket AM4
- TDP 65W
- Inexpensive, powerful APU with integrated VEGA 11 graphics.
- Compatible with 300/400 series AM4 motherboards.
- Get 30 fps on most AAA games (graphics optimized)
- A BIOS update is required if you want to use older motherboards e, with which this chip is supplied paired with. Unlike the 3200G, the 3400G has 4 cores and 8 threads, 6MB cache and an impressive VEGA 11 graphics engine. his predecessor. According to AMD, the Ryzen 5 3400G comes with a high quality metal TIM and is supported by AMD’s Precision Boost overdrive. This is a feature that automatically overclocks the chip whenever it sees fit to do so.
The iGPU runs at a base frequency of 1400MHz, which is 150MHz faster than the 2400G. Like the 3200G, this chip comes with an AMD Wraith Spire CPU cooler.
If all this didn’t impress you, then the price tag will certainly change it. It retails for under $150, which is fantastic value for money. Especially when you consider that the 2400G debuted at $170.
Best 2nd Gen AMD Ryzen APU
AMD Ryzen 5 2400G
- Speed 3.6GHz — 3.9GHz
- Core (threads) 4/8
- Socket AM4
- TDP 65W
PLUS 9 0648
- Budget option
- Quad-core processor with 8 threads
- Integrated graphics, suitable for base games
- Integrated graphics — Vega 11
- Can play games without GPU, but less efficient
Until recently, AMD’s 2400G was considered the best APU money could buy. Thanks to the impressive new 3rd generation processors, this is no longer the case. That said, its integrated graphics performance still far outperforms any Intel integrated graphics solution, allowing you to play many modern games at 720p medium/high or 1080p low/medium settings.
The main disadvantage of this chip is that, at least in terms of cost, it does not fully match what the 2200G offers. Graphics performance doesn’t increase that much, despite the seemingly big jump in numbers. Just think of it as an option for those who want to finish their build with a high performance GPU rather than a mid-range GPU.
That said, the 2400G is still a great all-rounder that’s perfect for anyone new to PC building.
5. Best Value AMD Ryzen APU
AMD Ryzen 3 3200G
- Speed 3.6GHz — 4.0GHz
- Core (threads) 4/4
- Socket AM4
- TDP 65W
- Extremely affordable processor with powerful VEGA integrated graphics 8
- Backwards compatible with 300/400 series motherboards
- Can reach 30 fps in AAA games
- memory 3200+.
At the heart of this superb, well-balanced APU is the VEGA 8 graphics engine. With its newly increased clock speed, it can handle the pressure of many AAA games. Like its predecessor, the Ryzen 3 3200G continues the quad-core trend. Unfortunately, AMD again decided to refrain from multi-threading technology for this.
It does have a few surprises though, such as higher clock speeds and more available cache. The 3200g features Vega 8 graphics clocked at 1250MHz. This will be 150 MHz faster than the latest generation 2200G.
Like all Ryzen chips, the 3200G comes with its own CPU cooler. In this case, it’s Wraith Stealth. I was pleasantly surprised by the performance and instant cooling of the chip.
One area that hasn’t been improved is the TDP, which is still 65W. Although, to be honest, it’s not that important, and the price tag only sweetens the deal.
6. Best Budget APU AMD Ryzen
AMD Ryzen 3 2200G
- Speed 3.5 GHz -3.7 GHz
- Core (threads) 4/4
90 500 Socket AM4
- TDP 65W
- Good CPU and GPU performance
- Can become a bottleneck when upgrading to a higher level GPU
- Will struggle with some modern games
Ryzen 7 5700G current flagship APU AMD, which is widely considered the most powerful in the world due to the integrated graphics that the chip comes with. Unlike the previous generation, it has more cores, increased speed and a more efficient design.
AMD Ryzen 7 5700G has 8 cores and 16 threads respectively. It features impressive clock speeds of 3.8GHz (base) and 4.6GHz (Boost), as well as 16MB L3 cache and 4MB L2 cache. TDP will be equivalent to its predecessor at 65W, and VEGA 8 integrated graphics with 8 CUs and 512 stream processors (all running at 2.0GHz).
While the 5700G is AMD’s most expensive APU to date, it’s also its most powerful. With the current GPU climate, the 5700G can provide you with reliable processing power and integrated graphics. While the integrated graphics may not be enough for everyone, the base 1080p performance is there. Plus, when you finally get a dedicated GPU, you can easily pop it into this APU for a quality overall gaming PC.
2. Excellent APU AMD Ryzen
AMD Ryzen 5 5600G
9050 0 Socket AM4
- 9050 0 Not the greatest value
The more affordable Ryzen 5 5600G is more geared towards budget builders. With gaming performance comparable to the old 3400G, we have a processor that now includes more cores and more threads, as well as a more efficient design.
In comparison, the Ryzen 5 5600G has 6 cores and 12 threads with a base clock speed of 3.9 GHz and boost up to 4.4 GHz. Like the 5700G, the 5600G will also have 16MB L3 cache, but only 3MB L2 cache. The APU will show a TDP of 65W and will be equipped with an AMD VEGA 7 iGPU. It will run at 1.9GHz and have 448 stream processors.
At first glance, Vega 7 may seem like a step backwards, but the efficiency gains have compensated for this reduction in cores, which means that graphics performance does not suffer!
