Best APUs In 2021

You might be interested in buying an APU, but picking the best APU out of a whole lineup of confusing names is a bit of a challenging process. With advancements in the gaming industry, we now have a wide range of products. A couple of years ago, building on a budget was quite difficult. However, things are easier these days thanks to more competitive products. These products include high-end products that cost a lot. Still, they’re the best bet if you need excellent performance. On the flip side, there are a lot more products in the mid/low-end segment as well.

Getting a GPU is by far the most difficult thing in the building process. The GPU market has been affected quite significantly due to the ongoing shortages in 2021. Availability has been tough, and there are other factors involved as well. It is also sometimes hard to figure out what you need. Sometimes, you can end up overspending as well. To counter this, AMD released its APU processors, which stands for Accelerated Processing Units. So, these are simply CPUs that had integrated graphics in them. While the concept has been around for some time, AMD started to take it up a notch. They have even released APUs

Our Recommendations For Best APU’s

If you’re playing easy to run games, you can get by just fine with an APU. Having said that, you must be asking which one is right for you? Allow us to guide you through that. Here is our list of best APU choices for gaming that you should be looking into during 2021.

#PreviewProduct NameAwardDetails
1Ryzen 7 5700GBest Ryzen 7 APU
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2Ryzen 5 5600GBest Ryzen 5 APU
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3Ryzen 5 3400GBest Quad Core APU
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4Ryzen 5 2400GBest Budget APU
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5Ryzen 3 3200GBest Ryzen 3 APU
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#1
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Product NameRyzen 7 5700G
AwardBest Ryzen 7 APU
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#2
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Product NameRyzen 5 5600G
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#3
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Product NameRyzen 5 3400G
AwardBest Quad Core APU
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#4
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Product NameRyzen 5 2400G
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#5
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Product NameRyzen 3 3200G
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Last Update on 2021-09-27 at 00:22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

1. Ryzen 7 5700G

Best Ryzen 7 APU

Pros

  • Excellent Performance
  • New Vega 8 Graphics
  • Good Alternative To 5800X
  • Incredible Zen 3 Architecture
  • High Boost Clocks

Cons

  • No PCIe 4.0 support
  • Expensive

54 Reviews

Graphics: Radeon RX Vega 8 | Cores: 8 | Threads: 16 | Base Clock: 3.8 GHz | Turbo Clock: 4.6 GHz | Socket: AM4 | Graphics Core Clock Speed: 2000 MHz

The 5700G stands first on our list being the fastest APU AMD offers to consumers. Anyone who does a lot of CPU-only intensive tasks such as video editing, Auto CAD, simulations, and other productive tasks, will immediately fall in love with the 5700G. It is the most expensive APU on our roundup, nevertheless is praised by many for its performance package with the convenience of a graphics unit. The inclusion of an integrated GPU allows for gaming on modern titles at lower settings which is its main selling point. It can also be considered one of the best CPUs for gaming on a budget.

The 5700G APU was introduced along with the Zen 3 APU line ups codenamed Cezanne, being successors to Picasso and Renoir. Whereas Renoir or 4th generation Ryzen APUs were only found on pre-built computers. Made on a 7nm process, it packs 8 cores and 16 threads at base and boost clock speeds of 3.8GHz to 4.6Ghz respectively it packs a tasty punch. However, with the lack of PCIe 4.0 and lower cache, it is left behind even by its mid-range cousin, the 5600X but not by much.

Best APU
AMD Ryzen 7 5700G

Zen 3 APUs comes with Vega 7 graphics, whereas the number 7 denotes processor lithography. The Vega 7 is a noticeable improvement over the previous Vega 11 integrated GPU found in Zen 2 APUs. The Vega 7 in the 5700G comes with 8 graphics cores clocking up to 2000 Mhz although you can bump the ranges higher as you like. You can expect the 5700G to perform decently in games and synthetic benchmarks. You can run FPS titles like Valorant and CSGO at 1080p on high framerates although we can’t say the same for AAA titles. Overall, the graphics performance with no need for forking extra cash for dGPU can make the 5700G an excellent choice. You can also try your hand at CTR Overclocking if you’re interested.

In the era of crypto mining and GPU shortages, the 5700G is a justified solution. This is convenient as you will be able to use your computer without the requirement of discrete GPUs.You can save money of around $100 which you otherwise were going to splurge on a low profile discrete GPU for display output. This is the best Ryzen 7 APU from Zen 3 yet!

