With the release of the Ryzen 7 5700G and the Ryzen 5 5600G, AMD have once again spiced up the CPU market. They feature similar specifications compared to their 5600x and 5700x counterparts, but have iGPUs in them too, and at a lower MSRP! The rise in price for the 5600x and 5700x shocked some people, so it is nice to see that it is going back down again.
These chips might change the market and create new possibilities for PC builders. Thus, in this article, I will discuss potential uses for these new chips, and talk about their specifications.
The first thing that stands out is that these chips have integrated GPUs. Yes, the Ryzen 7 has one too! This of course is already in the name: the G in the name stands for graphics. But an iGPU on an R7 is somewhat new; the 3000-series only had iGPU variants for the Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 3. This time around is not peculiar only because of the the Ryzen 7 with an iGPU, however, as there is also no 5000-series Ryzen 3 APU in this release.
AMD CPUs with integrated graphics have been popular for budget gamers in the past, since their Vega graphics are good enough for light games and Ryzen 3 models were listed at low prices on release. With the Ryzen 3 disappearing, though, we must see if this trend remains: will the Ryzen 5 5600G become the new budget gaming king, or will people continue buying the Ryzen 3 3200G? Moreover, with the 5700G AMD will perhaps capitalize on an unusual (and probably temporary) segment of the market: people building with no graphics card because GPUs are so expensive, but who intend to get a high-tier GPU in the future.
As for the GPUs themselves, relative to their predecessors (Vega 8 and Vega 11), these graphics processors have faster native clock speeds, newer GPU architecture, and fewer total processing cores. What does this actually mean for real-world benchmarks? Usually, unfortunately, it means that gaming performance is comparable between the R5 5600G and the R5 3400G. But the iGPU of the R7 5700G is now the best iGPU available, and this situation does open the door for better iGPUs from them in the future (using these faster, newer specs—but as many or more cores as before).
Continuing about budget gaming, AMD did lower their MSRP compared to the Ryzen 5 5600x and the Ryzen 7 5800x. The 5600G is 40 USD cheaper than the 5600x, and the 5700G is 90 USD cheaper than the 5800x. These are not huge changes, but maybe this price difference might lead people to buy the ‘G’ variants because they are slightly cheaper, regardless of their graphics processor situation.
It is not clear why AMD would lower their MSRP again, and there could be multiple reasons. It could be because the sales of the 5600X and 5800X were disappointing, or because AMD wants an aggressive pricing strategy for these chips specifically to appeal to budget buyers. This could also be because intel priced their i5 with iGPU at 260 USD, and their i7-11700K (with iGPU) at 400 USD. By being slightly cheaper (or the same price, but maybe more performance) AMD might be trying to attract people from ‘team blue.’
Worse Than Their ‘X’ Siblings?
Although these chips are ‘newer’ (as in, ‘released later’), they do have slightly lower specs than their X counterparts. Slightly lower speeds, and 16 MB L3 cache instead of 32 MB. (One upside: the Ryzen 7 uses 65 Watts instead of 105.) This is not because the previous chips were hot-running (which was the case with competing models from Intel).
There are 2 other possible options for explaining the slight difference in specs here. The first one is the likeliest: throughout time, ‘G’ chips have always been slightly worse than non ‘G’ ones because the integrated graphics requires power and space on the CPU die as well. It would be very logical if that is the case here too. The other possibility is economical: if AMD were to give these chips the same CPU performance as other entries in their lineup, but sell them at a lower price, they would be shooting themselves in the foot. Nobody would buy the X chips anymore since these new ones would be providing the same performance for a lower price.
So, why would anyone buy these chips? Well, the fact that you can get a power-efficient and strong CPU with an integrated GPU opens possibilities. People wanting to build a future-proof home PC that does not need a processor upgrade for 5 years or so could use the Ryzen 7 5700G. It is a strong CPU, and (as mentioned above) not necessitating a discrete GPU could be a very enticing proposition in the current market-—even for people who do plan to add a dGPU to the system eventually.
But this can still be interesting for people that are buying discrete GPUs right away. Some builders, after all, are on quite restrictive budgets. So, people wanting to shave off a bit of the price can go with the slightly cheaper and weaker 5600G or 5700G in situations where the 40 or 90 dollars may make a difference.
And finally, there may be some rare users who are highly energy-conscious—who want a Ryzen 7 but not the 105-Watt power usage rating that comes along with it. In this case, the 5700G with its lower power usage can be interesting, whilst remaining a strong, modern chip.
So, to recap, the R5 5600G and R7 5700G have: iGPUs in them, making them suitable for workstation purposes or light gaming; lower MSRPs than their own AMD counterparts, making them interesting budget options; and slightly lower specs than those counterparts, probably as a consequence of those other two details I just listed.
These chips won’t be an earthquake for the CPU market, but they might shake some things up and—depending on your needs—they might suit your situation well. In the end, we will just have to see what is going to happen.