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AMD Athlon II X4

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  • Processors
  • Intel
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August 25, 2009 10:38:17 AM

Does any one have any information on this processor. By that i mean whether it is better than the current phenoms at the same frequency? If these new Athlon II X4s don't have a new better architecture compared to the current phenom's then they are truely rubbish, lol. There is no way how they can compete with Intel's speed performance, they end up just raising the frequency and still don't understand why intel processors are faster. Unless they have been brought out at a cheap price and have good performance for their price, or that when they come out they decrease the prices of the currently top Phenom 955 and 965 processors I would see the point in them. I'm neutral, i see the uses of both AMD and Intel.

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August 25, 2009 10:40:46 AM

what are you on about?

the Athlon II X4 is just a Phenom II with a lower clock, lower wattage and no L3 cache.

and the Phenom II's aren't rubbish, it's competing with the i7 920 in nearly everything.

August 25, 2009 10:45:14 AM

I mean that AMD should not come out with processors any worse than the current phenoms. The current phenoms are good but i really want them to be improved upon so that they can at least come close to the intel i7 920 without just having to increase their processors' frequency speed.
August 25, 2009 10:46:48 AM

O right i thought the Athlon II x4s were something new, but why would they need to produce new slower processors? Are they any better than the current phenoms at the same frequency speed. Is it just that they are more energy efficient?
August 25, 2009 10:46:54 AM

they aren't meant to compete with the i7's, they aren't a step forward.

they are just meant to be a cheap, energy efficient processor which can do fairly heavy tasks.
a b à CPUs
August 25, 2009 1:27:44 PM

^Exactly, there are many more lower and midrange processors sold than top of the line units. Most people do not need and do not want to pay the premium for high end parts.
August 25, 2009 2:33:57 PM

I thought that there were many processors out there like the cheaper phenoms, core 2 quads which did the job. Couldn't they decrease the prices of those, or are these new athlon processors actually meant to be better than the previous AMD processors like the phenom 9650. Are they any much of an improvement in performance or at a cheaper price compared to the older phenoms? Otherwise it wouldn't make much sense if an Athlon II X4 which runs the same speed as an older phenom and costs pretty much the same was brought out. Is it pretty much the same architecture as well?
August 25, 2009 2:41:17 PM

Nashsafc said:
O right i thought the Athlon II x4s were something new, but why would they need to produce new slower processors? Are they any better than the current phenoms at the same frequency speed. Is it just that they are more energy efficient?


AMD is just trying to address the low-end. Intel does the same thing, they come out with processors that are slower, with less cache than existing ones.

I do think that the low-end is rather well saturated, especially because AMD is just now getting to the upper-midrange with their Phenom two offerings. Phenom II does offer a great alternative to Core I7 because of motherboard pricing and choices.
August 25, 2009 2:56:41 PM

Do you know if this year AMD will be bringing out any faster chips, faster than the Phenom II 965? I think that if they are thinking of producing any better processors, they should think about producing a new architecture. AMD still hasn't really matched core 2 Quad's architecture, as they have to produce higher frequency processors to be able just to par with the q9650. Hopefully in the coming months or next year it will be interesting, or even frustrating to see if AMD are going to produce a new architecture for their processors to at least be behind the i7 920 a bit for mass multi-tasking and games. The difference between Intel and AMD's best processor is massive, huge, i still think AMD should still be trying to appeal to the most demanding customers.
August 25, 2009 3:34:22 PM

AMD is going to be stuck in the current architecture for a while (1 to 1.5 years I believe). There's a lot of research and investment that goes into developing one.

The majority of the market is low end to low-mid range products. This would be all the Dell's, HP's, and Lenovos of the world that gobble up chips. The issue with AMD is that they are not profitting currently. They are selling their top-binning desktop processors for $200, and everything else is going for even less. Intel sells the top binning processors for $1000+ and the stuff that didn't make the cut competes against AMD in the $200 range. Intel also has a nice upper-mid range (the Core I7s that are sub $1,000).

