So I just saw AMD's release of their new energy efficient processors, which they are charging a premium for. Can I not accomplish the same thing by purchasing the cheaper model (e.g. 620 vs the 610e) and lowering the multiplier and voltage in my BIOS? Just wondering if there is something that I am missing.
I had that same question myself. You can accomplish virtually the same thing by lowering the multi and voltage. You could probably do better than the "e" versions just by lowering the voltage yourself to the lowest stable. Half the "e" version CPUs are even C2 stepping. I can't see AMD doing anything more to lower the power since it would be much costlier.
I think the main consumers for those power efficient ones would be companies that need a lot of computers and are either computer illiterate or don't have time to change the stock settings.
If your confident underclocking then not really. Basically AMD does that to lower the TDP. Just be careful tho, while they do use less power, they are not neccessarly the most efficient. Due to the lower clock speeds they take longer to complete tasks so probably use the same amount of power as its faster and more power hungry brothers
"e" series chips are simply binned to run at lower voltage. You may be able to buy a 620 and downclock it to use the same voltage as the 610e, but that just depends on your sample and it will likely use a little more power than a 610e. Chances are, you will need to use a slightly higher voltage than the 610e uses to remain stable.