AMD Ryzen CPUs with integrated Vega graphics are great for budget-friendly PC gaming
Like Intel processors with integrated graphics, AMD has rolled out some Ryzen CPUs with graphics processors. The only difference is that it's Vega — the same tech found in dedicated GPUs.
Some of the most popular games these days don't require one of the best graphics cards to get the most out of the experience, and AMD's new combo processor-graphics chipsets are making that even easier. Yes, we're talking about a powerful AMD Ryzen CPU with integrated Vega GPU magic.
By the numbers
There are currently two Ryzen CPUs available with integrated Vega graphics processing: the Ryzen 3 2200G and more powerful Ryzen 5 2400G. Both are quad-core processors, with the Ryzen 5 coming with an additional four threads. The latter also packs in Vega 11 graphics.
These APUs even use the same AM4 socket other Ryzen processors use, which is a step up from the previous generation.
AMD Ryzen CPUs with Vega aren't the peak of performance, but what the release of the 2200G and 2400G show is a bright future for AMD processors with integrated graphics. Top-end GPUs will continue to be priced out of reach for many gamers, so an integrated solution such as this can be a much more attractive alternative option. Should AMD continue down the integrated APU path, adding more power and capability to the current duo of Ryzen and Vega, we could be looking at something really special.
The current line-up is perfect for games that do not need much in terms of computing power. Think League of Legends, Overwatch, and other light titles. It's also a solid option for eSports organizers, who only require enough power to run a specific title. PCs on the stage of this year's League of Legends Worlds tournament won't require GTX Titans, nor will they need an Intel Core i7. Throw a Ryzen 5 2400G inside and be done with it.
AMD is even working with Intel on adding Vega graphics to Intel processors. That's a major achievement for team red and shows the potential Vega has in the CPU segment, especially given how hard Intel has tried to get its own HD and Iris graphics chips off the ground, only to hit a brick wall.
Watch this space
If you're looking to put together a new PC and need to save some cash (and simply cannot fork out $700 on a GPU), you may want to consider AMD Ryzen APUs. The best part is everything on AMD's platform utilizes the AM4 socket. This makes it possible to upgrade to a more powerful Ryzen 7 (or Threadripper) at a point in future when pricing for dedicated GPUs comes down a little.
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Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.