best apu for gaming

Best APU for gaming 2024: AMD Ryzen APUs for all budgets

Our pick for the best APUs for gaming

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While we always reccomend you buy a dedicated graphics card for your gaming PC, we understand that not everyone can afford such luxuries. Not to worry, the best APU for gaming can also deliver some graphical performance, although they do come with limitations. An APU or accelerated processing unit is essentially a CPU and a GPU bundled together, completely negating the need for a dedicated GPU altogether. While some standard AMD and Intel processors offer integrated graphics, they are not quite as good as AMD’s Ryzen APUs for gaming.

Gaming APU alternatives you need to consider

The APU has a few niche use cases where it comes out on top but the truth is that you will never get the same performance or value from one of these over a CPU and dedicated GPU. For those looking to build an ultra-compact SFF HTPC, you are not spoilt for choice and an APU makes a lot of sense. However, if you are building a smaller form factor build with some wiggle room you may want to consider a low-profile graphics card and CPU pairing instead.

Some shopping for an APU may think it is a money saver but that is not the case. Modern APUs cost somewhere between $200-$300 for the best, which is pretty much the same cost as an entry-level CPU and GPU. An entry-level CPU such as the Intel Core i3-12100F paired with one of AMDs Radeon RX 6600 cards will more than double your in-game performance! So before you make any APU purchase, make sure you need one first.

Best APU for gaming: AMD Ryzen 7 5700G

AMD Ryzen 7 5700G

Core/ threads

8 cores 16 threads

Speed

4.6 GHz

CPU socket

AM4

Pros
  • Faster Zen 3 CPU cores
  • Solid 1080p gaming, excellent 720p
  • Superior power consumption and efficiency
  • Expansive overclocking headroom
  • Bundled cooler
  • Compatible with some AM4 motherboards
Cons
  • 5600G model has a better price-to-performance ratio
  • PCIe 3.0 connectivity

The Ryzen 7 5700G, operating at 65W with eight cores and 16 threads, provides a base clock of 3.8 GHz and a boost clock of 4.6 GHz. It includes 16MB of L3 cache and eight Radeon RX Vega CUs clocked at 2.0 GHz. Compared to the Ryzen 7 5800X, you gain the Radeon graphics engine but sacrifice 100 MHz of peak boost clocks and half the L3 cache. Additionally, it steps back from 24 lanes of PCIe 4.0 support to 20 lanes of PCIe 3.0. The Ryzen 7 5700G proves to be an excellent choice for gamers relying on a standalone GPU.

Next best APU for gaming: Ryzen 5 5600G

AMD Ryzen 5 5600G

Speed

3.9GHz – 4.4GHz

Core (threads)

6 (12)

Socket

AM4

Graphics

Vega 7

Pros
  • Strong gaming performance on integrated graphics
  • Aggressive pricing within AMD’s CPU stack
  • Regularly outperforms competition from Intel
  • Includes Wraith Stealth cooler in the box
  • Compatible with the Radeon Software suite
Cons
  • Slightly slower integrated-graphics gaming performance than Ryzen 7 5700G
  • Limited motherboard compatibility at launch

Targeted at budget-conscious builders, the Ryzen 5 5600G offers an appealing option for gamers in 2023. Despite its affordability, this processor delivers comparable gaming performance to its predecessor, the 3400G, while offering more cores, threads, and an improved design. With 6 cores and 12 threads, operating at a base clock speed of 3.9GHz and a boost clock speed of 4.4GHz, the Ryzen 5 5600G also features 16MB of L3 cache, albeit with reduced L2 cache at 3MB. Equipped with AMD’s VEGA 7 iGPU, clocked at 1.9GHz and comprising 448 stream processors, this APU proves to be a strong performer on integrated graphics.

Best Budget gaming APU: Ryzen 3 3200G

AMD Ryzen 3 3200G

Speed

3.6GHz – 4.0GHz

Core (threads)

4/4

Socket

AM4

TDP

65W

Pros
  • Very affordable
  • Can play a range of titles in low reoslutions/ graphics
Cons
  • Entry level
  • Older generation

If you are on the strictest budget possible, you may only be able to fit the Ryzen 3 32000G APU into your build. While this APU can achieve some FPS across a range of titles, especially older esports ones, it comes with some heavy limitations. This APU will deliver lower FPS numbers than the 5600/5700G options and you will have to play almost every game in low resolutions and graphics for entry-level performance. Please take a look at online benchmarking before buying a 3200G.

What is an APU?

Calling an APU the combination of a CPU and GPU on the same chip is the easiest way to describe one. An APU is ideal for the likes of an office PC where you may need a slight boost in graphics over standard iGPUs (integrated graphics). APUs are often very affordable and have offered super-budget-orientated gamers an affordable solution for years. An APU cannot get near the performance levels of modern GPUs, or for that matter consoles but they still serve a purpose. You may also want to grab the best thermal paste to ensure you get the absolute best performance from your new APU.

APU FAQs

What is the most powerful APU for gaming?

Currently, it is one of AMD Ryzen APUs that are the most powerful, with Intel integrated graphics lagging behind.

Is An APU good for gaming?

An APU is suitable for low-end games that require entry-level specs to play but for modern titles or epsorts they are not recommended.

In Summary

All-in-all, the best APU for gaming is your only alternative to a dedicated GPU. If you feel like a graphics card is out of your budget, you should consider the used or graded markets. Regardless, If you want to play some games competitive games with friends while hopping on a Discord call, our top APU picks will deliver some results.

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