AMD Athlon-II X4-640 CPU ADX640WFGMBOX E-mail
Reviews - Featured Reviews: Processors
Written by Hank Tolman   
Friday, 02 July 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
Features and Specifications
Closer Look: Athlon-II X4-640
Testing and Results
EVEREST Benchmark Tests
Passmark PerformanceTest
PCMark Vantage Benchmark Tests
SiSoftware Sandra
Cinebench R11.5 Benchmarks
Video Game Benchmarks
AMD Athlon-II Overclocking
AMD Athlon-II X4 Final Thoughts
ADX640WFGMBOX Conclusion

AMD Athlon-II X4-640 Propus Processor Review

In September 2009, AMD unleashed a torrent of personal computing potential by introducing the market to the first sub-$100 quad-core processor, the Athlon-II X4-620. Since then, like it has with the entire Athlon-II series, AMD has been releasing newer versions of their inexpensive quad-core CPUs. In this article, Benchmark Reviews takes a look at AMDs latest release in the Athlon-II X4 line, the Athlon-II X4-640 ADX640WFK42GM AM3 Processor. Built on the Propus die, the Athlon-II X4 series cuts costs by eliminating any L3 cache and limiting the L2 cache to 512KB per core. In looking at the performance of the Athlon-II X4-640, we will compare it to other recent AMD offerings in a similar price range, the Athlon-II X2-260 and the Athlon-II X3-445.

AMD is quickly moving into the leader position in the low to mid-range computing world. Their firm grasp on the sub $200 market is expanding rapidly. The lower end of their processor line, the Athlon-II line, has expanded from just X2 (dual core) CPUs last year to the X3 (triple core) and X4 (quad core) processors like the Athlon-II X4-620 which brought quad-core processing to under $100. AMD is also breaching the high end of gaming PCs with their Phenom-II line. The black edition series of processors, including the Phenom-II X4-965BE which won an editor's choice award here at Benchmark Reviews, can be overclocked to extreme highs, making them great gaming CPUs. They can't beat the raw power of the i7 series, but with the 965BE coming in at only $179, the bang for the buck is appealing to computer enthusiasts everywhere.


The Athlon-II series is built to be a less expensive alternative, while still offering a lot of great features. The chips are designed without any L3 cache at all, allowing for those lower prices. Many computer enthusiasts, myself included, often wait a long time after the purchase of a computer before considering an upgrade. I know many of you reading this are the same way. According to the Steam Hardware Survey for April 2010, almost 17% of gamers (remember, the hardware survey is based on Steam users) are still using single core processors in their systems. Quad core use is up, but still only amounts to 27.5% of users. The bulk of the users use dual core processors with speeds between 2.0 and 2.6GHz. Considering the lowest end of new Athlon-II dual core processors are now at 3.2GHz, this leaves a lot of room for upgrade.

In this article, Benchmark Reviews takes a look at the new Athlon-II X4-640 Quad-Core Processor and compares it's performance to that of the Athlon-II X3-445 and X2-260 processors. All three have similar clock speeds, with the X4-640 at 3.0GHz, the X3-445 at 3.1GHz and the X2-260 at 3.2Ghz. With the release of the Athlon-II X4-640 as AMDs flagship Athlon-II processor, the price of the 2.9GHz Athlon-II X4-635 will fall below $100. The X4-640 was released at an MSRP of $122, with the X3-445 and X2-260 comparison processors at $87 and $76, respectively. Here at Benchmark Reviews, we have recently tested both the X3-445 and the X2-260 and found them to be excellent performers for the entry-level prices they represent. We will be quite surprised if the Athlon-II X4-640 provides us with a different view than these others, as AMD has proven to be quite consistent with the price to performance ratio of its recently released products.

About Advanced Micro Devices, Inc (AMD)AMD_Logo_300px.png

"Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD) is an innovative technology company dedicated to collaborating with customers and partners to ignite the next generation of computing and graphics solutions at work, home, and play.

Over the course of AMD's three decades in business, silicon and software have become the steel and plastic of the worldwide digital economy. Technology companies have become global pacesetters, making technical advances at a prodigious rate - always driving the industry to deliver more and more, faster and faster.

However, "technology for technology's sake" is not the way we do business at AMD. Our history is marked by a commitment to innovation that's truly useful for customers - putting the real needs of people ahead of technical one-upmanship. AMD founder Jerry Sanders has always maintained that "customers should come first, at every stage of a company's activities."

We believe our company history bears that out."



