Review: AMD Athlon II X4 630

Our score: 3/5
Reviewed: January 10, 2010 11:00 PM
Published: January 10, 2010 11:00 PM
By Régis Jehl
The Athlon II X4 630 is a quad-core 2.8 GHz processor.  It stands out from the Phenom II X3 processors in in the 700 series because it has less cache (there's no L3 cache in fact).

But, as it's the same price as the X3 720 (triple-core, same frequency but more cache), how does it stand up Intel's Core 2 Duo E8000 series?

Energy Consumption

The energy consumption is quite reasonable for a quad-core CPU.  While the processor is idle, we didn't quite achieve the same results as the excellent Intel Core i7/i5 processors, but a score of 120 W is not bad at all.  When working hard, the figure doesn't leap too high, reaching just 183 W for our whole computer.

Performance: Applications

Using our performance index, the X4 630 is neck-and-neck with the X3 720 and the Core 2 Duo 8500.  Crikey--it's almost as if AMD is trying to confuse us, with two very different models with almost identical results.  In real life, though, the three different processors perform very differently according to the application in question.

Let's take a look at the situation in a little more detail with our HD video test, encoding a clip in x264.  The X3 720 took 7 minutes 2 seconds over the task; the E8600 took 8 m 28 s and the X4 630 5 m 29 s.  This is just the kind of task that can make use of multiple cores, these results are entirely logical.


General overall average.
Click on the graph to see all of our results and compare this CPU to other models.

However, things were a little different when we took Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2.5 for a spin.  It's another app that likes multiple processors, but it also seems to be reliant on the amount of cache available.  And the performance of our trio of CPUs reflects this directly: the X3 270 exported our RAW photos in 6 m 46 s, followed by the E8600 (6 m 59 s) and the X4 630 (4 m 25 s).

Performance: Gaming

This is the difference between the Phenom II X3 720 and this Athlon II X4 630: the latter is much less comfortable with games.  It's not a bad processor as such, and produced some reasonable results.  In Far Cry 2, for instance, it reached an average of 65 fps (equal to the E8600) and the X3 720 set the bar at 69 fps.  It was the same story with Crysis Warhead, where the top framerates were 41, 46 and 47 respectively.

View Performance Index Table

3/5 AMD Athlon II X4 630 DigitalVersus 2010-01-11 00:00:00

Pros

  • Reasonable energy consumption
  • All-rounder that can handle most tasks

Cons

  • There are faster (but more expensive) processors for gaming
  • No Turbo mode

Conclusion

This is a quad-core processor that sometimes fell behing dual-core models in our tests. Still, we're glad to see that it did well with apps that could make use of its multiple cores.

OUR SCORE 3/5
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