Ryzen 5 3400G Review: A fast CPU with graphics attached

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If you haven't built a PC since the days of Intel ‘Northwood’, when a 120GB hard drive was considered an unlimited option, you might not be sure where to start with a new build.

But if you are looking to get into PC-building, you could do a lot worse than picking up the Ryzen 5 3400G as one of your first components. You won’t get a better start building a PC than with this.

AMD launched this mid-range central-processing unit (CPU) last year, as part of their well-known Ryzen series. It also has built-in Vega, AMD’s graphics-processing unit (GPU), which means you can enjoy

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Shenmue 3

without having to invest in a £300 graphics card for now.

Table of Contents

Stealth Optional

has been putting the Ryzen 5 3400G through its paces for the last month, and now it’s time to share our opinion.

Quality - Score 90

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The 3400G is a quad-core processor, with a base clock of 3.7Ghz, which can be boosted up to 4.2Ghz, so having it run through general tasks such as browsing and loading up multiple game launchers was a breeze

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Its 75 watts is impressive for the power it gives, so there’ll be no need to invest in a huge PSU to start off with.

Vega is it’s GPU side, which is integrated into certain Ryzen offerings, and for the 75 watts, gives off fantastic performance when loading up certain games and streaming through OBS.

It’s able to go through a lot of tasks, but when it came to rendering a video of a stream, it did take twenty minutes to render it and output the video to a file, so do take notice if you’re wanting to capture a lot of video when gaming.

Power - Score 85

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In the grand scheme of things, the Vega GPU is of an older architecture now. AMD’s Navi is inevitably coming to certain CPU and Radeon GPU cards soon, but for a beginner-PC, it holds up well.

To test it, the games were run on the following: 16GB DDR4 Memory, 1TB HDD, 256 M.2, Monitor at 1440 x 900.

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Halo 1 MCC

Ran like a dream. In fairness, it’s a game from 2002 which is also running on newer graphics and textures from 2011. But with the recent release of the

Master Chief Collection

for PC, there have been settings to unlock the frame rate and increase the draw-distance, therein taking more of a hit on this 3400G.

But again, there was no slowdown, and playing it at 120FPS was fantastic.

Resident Evil 2 Remake

A fantastic game with a lot of customisable settings, and when it came to Vega, it ran it on High, but only just. When there were attempts to increase the draw-distance and the shadow rendering, there would be a weird glitch of wireframe mixed with white textures across the environment.

But when an option was selected for the game to decide on certain settings, it ran fine.

50FPS across the board, but when scenes with multiple zombies and fire effects would engulf the screen, it would drop to 20FPS. But regardless, still playable, still enjoyable.

Batman: Arkham City

A favourite game of this reviewer where it would be a perfect opportunity to see how it would run on the Ryzen, and there’s nothing more to add than the fact that it was flawless. Everything on ‘Very High’, ran like a dream. On an occasion where the PC was hooked up to a television at a resolution of 1920 x 1080, it still ran very well, with no noticeable slowdown.

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When playing it on high, the game ran like butter. Looked fantastic, played fantastic, but there did seem to be a stutter when flying towards the island. Once you would land on the island though, it was smooth and playable on 90FPS.

But for a beginner-PC, or even as a

Fortnite

-centric PC for a family-member, this CPU would be ideal for it.

Devil May Cry V

This was a game that, even though it was released on almost the same date as

Resident Evil 2

, struggled on High when you would be fighting an end-of-level boss, or at the outside sections.

It took a few tinkering of the settings to make sure that it ran as smooth as it could, but Medium with 'texture quality’ on low was the only option here.

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Value for Money - Score 97

Currently the 3400G can be bought for £120, which is fantastic value for money.

With the specs mentioned before, the total cost ended up being £600, which is ideal for a beginner-PC. With Vega 11 integrated into the CPU, you can already start playing a game when needed, without having to worry if the PSU has enough wattage for it.

When you’re buying a PC as a clean slate, you want value and you want it to run the latest games on High, at the most. You also want to build it in a way that components can be expanded and replaced without ease. So in time, all that could be left from the original build, may just be the motherboard and this CPU, which is a great plan for the future of this PC.

To note with getting the motherboard right, there’s great opportunity to upgrade the CPU in a couple of years time, while looking around for an AMD Radeon or GeForce graphics card. This will help with future-proofing the PC for a good few years, as they will be able to render games such as DMC 5 with no issues on ‘Ultra’, while being ready for Resident Evil 3, Call of Duty: Warzone, and much more to come in 2020.

Our Score

Pros

  • Very fast CPU for your buck
  • Cooler included is quiet and fits in easily
  • Great value for a first-timer
  • Vega included can help save up for a dedicated GPU down the line
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Cons

  • Has lagged when editing/rendering 4K video while multitasking
  • Vega included can help save up for a dedicated GPU down the line

This is a CPU for PC Builders. It’s a fantastic starter-CPU, where you’ll get great speeds for low watts, alongside a decent GPU to play games pre-2015 on Ultra, and post-2015 on High or Medium.

If you buy a motherboard that *says* that it’s compatible with the 3400G, be wary that it may require a BIOS update first, which may require a USB-stick for it to be updated, and then be able to recognise the installation of the PC.

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As mentioned earlier, playing

Resident Evil 2 Remake

on a 1440x900 monitor had fantastic gains at 50FPS on medium, but don’t expect a smooth ride for anything higher. It’s a CPU to start out with, and then in time, you look towards a graphics card to look at breaking those ‘

Ultra

’ settings.

But if you’re looking at rendering 4K video, it may struggle compared to other Ryzen products in the market. It all depends on the speed and amount of cores available, alongside the memory installed, to help reduce the rendering times of a video. But if it’s going to be mainly used for games, you’re in for a treat here.