AMD Athlon II Processors
It seems good for the price point, but I'm really not sure this is the best idea for AMD. With the introduction of the i5 and soon i3, AMD has been forced to put virtually its entire line (save the 965) into the sub $200 market. Now they are adding even more to a clustered $90-$140 range. Now you have a ton of choices for AMD in that range, but is that a good thing? Surely they can't sell a ton of everything.
Dual core: $92 3.0GHz 545 or $102 3.1GHz Unlocked 550. Both have L3 so they will outperform the Athlon II X4 per MHz per core (but they only have two cores). For people who still feel Dual Core is plenty of performance, they will head this way.
Triple core: $119 2.8GHz Unlocked 720. Again, it outperforms the Athlon II per core because of L3. Most gamers will choose this because few games take advantage of 4 cores (but 3 is becoming more common).
Then there's these new quad cores. For people on a budget, yes they have a purpose. If your programs do take advantage of all 4 cores, like in some of these tests, we can see that these beat the X3 720. So if you can only spend ~$110 but want 4-core utilization then these are key. But I'm not sure how many people do want all 4 cores and don't want to spend $169 for the 945. I also suspect that AMD will have to lower prices of the higher end parts even more because of Intel, and once a 945 is even lower then it's gonna be even more attractive.
I built someone a Phenom II X4 810 system a month ago. That has 2.6GHz and 4MB of L3 (most Ph II have 6MB L3) and was $146 at that time. Because he doesn't overclock, I might have recommended the Athlon 630 instead. Save $20+ and the performance would probably be only a bit slower since the 820 doesn't have as much L3. These now replace the 810 as the cheapest Quads, so they have a use. But only if you think 3 cores are not enough.
Saving for a pair of 965's as nothing else will do for me.
They will replace a pair of 940's that I use now.
In 6 or 8 months I'll do it again.
That's what we're supposed to do,..right?
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If I was seriously looking at these two inexpensive AMD quad-cores, I think I would instead purchase the Phenom II X3 920. Available HERE for only $119, that thing is an awesome overclock monster! AMDCrankItUp, our resident overclock guru, will verify this for me, I am sure.
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Yeah that's the big question I had when I first saw this. If it was unlocked like the Phenom II X3 920 I would go for this, but I think the unlock would help a lot with a cheap build where you are not going to have the best motherboard.
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