It is not exactly a secret that Intel dominates the high-end processor market with their Core i7 series of processors. It isn't a secret either that AMD will address any market share below that Core i7 performance level. As such you have been able to see a very dominant implementation of the lovely Phenom II X4 processors and more recently Athlon II X2 processors.
Today AMD once again will raise the bar... or lower it depending from which angle you look at it, by releasing the cheapest quad-core processors to date, the AMD Athlon II X4 620 and 630. That first one, the 620, will be priced at sub 100 USD prices, meaning you get to enjoy and reap the benefits of multi-core processing for 100 USD.
And sure, of course that comes at some sort of price as a lot of cache was cut away from this processor, and thus performance. But you guys, after testing this processor I once again was pretty thrilled about what AMD is doing here.
So this processor has no L3 cache, from the sheer look of it, the Athlon II X4 620/630 are built on off Deneb (Phenom II) design arechitecture. The 2.6GHz X4 620 will cost roughly $100 USD, while the 2.8 GHz X4 630 will be selling for about $125.
A 2.6GHz quad core for $100? That at the very least should raise your eyebrows.
Going back to that Deneb design. The initial Athlon II X4 samples actually were Deneb based and as such some of the early samples were able to have their L3 caches unlocked. This is a thing of the past now as AMD switched over to the less expensive 'Propus' design for the Athlon II X4 620 and 630. Propus doesn't have any physical 6MB L3 cache at all, so your chances of activating it using the ACC will be really slim unless you run into a very early production batch.
The Propus based X4s are manufactured on AMD's 45nm node in Fab 1 in Dresden, with a die size roughly 60% of the Deneb die. Measured at 169 mm² this processor comes packed with roughly 300 million transistors and carries a 95W TDP.
As stated, this really is an exciting release as at $100 USD a pop AMD introduces a quad core processor roughly one and a half times to twice as cheap as Intel's quad core processors.
So let's have a look at the AMD Athlon II X4 620 quad core processor... and take it for a test drive.
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