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Closer Look at Athlon II X3 435

We received the top AMD Athlon II X3 435 processor to check out the potential of the new triple-core Athlon II X3 CPUs. This processor works at 2.9 GHz clock frequency and sells at the official price of $87. Together with this CPU AMD is launching another similar triple-core processor, Athlon II X3 425, with 2.7 GHz clock frequency and $76 price tag. Frankly speaking, we were a little surprised with these frequencies, because AMD already has one and a half times more expensive Phenom II X3 720 CPU working at 2.8 GHz. The new processors will most likely show similar performance with the latter, even though they don’t have any L3 cache memory.

The complete technical specifications of the CPU that arrived in our lab look as follows:

The reports from diagnostic utilities also do not have any surprises for us. CPU-Z recognizes Athlon II X3 435 correctly as a 45 nm CPU with three cores and no L3 cache memory. According to AMD, this CPU is codenamed Rana.

However, I would like to remind you that in reality AMD manufactures only three types of 45 nm semiconductor dies (using GLOBALFOUNDARIES production capacities). They are quad-core Deneb and Propus and dual-core Regor. They are used for Phenom II X4, Athlon II X4 and Athlon II X2 CPUs respectively. The cores for all other AMD processors, including Athlon II X3, are made by disabling some parts of the above listed semiconductor dies, which is successfully used by quite a few computer enthusiasts who manage to make these parts operational again.

So, there is nothing surprising about the features of Athlon II X3: they are based on the same Propus semiconductor die without L3 cache memory as Athlon II X4 CPUs. The new triple-core processors have one of the cores disabled, that’s the only difference.

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