Specifications and Overclocking
|AMD Propus Athlon II X4 Specifications|
|Clock Speeds||2.6GHz (X4 620)|
2.8GHz (X4 630)
|L1 Cache Size||64K of L1 instruction and 64K of L1 data cache per core (512KB total L1 per processor)|
|L2 Cache Size||512KB of L2 data cache per core (2MB total L2 per processor)|
|L3 Cache Size||None|
|Memory Controller Type||Integrated 128-bit wide memory controller|
|Memory Controller Speed||2.0GHz with Dual Dynamic Power Management|
|Types of Memory Supported||Support for unregistered DIMMs up to PC2-6400 (DDR2-800MHz) -AND- PC3-8500 (DDR3-1066MHz)|
|HyperTransport 3.0 Specification||One 16-bit/16-bit link @ up to 4.0GHz full duplex (2.0GHz x 2)|
|Total Processor-to-System Bandwidth||Up to 37.3GB/s total bandwidth [Up to 21.3 GB/s memory bandwidth (DDR3-1333) + 16.0GB/s (HT3)] Up to 33.1GB/s total bandwidth [Up to 17.1 GB/s memory bandwidth (DDR2-1066) + 16.0GB/s (HT3)]|
|Packaging||Socket AM3 938-pin organic micro pin grid array (micro-PGA)|
|Fab location||GLOBALFOUNDARIES Fab 1 module 1 in Dresden, Germany (formerly AMD Fab 36)|
|Process Technology||45-nanometer DSL SOI (silicon-on-insulator) technology|
|Approximate Die Size||169 mm2|
|Approximate Transistor count||~300 million|
|Max Temp||71 Degrees Celsius|
|Core Voltage|| 0.925-1.425V|
|Distributor Pricing (in quantities of 1,000)||$99 (X4 620)|
$122 (X4 630)
Without a doubt, Propusí most defining characteristic is its lack of L3 cache. Back when AMD first introduced the world to quad-core computing, they cited the need for a third-level cache to keep all four cores fed with data. In this regard itís a bit of a reversal for the company.
Fortunately Propus incorporates all the IPC (instructions per clock) enhancements found in Phenom II CPUs based on AMDís Deneb core. Propus also ships at higher clock speeds than older Agena-based Phenom CPUs (with the only exception being the now discontinued 2.6GHz Phenom 9950), and with the addition of faster DDR3-1333MHz should you choose to utilize AMDís new AM3 platform. These improvements should hopefully allow it to deliver good performance in the mainstream workloads itís expected to run.
The rest of the CPUís cache configuration carries over unchanged from previous quad-core offerings from AMD, with Propus shipping with the same 512KB of L1 cache (64K data+64K instruction per core) and 2MB of L2 cache (512KB L2 cache per core) as previous AMD quad-core CPUs. The memory controller and HyperTransport speeds also carries over from previous CPU architectures. As you can see, max TDP is 95W.
Two Athlon II X4 SKUs are launching today. The 2.6GHz Athlon II X4 620 and the 2.8GHz Athlon II X4 630. With their $99 and $122 price points, these chips will presumably appeal to the user who needs the benefits of quad-core processing, but doesnít want to spend the premium on a Phenom II processor. Say for instance the dad doing casual video encoding/photo editing work, or the RTS gamer on a budget who wants a quad-core CPU for Supreme Commander but would like to save some money so he or she can splurge on a faster video card.
These are the types of users who would reap the benefits of the Athlon II X4ís fourth core in comparison to a Phenom II X3 720 or Phenom II X2 550, which are both priced similarly to the Athlon II X4.
Two different cores
While the bulk of Athlon II X4 CPUs will rely on AMDís Propus core, it turns out that some Athlon II X4 CPUs will also utilize AMDís more powerful Deneb core. Deneb is of course the flagship core AMD uses in all Phenom II CPUs and features 6MB of L3 cache integrated in the CPU.
In other words, some Athlon II X4 users may purchase the exact same core used in AMDís Phenom II X4 965.
These Athlon II X4 chips will of course have their L3 cache disabled by AMD.
With fewer transistors inside the Athlon II X4, in theory you could argue that the CPU could potentially be easier to OC than Phenom II X4 Deneb cores. Of course, as well all know by now, thereís a lot more that goes into successful OCíing than just that, but we were eager to see how far we could push both X4 CPUs anyway.
Despite their locked clock multipliers, neither chip really disappointed either.
We managed to hit a max speed of 3.458GHz (13x266) with the Athlon II X4 620 at stock voltage. Thatís pretty comparable to previous Black Edition Phenom II CPUs weíve tested in the past.
The max stable speed we hit with our X4 620 chip was 3.679GHz (13x283). We could actually boot and run many apps at even higher speeds, but we couldnít achieve 100% system stability at those clocks. We took a CPU-Z screenshot of the CPU running at over 3.8GHz:
The Athlon II X4 630 managed even better. At stock voltage we were able to clock the CPU up to 3.346GHz (14x239). This particular chip had a slightly lower stock voltage (1.312V vs 1.392), which probably explains why it wasnít able to scale as far as the 620 with no added juice.
Once we cranked up the voltages though, the chip responded beautifully. We managed to hit 3.766GHz with complete stability, and could push it as far as 3.836GHz as you can see here: