A while back AMD sent me a review sample of the 3400G, their ZEN+ APU with Vega 11 graphics. So it’s not a 7nm part but it should perform well given the 4.2GHz boost, and 4 cores / 8 threads. It comes included with the wraith spire box cooler, which is rated for 65W – and whisper quiet.
Originally I was planning on using this tiny case I got off of amazon but the pico PSU I ordered from China got stuck on customs (after it took over a month to ship!). The pico PSUs in my local stores don’t have enough juice to power the 3400G, so I had to move up to a larger case, in this case, the Thermaltake Core V1. It’s not exactly mini, but it was cheap so it will do.
The components I’m using are fairly modest as this is meant to be a media center / retro gaming build. The PSU is overkill but it was the only spare one I had around. This case actually supports full size PSUs so I’ll be changing it at some point.
- SoC: AMD Ryzen 3400G $138
- GPU: Integrated
- Storage: WD Green 240GB M.2 $47.79
- PSU: SFX Seasonic 500W Gold (overkill, get this instead $47.49)
- Motherboard: MSI Gaming Plus AC (B450I) $120
- RAM: HyperX Fury 2333 DDR4 8GB (get this instead $39)
- Case: Thermaltake Core V1 $50
- TOTAL: $442.28 (at the time of writing)
APUs really benefit from faster RAM so if you are building something similar I would recommend a faster kit, like a dual channel 2666 kit. I had this 8GB module around and for the type of games and media it will be running it’s more than fine.
I won’t go into details on how to build a PC, there are tons of guides online. A few notes, the m.2 goes in the back of this motherboard, which helps keep it nice and clean looking. The modular PSU means there’s only two power connectors going into the motherboard, again, keeping it clean. Once you take the panels off the Core V1, it’s super easy to work with, with access from all sides. Not the prettiest cable management work in the end, but it looks fine. The case comes including with a giant 200mm fan on the front which runs quiet (slow) by default.
Starting with Cinebench R20, the 3400G scored 1923 pts in Multithreaded. Using Ryzen Master’s Auto Overclocking feature the score jumped to.. 1901 pts. Yeah, Ryzen Master continues to be completely useless after all this time. AMD really needs to get working to fixing it.
PUGET Photoshop Extended
The Puget Systems Photoshop benchmark took an absolute eternity to finish (over 4 hours), and it’s probably too intensive for the 3400G, at least for print work where you’re dealing with large scale images. For things like Web Design or Vector Illustration the 3400G offers plenty of performance. Photoshop felt smooth and responsive in real world use.
Fortnite Season 2 saw an average of 28.8 FPS at Medium Quality, with a 1% low of 19 FPS. It’s definitely playable and I even killed someone, a feat considering I had a $3 mouse connected during this test run.
PUBG at the auto settings and resolution scale of 70 ran at a horrid 14.3 FPS average. Bringing the settings down to Very Low saw a small jump to 18.3 FPS average. You should probably forget about playing Cheaters Battlegrounds without a discrete GPU.
Skyrim ran at 31.9 FPS average on low settings at 720p. Skyrim is still a really enjoyable game in 2019, putting something like recently released The Outer Worlds to shame when it comes to an epic RPG adventure, and it’s still one of the most played games on Steam, so it’s nice to see that this APU handles it without issue, provided you don’t mind playing at 720p. 1080p ran at around 18 FPS in the outside environments, so unless you like slideshows, stick to 720p.
Being a 2D game you wouldn’t expect anything less than stellar performance and the 3400G doesn’t disappoint, running Velfaris at a solid 60 FPS throughout. Nothing unexpected, but worth testing out nonetheless as this is the sort of game this machine will be playing. This and Paradise Cafe on the ZX Spectrum Emulator (don’t google it!). There’s another CPU launching soon which might make even more sense than these retro inspired games…more on that on the 7th (tomorrow).
The Outer Worlds ran at a whopping 25 FPS at 720p…. with 80% resolution scaling! It looked pretty bad, but hey, it’s playable.
The 3400G struggles with more demanding games, which is to be expected for integrated graphics. For these Stadia will be the best option, assuming it’s any good – and if it’s available in your region! Suffice it to say the 3400G is best left to eSports titles or older AAAs.
The 3400G is a solid performer for light-gaming at low resolutions, but don’t expect good gaming performance at anything higher than 900p. I suspect using dual-channel faster memory would have helped a lot, but the 2333 kit I had might actually be a more realistic representation for this sort of budget. Go for a 3000 kit if you can. For games like Valfaris, Civ, Emulators and even Fortnite, the 3400G is a great choice for those on an tight budget, and offers a decent upgrade path to add in a discrete GPU in the future. I can’t wait for the 7nm APUs in a couple of months 😉
Disclaimer: The 3400G used in this testing was provided by AMD, but views on it are my own. There are Amazon affiliate links throughout the article, I will get a small commission if you use them to buy stuff (it’s pennies, but it helps!).