Latest Forum Posts

Latest News Posts
Coming Soon!
Social
Go Back   Techgage.com > Archives > Reviews and Articles

Reviews and Articles Discussion for Techgage content is located here. Only staff can create topics, but everyone is welcome to post.

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 10-08-2009, 10:25 PM   #1
Rob Williams
Editor-in-Chief
 
Rob Williams's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Atlantic Canada
Posts: 13,337
Default AMD Athlon II X4 620 - Quad-Core at $99

Last month, AMD became the first company to bring a $99 quad-core processor to market, in the form of the Athlon II X4 620. The question, of course, is whether or not it delivers. At 2.60GHz, it looks to offer ample performance, but the lack of an L3 cache is bound to prove itself in some of our tests. Luckily, the chip's overclocking-ability helps negate that issue.

You can read our full article here, and discuss it here!
__________________
Intel Core i7-3960X, GIGABYTE G1.Assassin 2, Kingston 16GB DDR3-2133, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 2GB
Kingston HyperX 3K 240GB SSD (OS, Apps), WD VR 1TB (Games), Corsair 1000HX, Corsair H70 Cooler
Corsair 800D, Dell 2408WFP 24", ASUS Xonar Essence STX, Gentoo (KDE 4.11. 3.12 Kernel)

"Take care to get what you like, or you will be forced to like what you get!" - H.P. Baxxter
<Toad772> I don't always drink alcohol, but when I do, I take it too far.


Rob Williams is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2009, 07:47 AM   #2
Doomsday
Tech Junkie
 
Doomsday's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: KHI, PAK
Posts: 1,558
Default

I Love budget products! with so little u can get pretty much! Especially with the 3.53Ghz overclock with no voltage tweak! now i want to do some overclocking, lol!

ps: r these the kind of processors that become a bottleneck for midrange or high end GPUs?!?
__________________
PSU: Corsair AX850 - Case: Cooler Master HAF X - CPU:Core i7-2600k - Cooler: Cooler Master V6 GT - Motherboard: Asus Z68 Maximus IV Extreme Z - Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8 GB-1600Mhz - GPU: AMD MSI R6970 Lightning - HDD: WD Caviar Black 1TB, Seagate 2TB Barracuda Green - SSD: Intel 520 Series 120GB - K/B: Razer Lycosa Mirror - Mouse: Logitech G700 - MouseMat: Steel Series 4HD - LCD: Asus VG278H 27" - Speakers: Creative Inspire M4500 4.1 - Headset: Logitech G35 7.1



"Do not look at a man's prayers nor his fasts, rather, measure him by how well he deals with others, the compassion he shows his fellow man, his wisdom and his integrity" - Umar Ibn Al-Khattab


Doomsday is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2009, 05:59 PM   #3
aussiebear
Obliviot
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 7
Default

Being a "cheap bastard" computer user; I'm definitely getting an Athlon II X4 to upgrade the old Sempron (S754) boxes we have in our home! Grab a mobo that has 785G chipset with 128MB sideport memory.

One constructive feedback for this article: It would be better if you put the overclocking section near the beginning, after the Test System & Methodology section, but before the charts...And then have both stock and overclocked speeds in the benchmark charts. (Have the overclocked speed in red.)

This will then be more convenient than opening up multiple tabbed windows in a browser to make comparisons. (It also saves the author some time, as there's one less table that needs to be created!)

Other than that, its awesome to see we can bump up the speed without manually touching the core voltage!
aussiebear is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2009, 03:50 PM   #4
Rob Williams
Editor-in-Chief
 
Rob Williams's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Atlantic Canada
Posts: 13,337
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doomsday
ps: r these the kind of processors that become a bottleneck for midrange or high end GPUs?!?
This CPU in particular falls into that category, yes. Although we didn't see it too much in our own gaming tests, there have been reports of the removal of the L3 cache affecting gameplay in many other titles. This is certainly not a "gamer's chip", and AMD has no intentions of ever referring to it as being one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aussiebear
One constructive feedback for this article: It would be better if you put the overclocking section near the beginning, after the Test System & Methodology section, but before the charts...And then have both stock and overclocked speeds in the benchmark charts. (Have the overclocked speed in red.)
I'd have to disagree. I don't consider a chip's overclocking report to be more important than our regular results, and I'm not so sure most of our readers would either. Although many people who visit our site do overclock, the vast majority don't. In the end, it's the comparative results we care most about, not our overclocking results.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aussiebear
This will then be more convenient than opening up multiple tabbed windows in a browser to make comparisons. (It also saves the author some time, as there's one less table that needs to be created!)
I'm going to have to plead ignorance here, because I'm not entirely sure what you mean. Why is there a need for comparison? Is it to compare the overclocked results to other stock-clocked chips in our line-up, or...?

