Can you game on the AMD Athlon 200GE?
Brilliant value budget chip
Building a PC on a really low budget used to mean little or no real gaming. When you add up the cost of a processor, RAM, motherboard, storage, and a case to put it all in, not to mention a Windows license, you're going to be into the hundreds of dollars no matter your budget.
Enter AMD and the company's excellent Radeon Vega integrated graphics, which you find on its cheapest APU, the Athlon 200GE. Make no mistake, it's still integrated graphics so expectations should always be kept in check, but this thing can play games.
For under $60 you can deliver frame rates around 60 FPS in some older, still fairly intensive titles on lower settings, all without a dedicated graphics card. Better still, with some motherboards, you can now overclock the 200GE as far as 3.9GHz, which helps you add a few more frames.
Besides the Vega 3 graphics, the 200GE delivers two cores and four threads at a base clock speed of 3.2GHz. It fits the AM4 socket, which also provides a good upgrade path in the future to Ryzen. It also runs cool and quiet, even with the stock cooler and when overclocked.
Decent gaming performance
To see how well the Athlon 200GE games on its own without a dedicated graphics card, we paired it with an ASRock B450 motherboard, 8GB of 2666MHz RAM and ran the games from a 250GB Samsung 960 Evo SSD. It was also overclocked to 3.8GHz.
Here are the sort of numbers we saw in a few different games, all at 720p on low graphics settings.
- Dirt Rally (in-game benchmark) - Avg 45 FPS, min 32 FPS.
- Tomb Raider (in-game benchmark, shadows off) - Avg 68 FPS, min 52 FPS.
- Bioshock Infinite (in-game benchmark) - Avg 57 FPS, min 26 FPS.
- F1 2013 (in-game benchmark) - Avg 69 FPS, min 52 FPS.
- 3DMark Night Raid benchmark - 4,449.
All of these are very playable, and even though they're older titles, the first three at least were intensive when they came out. That you can get a good experience on integrated graphics at all in titles like this is extremely impressive. Other light games like League of Legends, CS:GO, and Minecraft are also very playable.
Exactly what you want to play will ultimately decide exactly what you put in your system, but at under $60 the Athlon 200GE is very capable, especially for its price, and at least gets you started gaming. The savings over buying a more expensive Intel or AMD processor can then be put towards a dedicated GPU that you can add to your system to really take things up a notch.
A great little chip for work or play
It's cheap but it performs outstandingly well at everyday tasks and can even play games.
If you're not going to add a dedicated graphics card and you're looking for something a little stronger, however, the Ryzen 3 2200G will offer better performance thanks to its Vega 8 graphics. Albeit at a higher asking price.
A budget APU with good graphics chops
If you're just going to use integrated graphics and you can afford the extra, the Ryzen 3 2200G will be a stronger performer, particularly in games.
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Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine