Advanced Micro Devices on Wednesday unveiled the world’s first quad-core microprocessor, which were previously known as Propus, that costs less than $100. The new chip is expected to enable high performance in multi-threaded applications as well as in games optimized for Windows 7/DirectX 11.
The two chips announced by AMD are Athlon II X4 620 and 630. The processors have 2MB level two cache (512KB per core), dual-channel DDR2/DDR3 memory controller, 95W thermal design power and operate at 2.60GHz and 2.80GHz, respectively. Both processors are compatible with AM2+ and AM3 platforms. Both chips are made using 45nm silicon-on-insulator process technology. The higher-end model 630 costs $122, whereas the lower-end has price of just $99.
It is rather noteworthy that originally AMD planned, according to certain sources, to release the faster Propus model in late August along with AMD 785G core-logic that features DirectX 10.1-compliant ATI Radeon HD 4200 integrated graphics core. Due to an unknown reason, the firm decided to postpone the announcement by three weeks.
Even though the AMD Athlon II X2 620/630 are not going to show leading-edge performance in applications that take advantage of clock-speed (in those cases the new processors will be slower than rather moderate single-core or dual-core offerings) or large cache, the new processors have a lot of chances to demonstrate rather remarkable speed in next-generation video-games that are optimized for DirectX 11/Windows 7 as well as multi-thread rendering. Today’s games only use one core for rendering, but next-generation applications programming interface will allow to use all available cores for rendering.
Moreover, the new processors will be coupled with AMD 785G core-logic, the only DirectX 10.1-compliant integrated graphics core-on the market, which also seems to be the highest-performing built-in graphics solution on the market today.
“With AMD’s chipset, graphics and multi-core technologies working together, this mainstream desktop platform [code-named Pisces] is optimized for the new, visually intensive Windows 7 enhancements,” an AMD statement reads.