CPU+GPU vs APU: R3-1200 + R7-265 vs R3-2200G with integrated Vega-8

Hello everyone.

After struggling to use Darktable and Gimp on an Intel N4200 - based laptop with 4gb of RAM and integrated HD505 graphics an d a very slow HDD subsystem, I decided to go ahead and put together a pc, however I am very tight on the budget.

Currently I have collected (all used):

  • B350-based AM4 motherboard,
  • 8GB of DDR4 2400Mhz RAM (2x4GB)

and it’s time for CPU/APU/GPU selection.

My options (available used and fitting the budget) are:

CPU: AMD Ryzen 3 1200 (4C/4T - 3.1GHz/3.5GHz) + GPU: AMD R7 265 (2GB)


APU: AMD Ryzen 3 2200G (4C/4T - 3.5/3.7GHz), relying on the integrated Vega 8 GPU

The operating system will be Linux.

Could you please advise on which option is going to give a better performance?

Kind regards,
Arifi Koseoglu

Good morning, @arifi, and welcome!

I do not feel competent to give you any definite answers, just a few comments on what dilemmas I have encountered, so far :slight_smile:

My last three builds have been with Ryzen processors; they all work very fine.

  1. do not rely on “integrated” GPUs. Instead, pick a separate graphics card.

  2. pick a suitable Linux distro, all distros are not able to handle some GPUs (certain AMD cards seem especially problematic; instead, would a used Nvidia GTX-1050 be available in your part of the world?).

  3. when you have decided on a combination, google and duckduckgo for every piece of information from different forums. Would there be an “unpacking” video on youtube?

  4. does your budget allow an SSD disk? And more RAM?

Have fun!
Claes in Lund, Sweden

Almost anything with a discrete GPU will be better than the embedded GPU, so I would go for that.

Good evening @claes, and thanks for the warm welcome and helpful message. I was leaning towards the separate GPU solution, and your message helped make the final decision. I will make sure to check for the GPU support in the distro-to-be-selected. Sadly, the GTX-1050s cost approximately 2.5 times more than the R7-265, so they are not an option currently. Currently I am on a very tight budget, but once things improve the SSD will the first upgrade I will make, probably followed by RAM if necessary.
Again, many thanks for your input.
Best wishes,

Dear @aurelienpierre, many thanks for your input. I will go with the separate GPU, as you also suggest.
Best wishes,

Do your research on the GPU and make sure the OS you want to run has the drivers to support OpenCL!

Will do!

IMHO I would start with the better CPU, a GPU you can stick later into your system.
DDR4 RAM also makes a difference. Look also into NVME SSDs, the smallest one is good enough, and then have a cheap HDD for the big data.

This said, my about 4 year old i3 16Gb RAM, no GPU handles dt very well and my files are sometimes over 100Mb.

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Now, this is the other side of the coin. Thanks for the practical example @st.raw . I would of course like to be able to stick with the 2200g / no GPU option and shift the saved funds to a small m.2 SSD. Especially after having found that the R7-265 is not so much supported on all fronts, and a less capable RX 550 costs more. I wonder whether I could get by with only 8GB of DDR 2400, though. Which i3 do you have, and would you happen to have checked memory usage amounts during a typical dt session?
Kind regards,

I started with 8Gb RAM and then a year later added another 8Gb, the difference was not huge, slightly noticeable. I believe from 16 to 32 you will not notice anything. If money is tight I suggest you start with 8Gb - but make sure your motherboard has space to stick another 8Gb. I have two very similar desktops, one with DDR3 RAM, one with DDR4, DDR4 feels faster. Since the price difference is small, if any, try to get a mobo that supports DDR4 and get DDR4 RAM.

I have not checked memory usage, but I also have a i5-8*** laptop with 8Gb RAM and usually have Chrome open with plenty of tabs, and darktable still runs well enough on it.

I have i3-4160 for two desktops.

I am not sure if graphics plays a role in performance, it probably does, I have one 23" screen connected set to 1920*1080

Many many thanks for the info, @st.raw . Your i3 system is very similar to what I have planned, and this provides a very realistic description of what to expect with what. Very valuable information. I think this is a solid reason for me to go the 2200g + SSD option… It’s amazing how one (well, I) easily switches between options when configuring one’s computer… Or in life in general…