We have plenty of recommendations if you're on the hunt for the best CPU for gaming, and generally speaking you'll want to spend more than $49 even on a budget. But what if you're on a extremely tight budget? Well, AMD's new Athlon 3000G might be an option.
At that price, the Athlon 3000G falls squarely into entry-level territory. Normally we wouldn't expect much at that price. However, one thing that makes this new chip intriguing is it has an unlocked multiplier to making overclocking easier.
AMD is very much pitching that angle, with the usual caveat of the warranty going out the window. And rightfully so—that's a definite selling point for a $49 CPU.
Of course, this is not a beefy chip by any stretch. It's a dual-core processor with SMT support (so 2 cores and 4 threads), with a 3.5GHz base clock, 4MB of L3 cache, and a 35W TDP. It also features Vega 3 graphics, clocked at 1100MHz.
Like the Athlon 200GE, the Athlon 3000G is based AMD's first-generation 14nm Zen CPU architecture. However, the the CPU frequency is 300MHz higher, and the Vega 3 graphics is clocked 100MHz higher.
The unlocked multiplier is the other differentiating factor, and perhaps the biggest one—the Athlon 3000G is the first Zen-based Athlon product to have one. How far it can actual overclock will depend on a variety of factors. That said, TechPowerUp managed to push an all-core x40 multiplier, yielding a 4GHz clockspeed (for a 500MHz overclock).
I'm not seeing the Athlon 3000G on any online retail shelves just yet, but I imagine will be available soon. It could be a good option for a cheap PC, though with Black Friday deals arriving soon, I wouldn't jump gun just yet.