In the course of our reviews, when we get a chance to get hands on with random processors, we run our test suite and add the data to our database. Sometimes that doesn’t materialize directly into a review, but at least we have the data. Two very similar CPUs have come across my desk recently: AMD’s dual core Athlon 200GE, and Intel’s Pentium G5400. Both chips round to the $60 mark, have some form of integrated graphics, and are aimed at budget systems.

This is going to be fun

One of the perennial issues with modern technology review cycles is that there’s a lot of focus on the high-end parts. These are the ones that the manufacturers sample: they have the highest margins, but are also the halo products: if they sit atop of the standings, then the hope is that that influence will trickle down into the rest of the product range, typically the high-volume parts. There is also the added benefit that more people want to hear about the best of the best. It’s a reason why there are so many Ferrari and Aston Martin ‘WOW’ pieces in written and video media.

Normally this would make sampling very difficult. If we were reviewing cars, anyway. The two chips in today’s analysis, the Intel Pentium Gold G5400 and the AMD Athlon 200GE, cost around $60 apiece, which I forked out for personally as I was never expecting to be sampled. (AMD asked if I wanted a 200GE sample two days after my retail unit arrived, go figure. I sent that on to Gavin for his 7-year old’s new gaming system.)

AMD vs Intel at ~$60
  AMD Athlon
200GE
Intel Pentium
Gold G5400
Cores / Threads 2 / 4 2 / 4
Microarchitecture Zen Coffee Lake
Motherboards X470, X370, B450
B350, A320, A300
Z390, Z370, Q370
H370, B360, H310
CPU Frequency 3.2 GHz 3.7 GHz
L2 Cache 512 KB/core 256 KB/core
L3 Cache 2 MB / core 2 MB / core
Integrated Graphics Vega 3
192 SPs
UHD 610
12 EUs (96 ALUs)
DDR4 Support DDR4-2933 DDR4-2666
GPU Frequency Up to 1000 MHz 350-1050 MHz
TDP 35 W 54 W (2-core die version)
58 W (4-core die version)*
Price $55 (SRP) $64 (1k/u)
* Intel harvests both 2+2 and 4+2 dies to make G5400 parts. It's impossible to know which one you have without removing the lid and measuring the die area.

When we stack up the two processors side by side, it gets interesting. Both are dual core, quad thread parts. The Intel processor has the frequency advantage, running at 3.7 GHz compared to the 3.2 GHz of AMD, but the AMD has beefier Vega 3 integrated graphics compared to the UHD 610 (GT1) graphics of the Intel chip. One sore point might be the TDP, where the AMD chip has a rating of 35W and the Intel chip is rated at 58W, however as we’ll see in the review, neither of them come close to those values.

Tackling the budget end of the market is fun. I’ve been a long-time advocate for budget builders to build a system piece-by-piece, getting one high-end part at a time rather than smearing a budget across several average parts at once. Under this philosophy, these processors could very well be the start of one of those builds, only costing an average of $60 MSRP. Note that under this philosophy, you might end up with that big graphics card before a processor that can power it. We’re covering those benchmarks as well.

Before you click further, place your bets on who you think will win: the Intel Pentium Gold G5400, or the AMD Athlon 200GE?

Latest News: While neither processor is officially overclockable, since we tested for this article it was recently reported that MSI motherboards with certain BIOS versions will allow users to overclock the 200GE to ~3.9 GHz. I've asked Gavin to contribute, and he managed a nice 3.9 GHz over the 3.2 GHz base clock. Head over to page 21 for the details.

