AMD is launching a new series of affordable quad-core processors today under the Athlon II brand name. Based on the 'Propus' architecture and built using a 45nm design process, the new series is intended to help AMD secure the low-end portion of the market, as Intel's Core i5 750 and LGA1156 platform have clearly made life difficult for them on the mainstream front.
This is essentially the same Deneb architecture that is used by the Phenom II X4 series, except for the L3 cache which has been removed from the Athlon II X4 parts. With models ranging from 2.20GHz through to 2.9GHz on the horizon, AMD has decided to unleash the Athlon II X4 620 first, clocked at 2.6GHz and expected to retail for just $100.
The amazingly low price tag puts this chip in a category of its own, as there are currently no quad-core parts competing here. In our review, we will put AMD's budget quad-core processor to the test next to comparable offerings like the Phenom II X2 550, X4 945 and the older (yet still well-regarded) Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600.