AMD Athlon 200GE brings Zen cores to low-end PCs

If you think you haven't heard anything about AMD's Athlon brand in a long while, you're probably not alone. Once the premiere line of AMD processors, the Athlon has taken a step back and practically disappeared, especially with the introduction of the new Zen CPU architecture and the Ryzen processors. AMD, however, isn't done with the brand yet and is pushing it back into the spotlight with the Athlon 200GE, its first Athlon to use Zen cores and an integrated Radeon Vega GPU.

With AMD's Ryzen facing off with Intel's Core processors, the Athlon is now being prepped to handle its rival's low to mid-range products, especially those that go into laptops and even tablets. In other words, AMD's Athlons will be competing in the same market as Intel's Celerons and Pentiums. Almost like the old days but on a lower rung of the ladder.

The Athlon 200GE, for example, is the cheapest Zen-based processor to date. Only $55. Before you let your jaw drop, you should probably know the sacrifices AMD had to make to bring the price down. Like having only 2 cores (with 4 threads) instead of the lowest Ryzen (Ryzen 3 1300X) with 4 cores, 4 threads. It also only has a 35W TDP, which may or may not actually be a good thing, depending on what it's being used for.

It does have, however, Radeon Vega graphics built-in. Only 3 compute units (CU), though. But, over all, AMD the whole system-on-chip, which has a non-overclockable 3.2 GHz frequency, will be powerful enough (and power efficient enough) for basic computing tasks, including some light gaming and HD movies. Given the figures, it seems almost like the perfect fit for mobile PCs.

The AMD Athlon 200GE will go on sale on September 18 for the aforementioned $55 price tag. There will also be an Athlon 220GE and Athlon 240GE coming next quarter, with details still to be released. AMD has also announced an Athlon PRO 200GE version with the exact same specs but with special features designed for commercial customers and OEMs.