Putting It All Together: Best Value Combos

Well, that didn't look particularly good for AMD to be honest. It has to be said though that virtually all of the discrete graphics cards featured in this comparison are quite good. Most gamers might scoff at a GTX 750 Ti in 2018, but it still packs 640 CUDA cores in a 148mm2 die and with 2GB of dedicated GDDR5 memory on a 192-bit wide bus it enjoys a bandwidth of 88GB/s.

My point being that there is no integrated GPU that has ever been able to hold a candle to something like that and you could say the same of the Raven Ridge APUs frankly, but they do a significantly better job than anything that has come before them.

Here's a quick look at the eight game break down using the 1080p data.

The GTX 750 Ti was on average 38% faster than the 2400G and 60% faster than the 2200G across the eight games tested, and that's a bit brutal to be honest. It gets quite a bit worse when we look at the R7 370, GTX 660 Ti and so on, but the performance deficit shown by the APUs could very well shake out when it comes to pricing.

With its CPU and GPU combo, AMD's 2200G costs just $100 and the 2400G is $170. Comparatively, it's much more difficult to put any given price on a used graphics card because of market fluctuations.

As is the case with new graphics cards, pricing from a few months ago is completely irrelevant today. For example, three months ago $30 bought you a GTX 750 Ti while getting one for that price today won't be easy, though it also isn't impossible, especially depending on where you are in the world.

Hopping over to eBay.com, so far this month the average selling price for a GTX 750 Ti is $68, which is about what you can expect to pay. Of course you might also get lucky and pay just $40, or you might simply not do your research and get rolled for about $90. You could also find the deal of a lifetime and then receive a lemon -- it's all in the fun of second-hand shopping.

I've worked out the average selling price for all the used graphics cards featured in this article and done a cost per frame analysis across the board (shown above) and unfortunately for AMD, it appears to place the APUs in rather poor light. However, we are missing a key ingredient here in that the AMD APUs include a CPU for their price, while the R7 370 or GTX 750 Ti or any of the other discrete graphics cards will need this cost added separately.

For testing, I used the Core i3-8100 and that costs $115, which needs to be added to the GPU cost, so we've done that with another graph:

That looks much better for the Raven Ridge APUs. The 2200G in particular is very competitive, but you'll undoubtedly have noticed that it's still not the best value option. The Core i3-8100 paired with the GTX 760 was about 10% better in terms of value despite costing twice as much. The GTX 580 is also slightly better as well though that particular card uses copious amounts of power.

In terms of value, the 2200G is excellent, especially when compared to brand new hardware. The 2400G is still a decent option, but for budget shoppers it's far less attractive and it's not terribly difficult to get a better deal while second-hand shopping, which pretty much falls in line with what I said in our day one Raven Ridge coverage.

That said, this still isn't the full story. Both the Core i3-8100 and Raven Ridge APUs will require a new motherboard and DDR4 memory. If you already have a B350 motherboard, you aren't 'upgrading' to an APU -- that doesn't make sense. So, if we factor in motherboard and memory prices, things change quite a bit.

This next graph adds $70 to all configurations for a B350 or B360 motherboard (we expect the latter to be out soon) as well as $85 for 8GB of DDR4-2400 memory for the Core i3-8100 configuration and $105 worth of DDR4-3200 memory for the APUs. The total platform cost for each configuration is listed in the following graph.

The APUs look a lot less attractive once you factor in the entire platform cost, being a considerably poorer value than the Core i3-8100 when paired with a second-hand GPU. As I said in my day one review, the Raven Ridge APUs are a better value than the Core i3 with a new graphics card, but we can now confirm that second-hand cards give an edge to such a combo. It's also interesting to note that the 2200G was 32% cheaper than the 2400G when comparing only the price of the APU, while the 2200G works out to just 8% cheaper when accounting for the entire platform cost.

Depending on your needs and how you are going about building or upgrading your system, AMD's new APUs may or may not be the right call. If you’re building a brand new PC from the ground up and you're confident that you can get a decent graphics card on the second-hand market, then you're best off with the Core i3-8100.

The i3-8100 plus GTX 760 combo for example might cost twice as much as the 2200G, but once you factor in the price of a motherboard and memory, that $100 difference over the 2200G becomes a lot less significant -- the combo costs just 30% more here. Then if you were to also factor in the cost of a case, power supply and so on, the margin continues to shrink.

So why recommend the APUs at all? Compared to other new hardware options, they are very cost effective. Not everyone can or wants to buy second-hand, and there's obvious pitfalls to doing so. For those who are happy with a low-end gaming solution but would like a platform they can build upon for years to come, the 2200G is a unique choice. Get yourself a decent B350 motherboard, some DDR4 memory and in a year or two you could be rocking an affordable 8-core/16-thread CPU.

The 2400G isn't quite as attractive but with four cores and eight threads it will be a solid gamer for years to come with excellent frame time performance. Drop in a mid-range to high-end graphics card down the track and you're good to go.

Of course, this all gets more complicated when you introduce other CPUs. For example, you can purchase the G4560 with a H110 motherboard plus a second-hand GTX 760 for the same price as the 2200G and in most games it will be a lot faster. However, the 2200G is more powerful for non-gaming tasks and for the G4560 to make sense you have to rely on getting a good graphics card for the right price.