2. Ryzen 5 5600G

Best Ryzen 5 APU

Pros

  • High Single-core Performance
  • Newly Updated Vega 7 Graphics
  • Based On Zen 3 7nm Architecture
  • High Base And Boost Speeds
  • Reasonable Value

Cons

  • No PCIe 4.0 Support
  • Slightly Pricey

103 Reviews

Graphics: Radeon RX Vega 7 | Cores: 6 | Threads: 12 | Base Clock: 3.9 GHz | Turbo Clock: 4.4 GHz | Socket: AM4 | Graphics Core Clock Speed: 1900 MHz

Our next APU on the list is the Ryzen 5 5600G. In the best-case scenario, you can run games at 1080p 30 fps although for slightly higher frame rates you will need to drop down the resolution to 720p. At a reasonable price range, this APU packs a punch while not being that far away from the higher-performing 5600X in synthetic benchmark scores. If you need a high-performance APU without splurging too much cash on the 5700G, then the 5600G is for you.

Like the 5700G, the 5600G is based on the recently released Zen 3 architecture manufactured on 7nm chips. Unlike with their previous generations, the all-new G variant of Ryzen 5 also includes the full package of 6 cores and 12 threads like its non iGPU cousin. This was unfortunately not the case with Zen 2 Ryzen 5 however which is why the 3400G wasn’t a suitable choice for budget performance users. Altogether, with a maximum TDP of 65W, base and boost frequency of 3.9 and 4.4 GHz respectively, It is a tad bit slower than the 5600X with a lower 200 Mhz boost clock speeds. Unfortunately, like the 5700G, it has a lower cache and no PCIe gen 4.0 support. The productivity performance is decent, but it is not one of the best CPUs for productivity even at this budget.

Best APU
AMD Ryzen 5 5600G

Like the previous Vega 11 APUs, the 5600G is also capable of handling popular titles but better. With the newer Vega 7 graphics clocking to 1600 Mhz with 7 graphics cores. This makes it perfect for users who require alternatives for buying a powerful CPU and low-profile graphics card for their daily usage. This is plenty for gaming and moderate productivity tasks such as video editing, Auto CAD, Blender, etc.

Related Roundup: Best Budget Gaming CPUs

In the era of crypto miners and silicone shortages resulting in rare GPU stocks, it’s definitely not a bad choice. If you urgently require a brand new PC build but don’t have the money or can’t find a decent discrete GPU for yourself? The best Ryzen 5 APU, the 5600G, has got you covered. So far AMD has done a fantastic job at manufacturing an APU that performs well with graphics output. At a justified price point, many users are interested in this product.

3. Ryzen 5 3400G

Best Quad Core APU

Pros

  • Good Clock Speeds
  • Decent Performance Overall
  • Included Stock Cooler
  • Solid Value For Money

Cons

  • Not For AAA Gaming
  • 4 Cores Might Struggle In 2021
  • Older Zen+ Architecture

5,716 Reviews

Graphics: Radeon RX Vega 11 | Cores: 4 | Threads: 8 | Base Clock: 3.7 GHz | Turbo Clock: 4.2 GHz | Socket: AM4 | Graphics Core Clock Speed: 1400 MHz

Ryzen 5 3400G proves to be a great APU for PC builds that are centered around gaming. Launched in July 2020, the Ryzen 5 3400G was part of AMD’s new lineup. It quickly became a well-known and loved CPU. Many people expect that APUs can’t handle Triple-A titles. At best, you’ll be getting medium graphics on the latest releases. However, the Ryzen 5 3400G proves that even integrated GPUs can pack powerful punches. The Ryzen 5 3400X would make a decent pairing with one of our picks for the best budget AM4 motherboards under $100.

Based on Zen architecture, the Ryzen 5 3400G is manufactured on 12nm processors. It has a base clock speed of 3.7GHz and a boost clock speed of 4.2GHz. The Ryzen 5 3400G proves that it can handle most games well. Like the 3000 series of Ryzen CPUs, the Ryzen 5 5 3400G has an AM4 socket. Therefore, you’ll need a motherboard that can support that. This APU is powered by 4 cores and 8 threads. It even comes with a Wraith Spire cooler to keep temps at bay. The 3400G can also take advantage of fairly cheap B450 boards due to the fact that it is just a 65W chip that can run easily on most budget A320 motherboards or B450 motherboards.

Best APU
AMD Ryzen 5 3400G

While looking for budget PC builds, a GPU can’t always be supported as it often takes things out of the set budget. The Ryzen 5 3400G shows that budget PC builders too can dip their toes in AAA titles. Games like GTA V, Doom, and Fortnite can be run on this APU with ease. It includes the Radeon RX Vega 11 for graphical prowess and has a base frequency of 100MHz. With Ryzen’s new lineup, they have proved that their APUs have come a long way and that the integrated GPUs can also handle quite a bit of mediocre gaming. The Ryzen 5 3400G is a prime example of that. Sadly, those who are looking to upgrade from the 2400G will be a bit disappointed as the graphical handling of the 3400G is the same and there hasn’t been much improvement on that front. You might be interested in our selection for the best CPU coolers for Ryzen 3000 series for the 3400G as well.

