Athlon II X4 630 & 620: Affordable Quad Cores

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TEST METHODOLOGY

Common Test Platform:

Intel LGA775:

AMD AM3:

Measurement and Analysis Tools

  • CPU-Z to monitor CPU frequency and voltage.
  • CPUBurn processor stress software.
  • Prime95 processor stress software.
  • Cyberlink PowerDVD to play H.264/VC-1/Blu-ray video.
  • Eset NOD32 as an anti-virus benchmark.
  • WinRAR as an archiving benchmark.
  • iTunes an audio encoding benchmark.
  • TMPGEnc Xpress as a video encoding benchmark.
  • PCMark05 as a general system benchmark.
  • Seasonic Power Angel AC power meter, used to measure the power consumption of the system.
  • Custom-built, four-channel variable DC power supply, used to power and regulate the CPU fan.

Benchmark Test Details

  • Eset NOD32: In-depth virus scan of a folder containing 32 files of varying size with many of them being file RAR and ZIP archives.
  • WinRAR: Archive creation with a folder containing 68 files of varying size (less than 50MB).
  • iTunes: Conversion of an MP3 file to AAC.
  • TMPGEnc Xpress: Encoding a 1-minute long XVID AVI file to VC-1 (1280x720, 30fps, 20mbps).

Our testing procedure is designed to determine the overall system power consumption at various states (measured using a Seasonic Power Angel). To stress CPUs we used Prime95 (large FFTs setting) or CPUBurn (which produced the higher power draw). We also performed a short series of benchmarks featuring real-world timed tests and synthetics.

Cool'n'Quiet and/or Intel SpeedStep were enabled (unless otherwise noted). The following features/services were disabled during testing to prevent spikes in CPU/HDD usage that are typical of fresh Vista installations:

  • Windows Sidebar
  • Indexing
  • Superfetch

Undervolting

Testing was also conducted with the main processors undervolted as low as possible while remaining stable enough to survive Prime95's torture test for 10 minutes. Power savings from undervolting can be significant and the reduction in thermal dissipation also makes for easier cooling. We managed to undervolt our X4 630 from 1.325V down to 1.200V. Our X4 620 sample had a higher stock voltage, 1.400V, which we were able to decrease to 1.1625V.


CPU-Z screenshot: X4 630 undervolted to 1.200V from 1.325V.

CPU-Z screenshot: X4 620 undervolted to 1.1625V from 1.400V.



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