AMD debuts US$99 quad-core CPU

Some may say it’s AMD clutching at Yet Another Straw but the overnight announcement of a US$99 quad-core desktop CPU could put a little pep back into the chipmaker’s step.

The Athlon II X4 takes aim at system builders looking to crank out Windows 7 desktop machines with an appealingly low price tag – and still deliver reasonable performance for everyday tasks into the bargain.

AMD has a pair of Athlon II X4 processors in the launch tube: the 2.6GHz model 620 for US$99 and the 2.8GHz 630 for US$122.

Both are built on a 45nm processor however there’s no shared L3 cache and the chips run with a thermal ceiling of 95 watts.

However the CPU has to be coupled with AMD’s 785G chipset which relies on ATI Radeon HD 4200 graphics for pushing the pixels.

Following a first test of the chip Hot Hardware concludes that “while there may be cheaper dual-core solutions out there a quad-core for a few more bucks will be hard to pass up. We think the new Athlon II X4s are  excellent value and  will be a great pick for typical productivity and Internet builds as well as light multimedia duty.”

Hot Hardware also gives a tick to the chip’s overclocking capability claiming that  “With simple air cooling and no voltage adjustments we were able to boost the $99 2.6GHz 620 up to a healthy 3.45GHz.”