ProsThe latest AMD APUs offer a good blend of CPU and GPU performance, along with impressive efficiency; Intel has nothing that can compete
ConsAMD's Zen 2-based CPUs and older Zen-based APUs offer far more performance per dollar; onboard graphics is still not adequate for gaming
The CPU Benchmarks
On this page, we provide benchmark results from four respected benchmarking utilities: 3DMark representing math-intensive physics, GeekBench representing typical office tasks, and Cinebench and V-Ray, representing content creation.
3DMark Fire Strike Physics
As you can see, there's a definite hierarchy among AMD's APUs and CPUs, and while the Ryzen APUs can't challenge the mighty Core i9-9900K, it's amazing to see the Ryzen 5 3400G beat the Core i7-6700K here. Consider that in 2015, the 6700K was Intel's best mainstream processor, and came in at around $350. The 3400G is faster here, and comes in at just $150. That's the kind of progress we like to see, but do keep in mind that's it's taken nearly four years to get this improvement in performance per dollar, an issue we'll return to in the conclusion. With that said, the 3400G is 2.5x faster than the Athlon processors, which cost about $60 each. Amazingly, the 3400G's price is exactly 2.5X that of the Athlons. We consider that very impressive - you usually get diminishing returns as you go up a product stack.
Another thing to take note of here is how the 3200G and 3400G differ from each other. The 3200G is a 3.6GHz with boost to 4GHz, while the 3400G is a 3.7GHz processor that boosts to 4.2GHz. But truth be told, those clockspeed differences are almost entirely irrelevant. The big difference is that the 3400G offers "simultaneous multithreading", or SMT, which means for each physical core, there is another virtual core. Intel calls this Hyperthreading, and in Intel CPUs like the 6700K and 9900K, it boosts the Physics Score by exactly 50%, according to our tests. The 3400G is actually 57% faster here, which considering its slightly clockspeed advantage, means that SMT is just as effective as Hyperthreading, if not slightly more so.
This is a good test of overall PC performance, simulating a variety of common tasks. It offers both a single-core and multi-core score.
Again, wee see that the 9900K is way ahead, but that's not what's interesting about this result. Instead, it's that the Zen+ architecture of the Ryzen APUs just can't quite keep up with the Core i7-6700K of 2015. The single-core score of the 3400G trails that processor by about 10%. Keep in mind that the Ryzen 7 2700X is essentially two Ryzen 5 3400G CPUs put together, which is why its single-core score is nearly identical (its multi-core score isn't quite double, but it's close). The only AMD CPUs that can really keep with Intel's Skylake architecture are the Zen 2-based Ryzen 5 3600 and 3600X.
This is a great test of rendering of 3D material, timing how long it takes each processor to render a scene, and then converting that into a score. It's basically like a 0-60mph time for CPUs!
Cinebench happens to be fairly AMD-friendly. It was one of the benchmarks first "leaked" by AMD when it launched the Ryzen line in 2017. Yet despite that, the 3400G simply ties the 4-year-old 6700K. We would have liked to see it beat that 4GHz quad-core processor. In essence, it is the 2019 version of the 6700K for $200 less, which is fine, but not mind-blowing. At least the Ryzen APUs show why they are so much better choices than the Athlons for anyone not on a very strict budget, offering performance boosts in keeping with their additional cost. Notably, the 2700X is about twice as fast as the 3400G, another indication that this 2018 processor has basically been cut in half for use in the 3400G.
V-Ray is another take on rendering, this time providing a measure of all the work that a processor can do in one minute. It's sort of like the equivalent of the "quarter mile" in car reviews!
And here, Intel proves dominant, as the 3400G simply can't keep pace with its Intel doppelganger, the 6700K. We do appreciate, however, that the 3400G at least offers 55% better performance than the 3200G, for only 50% more money. One issue, however, is that the Ryzen 5 3600, which is only 33% more money, offers 70% better performance. We'll return to this topic in the conclusion as well, as it makes the 3600 appear to be the better choice if you don't need the built-in Vega graphics.
With that said, let's see what the Vega graphics can do in our gaming benchmarks.