Architecture-wise the main difference between the CPUs from AMD and their Intel counterparts is the presence of an integrated memory controller that supports both DDR2 and DDR3 memories on AMD processors. Memory support on Pentium and Celeron CPUs depends on the chipset. Since Intel G45 chipset only supports DDR2 up to 800 MHz, we used the same DDR2-800 modules with all CPUs, this way the memory modules wouldn’t bias the results.
All CPUs included don’t support the SSE4 instruction set. AMD CPUs have AMD’s own implementation of SSE4 called “SSE4a,” which has only four instructions and is not the same thing as SSE4 (which has a total of 54 instructions, 47 on SSE4.1 and seven on SSE4.2).
In the table below there is a column called “external bus.” For the AMD CPUs this means the speed of the HyperTransport bus, which on the reviewed CPUs works at 2,000 MHz, which translates in a maximum theoretical transfer rate of 8,000 MB/s (2,000 MHz x 16 bits x 2 data per clock cycle / 8). On Intel CPUs the external bus is called front side bus (FSB) and depending on the CPU can work at 200 MHz or at 266.6 MHz transferring four 64-bit data per clock cycle. Because of that, this bus is also referred as “800 MHz” (4x 200 MHz) or “1,066 MHz” (4x 266.6 MHz). This is equivalent of a maximum theoretical transfer rate of 6,400 MB/s (200 MHz x 64 bits x 4 data per clock cycle / 8) or 8,533 MB/s (266.6 MHz x 64 bits x 4 data per clock cycle / 8), respectively.
You may have noticed the letter “e” on the new Athlon II X2 CPU. This letter indicates that this CPU is a low-wattage model, dissipating only 45 W.
|CPU||Cores||Internal Clock||External Bus||Core||Tech.||TDP||Socket||SSE4||Price|
|Athlon II X2 240e||2||2.8 GHz||8 GB/s||Regor||45 nm||45 W||AM3||SSE4a||USD 77|
|Athlon II X3 435||3||2.9 GHz||8 GB/s||Rana||45 nm||95 W||AM3||SSE4a||USD 87|
|Athlon II X4 620||4||2.6 GHz||8 GB/s||Propus||45 nm||95 W||AM3||SSE4a||USD 100|
|Celeron E3200||2||2.4 GHz||6.4 GB/s||Wolfdale||45 nm||65 W||775||No||USD 53|
|Pentium E5200||2||2.5 GHz||6.4 GB/s||Wolfdale||45 nm||65 W||775||No||USD 68|
|Pentium E6300||2||2.8 GHz||8.5 GB/s||Wolfdale||45 nm||65 W||775||No||USD 86|
TDP stands for Thermal Design Power which advises the user of the maximum amount of heat the CPU can dissipate. The CPU cooler must be capable of dissipating at least this amount of heat.
The prices listed were researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review (the prices for Athlon II X2 240e and Athlon II X3 435 are the suggested prices set by AMD, since we got the CPUs before they were launched).
|CPU||L1 Cache||L2 Cache||L3 Cache|
|Athlon II X2 240e||64 KB + 64 KB per core||512 KB per core||No|
|Athlon II X3 435||64 KB + 64 KB per core||512 KB per core||No|
|Athlon II X4 620||64 KB + 64 KB per core||512 KB per core||No|
|Celeron E3200||32 KB + 32 KB per core||1 MB total||No|
|Pentium E5200||32 KB + 32 KB per core||2 MB total||No|
|Pentium E6300||32 KB + 32 KB per core||2 MB total||No|
Now that you know the contenders, let’s see how they performed.