Earlier this month, AMD officially announced its Ryzen 8000G series desktop processors at CES 2024. Known as Accelerated Processing Units (APUs), these new processors come with AMD's latest Zen 4 core architecture and RDNA 3 graphics. The new series consists of four different products: two high-end models based on Phoenix 1 chips, and two entry-level products based on Phoenix 2.
According to the official specifications published by Gigabyte for its B650E AORUS ELITE X AX ICE motherboard, the two Phoenix 2 chips, Ryzen 5 8500G and Ryzen 3 8300G, will only offer PCIe 4.0 x4 functionality for graphics cards. In contrast, the Phoenix 1 APUs, the Ryzen 7 8700G and Ryzen 5 8600G, will support PCIe 4.0 x8. A similar situation applies to the M.2 lanes, which will be reduced from PCIe 4.0 x4 in the two Phoenix 1 chips to PCIe 4.0 x2 for the Phoenix 2, almost halving SSD performance.
This means that the two lower than 8000G chips will only be able to drive a PCIe 4.0 SSD with two lanes instead of four and external graphics cards with only four lanes instead of the 8 or 16 supported by most modern desktops platforms. Unlike the Ryzen 7000, none of the 8000G APUs support PCIe 5.0.
The support for fewer PCIe lanes is expected to have a negative impact on SSD speed and GPU performance, especially if you're considering installing high-end components. However, that shouldn't be a problem for entry-level graphics cards, many of which still only support 4x PCIe 4.0 lanes.
Reports claim that AMD had originally only listed single-channel memory support for the Phoenix 2 APUs, but this has since been updated to show dual-channel memory support for the 8300G. While a single channel would still have offered enough bandwidth to drive iGPUs, it wouldn't have been enough to extract full performance from graphics cards, so dual-channel support is definitely good news.
In the coming months, it will be interesting to see how these new processors perform against their predecessors and competitors.