I do agree, AMD needs to be much more competitive so they can be a industry performance leader, but their main issue right now is finding a way to profit. Some disagree with me, but I think AMD is on the endangered species list and needs to break even. If they continue losses of 250M and 300M each quarter I don't see how they'll make it to see 2011.
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August 25, 2009 3:53:13 PM

I do agree with TC, it may be in AMD's best interest to create something new and something faster, but their wallets are telling otherwise.

I think AMD may be trying out Intel's strategy, introducing a hell-of-a-lot of models to saturate the market in order for them to be less forced to drop prices on their premiere products. Or they could just be trying to saturate the lower end market as that is where the money could be going in these tight times. But that's just me conspiring :D 
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August 25, 2009 4:23:13 PM

I do see the point in releasing Athlon II X4 CPUs, I think they'll be the same as Phenom I in terms of performance but with a much needed TDP decrease. They will do great with OEMs, and I think AMD should definitely release a Turion II X4 (mobile version) based off these Athlons, since there'll be 2.3GHz 45w desktop models!!!
August 25, 2009 4:35:39 PM

Quoting "But their main issue right now is finding a way to profit. I think AMD is on the endangered species list and needs to break even"

I like the way you say finding a way to profit and endangered species lol. But how are AMD doing on the graphics side, AMD own ATI do they not? Do they recieve all the profits or just own a percentage of the company ATI? I think AMD are doing slightly better on the graphics side than the processor side, maybe because Nvidia are overpriced. .
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August 25, 2009 4:40:22 PM

when are they releasing the Athlon II x4? i have been waiting for one, they said it would be released on the 23rd but not yet.

AMD is going to get their money from the DX11 cards that ATI will be coming out with soon.

AMD really needs to speed up bulldozer and lower the prices on the Athlon II and up range, just a bit more to appeal to more cinsumers, and get something out that competes against the e5200, then they would get some big sales.
August 25, 2009 5:14:06 PM

Upendra09 said:
AMD really needs to speed up bulldozer and lower the prices


Yes, AMD really does need to get their new stuff out quickly, but lowering prices is a catch 22:

AMD needs to profit. To profit they need more market share. To get more market share they lower prices, but that makes them profit even less... They need to break the cycle with an architecture that competes with Intel in every segment (mainly referring to high end).
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August 25, 2009 5:24:33 PM

when is the propus coming out?
August 25, 2009 6:19:11 PM

As i heard something wise someone said. "If it weren't for AMD, Intel's prices would be soo high it would be unbearable, it's thanks to AMD that Intel keep their prices that they are now". Did the single core AMD processors use to be faster than the single core Intel processors?
August 25, 2009 6:22:19 PM

Nashsafc said:
As i heard something wise someone said. "If it weren't for AMD, Intel's prices would be soo high it would be unbearable, it's thanks to AMD that Intel keep their prices that they are now". Did the single core AMD processors use to be faster than the single core Intel processors?


Back in the pre- Core 2 Duo days AMD was king. They had better products at lower thermals and the performance crown as well. Both AMD and Intel drove innovation with their fierce competition. That competition was nearly dead and it wasn't until Phenom II that we saw signs of life from AMD.

Of course, this is all in my humble opinion.
August 25, 2009 6:22:26 PM

TechnologyCoordinator said:
I do agree, AMD needs to be much more competitive so they can be a industry performance leader, but their main issue right now is finding a way to profit. Some disagree with me, but I think AMD is on the endangered species list and needs to break even. If they continue losses of 250M and 300M each quarter I don't see how they'll make it to see 2011.


Cacheless phenoms seems a good Idea. Lack of L3 and L3 related systems should reduce Die size alot. Their binning/harvesting seems to be improving on Shangai 45nm, and ive read on unrealiable sources (Ex. Fudzilla) that thy will be priced sub 100$.

A Sub 100€ Quaddie ? OEMs rejoice !!!