3rd Gen AMD Ryzen Best APU
AMD Ryzen 5 3400G
The Ryzen 3 2200G is the budget option on this list that is almost obsolete. Since the 3200G and 3400G have been born, it’s extremely difficult to recommend the 2200g when the new generation is priced the same.
The processor inside the 2200G is roughly equivalent to a Ryzen 3 1300X processor. This means that it should be good in all but the most CPU-intensive games, and that it shouldn’t limit your GPU’s performance until you’re out of the mid range of graphics cards. For most people, this will be more than enough as a starter chip for low-end PCs that will later be ported to mid-range PCs!
The Vega 8 GPU itself is roughly equivalent to the GT 1030 in terms of gaming performance. Like all Ryzen chips, it is unlocked for overclocking and can deliver great results when paired with fast RAM. What makes this APU particularly worthwhile is that it offers the performance of the GT 1030 and then adds a great budget CPU pretty much for free.
If you choose this option, you may want to upgrade your GPU after a few years. However, if you’re good with budget games, this will take you a long time.
Best AMD Ryzen APU FAQ
Is AMD APU good for gaming?
As you can see from our awesome list of APUs, there are plenty of overclocked AMD processors out there that are not only good for gaming, but damn good for gaming. Integrated GPUs are significantly more powerful than anything Intel has ever released with its processors. Having said that, you should have realistic expectations about their capabilities.
The truth is that an APU will never outperform a dedicated CPU running alongside a discrete GPU. Two separate devices can almost always take on more and perform tasks more efficiently, but unless you’re working on creating an all-singing and dancing gaming superstation, that’s no reason to discount them. The
APU is ideal for the gamer on a budget, or perhaps the novice PC gamer who doesn’t yet understand all the ins and outs of the hardware.
Is it possible to run an APU with a video card?
You can indeed run your APU with a discrete graphics card. That’s a big part of the APU’s appeal, you can simply upgrade as soon as it makes sense for your gaming habits and bank account.
Now, if you’re wondering if you have to disable the integrated GPU in order to run a discrete card, it depends on which AMD card you choose. Some Radeon devices, especially older ones, require the integrated GPU APU to be powered off.
Others are based on AMD’s patented Dual Graphics technology, which basically allows you to work with both integrated and discrete GPUs at the same time. They don’t interfere with each other; they do not cause any strange artifacts on the screen; they work harmoniously towards a graphic performance greater than the sum of its parts.
You must be careful; however, that, depending on the power of the discrete graphics card, the graphics potential can be a little OP for the CPU, which can become quite a bottleneck. To avoid this, when shopping for a discrete GPU, it’s important to consider combined graphics performance not only in terms of raw power, but also in the context of your processor’s capabilities.
Will the APU replace the GPU?
APU can replace GPU, yes! If your silicone tooth is too long these days, you can simply remove it from your rig and let the APU flex in graphical prowess. As for whether APUs will eventually make the discrete GPU obsolete, we highly doubt it.
At the moment, there is simply nothing that can match the sheer gaming power of a dedicated CPU and GPU working together. As APU technology advances, of course, they will become much more powerful and efficient, but individual hardware will evolve at the same, if not faster pace.
There are some aspects of computing for which the APU could become the standard, such as for indie games, emulation, or general use, but other than that, it’s simply not powerful enough to handle the demanding nature of enthusiast gaming.
Do I need an AMD APU driver?
Don’t waste time looking for APU drivers; they don’t exist, which doesn’t mean you won’t need them, you will definitely need them. What you really need are the drivers for your motherboard chipset and the integrated GPU in your APU.
These drivers couldn’t be easier to find. Just go to this link https://www.amd.com/en/support, use the drop down menu to select your hardware, and voila! You’ll be playing APU Storm style in no time!
How to switch from APU to GPU?
If you’ve been using an APU for a while, but decide to upgrade your build and install a discrete graphics card, switching to it will be very easy. First, you need to get your system to recognize your discrete GPU by uninstalling the current graphics card driver and then restoring the latest version. Then just follow these simple steps.
- Go to the «Control Center» of your PC.
- Go to 3D Settings.
- Locate the Manage 3D Settings option.
- Click on the «Program Settings» tab and select the desired program (the one you want your video card to work with).
- Click Preferred Graphics Processor.
- Select «High Performance AMD Processor» from the drop-down menu (this is your shiny new graphics card).
- Test your system to make sure everything works as it should.
If this process does not work, you can try going to the «Power» graphical menu and select the maximum performance. If it still won’t let you use the new GPU, try the following…
- Click Graphics.
- Press «3D».
- Move the slider to the Performance position.
How much RAM does the APU use?
Unlike dedicated GPUs, integrated GPUs in accelerated processor units do not have their own memory bank and therefore rely on your system memory. This means they use slightly more RAM than your standard independent hardware setup.
The exact amount of RAM used by the integrated GPU varies by model, but for Intel it is often between 64MB and 128MB. It’s a pretty small amount, but it’s the main reason they’re not as good for gaming.
Your typical AMD IGPU should use about 2GB of RAM, which isn’t really that much, but if you’re running a very simple system with 2x4GB of RAM, you can expect a one-minute dip in overall system efficiency.