I already thought we took out the need for readers to flick through pages to compare results, because on our overclocking page, we not only post results from our overclocked speeds, but also the stock speeds, and even go as far as to give a percentage of the performance increase seen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aussiebear
Other than that, its awesome to see we can bump up the speed without manually touching the core voltage!
I need to reiterate this just in case there is some confusion. For our overclocked result, the voltage was increased, but not by us. The board was smart enough to realize more voltage was needed, and in the end, it proved completely stable. Not all motherboards may be so overclocking-friendly, so in some cases, you might actually have to increase it manually. Our overclock required just 0.1v above what our board showed as stock though, so it's not too much of a boost.
__________________
Intel Core i7-3960X, GIGABYTE G1.Assassin 2, Kingston 16GB DDR3-2133, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 2GB
Kingston HyperX 3K 240GB SSD (OS, Apps), WD VR 1TB (Games), Corsair 1000HX, Corsair H70 Cooler
Corsair 800D, Dell 2408WFP 24", ASUS Xonar Essence STX, Gentoo (KDE 4.11. 3.12 Kernel)

"Take care to get what you like, or you will be forced to like what you get!" - H.P. Baxxter
<Toad772> I don't always drink alcohol, but when I do, I take it too far.


Rob Williams is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2009, 06:12 AM   #5
MDS
Guest Poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I read your review about this processor, but couldn't help to one question related to this part of the conclusion:

Quote:
What it all comes down to is the fact that the lack of L3 cache hurts, and it wouldn't at all surprise me if AMD followed-up soon with a "high-end" Athlon II X4 that included at least 3MB of L3 cache. Because as it stands now, AMD has a $99 quad-core, with the next step up being the $175 Phenom II X4 905e. It almost seems like we're in need of something to fill that void, and a chip similar to what we tested today, with additional L3 cache, would seem to do a good job of that, without compromising the company's Phenom II line-up.
What about the Phenom II X4 805 and 810? They seem to fill the void between the Athlon II and the 6MB L3 cache-equipped Phenom II's quite nicely, being almost exactly the processor you describe here in this conclusion.

I don't know why everyone seems to keep forgetting about these X4's with 4MB L3 cache, but they do exist.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2009, 04:49 PM   #6
Kougar
Techgage Staff
 
Kougar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 2,652
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MDS View Post
I read your review about this processor, but couldn't help to one question related to this part of the conclusion:



What about the Phenom II X4 805 and 810? They seem to fill the void between the Athlon II and the 6MB L3 cache-equipped Phenom II's quite nicely, being almost exactly the processor you describe here in this conclusion.

I don't know why everyone seems to keep forgetting about these X4's with 4MB L3 cache, but they do exist.
Thanks for the comment MDS! I can't speak for Rob, but I can chime in here.

The problem is the 805 and 810 cost double the price of the Phenom II X4 620, and they have been superseded. The Phenom II X4 925 costs less (~$150) but offers 6MB L3 cache. The 800 models cost more than the 925 the few places that stock them.
__________________
Core i7 4770k 4.2Ghz
Gigabyte Z87X-UD5H
Crucial Ballistix Sport LP 1600MHz 32GB
EVGA GTX 480 HydroCopper FTW
ASUS Xonar DX
Corsair Neutron GTX 240GB | Windows 7 64-bit
Apogee XT + MCP655 & Thermochill Triple 140mm Radiator
Corsair AX1200 PSU | Cooler Master HAF-X

Kougar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2009, 03:19 PM   #7
MDS
Guest Poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kougar View Post
The problem is the 805 and 810 cost double the price of the Phenom II X4 620, and they have been superseded. The Phenom II X4 925 costs less (~$150) but offers 6MB L3 cache. The 800 models cost more than the 925 the few places that stock them.
I don't know how I somewhat failed to see the 925

Where I live the 810 is not double, but about 1.5 times the price of a 620, with the 925 priced almost exactly the same. So all in all, the right chip exists but it should be priced somewhere in between the 620 and 925.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2009, 08:32 PM   #8
Rob Williams
Editor-in-Chief
 
Rob Williams's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Atlantic Canada
Posts: 13,337
Default

Hi MDS, and thanks for the post :-)

