AMD's new APUs combine upgraded Ryzen CPUs with Radeon RX Vega graphics

AMD has announced a new series of desktop Ryzen APUs (meaning both processor and integrated graphics on a single chip) to replace its aging Athlon chips.

Based on a new Raven Ridge architecture, AMD’s new APUs combine an updated version of Ryzen processor with “discrete-class” Radeon RX Vega graphics. The manufacturer claims its new system on a chip (SoC) produces two teraflops of computing power.

The Ryzen 5 2400G APU headlines AMD’s new APU family with 4 cores and 8 threads clocked at a base 3.6Ghz and a boosted 3.9GHz. On top (or more accurately to the side) of the processor, this new chip features Radeon RX Graphics with 11 compute units for playable gaming experiences at 1080p and high-quality settings.

One tier down, AMD has also introduced the Ryzen 3 2200G rated for 3.5GHz base and 3.7GHz boost clock speeds. This entry-level APU also comes outfitted with 4 cores, but only 4 threads as well as just 8 compute units attached to its Radeon RX Vega GPU.

Ryzen 5 2400G and Ryzen 2200G won’t just be new APUs with the Ryzen name attached to them, they’ll actually be replacing the Ryzen 5 1400 and Ryzen 3 1200 processors that launched just last year.

AMD released benchmarks that show slight to negligible improvement in processor performance compared to last generation – so those who’ve invested in Ryzen won’t feel too bad. 

But that's only looking at the out-of-the-box performance. AMD's 2000-series processor promises greater efficiency with Pure Power smart sensors optimizing power usage. Meanwhile, Precision Boost 2 and Extended Frequency Range 2 will help these APUs push farther and harder than their predecessors.

Ultimately, the bigger story here is that the on-board discrete Radeon RX Vega graphics basically offer twice the graphical performance of Intel’s Coffee Lake SoC. The Vega graphics built into these SoCs will also come complete with all of AMD’s software features including FreeSync support, Radeon Chill, Enhanced Sync and Radeon ReLive.

Both the AMD Ryzen 5 2400G and Ryzen 2200G will release on February 12 priced at $169 (about £125, AU$210)  and $99 (about £70, AU$130) respectively. That makes these APUs priced equally, if not more affordably, than the $169 (£139, AU$219) Ryzen 5 1400 and $109 (£94, AU$145) Ryzen 3 1200 processor that came before them.

All in the family

Good news is AMD’s new APUs won’t require users to buy a new motherboard. The Ryzen 5 2400G and Ryzen 3 2200G both stick with the tried-and-true AM4 socket, so users will be able to plug in these new processors into any Ryzen-supported motherboard after they download a forthcoming BIOs update.

Motherboard manufacturers will also be releasing new hardware marked with a “AMD Ryzen desktop 2000 ready” sticker.

Ringing in the new year with RGB

On top of the new APU announcements, AMD also introduced a new Wraith Prism cooler designed with RGB lighting in mind.

The biggest new features are a rainbow RGB ring paired with illuminated fan blades. Of course, RGB heathens can also turn on a dark mode to turn off all light, but at that point you might as well have just gotten the non-RBG Wraith Max cooler.

Otherwise, the CPU cooler is identical to the Wraith Max cooler it was modeled after with direct contact heat pipes, overclockable fan profiles and a nearly silent 39dBA operation. Pricing and availability of the Wraith Prism was not announced, but we’re sure to see it hit the market soon. 

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Kevin Lee

Kevin Lee was a former computing reporter at TechRadar. Kevin is now the SEO Updates Editor at IGN based in New York. He handles all of the best of tech buying guides while also dipping his hand in the entertainment and games evergreen content. Kevin has over eight years of experience in the tech and games publications with previous bylines at Polygon, PC World, and more. Outside of work, Kevin is major movie buff of cult and bad films. He also regularly plays flight & space sim and racing games. IRL he's a fan of archery, axe throwing, and board games.