AMD Athlon II X4 640: 4-Cores On The Cheap

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Our Summary and Conclusion

Performance Summary: The new Athlon II X4 640 performed relatively well, especially considering its affordable price point. Generally speaking, the Athlon II X4 640 processor was outpaced by Intel's latest dual-core, the Core i5-661, but keep in mind AMD's new offering is significantly less expensive. In both single- and multi-threaded tasks, the higher frequency of the 3.0GHz Athlon II X4 640 gives it an edge over the 2.9GHz Athlon II X4 635, but there were still a number of scenarios where Intel's older Penryn-based quad-cores were faster than the Athlon II.

When we took a look at the first speed bumps to the AMD Athlon II line-up a few months ago, we began our conclusion by saying, "Today's launch by AMD doesn't break any major new ground, but the products do represent better values than the previous offerings they're replacing at the top of their respective product line-ups, which is a good thing for consumers." And that statement rings true again today. The new Athlon II X4 640 comes in at the same price point of the 635, which now drops down to $99.

At about $120, the Athlon II X4 640 is a potent processor for the money. Match this processor up with a decent, dual-channel 4GB DDR3-1333 memory kit and a nice AMD 800-series chipse based motherboard, and you'll have yourself the foundation of a relatively powerful system, with cutting edge features (i.e. SATA 6G), for around $340. That's good news for anyone looking to build a full-featured, quad-core powered PC, on a limited budget. It may not be the fastest CPU on the market, but the Athlon II X4 640 is well worth its paltry asking price.


  • Decent Performance
  • Low Power
  • Affordable Price


  • Couldn't Catch Intel's CPUs in many tests


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