The reason for not mentioning those two Phenom II models is because they're both discontinued. Prior to writing any CPU review, I check out the vendor's respective website for an up-to-date list of shipping parts. If the model isn't listed, it's no longer being shipped by AMD, so I don't want to recommend models that people are going to have a hard time tracking down. I'll admit, had I thought of those models, I still could've mentioned something, but I was going by AMD's official list.

http://www.amd.com/us-en/Processors/...=CPPR01#phenom

And here's Intel's in case anyone is curious.

http://intc.client.shareholder.com/priceList.cfm
__________________
Intel Core i7-3960X, GIGABYTE G1.Assassin 2, Kingston 16GB DDR3-2133, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 2GB
Kingston HyperX 3K 240GB SSD (OS, Apps), WD VR 1TB (Games), Corsair 1000HX, Corsair H70 Cooler
Corsair 800D, Dell 2408WFP 24", ASUS Xonar Essence STX, Gentoo (KDE 4.11. 3.12 Kernel)

"Take care to get what you like, or you will be forced to like what you get!" - H.P. Baxxter
<Toad772> I don't always drink alcohol, but when I do, I take it too far.


Rob Williams is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2009, 04:27 PM   #9
MDS
Guest Poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Thanks for the explanation Rob. I didn't know they were discontinued, with them to this date still being sold.

Anyway, based partly on your review I got myself an Athlon II X4 620. Installed today and enabled ACC at first boot. Dived into the BIOS after reboot and showing the full 6MB L3 cache. Will do some testing tomorrow to see if the cache is error-free, but this could turn out to be one of the greatest buys I ever made. So thank you very much
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2009, 08:32 PM   #10
Misha
Obliviot
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 46
Smile

Hi Rob, thanks for another great review.

To be honest, i was amazed by OC results, as this little proc is really powerful for that money.

i750 or i7 860/930 are both faster but more than double and almost 3x expensive with better Mobo, which allows you to go over 4.0GHz and I really don't care to pay for those if i can't go beyond that point
To be honest, I expect maybe 4.2 on air with cooler i have (on photo bellow)

Any way, I'm still not sure if Socket 1156 is the right way for me.

I would like to have 3x2GB but X58 MoBo and Proc are expensive right now. And their destiny is very suspicious.
I would love to go for Gulftown but i'm not sure if i'm ready to pay 1000$ for proc, considering that i'm live in eastern Europe.
And, i remember when i bought Athlon 64 3000+ for Socket 754, almost immediately, they release Socket 939 and PCI express, and DDR2, and my PC become old instantly!

So, i decide to wait a little bit more and build my new PC around this little fellow! I succeed in finding CACYC one, so i guess i can unlock L3 cache

Of course, if AMD came out with some 6 core processor for AM3 socket, i will be more that delighted to try one!

So, on a first sight, maybe it's not a best balanced PC, but i decide to wait for a few months and see what's going to happen. Then, this Proc/Mobo/Mem combo going to some of my other PCs and in this PC i will put something like i7 930/X58 or maybe something better! Ati 5870, HAF 922, True + Noctua and Corsair will last forever or for next few years! Of course, if nVidia came out with something promising, i can always sale my ati
But for now, i will use my good old Mitsubishi monitors, paired with my HP LP2475w with display port and try Flight Simulator X with Eyefinity and 3 displays

I will post my OC result tomorrow, and of course, difference between L3 cache unlocked, if i succeed in unlocking





Wish me luck!
Misha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2009, 07:57 AM   #11
MDS
Guest Poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Good luck Misha.

I have thrown every stability test at my unlocked 620, it passed them all. So I guess I have a completely faulty-free 620

I'm now in the process of overclocking it. Have obtained 3.64GHz at the moment, but I think I can go on a little bit further. Quite happy with this little gem
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2009, 04:28 PM   #12
Rob Williams
Editor-in-Chief
 
