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AMD Athlon II X4 620 – Quad-Core at $99
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by Rob Williams on October 9, 2009 in AMD Processors

Last month, AMD became the first company to bring a $99 quad-core processor to market, 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 sure to be seen in some of our tests. Luckily, the chip’s overclocking-ability helps negate that issue.

Multi-Media: ProShow Gold, Sandra Multi-Media

While TMPGEnc XPress’ purpose is to convert video formats, ProShow from Photodex helps turn your collection of photos into a fantastic-looking slide show. I can’t call myself a slide show buff, but this tool is unquestionably definitive. It offers many editing abilities and the ability to export in a variety of formats, including a standard video file, DVD video and even HD video.

Like TMPGEnc and many other video encoders, ProShow can take full advantage of a multi-core processor. It doesn’t support SSE4 however, but hopefully will in the future as it would improve encoding times considerably. Still, when a slide show application handles a multi-core processor effectively, it has to make you wonder why there is such a delay in seeing a wider-range of such applications on the marketplace.

Once again, the X4 620 topples the X3 720. In some cases, extra cores are better used than L3 cache or faster frequencies. It’s hard to tell this without testing, though, and it could vary often between applications.

Sandra 2009 Multi-Media

This test here stresses the CPU’s ability to handle multi-media instructions and data, using both MMX and SSE2/3/4 as the instruction sets of choice. The results are divided by integer, floating point and double precision, three specific numbering formats used commonly in multi-media work.

Excuse the lack of highlighting our tested model in the graph above… there was already green to be used and I didn’t want to overkill it! The result here is interesting. For the Int x16 test, the X4 620 performs quite well, probably because of the four cores, because it falls short in the other two tests. Overall though, Sandra puts both the X4 620 and Q8200 pretty much on par overall.