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AMD RYZEN 5 3400G REVIEW: AMD's New APU with More Power 2

AMD RYZEN 5 3400G REVIEW: AMD’s New APU with More Power

AMD Ryzen’s “G” stands for “graphics”. The quad-core AMD Ryzen 5 3400G
is one of the few processors of the Ryzen brand in the company that has integrated
graphics processing. It is particularly suitable for installation on a computer
that does not require a dedicated GPU for intensive graphics operations such as
video editing or 3D games. Only a list price of $149 and a valid computing
power also make it great value for money. Whether you’re building an economical
PC or a basic gaming PC without a graphics card, the Ryzen 5 3400G is an
excellent way to save energy.

Pros

  • Inexpensive four-core engine for a budget PC.
  • Supports multithreading.
  • Strong CPU-integrated graphics.
  • Decent bundled cooler.
  • Works with inexpensive AM4 motherboards (that have a current BIOS).

CONS

  • Lags on some single-threaded workflows.
  • Cheap compatible AM4 motherboards may require a BIOS update.

AMD’S 3rd Gen LINEUP

The Ryzen 5 3400G comes from AMD’s latest third-generation Ryzen
processor family but differs slightly from most packages. Most of the third
generation chips use a completely new 7 nanometer (nm) processor architecture
(called “Zen 2”) and offer significant improvements over their predecessors.
But not Ryzen 5 3400G. It is a fairly updated version of the second generation
Ryzen 5 2400G, which has many of the same features and the same
microarchitecture. It also corresponds to generally, and in some cases slightly
more than, the valid computing power of a second-generation chip.

Part of the competition comes from its multi-stranded support. Of the
third-generation Ryzen processors with integrated graphics (currently a family
of two), the Ryzen 5 3400G is the only one with this feature. Here is a cheat
sheet for all the new Ryzen desktops for 2019 …

AMD RYZEN 5 3400G REVIEW: AMD's New APU with More Power 3

Multiple threads can improve performance when running modern
CPU-intensive applications, such as software that encodes videos or produces 3D
images. Each of the Ryzen 5 3400G cores can process two processing threads,
compared to just one core thread for the AMD Ryzen 3 3200G at the basic level,
which also has four physical cores. The Ryzen 3 3200G full review is coming,
but you can see this in the performance section to see how it compares to the
Ryzen 5 3400G.

AMD RYZEN 5 3400G REVIEW: AMD's New APU with More Power 4

The $50 Ryzen 5 3400G is more premium compared to the $99 Ryzen 3 3200G
gives you a slightly faster clock speed. The Ryzen 5 3400G runs on a 3.7 GHz
base clock, while the Ryzen 3 3200G runs on 3.6 GHz. This more expensive chip
also offers its brother Ryzen 3 a maximum boost clock speed of 4.2 GHz compared
to 4 GHz. Although these speed differences may seem small, especially the
difference between maximum boost clock speed could save you time when
compressing files or retouching photos.

The last significant difference between the two chips concerns their
graphics processing. The Ryzen 5 3400G has an integrated AMD Radeon RX Vega 11
GPU with 11 patented graphics cores clocked at up to 1,400 MHz. RX Vega 11 is a
step above Ryzen 3’s 3200G RX Vega 8 with eight graphics cores and a peak of
1,250 MHz. Both are far ahead of the performance you would expect from
integrated Intel graphics solutions, such as the UHD Graphics 630, found on
most of the latest traditional desktop processors.

However, don’t be fooled by the “Vega” nomenclature, which is shared
with AMD’s previous generation of high-end graphics cards (such as the AMD
Radeon RX Vega 64). While RX Vega 11 and RX Vega 8 are robust in their
conditions, they do not offer nearly all the graphics performance you get from
AMD’s independent Radeon RX graphics cards or their rival Nvidia GeForce GTX or
RTX.

NEW TWO APUS

The Ryzen 5 3400G and Ryzen 3 2400G share most of their other functions.
Both have a nominal power consumption (called Thermal Design Power or TDP) of
65 watts. Since the CPU and GPU generally consume a large portion of the power
consumption of the PC, you do not need to use a high-performance adapter due to
the moderate power consumption of the Ryzen 5 3400G, especially because you
probably bought it to avoid the need for your Graphic card.

Both chips offer the same amount of cache (6 MB of L2 and L3 cache
combined) and support a maximum memory speed of 2933 MHz. Cache size and memory
speed can have a significant impact on tasks that require a lot of memory. When
the cache is full, the applications you are using may seem slow and take
longer. While the 6 MB cache seems small, it is quite common for low-cost
processors. Those who pay several hundred dollars have much larger caches; Most
other AMD third-generation Ryzen chips have a cache size of more than 35 MB.

