|AMD Athlon-II X4-645 CPU ADX645WFGMBOX|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Processors|
|Written by Hank Tolman|
|Tuesday, 21 September 2010|
Page 11 of 12
AMD Athlon-II X4 Final Thoughts
With the Athlon-II series of processors, AMD has clamped down on the entry-level CPU market with an iron grip. Built without any L3 cache at all, these processors are cheap. The Athlon-II X4 series brought quad-core processing to the sub-$100 level for the first time. Everyday computer users confined to a tight budget, which really characterizes the vast majority of users, can now afford to enter in to the world of quad-cores that many of us had only dreamed of before now. With a price so enticing, it is normal to doubt the quality and performance that could possibly come out of such a product. As we have seen clearly in our testing, however, those doubts are unfounded. The Athlon-II X4-645 easily competes with processors that are much more expensive.
In our testing, the i5-655K was the Intel processor most competitive with the Athlon-II X4-645 and it comes at a price nearly $75 more expensive than the $122 X4-645. The X4-645 is also a quad-core, compared to the dual-core i5-655K. The latter also has an unlocked multiplier similar to AMDs black edition CPUs making it a more likely candidate for overclocking. For me, however, the first and final comparison after the benchmarks have shown the numbers has to be price. When I see two processors competing so closely for dominance in each test, it comes down to cost, and the Athlon-II X4-645 has that in the bag. The only real disconcerting thought about the price of the Athlon-II X4-645 is the fact that it will now cost about $23 more than its predecessor while providing an average increase in performance of only about 3%. If anything can detract from the value of the X4-645, it's the X4-640.
Our gaming tests, as well as the rest of our benchmarks, show conclusively that the Athlon-II X4-645 is a processor that can do just about anything pretty well. It certainly isn't the best CPU available in any single event, but it will do any of the jobs we tested it for with good level of proficiency. Even without the L3 cache available on higher priced CPUs, the Athlon-II X4-645 offers the performance necessary to get the job done. A few weeks ago my little brother called me up to ask me some questions about the specifications of a new computer he wanted to buy. He had been using a laptop for quite a while and, now that he was getting into some of the newer games, wanted to get a desktop to allow him to play them with high quality graphics. He will be using his computer for other purposes as well, but the most resource intensive use will be for gaming. He doesn't have a lot of room in his budget for what would normally be considered a powerhouse gaming computer, so he asked me how he could bring the cost down. I told him immediately that he should buy an Athlon-II quad-core processor. The X4-645 had obviously not been released yet, so I told him to buy the X4-640. He paired the Athlon-II with a NVIDIA GTX460 and many other budget minded parts and hasn't had any complaints about the performance.
For our readers, I have the same suggestion. If you are looking for a way to save money but still get a lot of power, you should consider an Athlon-II X4-645 and the results you have seen from the benchmark testing we have conducted. Don't be afraid that you won't be able to play video games; your GPU will determine that. These Athlon-II quad-cores are the cheapest quad-cores available and offer plenty of bang for the buck. The overclocking isn't disappointing either. As an Intel user for most of my life, testing the Athlon-II series of processors has really allowed me a new perspective. I don't know how many of you remember when the first Pentium processors were being released by Intel but I was a computer technician back then. I had to send back AMD CPUs more than twice as often as Intel CPUs at that time. That really skewed my view of AMD processors and it wasn't until very recently that I started using them again. I am not disappointed at all that I did.