Athlon II X4 630 & 620: Affordable Quad Cores

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Athlon II X4 630 & 620: A Quad Core in Every Pot

September 24, 2009 by Lawrence Lee

Product AMD Athlon II X4 630
AM3 Processor
AMD Athlon II X4 620
AM3 Processor
Manufacturer AMD AMD
MSRP US$120 US$100

The first quad core processors from AMD, the original Phenom line, failed to top the performance of Intel's offerings due in part to low clock speeds and high power consumption. Even though they were modestly priced, they still did not offer enough value to sway most high-end PC builders to AMD's side. As a result, Intel never felt the need to compete with AMD on price, and continued to attach a price premium to their quad core CPUs. Phenom II helped AMD get back into the game, but they continued too kept their quad cores at a distance with $200+ price-tags. The poor, unwashed masses with only $100 to spare could not dream of having any more than a simple dual core CPU.


Athlon II X4 die image. 4 individual cores with their own L2 caches, and no L3 cache at all.


Our Athlon II X4 630 and 620 samples.

The newly released Athlon II X4 630 and 620 finally brings quad core computing to the $100 level. With respective prices of $120 and $100, the 2.8 GHz X4 630 and 2.6 GHz X4 620 takes a serious stab at undercutting the $140 Q8200, currently Intel's cheapest quad core. Like the Athlon II X2, the X4 models lack the ample L3 cache of the Phenom II's. While this will undoubtedly have an impact on performance, it also makes manufacturing these CPUs much cheaper. With prices like these, even the most frugal PC builders will be compelled to take a look.

Comparison Table: $100~$150 Desktop Processors
Model
Clock Speed
Total L2 Cache
Total L3 Cache
TDP
Street Price*
Phenom II X4 810
2.60 GHz
2MB
4MB
95W
$145
Core 2 Quad Q8200
2.33 GHz
4MB
N/A
95W
$140
Athlon II X4 630
2.80 GHz
2MB
N/A
95W
$123
Phenom II X3 720 BE
2.80 GHz
1.5MB
6MB
95W
$119
Core 2 Duo E7500
2.80 GHz
3MB
N/A
65W
$120
Phenom II X2 550 BE
3.10 GHz
1MB
6MB
80W
$102
Athlon II X4 620
2.60 GHz
2MB
N/A
95W
$99
Pentium E6500
2.93 GHz
2MB
N/A
65W
$95
* best prices from Newegg/PriceGrabber as of September 21st, 2009

Besides the Q8200, the X4 630's main competition comes from its own triple core cousin, the X3 720 Black Edition. The lower clocked X4 620 really has no equal as its price puts it squarely in dual core country. Its performance against its closest rivals, the Pentium E6500 and X2 550 Black Edition will depend mainly on the application, and whether it supports multiple threads.


CPU-Z screenshot: X4 630 at load.


CPU-Z screenshot: X4 620 at load.



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