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Old 09-17-2009, 03:22 AM   #1
Rob Williams
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Default AMD Launches Industry's First Sub-$100 Quad-Core

From our front-page news:
When Intel released their Lynnfield processors a few weeks ago, we saw some unbelievable value. These Quad-Cores, equipped with their robust Turbo feature, were simply fast, as heck. But, while the Core i5-750 comes in at $200, and P55 motherboards kick off at $109, some might still want to hold off and save even more when the right chip comes along.

Well that right chip might be the new Athlon II X4 620 or 630, released yesterday. The X4 620 in particular becomes the first Quad-Core in the world to be sold for under $100. In this case, $99. Think back to when Quad-Cores first hit the market. The absolute first was $1,000 (Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700), and shortly after that, we saw the Core 2 Quad Q6600, for just over $500. But here... a Quad-Core, for under $100. That's impressive.

"Rob, there must be a catch!", and well, there is. The new Quad is part of the Athlon II series, not the Phenom II, and as such, it doesn't have any L3 Cache. But, it's based on a "new" core, Propus, which is based on Deneb. In reviews around the web, the chip doesn't seem to really lose it's overclocking-ability, so for those willing to go down that path, you might be able to make up for the lack of L3 Cache.

The best part might be that both the 620 and 630 (~$122) are available right now, and can be paired up with AMD's latest 785G motherboards - many of which can be found for at or under $100. We'll be taking a look at the new chip shortly, though the way things are going lately, I know better than to make a promise of a certain day... so I'll just say soon.


As part of the new desktop platform designed for mainstream consumers, AMD (NYSE: AMD) today announced the first ever quad-core processor for less than $100 Suggested System Builder Price (SSBP). By balancing the power of new AMD Athlon II X4 quad-core processors and the AMD 785G chipset featuring ATI Radeon HD 4200 graphics, AMD delivers smooth HD visuals and the foundation for a great Windows 7 experience.


Source: AMD Press Release
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Old 09-17-2009, 10:18 PM   #2
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It's interesting that the X2 Athlon II keeps the full 2MB of L2 cache, that's the same amount of L2 cache as the four-core versions. That should actually help with the performance, especially in specific programs... of course, $12 more for two extra cores is hard to argue against unless the person can't overclock the AMD Athlon II X4 620 for some reason...

It's nice to see the Athlon brand living up to its old legacy of good performance at a great price once more. With such a small die size this is one chip AMD can afford to build and sell at such a low price.
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Old 09-18-2009, 06:33 PM   #3
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That's pretty-well how I see it as well. I admit that I'm a little stumped on the target audience for this chip, though. It would seem to me that if you were looking for a lower-end chip, then you probably don't care or need four cores to bounce your applications around with. Of course, for the small price increase, I sure don't consider it a bad thing.

They have Intel beat though on a pricing-standpoint, that's for sure. It's just too bad that the lack of L3 cache might hurt the performance where applications that can actually use all four cores are concerned.
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Old 09-20-2009, 01:29 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Williams View Post
That's pretty-well how I see it as well. I admit that I'm a little stumped on the target audience for this chip, though. It would seem to me that if you were looking for a lower-end chip, then you probably don't care or need four cores to bounce your applications around with. Of course, for the small price increase, I sure don't consider it a bad thing.

They have Intel beat though on a pricing-standpoint, that's for sure. It's just too bad that the lack of L3 cache might hurt the performance where applications that can actually use all four cores are concerned.
How much of a performance difference is there between the i5 and AMD's entry level quad core?

Intel still has a stranglehold on the high to extreme performance markets.
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Old 09-20-2009, 05:26 AM   #5
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Intel appears to have slashed prices on their Q8200, currently I'm seeing it for around $140... Off the top of my head I'd say AMD has the better value, Intel has the (slight) nod for performance... AMD's parts have enough of a clockspeed advantage they're able to compete fairly well against the Q8200 and Pentium E6300.

For those where every dollar counts, I would believe AMD takes the win though. Not just their Quadcore CPU is cheaper, but so are AMD's motherboards.
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Old 09-20-2009, 10:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kougar View Post
Intel appears to have slashed prices on their Q8200, currently I'm seeing it for around $140... Off the top of my head I'd say AMD has the better value, Intel has the (slight) nod for performance... AMD's parts have enough of a clockspeed advantage they're able to compete fairly well against the Q8200 and Pentium E6300.

For those where every dollar counts, I would believe AMD takes the win though. Not just their Quadcore CPU is cheaper, but so are AMD's motherboards.
Oh yeah, definitely good deals to be had. A few days ago I saw a combo of
Intel Q9550 + ASUS P5E Deluxe = $270 (after rebate) @ Newegg.

The motherboard by itself retails for $150+.


Also, Microcenter has been selling the i5-750 for $180.

Last edited by gibbersome; 09-20-2009 at 10:47 PM.
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Old 09-28-2009, 09:27 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gibbersome
How much of a performance difference is there between the i5 and AMD's entry level quad core?
Now that IDF is behind me, I'm hoping to know the answer to this soon.
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