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AMD Athlon II X4 620: Quad Core For The Masses At $100

Test Setup And Benchmarks

For comparison, we squared off Intel’s Core 2 Quad Q8200 (2.33 GHz), Core 2 Quad Q9550 (2.83 GHz), and the Core 2 Duo E8600 (3.33 GHz) against AMD’s Phenom II X2 550 (3.1 GHz) and the Phenom II X4 965 BE (3.4 GHz). For more comprehensive processor comparisons, please have a look at our 2009 Desktop CPU Charts.

System Hardware
HardwareDetails
Performance Benchmarks
Motherboard (Socket AM3)Gigabyte MA790FXT-UD5P (Rev. 1.0) Chipset: AMD 790GX, SB750 BIOS: 5c (04/01/2009)
RAM DDR3 (Dual)2 x 2GB DDR3-1600 (Corsair CM3X2G1600C9DHX) 2 x 1GB DDR3-1600 (Crucial BL12864BA1608.8SFB)
Power Benchmarks
Motherboard (Socket AM3)MSI 770-C45 (Rev. 1.1) Chipset: AMD 770GX, SB710 BIOS: 1.2
RAM DDR3 (Dual)2 x 2GB DDR3-1600 (Corsair TR3X6G-1600C8D 8-8-8-24)
Common Hardware
CPU AMD IAMD Phenom II X4 965 (45nm, 3.4 GHz, 4 x 512KB L2 and 6MB L3 Cache, TDP 140W, Rev. C2)
CPU AMD IIAMD Phenom II X2 550 (45nm, 3.1 GHz, 2 x 512KB L2 and 6MB L3 Cache, TDP 80W, Rev. C2)
CPU AMD IIIAMD Athlon II X4 620 (45nm, 2.6 GHz, 4 x 512KB L2 Cache, TDP 95W, Rev. C2)
GraphicsZotac GeForce GTX 260² GPU: GeForce GTX 260 (576 MHz) Graphics RAM: 896MB DDR3 (1998 MHz) Stream Processors: 216 Shader Clock: 1242 MHz
Hard DriveWestern Digital VelociRaptor, 300GB (WD3000HLFS) 10,000 RPM, SATA/300, 16MB Cache
Blu-Ray DriveLG GGW-H20L, SATA/150
Power supplyPC Power & Cooling, Silencer 750EPS12V 750W
System Software and Drivers
Operating SystemWindows Vista Enterprise Version 6.0 x64 Service Pack 2 (Build 6000)
Drivers and Settings
AMD Chipset DriversCatalyst 9.4
Intel Chipset DriversChipset Installation Utility Ver. 9.1.0.1012
Intel Storage DriversMatrix Storage Drivers Ver. 8.8.0.1009

We used an efficient motherboard for our power testing, the MSI 770-C45, since we wanted to be sure that the power consumption levels of our comparison would reflect everyday use. In other words, hardly anyone will purchase the $100 Athlon II X4 processor and run it on a high-end motherboard. Our Gigabyte’s MX790FXT-UD5P remained the platform for all performance benchmarks.

Benchmarks

3D Games Benchmarks and Settings
BenchmarksDetails
Far Cry 2Version: 1.0.1 Far Cry 2 Benchmark Tool Video Mode: 1280x800 Direct3D 9 Overall Quality: Medium Bloom activated HDR off Demo: Ranch Small
GTA IVVersion: 1.0.3 Video Mode: 1280x1024 - 1280x1024 - Aspect Ratio: Auto - All options: Medium - View Distance: 30 - Detail Distance: 100 - Vehicle Density: 100 - Shadow Density: 16 - Definition: On - Vsync: Off In-game Benchmark
Left 4 DeadVersion: 1.0.0.5 Video Mode: 1280x800 Game Settings - Anti Aliasing none - Filtering Trilinear - Wait for vertical sync disabled - Shader Detail Medium - Effect Detail Medium - Model/Texture Detail Medium Demo: THG Demo 1
Audio Benchmarks and Settings
BenchmarksDetails
iTunesVersion: 8.1.0.52 Audio CD ("Terminator II" SE), 53 min. Convert to AAC audio format
Lame MP3Version 3.98 Audio CD "Terminator II SE", 53 min convert WAV to MP3 audio format Command: -b 160 --nores (160 Kbps)
Video Benchmarks and Settings
BenchmarksDetails
TMPEG 4.6Version: 4.6.3.268 Video: Terminator 2 SE DVD (720x576, 16:9) 5 Minutes Audio: Dolby Digital, 48000 Hz, 6-Kanal, English Advanced Acoustic Engine MP3 Encoder (160 Kbps, 44.1 kHz)
DivX 6.8.5Version: 6.8.5 == Main Menu == default == Codec Menu == Encoding mode: Insane Quality Enhanced multithreading Enabled using SSE4 Quarter-pixel search == Video Menu == Quantization: MPEG-2
XviD 1.2.1Version: 1.2.1 Other Options / Encoder Menu - Display encoding status = off
Mainconcept Reference 1.6.1Version: 1.6.1 MPEG2 to MPEG2 (H.264) MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec 28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG2) Audio: MPEG2 (44.1 kHz, 2 Channel, 16 Bit, 224 kbps) Codec: H.264 Mode: PAL (25 FPS) Profile: Settings for eight threads
Adobe Premiere pro CS4Version: 4.0 WMV 1920x1080 (39 sec) Export: Adobe Media Encoder == Video == H.264 Blu-ray 1440x1080i 25 High Quality Encoding Passes: one Bitrate Mode: VBR Frame: 1440x1080 Frame Rate: 25 == Audio == PCM Audio, 48 kHz, Stereo Encoding Passes: one
Application Benchmarks and Settings
BenchmarksDetails
Grisoft AVG Anti Virus 8Version: 8.5.287 Virus base: 270.12.16/2094 Benchmark Scan: some compressed ZIP and RAR archives
Winrar 3.9Version 3.90 x64 BETA 1 Compression = Best Benchmark: THG-Workload
Winzip 12Version 12.0 (8252) WinZIP Commandline Version 3 Compression = Best Dictionary = 4096 KB Benchmark: THG-Workload
Autodesk 3D Studio Max 2009Version: 9 x64 Rendering Dragon Image Resolution: 1920 x 1280 (frame 1-5)
Adobe Photoshop CS4 (64-Bit)Version: 11 Filtering a 16MB TIF (15000x7266) Filters: Radial Blur (Amount: 10; Method: zoom; Quality: good) Shape Blur (Radius: 46 px; custom shape: Trademark symbol) Median (Radius: 1px) Polar Coordinates (Rectangular to Polar)
Adobe Acrobat 9 professionalVersion: 9.0.0 (Extended) == Printing Preferenced Menu == Default Settings: Standard == Adobe PDF Security - Edit Menu == Encrypt all documents (128 bit RC4) Open Password: 123 Permissions Password: 321
Microsoft PowerPoint 2007Version: 2007 SP2 PPT to PDF Powerpoint Document (115 Pages) Adobe PDF-Printer
Deep Fritz 11Version: 11 Fritz Chess Benchmark Version 4.2
Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
BenchmarksDetails
3DMark VantageVersion: 1.02 Options: Performance Graphics Test 1 Graphics Test 2 CPU Test 1 CPU Test 2
PCMark VantageVersion: 1.00 PCMark Benchmark Memories Benchmark
SiSoftware Sandra 2009Version: 2009 SP3 Processor Arithmetic, Cryptography, Memory Bandwith