Athlon 200GE

Best answer: Since all three are essentially the same hardware but with different clock speeds, get the cheapest of the bunch, the 200GE. Most motherboards now allow you to overclock it up to 3.9GHz without any problem.

Little beast: AMD Athlon 200GE ($57 at Amazon)

Save money and overclock

Athlon 200GE

The three variants of the Athlon 200 series APU are essentially the exact same chips but with different clock speeds. When they launched, if you wanted the most performance you'd buy the higher clocked 240GE, but things have changed.

Even though officially AMD still doesn't support overclocking on the Athlon 200GE, the motherboard manufacturers have been pushing out BIOS updates in recent months that unlocked the feature. What this means is that in most cases, you can overclock the Athlon 200GE with a couple of clicks up to 3.9GHz without any need to touch voltages or your cooling.

No two chips are truly identical. For example, our own only overclocked to 3.8GHz, but that's still a 600MHz increase on the stock clock speed without any effort at all. It's basically free performance. Temperatures will increase a little, but the stock cooler is still plenty to keep the little 200GE cool under this increased pressure.

The price difference between the three Athlons isn't massive — the 220GE costs around $70 and the 240GE costs a little less than that — but a saving is a saving. And when you consider the Athlon 240GE is only clocked at 3.5GHz anyway, buying the cheapest and overclocking makes even more sense.

Gaming on the Athlon 200GE

Athlon 200GE

The little two core, four thread Athlon 200GE also has very good integrated graphics, especially for something this affordable. This APU is a perfect choice for a really low budget build thanks to its performance at such a low price.

It's not something you'll buy specifically to build a gaming PC with, certainly not without a dedicated graphics card paired with it, but it can get some gaming done, and surprisingly well. Tomb Raider at 720p on low settings can play at an above 60 frames per second (FPS) average.

The Vega 3 GPU cores aren't overclockable, and boosting the CPU cores to 3.9GHz only adds a few extra frames per second, but the results from something that costs less than $60 are remarkable.

Great value

AMD Athlon 200GE

A great little chip for work or play

It's cheap but it performs outstandingly well at everyday tasks and can even play games.

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