Now if they pulled this stunt on the laptop arena was really cool.
August 25, 2009 7:04:37 PM

But i thought Athlon x2 was really rubbish. I had a Athlon 5000+, the Core 2 Duo at the same frequency was much better. Oh do you mean in price terms, that AMD had much cheaper processors for the same frequency? But the performance was still massively behind. It seems like with Intel you pay more for a better processor. The core 2 duo is much better than the Athlon x2, regardless to how much cheaper the athlon x2 costs.
August 25, 2009 7:06:41 PM

Oh yeah right you mean pre core 2 lol. Silly me. You mean for the same frequency processor AMD had a faster processor compared to intel. Celleron must have been really *** lol, if it was the cheaper version of the intel, and sempron must have been as good as a pentium, or slightly inferior?
August 25, 2009 7:26:22 PM

radnor said:
A Sub 100€ Quaddie ? OEMs rejoice !!!


Rejoice? More like O-Face time! LOL
August 25, 2009 7:27:06 PM

The new Athlons are essentially meant to take the place of the old Semprons, or the old durons before that.
August 25, 2009 7:27:15 PM

Nashsafc said:
But i thought Athlon x2 was really rubbish. I had a Athlon 5000+, the Core 2 Duo at the same frequency was much better. Oh do you mean in price terms, that AMD had much cheaper processors for the same frequency? But the performance was still massively behind. It seems like with Intel you pay more for a better processor. The core 2 duo is much better than the Athlon x2, regardless to how much cheaper the athlon x2 costs.


Brisbane wasn't that bad for the price. The New K8 45nm are excelent for the price.

They are competitive for the price. On the other hand my new 955@3.5ghz Stock VID is pretty handy at cracking PDF passwords. atm, for my Mrs that is a life saver. Dam those demons from the office that can't type.
August 25, 2009 7:29:17 PM

Nashsafc said:
But i thought Athlon x2 was really rubbish.


Doesn't matter. You tell the consumer, "Here is Intel's cheapest quad core, now if you want to pay $100 less here's AMD's quad core".

Most consumers will then get the Best Buy credit card, the extended warranty, and they'll even buy a UPS just to show how gullible they are.


Not say say that an Athlon X4 would be rubbish (in comparison to Phenom II or Core 2 Quad), but just saying that it doesn't matter even if they are.
August 25, 2009 7:31:48 PM

AMD is only really good for the office, office deals i rekon where high performing processors aren't needed lol. Although i do like the style of AMD and that they are cheaper and sometime better than Intel.
August 25, 2009 7:33:01 PM

Was the pentium 4 meant to be the best single core processor? Or was it the most popular?
August 25, 2009 7:47:02 PM

Nashsafc said:
AMD is only really good for the office, office deals i rekon where high performing processors aren't needed lol. Although i do like the style of AMD and that they are cheaper and sometime better than Intel.


I wouldn't say that. Most people don't buy $600-$1,000 processors. AMD's Price\Performance ratios are competitive and they have a lot to offer budget and midrange gamers, IMHO.
August 25, 2009 7:49:24 PM

Nashsafc said:
Was the pentium 4 meant to be the best single core processor? Or was it the most popular?


P4 was probably the most popular sales-wise, but I would argue that AMD's stuff was better for both performance in many categories as well as power consumption.
August 25, 2009 7:55:57 PM

it's strange though how more computers at school and in the office have intel processors though. Maybe that's because they're all the old pentium processors. Or Intel can offer processor deals in mass quantities cheaper to companies.
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August 25, 2009 7:59:01 PM