Finally, both the Ryzen 5 3400G and the Ryzen 3 3200G share the same
processor microarchitecture based on a 12nm production process. This is not the
7 nm Zen-2 architecture of AMD, but a small improvement over the 14 nm process
that AMD uses in the Ryzen G-series second generation processors. A smaller and
more advanced microarchitecture is not in itself a reason to choose a CPU, but
it can affect performance.

HOW INTEL COMPETES WITH IT

Intel has several competitors for the Ryzen 5 3400G, but the closest
option is the “Coffee Lake” Intel Core i5-9400 family. It is set slightly
differently from AMD’s offer, with a slightly higher price ($182), a slightly
larger cache (9 MB) and more physical cores (six). The Core i5-9400 does not
support multiple threads, however, (Hyper-Threading in Intel’s lingo) only up
to six processing threads can be processed at a time, compared to the Ryze 5
3400G’s eight. All chips have the same 65 W TDP, but the Core i5-9400 has a
base clock speed of 2.9 GHz and a boost clock of 4.2 GHz, both lower than the
Ryzen 5 3400G.

Another notable difference is the Core i5-9400’s graphics processing.
The internal Intel UHD Graphics 630 not only plays in the same league as the RX
Vega 11, as you can see from the graphics tests below.

AMD includes an attractive and efficient fan retail package with
third-generation processors, including the Ryzen 5 3400G. State-of-the-art
Ryzen chips receive top-notch versions of the fan, all labeled with AMD Wraith
coolers. The top wraiths are larger than this and feature great RGB ring
lighting. Intel also usually includes a serial fan (except for unlocked “K”
processors and high-end Core X series chips), and this chip and its Intel Core
i5 counterpart do not require advance cooling capabilities. A standard cooler
is enough, and in the case of AMD, it is also a sophisticated design if you
build or upgrade a computer with a transparent side.

AMD RYZEN 5 3400G REVIEW: AMD's New APU with More Power 5

For people who build entry-level PCs from scratch, the motherboard
should also not be a significant cost factor. The Ryzen 5 3400G is compatible
with most motherboards with AM4 interface, although an earlier-gen motherboard
may require a BIOS update. Make sure which mobo you buy for the third
generation of Ryzen is ready for the CPU out of box. (The only new chipsets
released on the 3rd generation Ryzen based on the enthusiastic AMD X570 chipset
are the more expensive models that seem to be poorly suited to a financial chip
like the Ryzen 5 3400G.)

On the other hand, the Intel Core i5-9400 is compatible with a certain
LGA-1151 socket motherboard. However, these boards must be installed in one of
the latest Intel 300 series chipset, including the Z370, Q370, B360 or H310.
(There are still LGA 1151 boards on the market with older 100 and 200 series
chipsets, but they don’t work with these “Coffee Lake” chipsets.) AMD or Intel,
you will surely get a cheap board for either chip.

AMD also offers robust tuning software in the form of a free Ryzen
Master application that provides close monitoring of clock speeds, memory
profiles and even overclocking. Core i5-9400 cannot be overclocked, but
overclocking is not an important feature for budget-constrained processors, as
performance is unlikely to improve significantly. In addition, overclocking
cooling hardware consumes more than the difference between the CPU and slightly
better.

HOW GOOD THE RYZEN 5 3400G PERFOMS?

We compared the performance of the Ryzen 5 3400G processor with its
little brother, the $99 Ryzen 3 3200G, and the previous generation Ryzen 5
2400G and Intel Core i5-8400. WE have not yet had the opportunity to test a
ninth-generation Core i3 or i5 processor, but the new Core i5-9400 has been
updated at a base clock speed of 2.9 GHz. The new Core i5-9400 is very
reminiscent of its predecessor, including a $180 price and six cores/six
threads. As we have not tried one yet, we will use Core i5-8400 as a reference
for this review.

In addition, the following comparison tables include performance
statistics for two cheaper Intel processors ( 80-90 Celeron G4920 and $100
Pentium Gold G5600, which we are also reviewing), as well as the more expensive
and powerful AMD Ryzen 5 3600, an another third-generation Ryzen Chip we are
reviewing. However, as with other Ryzen desktop processors that do not end with
a “G”, lacks the integrated graphics processing and the whole die is dedicated
to CPU workloads.

Overall, the Ryzen 5 3400G performed as expected in most tests. In other
words, it offered approximately the same performance as the Intel Core i5-8400,
slightly better performance than the Ryzen 3 3200G and significantly better
performance than the Celeron G4920 and the Pentium Gold G5600. Note that we
tested all G-series chips on the B350 motherboard, the Gigabyte AB350-Gaming 3,
16 GB Corsair memory, which was the only available XMP profile set to 3000 MHz
and just above the estimated 3400G Profile with a maximum of 2,933 MHz.

