AMD launches £80 quad core processor

AMD launches £80 quad core processor

The new Athlon II X4 Propus die shot that launches today for just $100.

AMD has today launched its cheapest quad core CPU to date, retailing at just $100, or a fraction under £80. The Athlon brand has yet again been revived under the Athlon II X4 name, with the new 620 and 630 parts having clock speeds of 2.6GHz and 2.8GHz respectively.

What's difference between the Athlon II and Phenom II and why the Athlon name? L3 cache - like the Athlon II X2 250, the X4 doesn't have any either.

Unlike the Athlon II X2 however, the X4 will suffer more from the lack of a unified cache and snoop filter between L1 and L2 inter-core traffic, so main memory will have to be used instead, slowing things down. However, the upside is that without all those L3 transistors potentially limiting the CPU it may overclock pretty well. Neither is a Black Edition model though, so HyperTransport overclocking is the only option, which requires a good board to start with.

The Athlon II X4 has a transistor count of just 40 percent that of the Phenom II X4, and subsequently uses about half the die space too, however the TDP is still rated to 95W for both new models.

the bit-tech review will be here shortly (we had just six days notice!), but if you do buy one in the mean time let us know how you get on in the forums!


Discuss in the forums Reply
Andy Mc 16th September 2009, 14:19 Quote
£80?!?!?! OMG. This would be ideal for a 2nd rig.....
Casefan 16th September 2009, 14:21 Quote
I think this quite a smart move, should get plenty of sales.
Tyrmot 16th September 2009, 14:27 Quote
MrP 16th September 2009, 15:17 Quote
i'd be interested if this could be a better CPU for your folding computer recommendations
EnglishLion 16th September 2009, 15:37 Quote
This is great mainstream marketing ploy. Most people have more than enough power with a low end dual core for their surfing/email needs. But if they can have a quad core instead for the same price they'll obviously jump at the chance - either way they have more than enough power so it really doesn't matter if it's got L3 cache etc.

Just reliant now on the mainstream PC assemblers such as Dell, Acer etc to start offering them...
l3v1ck 16th September 2009, 16:21 Quote
That's a awfully high TDP for such a low specification CPU. That rules out near silent cooling for living room PC's
trig 16th September 2009, 18:33 Quote
i like this....alot. nice one amd.
thehippoz 16th September 2009, 19:08 Quote
guru actually recommended the phenom II over this for gaming.. the L3 cache
dyzophoria 16th September 2009, 19:10 Quote
i was expecting less wattage from it as well, nice try by amd though :)
yakyb 16th September 2009, 22:07 Quote
yeah power usage is far to high

however we will see how it holds out when bit get to review one

(you will be reviewing this won't you?)
leexgx 17th September 2009, 00:00 Quote
The athlon II 45nm chips run very cool I had one running folding on it (X2 3ghz) and it did not warm up that's the the provided heatsink , I am guessing now with no L3 cache they should only be warming up now, I just on the same day got an phonem x4 I would of likey got that as I wanted my server to run cooler (going from am 9850 to it should run cooler any way due to been on 45nm now)
xprodancer 17th September 2009, 01:42 Quote
i will wait for the bit-tech review to comment on this!!!!
TheMusician 17th September 2009, 02:22 Quote
Wow. I didn't expect it to beat the Phenom II 550 in as many things as it did. The quad-core really does make a difference.
trig 17th September 2009, 03:22 Quote
Originally Posted by thehippoz
guru actually recommended the phenom II over this for gaming.. the L3 cache

well sure, and i recommend the i7 920 over the phenom. in fact, and i thought the comment was a little odd, he recommended the 720 over this because it's close in price and can overclock well. he hasnt figured out what this chip will do in terms of oc. seems to me you should go stock for stock in that case. but what this chip is about is giving you a quad core for a very low price point, not beating the phenoms at gaming.:D
dec 17th September 2009, 03:32 Quote
ive been waiting for this chip forever. now it seems like the phenom ii quads are expensive. i mean an extra $70 (to get a phenom ii 945) just for L3 cache? Id rather spend an extra $20 and get 1 less core a unlocked multiplier and the cache
Mante 17th September 2009, 03:52 Quote
Im getting this for playing and using the saved money for a greater video car, OC this chip without a single extra millivolt at 3.25GHz i think its a good deal. I do alot of multi tasking too
p3n 17th September 2009, 08:39 Quote
AMD are becoming VIA :/
eek 17th September 2009, 10:41 Quote
Originally Posted by p3n
AMD are becoming VIA :/
IMO AMD are going where the money is which makes excellent business sense! There is so little money to be made from the enthusiasts - the market is too small. These processors are more powerful than 90% of people are ever going to need (for now!) and they are at such an attactive price that OEMs are going to be all over them.

OEMs are able to shift massive quantities of machines based on a few key buzzwords. The low low price coupled with the fact that these are quad core makes them an instant success. Does the average Joe know, or even care about level 3 cache? It's not going to make Internet Explorer and Office any more sluggish.

VIA are all about platform size and embedded platforms. I don't get the comparison?
[USRF]Obiwan 17th September 2009, 11:18 Quote
^ +1

A very nice system upgrade. Throw in some inexpensive motherboard ram and maybe a more recent videocard with video acceleration and GPU video/audio/processing support for programs like photoshop, videoediting etc and you have a workstation for almost anything for maybe 350 euro!
Geoff x 17th September 2009, 17:45 Quote
There are now claims that some Athlon II X4s are really Phenom II X4s and can have the level 3 cache unlocked...
TheMusician 17th September 2009, 20:12 Quote
this processor reminds me of that $80 Pentium Dual-Core E2160 that TomsHardware overclocked to 3.4GHz- it performed identically to a ~$180 Core 2 Duo E6750 in several games.

However unlike that, this AMD chip seems to be well-rounded. In the E2160 experiment, when it came to actual work (rendering/compressing), it performed as weak as you'd expect it to- it was no match to any C2D.
Shagbag 20th September 2009, 14:42 Quote
Originally Posted by
AMD has today launched its cheapest quad core CPU to date, retailing at just $100, or a fraction under £80.
Thomas Cook only charges me £65 to get $100.

Welcome to rip-off Britain.
law99 24th September 2009, 14:43 Quote
Rip-off or not when it comes to British prices, it's still a damn site closer to what I want to pay for 4 cores. Performance is perfect for my needs. Probably overkill even.
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