# RE: AMD Athlon-II X4-640 CPU ADX640WFGMBOXRobert17 2010-07-02 15:38
I replaced an Athlon x2 4200+ I'd been using for years with an x4 930 using the same ASUS M3N78 Pro motherboard, mainly to encode audio a little faster. $99 has been the tag on the 930 for months and I found it to be a nice uptick for my needs. It seems the 940 you reviewed would be a nice upgrade for anyone with a modest budget. I agree with your article wholeheartedly. Nicely done.
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# What I would like to seeBernardP 2010-07-05 10:13
Maximum overcl#ing at maximum voltage is of limited practical use. Data I would like to see even more are: maximum overclocking at stock voltage and undervolting results at standard clock.
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# Stock Voltage OverclockHank 2010-07-14 15:30
The highest stable overclock I was able to achieve using stock voltage was 3.69GHz. I increased the bus speed to 246 and left the multiplier at x15. I haven't yet tried to see how much I can undervolt the CPU at stock speeds, but I will try it out tomorrow.
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# UndervoltingDevius 2010-07-07 06:21
BernardP: I have an Athlon II X4 630 and the same motherboard used in this review and I found the cpu to be stable with 1.21375V at stock speed.
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# Power saverAdam Smith 2010-07-15 06:44
I chose a motherbd and CPU to get he most bang for the $ using less electricity. I was going to underclock to reduce power usage. Weeks of reading lead to choosing the Athlon IIx4 635, Asus M4A89GTD PRO/USB3. It uses less electricity is very adjustable (& will do 6 cores) has 4290 GPU usb3 SATA 6 Gb/s g.skill ddr3 1.35volt 2gb x2 use win 7Pro64t. (turn ACHI on before installing windows, then do the SSD)
Typing this on the internet - my kill a watt says my power usage is 73.9 watts this includes my power adaptors for my dsl router and my monitor + KVM + an ocz vertex2 (the 2 is very important) 50G ssd (the 50 is better than the 60 for reliability+longevit y sake).
When I turn on the speakers my pwrusage goes up to 76.6. When I add my printer idle it goes up to 85 watts.
After much testing I am now at stock speeds and just turned the cpu voltage down to 1.2 and the memory voltage down. The system is very stable at these speeds.
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# Power usage on your Athlon II 635Bob 2011-04-10 13:47
Hi Adam, have you used your kill-a-watt to measure only the PC (without monitor, KVM, and other itmes)? I am really curious about this measurement.

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# RE: power saverSunji 2010-12-19 17:13
ive chosen station very similar to your configuration. funny, i read this article after buying new pc but i see we made almost the same solution.
right now i got Athlon II x4 640, Asus M4A89TD PRO mainboard, ddr3 1600 2x2 GB RAM with 1,7-1,9V. instead of onboard GPU ive chosen Gigabyte's GF GTX 460 768 OC GPU - its high-end but doesnt use much power while iddle running.
as i can tell u dont have to decrease the multiplier. while cool n quiet turned on it decrease it automaticly down to x4 with 800 MHz core speed and 1,044 Voltage. the same goes with other componetns, the system reduce usage power and increase it when its needed (i.e. when ur playing games).
the only one thing u should remember - make sure to buy better quality(80+) PSU, like Seasonic or Tagan. with my config the 520W PSU runns perfectly
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# mere curiosityADI 2011-02-02 02:55
Great article i must say... n thanks to mr. tolman. But sir there is a question which i have i dunno how correct i am in asking this but which one is better Athlon X4 640 or Phenom II X4 955 BE. X4 645 is prices at around $110 and X4 955 BE at around $150 but i was just comparing the scores of few benchmarks from different articles on benchmark reviews and found both the processor's performance is almost the same or sometimes X4 640 beating the X4 955 BE... I dunno if anyone has noticed this earlier or my observation is wrong.

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# Athlon II x4 640 vs Phenom II x4 955Andrzej 2011-09-20 12:17
Phenom II X4 955 BE is a much faster cpu than Athlon X4 640 but uses at default speeds 20 - 30W of power more both idle and under load.
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# there is a lvl 3 cache on propustheunlocker 2011-10-21 10:45 m-d4dhc88.jpg

take a look at the cache of my Athlon II x4 640 :)
runs absolutely stable and well.
at 3 Ghz, not overclocked, i had the same test result with the Phenom II x4 940
actually... they are the same.
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# amd athlon ii x4 640Dee P.I. 2012-01-30 13:10
my processor when i bought it the multiplier was x4 only is this normal???my processor is amd athlon iix4 640..need some answers pls!help
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# adm athalon x 2 640 3.20ghz 3gb memmorymichele 2012-03-04 11:28
i have this...have to say i am not impressed. it runs ok when browsing the internet. but when i need to use a program, such as photoshop or 3max, it runs supper slow. i had a pentium 4 3.0 with 5gb memmory which was 7 years old when it broke down...even till the very last of its time, the pentuim ran my programs faster and smoother than the athalon x2.
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# OppsPoxer 2012-10-02 13:12
I know you most likely(& hopefully) have this fixed by now. But in case anyone have the same issue try upgrading BIOS to begin with. Look at the motherboards manufacters specifications, does it support your processor? Clear CMOS.

Hank, I think you should add that you not only increased the bus but hopefully reduced the HT multiplier etc as well. For those less experienced.

If I remember correctly things get troublesome above 2,5Ghz HT on that MB maybe could be fixed by changing volts here and there but yeah. And that BIOS is a hell :P I want numbers updated directly. For example if you increase the bus then change the multiplier it will not (in BIOS) show what you actually change to but what it would have been with default bus freq.
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