CINEBENCH R15

Maxon’s Cinebench R15 test, fully threaded to use all available
processor cores and threads, shows that despite the edge of the Ryzen 5 3400G
has total addressable threads, the Intel Core i5-8400 has a small advantage
thanks to two other physical cores. The benefit of single-core testing has as
much advantage as the testing of all cores. (Ryzen 5 3600, with six cores but
12 demonstrable threads, dominated the field as it should be).

AMD RYZEN 5 3400G REVIEW: AMD's New APU with More Power 6

It should be noted that the single-core test is a good indication of how
well the processor can handle older software that is unable to scale more cores
and threads. (More on this later in the iTunes Legacy Test).

HANDBRAKE 0.9.9

AMD RYZEN 5 3400G REVIEW: AMD's New APU with More Power 7

The small advantage of the Core i5-8400 is also evident in the Handbrake
video-encoding test, which took just over two minutes with the Ryzen 5 3400G.
Even so, both are better than the cheaper Ryzen 3 3200G, with huge improvements
in more than 40 minutes that the brilliant Celeron G4920 took.

BLENDER 2.77A & POV-RAY 3.7

Cinebench and Handbrake tests also testify to the superiority of the
Ryzen 5 3600, but the Blender test, which simulates the workflow of the popular
open-source 3D rendering team, challenges it. This is where the Core i5-8400
did the best job.

AMD RYZEN 5 3400G REVIEW: AMD's New APU with More Power 8

However, you should invest in a more expensive Core i7 or Ryzen 7
processor if you want to use powerful creative software like Blender or
POV-Ray. At the benchmark point of all cores integrated in the POV-Ray
ray-tracing software, the Ryzen 5 3400G was perfectly positioned between the
Ryzen 3 3200G and the Core i5-8400.

AMD RYZEN 5 3400G REVIEW: AMD's New APU with More Power 9

7-ZIP

On the other hand, almost all computer users have to create ZIP files at
some time and require a processor. We simulate this process with a benchmarking
tool integrated into the 7-Zip utility. Here the Ryzen 5 3400G offered a clear
advantage over its predecessor and the Ryzen 3 3200G and a small advantage over
the Core i5-8400.

AMD RYZEN 5 3400G REVIEW: AMD's New APU with More Power 10

ITUNES CONVERSION TEST

If you need to perform a processor-efficient task with previous software
that can only be performed with a single thread, you will find that the
performance of the Ryzen G-series processors compared here is quite similar,
with the Intel Core i5-8400 and AMD Ryzen 5 3600 was a bit ahead of the others
and equal.

AMD RYZEN 5 3400G REVIEW: AMD's New APU with More Power 11

Gaming Benchmark

While the Ryzen 5 3400G, the Ryzen 3 3200G, and the Core i5-8400 provide
comparable performance at CPU-intensive benchmarks, Ryzen G-Series GPUs tell a
completely different story.

RX Vega 11 and even RX Vega 8 are better than Intel when it comes to
playing heavy 3D games. In the four games we tested, the RX Vega 11 beat the
Intel UHD Graphics 630 in the Pentium G5600 series. We don’t have integrated
graphics performance numbers for the Core i5-8400, but we expect the numbers to
be slightly better than the Pentium chip, but not invalid because they both use
the same UHD Graphics 630 chip. Although if it were to run twice, it’s far from
touching the RX Vega 11.

AMD RYZEN 5 3400G REVIEW: AMD's New APU with More Power 12

The Ryzen 5 3400G outperformed other processors in the 3DMark Night Raid
simulation. If you observe the secondary graphics matching in this test, it is
also clear that the performance of 3D graphics is expected to improve by
approximately 25% if you choose Ryzen 5 3400G instead of Ryzen 3 3200G.

FINAL VERDICT

The Ryzen 5 3400G is one of the best values today for an entry-level
processor that remains alone when building or upgrading a computer without a
separate GPU. (You can always combine it with one, but if you want to do it it
is better to choose a chip than the previous generation Ryzen 5 with no
graphics). The price, features, and performance of processor-intensive tasks
are roughly comparable to Intel’s, and the graphics performance is better.

The same goes for the Ryzen 3 3200G but sacrifices performance in all
areas by saving for just $50. Since the CPU may be the most important component
in any PC structure, we recommend investing the additional money and purchasing
the Ryzen 5 3400G.

AMD RYZEN 5 3400G REVIEW: AMD's New APU with More Power 13

However, the calculation changes significantly if you find one of these
chips on sale. It’s also a different game if you’re looking to upgrade to an
existing Ryzen or Intel Core-based system. In the latter case, compatibility
with existing components becomes much more important. On an AM4 motherboard,
this chip should be compatible if the motherboard manufacturer has released a
BIOS update that supports 3rd generation Ryzen.

Overall, however, the Ryzen 5 3400G will undoubtedly win the royal title
of an entry-level PC from its predecessor and win the Editors’ Choice Award.

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