– AMD releases the APU Picasso into the desktop PC: The models Ryzen 3 3200G and Ryzen 5 3400G undoubtedly completely outshine Intel's integrated GPUs, while they increase in all areas compared to the predecessor. However, they are almost too similar and show a gap in AMD's portfolio.
In the shadow of the new Ryzen 3000 processors (test), AMD has also upgraded models with an integrated graphics unit, called "APU" at AMD. Since the innovations are comparatively minor compared to the CPUs, they were denied the big stage. But in their price segment they have been looking for their peers for over a year, which the successors build on.
Picasso succeeds Raven Ridge
The code name Picasso at AMD stands for the Raven Ridge Shrink from 14 nm to 12 nm, which also brings slight architectural improvements (Zen + instead of Zen). As expected, the refined production ensures slight increases in cycle times, while the technical details have remained unchanged.
Like its predecessor, the Ryzen 3 3200G will not offer any SMT and will therefore only provide four threads with four cores. In addition, the base clock of 3.6 GHz is slightly lower than that of its big brother, which also applies to the Turbo with 4.0 GHz. The clock speed of the integrated graphics unit with Vega architecture increases from 1,100 to 1,250 MHz. Looking at the predecessors of the Raven Ridge family, the Ryzen 5 3400G is the fastest version of the Radeon Vega11 with eleven Compute Units (CU) and thus 704 shader units, as can also be found in the Ryzen 5 2400G. With the Ryzen 3 3200G, the Vega8 with 512 shaders remains.
The entry-level price of the flagship was minimally lowered by AMD, but remains too high in comparison. In the previous year, the two models separated only a few percent in terms of performance, which could not justify the 70 percent surcharge. In this generation, too, everything points to a recommendation of the smaller version, as was already the case with the Ryzen 3 2200G (test).
To make the 3400G even more attractive, AMD also soldered it to the heat spreader. The other three APUs, i.e. the 3200G and the two previous models, are only equipped with thermal paste between the processor die and the heat spreader for reasons of cost.
But the effects on the temperature are only slight. The 3400G gets a bit cooler despite the additional clock, but it is only about five degrees. But the other side also has to be considered: 200 MHz more under permanent load on all threads would have caused, due to the almost identical manufacturing method, in reverse, significantly higher temperatures than the almost 70 degrees of the Ryzen 5 2400G.
Turbo mode, clock speeds and PBO
The Ryzen 3000 come with a very delicate clock management, which also applies to Picasso. However, the APU thus encounters the same problems that were shown in the Ryzen 3000 test: The maximum advertised boost clock is almost never reached. The test on the example with the Ryzen 5 3400G reveals this behavior again. Although 4.2 GHz were noted in the log file, there was usually a maximum of 4.175 GHz. Under full continuous load on all threads, it is usually almost 4 GHz – an increase of 200 MHz compared to the predecessor.
AMD is also promoting the new Ryzen 5 3400G with the "Precision Boost Overdrive" feature, an automatic overclocking function (including loss of warranty). In order for this to work, he gets the stronger 95-watt cooler from the factory.
Almost every AM4 motherboard should support Picasso
The Ryzen 3000 has already shown that virtually every motherboard that receives a current BIOS update can also handle these new models. This even included the smallest and cheapest A320 chipset that AMD actually wanted to leave out – official support only applies from B350 upwards. However, since every motherboard manufacturer acts differently, no general statement can be made. And so the subjunctive persists today: Every current AM4 mainboard should support Picasso.
Nevertheless, it is advisable to insure yourself on the respective manufacturer pages in the support area with regard to CPU support. Because the new X570 mainboards are usually too much of a good thing for the APUs, especially since most of them do not even offer a graphics output, but the APUs are primarily intended for use. The B450 series is therefore the primary area of application.
On the next page: benchmarks, power consumption and temperatures