AMD is slowly taking space from Intel as the chip-making leader. Whereas Intel is currently struggling with their already outdated 14nm processor chips, AMD is now choosing to dust off one of its brands and launch 2019 Athlon chips hitting the below-$100 markets.
Intel is focusing on maximizing profits during a period of limited production capacity. That’s why Intel is prioritizing high-margin Xeons and processors aimed at PC build enthusiasts.
AMD’s ultra-cheap processors
The revamped AMD’s Athlon brand -a 20-year-old series- will pack capable Zen cores and Radeon Vega 3 graphics.
The first of the series is the Athlon 200GE, which shows a great value even on its $55 price point.
The next of the 2019 Athlon family is the $65 Athlon 220GE and the $75 Athlon 240GE. These processors fit comfortably between the $100 Ryzen three 2200G and the cheaper $55 Athlon 200GE.
Before we see the specs, let’s give our verdict:
AMD’s 2019 Athlon series is the new low-end gaming on integrated graphics leader. Their low price competes with Intel Pentium processors while having an unofficial overclocking makes the deal even better.
Overclocking the cheap 2019 Athlon processor chips?
These new chips have a dual-core and quad-thread design. Also, they feature a 192-shader Radeon Vega 3 GPU.
The 2019 Athlon series employ locked ratio multipliers which prevent overclocking and gives PC build enthusiasts a reason to spend more money for higher clock rates on the pricer models.
However, some motherboards have a firmware to avoid this in some limited fashion. On the other hand, AMD is selling the Athlon as locked processors and points to motherboard manufacturers for policy changes.
For now, overclocking an Athlon CPU is of your responsibility, as AMD didn’t design these processors for such task. Even so, these ultra-cheap CPUs come bundled with a robust cooling system that handles the extra heat from overclocking.
Overall, the unofficial unlocked multiplier is the equalizer between the three Athlons. You can buy the low-end model and have access to the features of the most expensive model and save $20 in the process.
AMD’s 2019 Athlon series specs
The 2C/4T Athlon series pack Radeon Vega-based GPUs and drop into Socket AM4 motherboards.
The GPU has three computing units, servers 192 Stream processors, 12 TMUs, and 4 ROPs.
Across the three different models, the Vega 3 unit operates at 1000 MHz, which is why higher CPU frequencies are the only significant upgrade between the Athlon alternatives.
The Athlon chips have 8 PCIe 3.0 lanes which you can use to expand the slots. For reference, Ryzen models pack 16 lanes. However, the missing eight slots are not much of a concern because the chips already pack integrated graphics.
|Athlon 200GE||Athlon 220GE||Athlon 240GE||Pentium
|Ryzen 3 1300X
||Ryzen 3 2200G
||Zen||Zen||Zen||Coffee Lake||Coffee Lake||Zen||Zen|
|Cores / Threads
||2 / 4||2 / 4||2 / 4||2 / 4||2 / 4||4 /4||4 / 4|
|Frequency Base / Boost
||3.2 / –||3.4 / –||3.5 / –||3.9 / –||3.7 / –||3.5 / 3.7||3.5 / 3.7|
||Vega 3 (3 CU)||Vega 3 (3CU)||Vega 3 (3 CU)||UHD Graphics 630||UHD Graphics 610||No||RX Vega 8 (8 CU)|