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.
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