Falling in love with AMD Ryzen APUs
AMD accelerated processing unit (APU) is a microprocessor, designed to act as a central processing unit (CPU) and graphics processing unit (GPU) on a single die.
It is not the fastest CPU and at max has 4 cores/8 threads at this moment (4000 series will improve this situation), so it is not the best option for productivity. AMD APUs build on previous architecture (12nm tech process), so it is outdated at the moment of the release.
These facts can be a huge disadvantage for many of us, but. It is the best option to build an affordable mini-ITX 1080p gaming PC.
As far as you don’t need a separate GPU, you can use the smallest cases available down to 2.1L or even smaller — 1.92L prebuild ASRock A300 series.
So what can give you the best APU at this moment? AMD Ryzen 5 3400g is a 4 cores/8 threads processor with integrated Vega 11 graphics. It could handle almost all modern games at 1080p and minimum settings at a comfort framerate. It is not a big surprise, because Vega 11 has the same power as PS4. Take a look at gameplay examples. It is not cheap, the price is around 140$. But it is possible to buy it much cheaper on the used market, as I did. Or to buy a lower-end version of this lineup — a Ryzen 3 3200g without hyperthreading and with Vega 8. Then try to overclock it. It is better overclocks then, a higher-end model and could work almost as fast. But you shouldn’t forget about a decent cooler because the stock one is not made for overclocking and the noise level is not great.
Overall I’m excited about these APUs because they allow building small, silent, customizable, and relatively powerful 1080p gaming PC. So I’m waiting for a new lineup and even smaller cases!