Pages In This Review

  1. Analysis and Competition
  2. Test Bed and Setup
  3. 2018 and 2019 Benchmark Suite
  4. CPU Performance: System Tests
  5. CPU Performance: Rendering Tests
  6. CPU Performance: Office Tests
  7. CPU Performance: Encoding Tests
  8. CPU Performance: Legacy Tests
  9. Gaming: Integrated Graphics
  10. Gaming: World of Tanks enCore
  11. Gaming: Final Fantasy XV
  12. Gaming: Shadow of War
  13. Gaming: Civilization 6
  14. Gaming: Ashes Classic
  15. Gaming: Strange Brigade
  16. Gaming: Grand Theft Auto V
  17. Gaming: Far Cry 5
  18. Gaming: Shadow of the Tomb Raider
  19. Gaming: F1 2018
  20. Power Consumption
  21. Overclocking
  22. Conclusions and Final Words
Test Bed and Setup
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  • Irata - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 - link

    The price push happened after the release - but do check Anandtech graphics cards reviews - they do have a tendency of mentioning current street / retail prices for both AMD and nVidia cards, which is how it should be.

    This is from the RX580 review:

    "The biggest challenge right now is that GTX 1060 prices have come down to the same $229 spot just in time for the RX 500 series launch, so AMD doesn’t have a consistent price advantage"
    Reply
  • yannigr2 - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 - link

    Assimilator is a known Intel Nvidia hardcore fan. Ignore him. Reply
  • The_Assimilator - Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - link

    Yes, pointing out facts makes me a fanboy. You a Trump voter by any chance? Reply
  • sonny73n - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 - link

    @The_Assimiator

    Are we not supposed to complain about the misleading pricing - one is Manufacturer’s SUGGESTED Retail Price and the ACTUAL price from the link provided by this article?
    If I want to build a cheap office system NOW, should I take this article into consideration despite the huge price differences?
    What’s special about the G5400 that its price has tripled due to “shortage”? At $182.68 currently from the link, is there no better CPU from Intel I can get for that price? Is Intel the only CPU manufacturer?
    What are you trying to achieve by calling us name? What our criticism to AT has to do with you?

    I’ve been restraining myself from criticizing AT too much. AT articles are slow to produce already. I wouldn’t want AT writers quit/fired then we’ll have less to read, even they’re written poorly.
    Reply
  • kkilobyte - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 - link

    What would have made the most sense is not writing such an article in the first place, then.

    I take Ian's own words on this: "I'm a big advocate of building a system piece by piece with the best you can afford at the time".

    And at the (current) time, it seems that one simply cannot afford the G5400 for $64 (except maybe out of pure luck). This should have been, taken into account into the conclusion, or at least underlined.
    Reply
  • AnnoyedGrunt - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 - link

    Neither of these CPUs makes much sense. The G5400 isn't readily available (sold out on Newegg or only available from re-sellers for $100, as is the G5500 or G5600).

    Once you are spending $100, it makes much more sense to get the Ryzen 2200G for the same price that typically outperforms both of these (or only loses by a little to the G5400 in office type of tasks). The 2200G actually looks pretty decent as an IGP solution, and is a much better platform once you go to a dedicated GPU as well.

    I'd personally work a few extra hours and save up for the 2200G over either of these options.

    -AG
    Reply
  • Valantar - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 - link

    Despite all the complaints here of comparing products at very different price points (retail, not MSRP), I would still like to see a more complete test suite run on the overclocked 200GE, especially the gaming tests.

    Also, is iGPU overclocking possible on this chip, or are iGPU frequencies locked? It would also be very interesting for you to part out example builds of this vs. the G5400 and the Ryzen 3 2200G, to see the difference in actual system cost.
    Reply
  • br83taylor - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 - link

    Are those power figures correct? If you compare Ryzen 3 2200g for 20W and Ryzen 3 1300X at 58W. A third of the power but same 4C4T configuration. Reply
  • Zoolook13 - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 - link

    For what it's worth, in Sweden the prices match pretty well 695 SEK for a 220GE vs 759 SEK for a G5400. Reply
  • Zoolook13 - Tuesday, January 15, 2019 - link

    Sorry that ended up in the wrong place, edit button ftw... Reply

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