Question Athlon 200GE...a usage review

punkncat

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Apr 3, 2018
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I wanted to share some of my own thoughts about this CPU. I was looking to build a cheap storage solution/NAS replacement and it was suggested to me in my advice thread.

First, I would say that you would be HARD pressed to find anything new, for $45 and "ok" on board graphics that would truly hands down beat it's performance for what it is. Let me restate for WHAT IT IS. It's AM4, 2 core/4 thread performance with the Vega 3 graphics is decent for the price. The built in Vega graphics use 2GB of your installed RAM. Keep that in mind for usage requirements with your specific programs. If you have a situation where you would like to put together a budget targeted build with some of your left over AM4 parts and some older/slower RAM this is an excellent place to start. I note that it "says" it won't OC, however when paired with a B350 chipset the manual clock and voltage settings were open to be changed.

It does general surfing and (very) mild productivity tasks well enough that if you were looking to bargain basement a working AM4 build while you saved some money up for something more powerful it certainly fits the bill. In regards to my original purpose as a storage backup, it's perfect. It uses very little power, runs really cool even on it's hardest load, and is great for a small form factor build with the onboard graphics doing away with the need for a GPU. It does not resolve pages quickly for surfing, in reference to media rich applications. It isn't super good at multi page tab applications. I cannot imagine a situation where it would perform in a truly acceptable way for gaming. I have seen some video reviews indicating it does, but see it as an exercise in frustration at best. Something to add in regards to heat production. The heatsink and fan this comes with are just this side of a joke. I happened to have a Stealth left over from the upgrade I did on an R7. I would HIGHLY suggest looking into the use of another fan unless you don't mind it running what I project would be much hotter.

I would point out that IF you were going to use this for watching video or movies, like an HTPC it would be best used for 720 resolution. It will do 1080, but find that 30 frames is probably the sweet spot there. You will find it doing a bit of stuttering under camera pan or high action in anything above 1080/30.
Where it will resolve 4K, don't bother. I figure that if you were to pair this with a low powered GPU it would likely do pretty well as an HTPC, but in that usage case you really are able to move up into a whole better class of performance with the R3 variants with or without the onboard graphics, at twice the cost or more of course.

It was suggested to me that this machine would run a Plex server....and it "will", but would specify that it's only going to work well for local streaming, no encoding, and in honesty has rather made a mess of the library results with a few titles. IE, the source file is still fine but have run across multiple mistakes in the player file such as wrong videos, incomplete videos, etc. I have had to go in and manually find and fix several of my movie titles. This is an issue I did not experience when using this service with a more powerful machine.
I would also point out that when adding a large music file to the machine it ran it like I was running some manner of benchmark. It really did not like the updating aspect of doing so. Now that it's in there and updated/current it seems to be happy and I haven't run across any errors such as with the movie files.

I would suggest that if you were looking for a super simple, super cheap single user browsing point, or something to mirror files with no specific need of spectacular graphics this is the chip for the job. To be fair, I installed Windows 10 Pro to this machine so that I can run it remotely and have no monitor or keyboard (etc.) hooked to it in that location. I would be willing to bet that it would perform MUCH better with a light OS such as an Ubuntu build or the like. In spite of it's shortcomings on power it does what it can do well enough, is stable, and was cheaper than any but the most cheesy NAS/storage units. I built this up in a super small case, it doesn't get hot and tucks pretty much anywhere you want it to sit in that form factor. If I decide to upgrade to something more powerful in the future, it was only $45 of build budget to change.

All in all I would put it as a recommend with those shortcomings in mind.
 
Test results

H.264 / VC-1
BBB – H.264 8bit – Simple@L1 – 1080p@25fps – 7 Mbps
Samsung Oceanic Life – H.264 8bit – High@L5.1 – 1080p@30fps – 40 Mbps
Timelapse – H.264 8bit – High@L5.1 – 4K@24fps – 43 Mbps
Anime – H.264 10bit – High 10@L5.1 – 1080p@24fps – 10 Mbps
MKV – VC-1 – Advance@L3 – 1080p@24fps – 17 Mbps
H.265 / VP9 SDR
Tears of steel – HVEC 8bit – Main@L6.2@Main – 1080p@24fps – 17 Mbps
Samsung UHD Dubai – HVEC 10bit – Main 10@L5.2@Main – 4K@24fps – 51 Mbps
Jellyfish – HVEC 10bit – Main 10@L6.1@High – 4K@30fps – 392 Mbps
Anime – HVEC 10bit – Main 10@L4@Main – 1080p@24fps – 21 Mbps
Eye of the Storm – VP9 – 4K@24fps – 14 Mbps
H.265 / VP9 HDR
Life of Pi HDR10 – HVEC 10bit – Main 10@L5.1@High – 4K@24fps – 45 Mbps
LG Demo – Dolby Vision – HVEC 12bit – Main 10@L5@Main – 4K@24fps – 30 Mbps
Planet Earth II – HDR HLG 10bit – Main 10@L5@High – 4K@25fps – 31 Mbps
The world in HDR – VP9 Profile 2 10bit – 4K@60fps – 20 Mbps
Peru 8K HDR – VP9 Profile 2 10bit – 8K@60fps – 20 Mbps



It really depends on what you want to playback on what your FPS results will be, 60fps @ 4K is quite possible under H.265 / VP9 HDR.
 

punkncat

Commendable
Apr 3, 2018
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It really depends on what you want to playback on what your FPS results will be, 60fps @ 4K is quite possible under H.265 / VP9 HDR.

I see your chart says it, but real world usage on YouTube, Netflix, and local media files doesn't back it up. That Peru vid practically crippled it at 4k, much less 1080.
 

punkncat

Commendable
Apr 3, 2018
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I have to add on to say that the more I attempt to use Plex with it, the more disappointed I am getting. It will (finally) resolve the video aspects to my smart TV/Android/Firestick apps. It absolutely will NOT resolve video to any of the other PC devices in the house. It will not resolve music to any of them. What I find odd is that I get a player open with a spinning "loading" wheel. No sound, no player.....however, if I browse to the Plex server directly via remote the dashboard says it's playing.
Even with the above devices that will resolve the video, if I fast forward, rewind, or pause too long the 'feed' will crash to a blank player. The only way to bring it back is to back out and start completely over.

It may have been overkill to say this thing actually will work as a true Plex server. If I surf to the shared folder via another machine it will stream fine that way, as the file transfer that it actually is.

I guess I am at a point of deciding whether I truly want to stay with it's envisioned usage or truly make it my new Plex player with an upgrade to an R3 perhaps?
To be so negative is a bit disingenuous in light of the usage that I proposed and considered the build for. It is an amazing little storage unit. It runs Windows 10 in a way that makes the remote operation do what I wanted with an OS and file system I am familiar with. My taking the suggestion on running the Plex was unqualified and I simply may be expecting too much of it.
 

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