Athlon II X4 610e & Phenom II X4 910e: 45W & 65W Quad Cores

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AMD X4 610e & 910e: 45W & 65W Quad Cores Processors

June 27, 2010 by Lawrence Lee

Product Athlon II X4 610e
AM3 Processor
Phenom II X4 910e
AM3 Processor
Manufacturer AMD AMD
List Price US$145 US$175

It has been 4 years since Intel took the reins from AMD with Core 2, claiming the performance crown and never looking back. To this day, AMD remains dominated by their Santa Clara rivals, particularly in the high-end processor market. While the glory days of Athlon 64 are long over, recently it seems they have returned to their roots, delivering tremendous value with their budget CPUs, the kind of chips that made them the popular alternative to Intel in the first place. It is simply amazing that today you can purchase a reasonably fast triple and quad core AMD desktop processor for as little as US$70 and US$100 respectively.

AMD is also known for producing energy efficient chips, models that are easily recognizable by a lower case 'E' at the end. These CPUs are typically expensive compared to the standard models and do not offer a great performance to cost ratio. They do run cooler though and are thus ideal in smaller cases where heat and the noise associated with dissipating it are problematic. The two main question are A. are they as energy efficient as AMD claims, and B. are they worth the extra cost?

AM3/LGA1156 4-thread Processors under US$200
Model
Clock Speed
Cache
(L2+L3)
TDP
Street Price†
Athlon II X4 610e
2.4 GHz
2 MB
45W
$145*
Athlon II X4 630
2.8 GHz
2 MB
95W
$100
Athlon II X4 635
2.9 GHz
2 MB
95W
$100
Athlon II X4 640
3.0 GHz
2MB
95W
$120
Phenom II X4 810
2.6 GHz
2+4 MB
95W
$140
Phenom II X4 910e
2.6 GHz
2+6 MB
65W
$175*
Phenom II X4 925
2.8 GHz
2+6 MB
95W
$140
Phenom II X4 945
3.0 GHz
2+6 MB
95W
$160
Phenom II X4 955 BE
3.2 GHz
2+6 MB
125W
$160
Phenom II X4 965 BE
3.4 GHz
2+6 MB
125W
$180
Core i3-530
2.93 GHz
0.5+4 MB
73W
$115
Core i3-540
3.06 GHz
0.5+4 MB
73W
$140
Core i5-650
3.2 GHz
0.5+4 MB
73W
$180
Core i5-660
3.33 GHz
0.5+4 MB
73W
$200
Core i5-661
3.33 GHz
0.5+4 MB
87W
$200
Core i5-750
2.66 GHz
1+8 MB
95W
$200
prices rounded to nearest US$5
*retail 1000-unit tray price
Tested processors are in bold.

Enter the Athlon II X4 610e and the Phenom II X4 910e, a pair of quad core chips with thermal design powers of 45W and 65W respectively. The downside is they are clocked much slower than the competition. We will do our best to quantify the performance and power difference.


CPU-Z screenshot: X4 610e at load.


CPU-Z screenshot: X4 610e at idle.

The Athlon II X4 610e is a US$145 processor with a TDP of only 45W, a clock speed of 2.4 GHz, and 2MB (4 x 512KB) of L2 cache. Our sample had very low operating voltages, 0.853V when idle, and 1.059V on load according to CPU-Z.


CPU-Z screenshot: X4 910e at load.


CPU-Z screenshot: X4 910e at idle.

The Phenom II X4 910e is a US$175 processor with a TDP of 65W, a clock speed of 2.6 GHz, 2MB (4 x 512KB) of L2 cache, 6MB of L3 cache (L3 cache is the main difference between the Phenom II and Athlon II). Our sample had operating voltages of 0.982V when idle and 1.147V on load according to CPU-Z.



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