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The Cheapest Quad-Core Processors - AMD Athlon II X4 630 & 620

The Cheapest Quad-Core Processors - AMD Athlon II X4 630 & 620



Test Setup

Test Setup

As the prices of these new AMD Athlon II X4 quad-core chips are the lowest we have seen for such processors, it's quite difficult to get a straight comparison with Intel. The chip giant's cheapest quad-core CPU for the retail channel is the Core 2 Quad Q8200 (2.33GHz), which by the way, is also the only retail quad-core in its class not to come with virtualization technology support. At around US$150, the Q8200 is almost 30 dollars more than the Athlon II X4 630, but it's the best we have.

While there are few quad-core processors around to match the budget prices that AMD is asking, Intel do have dual-core chips of that range. One model that we believe is a good match for the lower Athlon II X4 620 is the 2.93GHz Pentium Dual-Core E6500, which costs around US$95, just slightly under the 620's US$99 retail price. While under the Pentium Dual-Core brand, this E6500 chip is based on the Core 2 Duo series Wolfdale die, but with a reduced, 2MB L2 cache.

Hence, for our testing, we have two systems (AMD and Intel), with similar amount of memory and the same graphics card and hard drive to keep the results comparable. Both were running Windows XP SP2. The full system configurations are as follows:

AMD Athlon II X4 Test Configuration

  • CPU:- Athlon II X4 630 & 620
  • MSI 790FX-GD70 (AMD 790FX + SB750)
  • 2 x 1GB Kingston HyperX DDR3-1333 (7-7-7-20)
  • Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 200GB SATA hard drive (one single NTFS partition)
  • Zotac GeForce GTX 260 (ForceWare 178.24)
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 2

Intel System Test Configuration

  • CPU:- Core 2 Quad Q8200, Pentium Dual-Core E6500
  • ASUS P5E3 Deluxe (Intel X38 Express chipset)
  • 2 x 1GB Kingston HyperX DDR3-1333 memory modules (CAS 7-7-7-20)
  • Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 200GB SATA hard disk drive (one single NTFS partition)
  • Zotac GeForce GTX 260 (ForceWare 178.24)
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 2
  • Intel INF 8.3.1.1009 and Matrix Storage Manager 7.8.0.1012

 

Benchmarks

The following benchmarks were used in this review:

  • BAPCo SYSmark 2007 Preview (ver 1.05)
  • Futuremark PCMark 2005 Pro
  • Lightwave 3D 7.5
  • 3ds Max8 (SP2)
  • Cinebench 10
  • Futuremark 3DMark06 v1.1
  • AquaMark3
  • World in Conflict v1.05
  • Crysis v1.1