AMD Athlon II X4 620: Quad-Core Processor Power for $100
So, with Intel stealing some thunder with the launch of the Core i5 and core i7 Lynnfield processors, AMD struck back by focusing on its strengths: somewhat similar performance at a significantly lower price tag.
That’s the conclusion of Tom’s Hardware, who were able to put the budget-friendly 45nm Athlon II X4 620 through its paces. Running at 2.6GHz on the “Propus” core, AMD’s new creation seems similar to Intel’s Q8200, also a quad-core processor. It’s clear the $100 SRP means limitations for AMD’s offering, like a lower cache and limited processing independence between the chip’s different cores, but again, AMD was always about value for money, instead of performance at a premium.
Even better, aside from the low cost of AMD motherboards compared to those design to run Intel CPUS, upgrading to the new processor doesn’t necessitate a motherboard change. The money quote at Tom’s:
Finally, we want to point at the fact that the new processors, be it the Athlon II X3 or X4, are perfectly able to run on old Socket AM2 platforms. Should you consider keeping your mature Athlon 64 X2 system a while longer—let’s say until SATA/600 and USB 3.0 become mainstream in mid-2010—then buying an Athlon II X4 as a replacement for an older Athlon 64 X2 seems like a perfect option. Just be sure to check your motherboard manufacturer’s Web site for BIOS updates before purchasing.
Unfortunately, it seems demand has pushed up prices of this processor since it went on sale last week. It’s now out-of-stock on NewEgg, and prices on Google Product Search are $10-$20 higher than the $100 SRP.