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AMD Ryzen 7 5700G APU review: Ryzen 5000 Lite

A good option if you can't find a GPU at a fair price.

The $359 Ryzen 7 5700G APU is an interesting prospect - essentially an AMD Renoir laptop processor given more power and thermal headroom in its new guise as a desktop CPU. It costs a hair less than the entry-level Ryzen 5 5600X desktop processor and also adds integrated graphics support, so how does it compare in games to other AMD and Intel desktop CPUs once a discrete GPU is in play? And how good are its integrated graphics anyway? Those are the questions we aim to answer in the Digital Foundry review of AMD's top APU.

So what is an APU anyway? This stands for Accelerated Processing Unit, and basically means you get both a CPU and a GPU in a single package. The advantage of this is that you can run your computer and even play games without a dedicated graphics card, a useful capability when graphics cards are in short supply and prices have skyrocketed.

The CPU here is a Zen 3 design, but more in line with the Ryzen 5000 line of laptop processors, codenamed Renoir. That means two key Ryzen 5000 desktop CPU features, PCIe 4.0 support and double-size L3 cache (what AMD calls Game Cache), aren't included. However, this isn't too surprising given that AMD needed to find space for eight Zen 3 CPU cores and an 8CU RX Vega graphics engine within the same physical constraints as AMD's regular Ryzen 5000 CPUs.

As you might expect, the Ryzen 7 5700G uses the same AM4 socket design as past Ryzen processors so it works on a wide range of motherboards made over the last half-decade; just make sure the one you choose comes with HDMI and/or DisplayPort outputs so you can actually connect your monitor. If you don't have another AM4 CPU to hand, you may also want to choose a model with a 'USB BIOS Flashback' feature, which allows you to update the BIOS via a USB drive without a CPU installed; AMD's support page has more information.

The APU comes with a Wraith Stealth CPU air cooler in the box, which keeps the 65W chip cool at a reasonable noise level. The 5700G is unlocked, so you can try your hand at overclocking it if you're inclined, but AMD's automatic boost algorithms are pretty good at delivering most of the CPU's potential performance without any messing around in the BIOS.

CPU design Boost Base Cache TDP RRP
Ryzen 5950X Zen 3 16C/32T 4.9GHz 3.4GHz 72MB 105W $799
Ryzen 5900X Zen 3 12C/24T 4.8GHz 3.7GHz 70MB 105W $549
Ryzen 5800X Zen 3 8C/16T 4.7GHz 3.8GHz 36MB 105W $449
Ryzen 5700G Zen 3 8C/16T 4.6GHz 3.8GHz 20MB 65W $359
Ryzen 5600X Zen 3 6C/12T 4.6GHz 3.7GHz 35MB 65W $299
Ryzen 5600G Zen 3 6C/12T 4.4GHz 3.9GHz 19MB 65W $259

Our testing will use our standard early-2021 CPU test bed, which includes a 240mm Eisbauer Aurora liquid cooler, a 1TB Samsung 970 Evo SSD provided by Box, a 1000W Corsair PSU provided by Infinite Computing, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti graphics card and 16GB of DDR4-3200 CL16 memory. We used our regular Asus Crosshair Hero 8 motherboard for testing the 5700G with the RTX 2080 Ti, and switched to an MSI B550 Gaming Carbon WiFi motherboard for testing the integrated graphics (as the Crosshair doesn't feature an HDMI output). Meanwhile, our Intel testing was performed on an Asus Z590 Maximus Hero motherboard.

Let's move onto the content creation testing to get an idea of how these eight Zen 3 cores perform. We're expecting performance between that of Ryzen 3700X and 'full-fat' Ryzen 5800X, and ideally more towards the latter than the former.

In Cinebench R20, a synthetic test that aims to replicate a realistic workload from 3D rendering package Cinema4D, the 5700G is impressive. It's just a hair behind the Ryzen 5600X when it comes to single-core performance, with less than 30 points in it (four percent), and noticeably faster than Ryzen 3000 processors, even the later XT designs. In multi-core terms, the 5700G is even more competitive, outdoing the six-core 5600X by nearly 900 points (25 percent faster) but falling behind the 5800X by around 650 points (10 percent slower).

CB R20 1T CB R20 MT HB h.264 HB HEVC HEVC Power Use
Ryzen 9 5950X 650 10240 69.56fps 29.82fps 259W
Ryzen 9 5900X 638 8564 60.49fps 25.42fps 219W
Ryzen 7 5800X 625 6185 43.72fps 19.41fps 214W
Ryzen 7 5700G 576 5533 38.46fps 15.96fps 148W
Ryzen 5 5600X 597 4446 31.43fps 14.35fps 148W
Ryzen 9 3950X 514 9249 64.73fps 25.59fps 296W
Ryzen 9 3900XT 538 7101 51.91fps 20.49fps 221W
Ryzen 9 3900X 514 7032 51.80fps 20.29fps 228W
Ryzen 7 3800XT 540 5164 37.14fps 15.83fps 177W
Ryzen 7 3700X 494 4730 35.05fps 14.67fps 152W
Ryzen 5 3600X 490 3705 27.54fps 11.81fps 149W
Ryzen 3 3300X 503 2577 18.89fps 8.25fps 120W
Ryzen 3 3100 449 2328 17.32fps 7.44fps 118W
Ryzen 7 2700X 408 3865 27.31fps 10.04fps 224W
Ryzen 5 2600 399 2810 20.39fps 7.09fps 130W
Core i9 12900K 760 10416 70.82fps 29.26fps 373W
Core i5 12600K 716 6598 44.27fps 19.99fps 223W
Core i9 11900K 636 6209 42.92fps 19.60fps 390W
Core i5 11600K 599 4328 31.00fps 13.97fps 233W
Core i5 11400F 538 3959 28.47fps 12.87fps 242W
Core i9 10900K 545 6337 45.55fps 19.43fps 268W
Core i5 10600K 493 3587 26.40fps 11.84fps 177W
Core i9 9900K 520 5090 37.87fps 16.22fps 266W
Core i7 9700K 486 3759 28.77fps 13.12fps 171W
Core i5 9600K 450 2603 20.70fps 9.46fps 132W

That suggests we'll see strong results in the video transcode test, and indeed the 5700G is 22 percent faster than the 5600X. The margins halve in the HEVC test to 11 percent, but it's still a good lead for the 5700G over the similarly-priced 5600X. Both CPUs also draw the same amount of power with a GPU connected, although obviously the 5700G has the benefit of being able to run without a GPU to cut total system power slightly. Compared to the 3700X, AMD's popular last-gen eight-core processor, the 5700G is a good 10 percent faster. Not a massive gap, but still a reasonable result for an APU of this class.

It's promising stuff so far, so how does the 5700G perform in games when paired with an RTX 2080 Ti? Let's take a look in eight of our favourite titles - plus a quick look at how RAM speeds affect performance and how the 5700G runs as a full-blooded APU.

AMD Ryzen 7 5700G analysis

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Will Judd avatar

Will Judd

Deputy Editor, Digital Foundry

A bizarre British-American hybrid, Will turns caffeine into technology articles through a little-known process called 'writing'. His favourite games are Counter-Strike, StarCraft and Fallout 2. Will also tweets the latest tech deals at @DealsFoundry.

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