Graphics cards are coming down in price now (finally), but shelves aren’t yet flush with affordable cards. One workaround is to purchase an APU, or a CPU with supercharged integrated graphics. We recommended this tactic last year and it still works well now—especially since the street prices of the Ryzen 5 5600G (MSRP $260) and Ryzen 7 5700G processors (MSRP $360) have plummeted with the recent launch of new CPU lineups from AMD and Intel. You can now play most games at 720p or 1080p resolution for well under these APUs’ list price. In the last few months, the 5600G’s cost dropped by almost half and the 5700G by about one-third.
The beauty of this approach is that you can play games now on this one purchase, then snag a graphics card at your leisure (and within budget). The CPU cores in these APUs are very good for mainstream gaming, as our Ryzen 7 5700G review showed.
The 5600G offers 6 cores and 12 threads, paired with 7 Radeon graphics cores clocked at 1.9GHz. The step-up 5700G bumps that up to 8 cores and 16 threads, alongside 8 Radeon cores running at 2GHz. Most shoppers on a budget are better off with the cheaper part, unless you have a specific need for the higher CPU core count in the Ryzen 7 chip.
How we test CPUs
We evaluate CPUs based on the benchmark results that span multiple use categories. Gaming performance is a key focus, and we run both synthetic tests (that is, dedicated benchmarking programs) and in-game benchmarks in a variety of modern titles. Our current suite includes Far Cry 6, Strange Brigade, Horizon Zero Dawn, Metro Exodus, Gears Tatics, CS: Go, Red Dead Redemption, Ashes of the Singularity, and Dirt 5. We also evaluate CPU reviews from our peers for models we haven’t tested yet.
Test PCs are built with the CPU’s capabilities in mind—for example, AMD’s Ryzen 7950X and Intel’s Core i9-13900K support DDR5 RAM. Rival and older chips used for comparison are retested at the same time, with a similar use of appropriate contemporaneous hardware. In all our test rigs, we use a current high-end flagship graphics card to better isolate differences in the CPUs’ performance.