K8 Athlon X2s were competitors to Pentium D, and they outperformed them pretty much the way Core 2 outperformed them. When Core 2 was released, K8 just couldn't keep up with it, so the Athlon X2 @ 3.0GHz = 2.3GHz Core 2 Duo. AMD could not respond to this, and it just lowered the prices to offer great price:p rerformance ratio, even if they were worse than Core 2 Duo, you could get 15% less performance for 50% less price.
Then AMD tried to compete with Core 2 Quad with K10, and they would have been great competitors it it weren't for the TLB bug, which required a workaround that made it 15-20% slower.
January 2009, the Phenom IIs are launched, which can finally compete against Core 2 with larger caches, higher clockspeeds and no TLB bugs. They are what Phenom 1 should have been. They can even bring the Ph II vs Core i7 debates to the forums and again offer great value.
Now AMD is pushing K10.5 to its limits with higher clockspeeds, and they need to remain competitive with Core i5 when it launches. They'll probably end up making a desktop Istambul part (Phenom II X6) till they switch to 32nm later next year.
August 25, 2009 8:02:14 PM

lol 32nm that sounds pretty amazing. But wouldn't Intel reach that first. Usually do processors perform better if they have a slightly larger nm? Or is it usually which technology has been known for longer?
August 25, 2009 9:21:28 PM

The process size (nm) make little derect difference to perfomance (maybe slightly faster as electrons don't have to travel as far, but basically the same), however it uses less energy and space so they can increase the clock speed and add more cores/cache/instruction. The trouble is changing to a smaller process costs a lot of money (main reason why AMD split manufacturing from designing division). And Intel have the capability to get there first.
August 25, 2009 9:23:55 PM

sanchz said:
K8 Athlon X2s were competitors to Pentium D, and they outperformed them pretty much the way Core 2 outperformed them.


I wouldn't say that AMD outperformed P4 in the same way that Core 2 outperformed AMD. Core 2 simply crushed AMD. While AMD had the better product, I don't think they crushed Intel back in the P4 days.

Socket A and S939 are the most epic sockets in computing ever.
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August 25, 2009 9:29:57 PM

I dind't mean AMD crushed Intel, I was saying K8 at lower consumption, heat and frequencies outperformed Pentium D, as Athlon 64 vs P4, but Intel did spend a lot on marketing for the Pentium 4, so they managed to keep selling.
August 25, 2009 9:30:03 PM

so the amd processors were only slightly faster for the same frequency. But not how it is today comparing say a core 2 duo 8600 with an AMD Athlon x2 6000+
August 25, 2009 9:34:59 PM

sanchz said:
Intel did spend a lot on marketing for the Pentium 4, so they managed to keep selling.



LOL, that's very true. Plus the fact they had better distribution. My old school is filly with P4 Dell computers.
August 25, 2009 9:45:11 PM

The AMD phenom 965 does well in Crysis, does it beat the q9650? If that is so, i am happy with the phenom 965. I'm looking more for the highest minimum FPS, does the phenom cope well with Crysis where there are times of pressure in the game and the FPS goes down.
August 25, 2009 9:49:39 PM

Everything I have read shows that AMD released the Phenom II to compete with Intel's Q9550.... not the Core i7. The fact that Intel fanboys have to compare the PII to the i7 to stroke their ePeens is a win for AMD, imo.

Seriously though, grats and much respect for Intel being ahead in CPU architecture, but comparing the i7 to the PII is Apples and Oranges. Just my .02.

EDIT: Intel makes great CPUs.... I have multiple PCs with both AMD and Intel CPUs.... both are great manufacturers... just want to make that clear before i'm flamed for being a "AMD Fanboy"
August 25, 2009 9:55:49 PM

lol. I thought it was trying to compete with q9650 and hopefully beat it. The q9650 is still slightly better than the phenom II 965 in performance is that not true. I wonder if there is any application where the sheer speed of the CPU beats the q9650 by quite a bit and by that i mean not 1 or 2 FPS or a couple of seconds in applications. But by quite a bit.
August 25, 2009 10:11:48 PM

Nashsafc said:
The AMD phenom 965 does well in Crysis, does it beat the q9650? If that is so, i am happy with the phenom 965. I'm looking more for the highest minimum FPS, does the phenom cope well with Crysis where there are times of pressure in the game and the FPS goes down.


The q9650 costs more, however, since AMD doesn't have an option, it's not clear-cut.

However, with a Phenom II 965 you're more likely to be GPU limited anyway.
August 25, 2009 10:13:51 PM

brett1042002 said:
Everything I have read shows that AMD released the Phenom II to compete with Intel's Q9550.... not the Core i7. The fact that Intel fanboys have to compare the PII to the i7 to stroke their ePeens is a win for AMD, imo.