The best quad core APU on our list, the Ryzen 5 3400G, may just be the friend that budget PC builders are looking for. You can always opt to have a dedicated GPU however, that will raise the price quite a bit for some people. If that is the case for you, going for Ryzen 5 3400G is what you should be doing right now. The integrated graphics of this APU are quite sufficient and can run games like Fortnite and Valorant with ease. AMD does a great job of justifying the price tag of this APU as well, making it a very smart investment.

4. Ryzen 5 2400G

Best Budget APU

Pros

  • Good For 720p Gaming
  • Quite Affordable
  • Great For HTPC Use
  • Can Be Paired With Budget Motherboards Easily

Cons

  • Not For AAA Gaming
  • Older Zen Architecture
  • Memory Incompatibility Issues

2,578 Reviews

Graphics: Radeon RX Vega 11 | Cores: 4 | Threads: 8 | Base Clock: 3.6 GHz | Turbo Clock: 3.9 GHz | Socket: AM4 | Graphics Core Clock Speed: 1250 MHz

Next up on our list is the Ryzen 5 2400G which is surely going to ring some bells. The Ryzen 5 2400G and the Ryzen 5 3400G have quite similar performance metrics. In fact, the Ryzen 5 3400G builds upon the 2400G and offers some additional benefits. However, their graphical prowess remains somewhat similar. The Ryzen 5 2400G was responsible for redefining what it meant for CPUs to have integrated graphics.

Mega Roundup: The Best Motherboards For Gaming

Like the previously mentioned CPU, the Ryzen 5 2400G also has an AM4 socket and will need motherboards that are compatible with that. It is manufactured on 14nm technology and has 4 cores and 8 threads. The Ryzen 5 2400G has a base clock of 3.6GHz and a turbo clock of 3.9GHz. This CPU improves upon the supported memory and has support for DDR4 2933 memory, but it still has some memory incompatibility issues at higher RAM speed that were prevalent with first-generation Ryzen CPUs. Unlike the Ryzen 5 3400G though, it doesn’t have a dedicated high-functioning cooler. Although it does come with a stock cooler, you can consider an affordable upgrade by taking a look at our list of the best budget CPU coolers.

Best APU
AMD Ryzen 5 2400G

The Ryzen 5 2400G offers an incredibly great all-rounding performance that will surely attract many new PC builders. Those who are looking to buy a CPU that can future-proof them or those looking for a budget PC that will let them play some games on decent settings, all are welcomed by the prowess of the Ryzen 5 2400G. It is powered by Radeon RX Vega 11 graphics and has an iGPU clock of 1250MHz. For 720p gaming, this APU is a phenomenal choice and can even support Far Cry Primal at 720p with up 60+ FPS easily. Similarly, games like GTA V, Fortnite, and Dota can be played on this APU with ease.

Related Roundup: Best Motherboards For Ryzen 5000 Series

The Ryzen 5 2400G is an extremely well-designed CPU for everyone. Where the Ryzen 5 2400G’s GPU succeeds in making its mark in the eyes of a budget PC builder, its CPU prowess, high base clock speeds help make its footprint known throughout. The price per performance ratio of the Ryzen 5 2400G is excellent, making it the best budget APU for not just its integrated GPU prowess but as a great component overall.

5. Ryzen 3 3200G

Best Ryzen 3 APU

Pros

  • Good For Light Gaming
  • Decent Clock Speeds
  • Support For DDR4-2933

Cons

  • Older Zen+ Architecture
  • Not For AAA Gaming
  • Only 4 Threads
  • Not Enough Future Proofing Potential

7,026 Reviews

Graphics: Radeon Vega 8 | Cores: 4 | Threads: 4 | Base Clock: 3.6 GHz | Turbo Clock: 4 GHz | Socket: AM4 | Graphics Core Clock Speed: 1250 MHz

By now, you should be well aware that this lineup of AMD CPUs, which they have labeled as APUs, is a great choice for budget PC builds. Not only do you get a CPU, but you also get an integrated GPU with somewhat promising results and gaming metrics in some of the popular and sometimes latest gaming titles. The Ryzen 3 3200G made its name known among the PC community as the CPU that offered almost all of the benefits you would need with a decent integrated GPU.

The Ryzen 3 3200G has 4 cores and 4 threads and, of course, an AM4 socket. It is manufactured on the 12nm technology. It has a base clock speed of 3.6 GHz and a turbo clock speed of 4.0 GHz. This CPU is unlocked and therefore, supports overclocking. However, you should be careful not to go overboard with these since AMD does not cover any damages caused by CPU overclocking. Ryzen 3 3200G would have been an even better CPU had it been able to support multi-threading which restricts each core to running only one instruction set.

