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AMD Launches $99 Quad Core Athlon

Gordon Kelly


AMD Launches $99 Quad Core Athlon

More cores aren't always better, but rarely are they cheaper - until now...

With the launch of the 'Athlon II X4 620' AMD has delivered the industry's first quad core processor for under $100. Of course we are talking CPUs here so all prices are quoted in SSBP (Suggested System Builder Price), but it no less offers a compelling option strong multitasking on budget systems.

The Athlon II X4 640 is a 45nm part and based on the Phenom and Phenom II K10 micro architecture so we aren't talking out of date tech. Where AMD does save money is on the cache where the 6MB of Level 3 on the Phenom II is dropped altogether. That said, the X4 640 is extremely power efficient with a TDP of just 95 watts and AMD claims Blu-ray discs can be played back "using less energy than a standard 75 watt light bulb". At present Intel doesn't really compete in this space with the Core 2 Quad Q8200 about the best you'll find at circa $150.

AMD is shipping the Athlon II X4 640 immediately so expect it to turn up in a raft of new budget and business machines soon with HP in particular a big fan. Will Intel counter? Does it need to? I suspect we'll find out soon enough...



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