Well what do you want the "Intel fanboys" to compare to i7?..... AMD has nothing to offer... And that's one of the issues that us "Intel Fanboys" point out; AMD does not have a full product offering because they simply cannot make chips that are good enough to compete at that level.
August 25, 2009 10:31:16 PM

TechnologyCoordinator said:
Well what do you want the "Intel fanboys" to compare to i7?..... AMD has nothing to offer... And that's one of the issues that us "Intel Fanboys" point out; AMD does not have a full product offering because they simply cannot make chips that are good enough to compete at that level.


Albeit your covered with reason, i can argue that a Halo Prouct would be a bad bet these days. The ROI would be terrible if any. Last time i checked i7 Sales where in the 1% or so of intel total cpu sales (think it was digitimes). So it is not the best of bet. maybe it is not worthy to invest there if your not swimming in money.

I just bought a 955 BE for 170€ in a Brick & Mortar Shop.It is below the current price 180-190€ here in Spain. I'm in Europe suffering from 16% VAT (it is a word you americans may learn in the future). Honestly, i brought this one, because they had in stock, it already passed a little my budget. Again, i Work, pay mortage; Univ. tution and loads of other crap. I can spend 1000€ in a CPU no problem. Now, show me a 170€ Intel CPU, that surprassed my 955 BE @ stock VID. I like overclocking like the next guy, but i also pay my bills.

But there are priorities. In AMDs defence, i guess they made the right choice ( or were forced to do it ). It already proved a good strategy in 4850/4870 saga. And BTW, my 955 3.5Ghz @ stock VID fuels my 4850 CF withouth a problem.
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August 25, 2009 10:33:44 PM

they will eventually and they will crush intel yet again but hopefully they will learn to keep it going this time.
August 25, 2009 10:36:11 PM

lol. i can't see it coming. That Intel 965 or if there is a 975 looks sick. By the time AMD exceed it Intel will definately have something better.
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August 25, 2009 10:40:00 PM

Ok, but AMD knows their situtation and since they haven't got a Core i7-level architecture they manage to be competitive with price-performance and prices.

Microarchitectures are designed years before they are mass produced, so its not that easy for AMD to say: "Hey, K10.5 isn't as fast as Nehalem, we should release an Octo-Core CPU with 16mb of cache and 3 threads per core and 65w TDP and running at 3.8 GHz next month" They simply lack the resources. Intel is swithching to smaller processes and pushing new mArchitectures too fast for AMD to compete.

However, clock speeds aside, the PII 965 isn't light years behind the i7 920, especially in gaming. If you consider clock speeds, then take into account that the i7 is probably unsing turbo boost and so clocked at 2.8GHz at times, plus it can chew 8 threads at a time.

AMD could probably come up with the Phenom II X6, but it may have reduced frequencies and, since most software isn't 6-core aware, be slower than a higher clocked quad.
August 25, 2009 10:45:28 PM

I think AMD should decrease the price of the 965 processor by a tiny bit, but then as someone said. AMD are under profitting because of selling processors very cheaply.
August 25, 2009 10:55:21 PM

My Phenom II 955 BE w/ a single 4870 and 4gb of DDR3 Ram runs crisis on all ultra high with max AA/AF at 1680 x 1050 rarely, if ever dropping under 30FPS. I don't see how Phenom II's are "lightyears" behind i7 in performance, not to mention an AMD platform costs ~$150-$300 less than an i7 system with similar hardware.

Btw I'm an Intel fan but I wasn't going to pay that much more when the computers only use right now is gaming and i7 simply doesn't perform how it should for what you're paying. AMD is much more reasonably priced and will stay paced with an i7 unless you're running 3-4 videocards which scale like crap after 2 anyways.
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August 25, 2009 11:46:26 PM

AMD is most likely make money from Istanbul, and they really should dominate the server market with their six core opteron
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