CASH-STRAPPED AHEAD OF XMAS, but still want to build a PC? Then AMD has got chu' with the budget Athlon 3000G, which packs in a processor and Radeon Vega graphics.
For a mere $49 (some £38) - aka a decent round of drinks in London - AMD is offering a dual-core processor with four threads, 4MB of L3 cache, and a clock speed of 3.5GHz, all within a thermal design power of 35W.
That's reasonable for the CPU alone, but AMD has also popped in a Radeon Vega 3 graphics accelerator for good measure. It won't mean the chip will be blasting through triple-A games, but it could form the base of a reasonably capable small-form-factor PC with an equally small price.
One thing to bear in mind, that despite the 3000 nomenclature, this chip is not based on AMD's 7-nanometre Zen 2 architecture.
Rather, it uses the older Zen+ 12nm architecture, so it doesn't benefit from the boost in instructions per clock Team Red's latest CPU architecture offers. Then again, for the price of roughly 38,000 penny sweets, the Athlon 3000G still seems like a reasonable bargain, especially when it's also open to being overclocked.
We'd not be surprised if a small PC with the chip could be used as a machine to run older 3D games at 1080p resolution or some modern games at 720p at playable frame rates.
Also, such a machine would also work nicely as a cheap secondary PC, say something for kids to muck around with to hone their digital skills beyond poking at iPads. Or with a bit of storage bolted on, the Athlon 3000G could be the heart of an affordable media server.
It's also worth noting that an equivalent Intel chip, say the dual-core Pentium Gold G5600, sits around the £90 mark. So if you're dreaming of a red Xmas...on a budget, then this might be the CPU for you. µ
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