Despite the resonance of AMD to kick-start with the high-end mainstream processors, sales of higher volumes occur more in the mid-range where the parties are often at competitive prices. In the segment, AMD currently has the Ryzen 5 2600 and 2400G retail, but OEMs can use two more: the 2500X and the 2300X. We do not know if we'll ever see them at retail, but we've got both CPUs for a review.
Ryzen 2500X of AMD and Ryzen 3 2300X: filling some gaps
Very similar to the first gen counterparts, the 2500X is a quad-core processor with simultaneous multi-threading while the 2300X is a simple quad-core. X processors usually have higher TDP (Thermal Design Power) than hypothetical non-X equivalents, allowing them to take advantage of AMD Extreme Frequency Range technology for higher turbos for a longer time, with sufficient cooling, although they are set to 65 W, similar to non-X processors. Normally, the X processors are equipped with better chillers for retail stocks, however, since they are OEM processors, it is up to the system integrator to provide sufficient cooling.
|AMD Mainstream Stack|
w / SMT
|TDP|| MSRP [1
||Zen +||8/16||3700||4300||16||–||105W||$ 329|
|Ryzen 7 2700||Zen +||8/16||3200||4100||16||–||65W||$ 299|
|Ryzen 5 2600X||Zen +||6/12||3600||4200||16||–||95W||$ 229|
|Ryzen 5 2600  Zen +||6/12||3400||3900||16||–  65W||$ 199|
|Ryzen 5 2500X *||Zen +||4/8||3600||4000||[1 9459005] 8||–  65W||–|
|Ryzen 5 2400G||Zen||4 / 8||3600||3900  6||11||65W||$ 169|
|Ryzen 3 2300X *||Zen +||4/4||3500||4000||8||–||65W||–|
|Ryzen 3 2200G||Zen||4/4||3500||3700||6||8||65W||$ 99  Athlon 240GE||Zen||2/4||3500||–||4||3||35W  $ 75|
|Athlon 220GE||Zen||2/4||3400||–  4||3||35W||$ 65  Athlon 200GE||Zen||2/4||3200||–||4||3||35W||$ 55|
| * Released but not retail  Both of these processors use AMD's Zen + microarchitecture, built on the node of the 12nm production process of GlobalFoundries. This means that it has better voltage, frequency and power than the first generation Ryzen, allowing them to run faster at the same power, or colder with the same performance. AMD has also applied some minor design changes, which gives the processor a further 3% performance at the same frequency as the first Ryzen generation. We have tested and verified these statements in our review of AMD's first Zen + processors.
Tackling the Midrange
If you believe that the sales numbers published by the German retailer MindFactory, or the best-selling lists on Amazon, it would be difficult not to notice the first generation of Ryzen processors, the Ryzen 5 1600 was one of the best sellers. With an initial release price of $ 219, followed by successive cuts, it reached an aggressive price and offered six high-performance cores with simultaneous multi-threading in which Intel could only offer four cores without hyperthreading. It also allowed overclocking, giving users the potential to squeeze more from the processor if they had the cooling to do it. Pair this CPU with a good mid-range motherboard and bundled cooler and it's easy to see why this CPU was successful.
For the second generation of Ryzen, AMD launched four retail CPUs: 2700X, 2700, 2600X and 2600, which we examined at launch (click here for review). Technically we have a direct replacement at 1600 of the 2600, which at $ 199 is very competitive. However, contrary to the first generation of CPU-only products, AMD never filled the rest of the processor stack with CPU-only options. Under the 2600, AMD recommends the 2400G, a quad core with simultaneous multi-threading and integrated graphics at $ 169, so the 2200G to $ 99 which is another quad core with integrated graphics but without hyperthreading. AMD had four processors in this space (1500X, 1400, 1300X, 1200) that were also very competitive. We tested them all when they were launched against the competition, and the parties had obvious strengths and weaknesses.
Although AMD recommends these parts with integrated graphics up to $ 165 (current Amazon prices), it seems that their system builder partners have requested a CPU-only option below this price point. This is where the Ryzen 5 2500X and Ryzen 3 2300X come into play. These parts are generational updates against the 1500X and 1300X, but currently they are only available for AMD partners who build complete systems. These parts can not be purchased "officially" at retail level; however, it is likely that some will filter on gray or second-hand markets.
The obvious main reason for not releasing more parts at similar prices is to cannibalize the sales of the other – offering the 2500X and 2300X as OEM-only parts, allows AMD to maintain a rigid stock according to order requirements, while the 2400G / 2200G can be sold on the open market. There could be a PR-side argument that in this price range, $ 150 or less, emerging markets benefit more from integrated graphics solutions. But this does not preclude the sale of these retail parts in other parts of the world. Regardless of the reasons, we wanted to test these CPUs to see where they were and, ultimately, if the $ 150 most discrete GPU auto-builder would benefit from a CPU-only option.
Normally when comparing processors, we compare them on two fronts: core / thread count and price. Very rarely our reviewers have the same competitor for both. In this case, we do not have a list price for the 2300X or 2500X, which makes it a bit difficult. However, to be competitive, we expect the two CPUs to adapt to the price where they suggest their names, respectively above 2200G and 2400G.
When it comes to competitive Intel processors then, on the price, the competition is around the Core i3-8100 to $ 120 or Core i3-8350K, currently on sale for ~ $ 190. These parts are a quad core without hyperthreading, which automatically puts it on par with the Ryzen 3 2300X. Intel no longer offers anything under an 8 core with hyperthreading, which makes it difficult to compare with the Ryzen 5 2500X. In terms of thread parity, the quad-core i3-8100 / i3-8350K core with four threads is still relevant, or the six-core i5-9600K with six threads come into play, though it's worth keeping in mind that this it's a $ 260 processor. Aiming at eight threads on Intel for comparison makes the budget jump, making the comparison more irrelevant.
If AMD ever decides to release these retail processors with corresponding cooling devices, at least on paper, they appear to be very competitive. This is one of the reasons we are testing these parts in a review.
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