Best AMD APUs for Gaming on a Budget (2020 Review)

When looking to build a gaming PC, there’s definitely a wide range of choices on the market regarding the type of processor to use.

There’s the standard Central Processing Unit (CPU), which requires a separate, dedicated graphics accelerator card (GPU).

Then there’s chip maker AMD’s Accelerated Processing Unit (APU), which combines both CPU and GPU into one. These can range from low-power and low-speed to truly high-end overclocked units.

Accordingly, AMD has split their APUs into three different product lines, and the type you select will depend on the features you need and the price you’re willing to pay.

With AMD’s updated lineup, things have become somewhat confusing as an outsider looking in.

That’s why we’ve created this list of the best AMD APUs.

Comparison of the Best AMD APUs for Gaming on a Budget

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Radeon RX Vega 11 graphics processor
  • 4 cores/ 8 thread
  • AMD Wraith Spire cooler built-in
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  • AMD SenseMI Technology
  • AMD VR processors
  • Radeon FreeSync technology
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  • Radeon Vega 8 graphics
  • 4.0GHz Max boost
  • AMD Wraith Stealth cooler
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  • Radeon Vega 8 graphics
  • 2667 MHz memory speed
  • Built-in 4 cores unlocked
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  • Responsive, reliable AMD Athlon
  • Radeon Vega 3 graphics
  • 3.2GHz clock frequency
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What Should You Expect When Getting an APU?

If you’re building a gaming PC to play games like Minecraft and  LOL (League of Legends), then an APU is a great buy, as it allows you to keep the costs of a build down dramatically.

However, if you’re trying to play triple A title games at anything higher than medium settings, then an APU is not for you.

We're not trying to deter you from getting an APU, we just want you to know what you’re getting before you end up disappointed.

All in all, for what you get, APUs are more than worth the cost as they make PC gaming much more affordable for those who don’t have the steep budgets for higher-end gaming.

Quick Take - Best AMD APUs for Gaming on a Budget

Review of the Best AMD APUs for Gaming on a Budget

Here are our top picks:

Best Overall:
 AMD Ryzen 5 3400G

AMD Ryzen 5 3400G 4-core, 8-Thread Unlocked Desktop Processor with Radeon RX Graphics

PROS

  • 3.7Ghz base clock
  • Comes with a cooler
  • RX Vega 11 graphics
  • Overclockable to 4.2Ghz

CONS

  • Vega 11 Is the same as the 2400G

Right now the flagship APU for AMD is the Ryzen 3400G. For only $150 you get a powerful CPU and GPU that can run AAA games at medium to high settings.

  • GTA 5: 56 FPS – Normal Settings, 1080p
  • Project Cars 3: 43 FPS – Medium Settings, 1080p
  • Fortnite: 73 FPS – Low Settings, 1080p
  • Doom: 52 FPS – Medium Settings, 1080p
  • Rocket League: 82 FPS – 1080p
  • Assassins Creed Odyssey: 32 FPS – Low, 720p

If you’re looking to build a gaming PC on a budget, then there’s nothing better than this out there!

AMD Ryzen 5 2400G Processor with Radeon RX Vega 11 Graphics - YD2400C5FBBOX

PROS

  • Can be overclocked
  • RX Vega 11 graphics
  • Comes with a fan cooler

CONS

  • Max clock isn’t that high

If you’re looking to save a few dollars and still get most of the value of the 3400G, then the 2400G is something you’d want to consider.

Wondering what kind of performance you can expect? Here’s a list of how the 2400G performed in some popular gaming titles.

  • GTA 5: 55 FPS – Normal Settings, 1080p
  • Project Cars 3: 38 FPS – Medium Settings, 1080p
  • Fortnite: 61 FPS – Low Settings, 1080p
  • Doom: 48 FPS – Medium Settings, 1080p
  • Rocket League: 74 FPS – 1080p
  • Assassins Creed Odyssey: 24 FPS – Low, 720p

With the same Vega 11 graphics as the 3400g, this is a great choice for someone looking for a cheaper AMD APU for gaming.

AMD Ryzen 3 3200G 4-Core Unlocked Desktop Processor with Radeon Graphics

PROS

  • Best APU Under $100
  • Comes with AMD Wraith Stealth Cooler
  • Unlocked for overclocking up to 4.0 Ghz

CONS

  • Using same Vega 8 graphics as the 2200G

If you’re looking for the best APU under $100, then the AMD Ryzen 3 3200G is it. 

With Vega 8 graphics and four cores and four threads, you’re getting an all-in one gaming package that will get you in the door of the gaming world!

AMD Ryzen 3 2200G Processor with Radeon Vega 8 Graphics - YD2200C5FBBOX

PROS

  • Vega 8 graphics
  • Comes with a fan cooler
  • Best APU on a very tight budget

CONS

  • None given the price

If you’re looking for a cheaper version of the 3200G, then the 2200G is something you may want to consider.

You’re getting a very similar CPU at a cheaper price, making this enticing for someone on a budget.

AMD YD200GC6FBBOX Athlon 200GE 2-Core 4-Thread AM4 Socket Desktop Processor with Radeon Vega Graphics

PROS

  • Comes with a fan cooler
  • Very cheap with good performance

CONS

  • Not very good for 1080p gaming
  • Close in price to the 2200G, which is much better

The 200GE is the cheapest APU on the list, but even the 200GE is powerful enough to run most games at the lower levels. 

If you’re on a very tight budget, then the 200GE might be the APU for you!

Our Recommended AMD APUs

When choosing a gaming APU, there are a lot of factors to consider. We’ve looked at such features as price, performance, and features, most notably the speed of the CPU portion, as well as the GPU ability.

3400G/2400G

Get the 3400G if you want the BEST APU for gaming. The 3400G is slightly better, and is currently AMD’s premiere APU.

If you want something that’s very similar, get the 2400G and save a few dollars. The 3400G is slightly better.

3200G/2200G

They’re similar in the graphics department, but get the 3200G if you can afford it, as it’s a little bit better than the 2200G. 

If you want something cheaper without sacrificing much, get the 2200G and you’ll still have a great gaming experience. 

200GE

Get the 200GE if you’re on a VERY tight budget, and can’t get the 2200G. The 2200G is twice as good as the 200GE.

Pros of an AMD APU

  • They’re great placeholders
  • Very affordable for budget gaming
  • Great for cheap PC builds in general

The bottom line is that if you’re looking for something that’s going to be an all-in-one solution or maybe something that can get you in the PC gaming space, then APUs are a great choice. 

You can always upgrade to a better GPU in the future and use the APU as a CPU.

Cons of an AMD APU

  • Not able to really compete with a real graphics card or high-end CPU

The only real con with an AMD APU is the fact that you’re never going to get the same productivity from an APU that you’d get from a graphics card or CPU of the same price. 

So, if you’re looking for the best performance possible, then that’s not going to come from an APU. The beauty with APUs is that they can field both spots, and that makes them perfect for budget gamers.

Conclusion 

Honestly, while AMD APUs can be very useful in cheap gaming PC builds, if you’re looking for something that’s going to play games for a long time, check out our cheap gaming PC builds.

These builds are not only affordable but also have all the style and power you could want. Check out the two options we have listed for yourself. 

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