Rob Williams's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Atlantic Canada
Posts: 13,337
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MDS
Thanks for the explanation Rob. I didn't know they were discontinued, with them to this date still being sold.
That's just how it works... it's the same with Intel as well. Products will be pulled, but it's just a matter of time for the supplies to deplete before they're impossible to find. I've noticed that AMD has been on top of its product line-ups lately... it seems just as a new model is introduced, it's off its processor list. Intel, on the other hand, seems to leave models in its list long after their relevancy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MDS
Anyway, based partly on your review I got myself an Athlon II X4 620. Installed today and enabled ACC at first boot. Dived into the BIOS after reboot and showing the full 6MB L3 cache.
Nice! You might want to run a tool like SANDRA, as it has a couple of intense Cache-related benchmarks included that do well to stress it. You might also want to do a before and after run to see if performance did indeed increase after the Cache was unlocked.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Misha
I would like to have 3x2GB but X58 MoBo and Proc are expensive right now. And their destiny is very suspicious.
In that case, it would just make more sense to go 4x2GB, as RAM pricing nowadays makes that almost a non-issue. I agree on the pricing, though. It's tough to feel the pull towards Lynnfield when AMD's offerings offer such a great value. I think it comes down to what you want from your PC. CPU to CPU, Intel offers the better architectures, so in a sense, the company almost has a right to charge a premium. It complicates things that picking up a budget, yet quality, motherboard on the AMD side is much easier than on the Intel side.

This Cache unlocking has me curious. If I have time, I might have to look into it and give it a quick test to see how reliable it is. If it turns out that unlocked L3 Cache on the 620 proves stable for most people... talk about a great value.
__________________
Intel Core i7-3960X, GIGABYTE G1.Assassin 2, Kingston 16GB DDR3-2133, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 2GB
Kingston HyperX 3K 240GB SSD (OS, Apps), WD VR 1TB (Games), Corsair 1000HX, Corsair H70 Cooler
Corsair 800D, Dell 2408WFP 24", ASUS Xonar Essence STX, Gentoo (KDE 4.11. 3.12 Kernel)

"Take care to get what you like, or you will be forced to like what you get!" - H.P. Baxxter
<Toad772> I don't always drink alcohol, but when I do, I take it too far.


Rob Williams is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2009, 11:28 PM   #13
Misha
Obliviot
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 46
Default

Until yesterday, DDR3 3x2 kits, (OZC for example) was very “cheap”. I thought to go with two sets, totaling 12 GB or RAM.
Now, at last in my country, DDR3 prices went up for some 30-40% and it’s not so cheap any more.
Also, I’m thinking about SSD drive, I would also like small OCZ Vertex RAID 0 but I’m not sure if here is left any after initial shipment. Add all this plus recession and you really can't buy everything right now

At least, with ATI 5870 I hope to get some nice acceleration in Premiere in video encoding, (at least according to experience I found) so I guess that would make up for i5 or i7 processor.

Among other things, I would like USB 3.0 for some faster CF card readers, because I’m not sure if I want to pay 80$ for a Lexar Firewire reader, not to mention that I must asking somebody for favor, to bring me one from USA, or paying custom and import duties which will double value of that reader.
I had some job to do, so still don’t begin with assembling, but I will as soon as it's possible, and then test everything with L3 enabled, if possible
Misha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2009, 11:26 AM   #14
Misha
Obliviot
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 46
Default

Finally...





This is my best bet. It is maybe possible to go up for a few dozen MHz, but I'm not sure is it worth...

I unlock L3 cache in Bios, but it was not stable to continue to windows.
So, not too much lucky with that. Except if there are no some way of enabling better L3 cache work with higher voltage or some other settings!
Misha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2009, 08:34 AM   #15
Doomsday
Tech Junkie
 
Doomsday's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: KHI, PAK
Posts: 1,558
Default

Niice Overclock!!
__________________
PSU: Corsair AX850 - Case: Cooler Master HAF X - CPU:Core i7-2600k - Cooler: Cooler Master V6 GT - Motherboard: Asus Z68 Maximus IV Extreme Z - Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8 GB-1600Mhz - GPU: AMD MSI R6970 Lightning - HDD: WD Caviar Black 1TB, Seagate 2TB Barracuda Green - SSD: Intel 520 Series 120GB - K/B: Razer Lycosa Mirror - Mouse: Logitech G700 - MouseMat: Steel Series 4HD - LCD: Asus VG278H 27" - Speakers: Creative Inspire M4500 4.1 - Headset: Logitech G35 7.1



"Do not look at a man's prayers nor his fasts, rather, measure him by how well he deals with others, the compassion he shows his fellow man, his wisdom and his integrity" - Umar Ibn Al-Khattab


Doomsday is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
None

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
AMD Quad Core (Really a Hex-Core) 960T DarkStarr Processors 2 12-19-2010 03:12 PM
More Quad-core, Tri-core Phenoms Roadmapped sbrehm72255 Processors 5 03-23-2008 07:52 PM
Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6850 Quad-Core Rob Williams Reviews and Articles 5 07-28-2007 11:40 AM
Quad Core O Nemesis 0 General Hardware 2 10-18-2006 11:28 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:41 AM.