Best APU
AMD Ryzen 3 3200G

The Ryzen 3 3200G has Radeon Vega 8 graphics in it. As the name implies it has 8 GPU cores in it. AMD’s APUs have proven that we can now start to have higher expectations from integrated CPUs. Fortunately, the Ryzen 3 3200G does a great job of solidifying that belief. Its 2 GB graphics is capable of running quite a lot of somewhat high-end games. In fact, you can even get away with playing the latest and/or quite popular titles these days such as Valorant, League of Legends, and even Fortnite. Even at 1080p settings, some games were able to run smoothly with 45+ FPS, which is a decent result.

Related Read: Best Motherboards For Ryzen 7 3700X

The Ryzen 3 3200G with its in build integrated graphics is arguably the best Ryzen 3 APU to have. For not just its graphics and gaming performance but overall efficiency, the Ryzen 3 3200G is a solid contender even in today’s market. The architecture is old by today’s standards now but this CPU still will give you worthy and notable performance.

How To Choose The Best APU For Gaming

AMD has vast experience in the accelerated processed unit field with the implementation of integrated graphics being its major selling point. Before Ryzen, AMD debuted its first-generation APUs with A-series processors. It was supposed to target desktop and especially the mobile computing market, outperforming Intel’s integrated graphics at significantly lower price points. The only problem was their significantly slow CPU thus AMD failed to capture a reasonable market share. AMD introduced their APUs again with Zen 2 lineups in hopes to capture the consumers again, whose success we saw after its use in newer gen consoles. There are many APU options on the market not forgetting APUs from the previous generations and many improvements have been made to the performance of central processing and graphics. AMD APUs are now on the rise again so without further ado let’s begin with our factors.

Usage Scenarios

Use cases are an opinionated matter. This is totally on you what you use computers for. Is it a home computer for normal use? Do you use your computer for typing documents, making sheets, presentations, or surfing the web? What type of games do you play? This is up to you to decide. Let us make you an easy option. You can use APUs for normal use, light gaming, and light productivity. The same cannot be said for heavy usage so instead, it’s better to go for higher-performing non-APU options with discrete graphics. Even the latest Zen 3 APU lacks PCIe Gen 4.0 support and has a lower L3 cache which makes them questionable for long-term productivity. On the other hand, these APUs are excellent alternatives to Intel’s CPU lineups that are yet to make any real improvements. Make the right choice!

Price

Last but not least is its price. Again, this is also opinionated but it’s best to get which performs high and doesn’t break the bank. APUs range from less than 100 USD  for entry-level to over 300 USD for the fastest ones. The more you spend, the higher processor and graphics performance you get. If your requirements are higher, go for the premium options instead, no one’s stopping you. In order to get a more detailed idea of all the different angles and points that should be on your list, check out our comprehensive CPU buying guide that will help you make the perfect APU purchase for your build.

While these are some of the more common factors you should consider while purchasing an APU for your build, the list certainly does not end there. APUs are a specialized class of CPUs from AMD and they are a bit different in their application to traditional CPUs, so it makes sense that the buying decision would be a little different as well. Still, if you keep these points in mind, you should be able to purchase the best APU for your build without any hassle.

FAQs

What is a Ryzen APU?

A Ryzen APU is basically a combination of a standard Ryzen CPU with integrated graphics. Now you might be used to getting integrated graphics as standard in Intel CPUs, but they are not usually present in Ryzen CPUs. An APU (or an Accelerated Processing Unit) is AMD’s way of integrating a GPU into the CPU package itself.

Can you use GPU with an APU?

Certainly. Dedicated GPUs can still be used with APUs just like with other Ryzen or Intel CPUs. For this, you should plug in your monitor’s DisplayPort or HDMI cable into the back of the graphics card, rather than the motherboard I/O. This will switch the system over to the dGPU rather than the iGPU in the APU. Maybe you would have to tweak a couple of settings in the BIOS, but other than that it is a very simple process.

What is the most powerful APU?

The Ryzen 5700G is the most powerful APU from the new Zen 3 Cezanne lineup so far. With the processor having 8 cores 16 threads boosting at 4.6 GHz along with the 2000 MHz 8 graphic cores it packs a punch. You can do gaming and light productivity with ease. Its price point also attracts many consumers.

What is the difference between a CPU and an APU?

A Ryzen CPU lacks any integrated graphics whatsoever and requires a dedicated graphics card in order to put out a display signal. An APU on the other hand, combines integrated graphics with the standard CPU and does not require a dGPU to function. APUs can function on their own using integrated graphics, which makes them a solid choice for multimedia PCs, HTPCs, or light gaming PCs.

Ace Luke
Ace Luke is a Washington Accord certified computer engineer with a keen interest in gaming and reviewing computer hardware since childhood.