New AMD Ryzen 4000 Desktop APUs Up Intel On Integrated Graphics

The chipmaker is taking on Intel with new Ryzen 4000G and Ryzen Pro 4000G APUs that bring new gains in performance in overall compute and integrated graphics for desktop PCs. ‘No matter which way you slice it, we have a very powerful capable APU here,’ AMD’s Robert Hallock says.


AMD has launched a new offensive against Intel in the integrated graphics arena with its new Ryzen 4000 G-Series and Pro Series APUs for desktop PCs, claiming that the new processors can provide two to three times faster graphical performance than its rival‘s chips.

Building off AMD‘s momentum with its Ryzen 4000 mobile processors for laptops, the new Ryzen 4000 G-Series and Pro Series processors are designed for pre-built OEM desktop systems, providing what the chipmaker called the “the most well-rounded package in processor design,” thanks to the processors‘ combination of its 7-nanometer Zen 2 architecture with Radeon integrated graphics.

[Related: AMD Is 'Aggressively' Incentivizing Partners To Sell Ryzen Pro]

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The Ryzen 4000 G-Series consist of six SKUs from Ryzen 3 to Ryzen 7, with complementing Ryzen Pro models, and they feature up to 8 cores, 16 threads, a 4.4 GHz boost frequency, a 3.6 GHz base frequency, a 12 MB cache, eight graphics cores, a 2,100 MHz graphics frequency. AMD is also releasing three Athlon 3000 G-Series processors with complimenting Pro models, which come with up to 4 cores, a 3.9 GHz frequency and 6 MB cache.

For thermal design power, the processors are split between 65-watt and 35-watt variants, the latter of which have slightly lower performance but are better equipped for smaller form factor PCs. Unlike AMD‘s Ryzen 3000 desktop CPUs, the Ryzen 4000 G-Series does not support PCIe 4.0.

Robert Hallock, director of technical marketing at AMD, said the company couldn’t obtain Intel’s new 10th-generation Core processors to test against the Ryzen 4000 G-Series, but benchmark comparisons with the ninth-generation Intel Core lineup show that AMD’s new APUs are a “slam dunk.”

“No matter which way you slice it, we have a very powerful capable APU here,” he said, adding that AMD will release more competitive data as it becomes available. “But I would certainly expect that a 10th-gen [Core] versus [Ryzen] 4000 series would be a mighty fine comparison, as well, in our favor.”

While Intel‘s PC processors have traditionally come with integrated graphics, AMD has marketed its processors with integrated graphics separate from its GPU-less processors as APUs, which stands for accelerated processing unit. (Intel went in the opposite direction last year with a new F-Series variant that comes without integrated graphics, originally introduced to improve supply.)

Hallock said the Ryzen 4000 G-Series improves graphical performance by 60 percent and overall performance by as much as 2.5 times ­­­over its previous generation of APUs, and the big headlines are that users will be able to play games at 1080p with 30 or more frames per second depending on the game and see good performance for content creation and productivity applications.

“We can get them done with their work faster. We can finish their home movie faster. If they‘re dabbling in rendering or video encoding or any of the things that everyday consumers are starting to take on, because the tools are often free and widely available. we can make it a better experience for those people,” he said. “And that’s one of the reasons why we’re saying that these are the ultimate processors for pre-built PCs, because they’re just so well-rounded.”

In popular games like Grand Theft Auto V and Rocket League running in 1080p at low graphics settings, AMD said the flagship, eight-core Ryzen 7 4700G can improve frames per second over Intel‘s Core i7-9700 by anywhere from 99-274 percent.

In multi-threaded performance, the Ryzen 7 4700G provides a 31 percent improvement while tying with the Core i7-9700 in video encoding and providing 72 percent better performance in overall content creation, an 89 percent improvement in movie mastering and 69 percent improvement in real-time rendering. While not as dramatic a difference, AMD said the Ryzen 4000 G-Series also provides faster single-threaded performance over Intel‘s ninth-generation Core processors.

“Somewhat less important overall, I think, to the average buyer in the consumer OEM space but important to us because it represents the snappiness of a system and things like how quickly can you render a webpage, how quickly can you launch an application,” he said.

With the enterprise-grade Ryzen Pro 4000G Series, AMD is adding a Ryzen 7 to the lineup, which previously only consisted of a Ryzen 3 and Ryzen 5 in the previous generation. The Ryzen 7 Pro 4750G, according to the company, provides 31 percent faster performance for “the most demanding workloads” and 43 percent more performance per watt than Intel‘s Core i7-9700 vPro.

Matthew Unangst, director of AMD‘s commercial client business, said the Ryzen Pro 4000G’s efficiency gains make the processors especially fitting for smaller PCs that are becoming more prominent in the market and can bring down the total cost of ownership for organizations.

“Increasingly, we‘re seeing that market shift to optimize small form-factor designs. They’re more compact, and they require great performance while in a much smaller, more dense environment. And that’s where this power efficiency really arms AMD well to continue to grow as this market adjusts over time,” he said.

Like the Ryzen Pro 4000 mobile processors introduced earlier this year for laptops, the Ryzen Pro 4000G APUs will include the new AMD Pro Technologies, which consist of AMD Pro Security, AMD Pro Manageability and AMD Pro Business Ready. Unangst said that the features and capabilities are competitive with Intel‘s vPro platform offerings.

“These deliver the features the capabilities and the peace of mind that our enterprise, large business and government customers expect when they buy a large set of desktops or notebooks for their businesses and for their organizations,” he said.

With AMD introducing new processors with integrated graphics, the chipmaker is expanding in a massive product segment that is prominent among commercial organizations. According to research firm IDC, there were 10.9 million PCs with integrated graphics shipped to commercial organizations in the first quarter of 2020 while only 1.9 million shipped with discrete graphics. In the consumer market, shipments were split at 2.8 million, each for integrated graphics and discrete graphics.

Jitesh Ubrani, a researcher at IDC, said while the average office worker doesn’t need discrete GPUs, power users could also turn to integrated graphics if the performance is right, which could save organizations money. But advancements in integrated graphics don’t typically result in increases in PC shipments or weigh heavily in buying decisions, he added.

“Even on the business side, someone who might be working with PhotoShop all day or someone who might be doing some sort of video production, it may make sense for them to go with a more powerful integrated GPU,” Ubrani said.

Bob Venero, CEO of Future Tech Enterprises, a Holbrook, N.Y.-based solution provider that mostly sells Intel-based PCs, said AMD‘s new APUs could benefit from a shift from laptops to desktops that he expects will happen as it becomes apparent that a longer-than-expected recovery from the coronavirus pandemic will cause many employees to work from home longer.

However, Venero said, while AMD has shown it can make high-performance processors and notch more design wins with OEMs, he‘s still skeptical about their ability to reliably run custom applications that his large enterprise customers use. What he would like to see is a case study from a large organization case that details why AMD is competitive against Intel with a large fleet of PCs.

“They need to have a company, a client that‘s got 25,000 systems running AMD on all applications, and it’s working well,” he said. “I need real-life enterprise examples and testimonies from customers before we would go out on a limb and bring that into an organization that we support.”

Michael Goldstein, CEO of LAN Infotech, a Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based solution provider that works with Dell and Lenovo, said while supply issues has steered his customers toward AMD-based PCs a handful of times, he ultimately needs more education from AMD on how their processors differentiate from Intel before he would consider AMD-based systems more deliberately.

“I‘d like to understand, in English, performance,” he said. “Why would I go this route? What’s the better advantage? What’s the ROI?”