AMD Athlon II X2 240e & Athon II X3 435
While AMD is not releasing any processors here based on wholly new architecture, the Athlon II X3 435 (try saying that in under 3 seconds), and the Athlon II X2 240e are welcome additions to the ranks of the value-minded Athlon II CPU family. The Athlon II X3 435 would belong in the setup of a budget minded gamer, or in the family PC of some folks who need a beefier CPU than the Athlon II X2 240e. However, due to the low TDP on the Athlon II X2 240e, it would make a better CPU in an HTPC, where less heat being produced would be a great thing to have. They’re great overclockers, and are probably capable of hitting 4GHz on air cooling with a decent cooling solution, but are incapable of doing so on a 64 bit OS, which is unfortunate.
The really attractive feature about these chips is the value they bring, and the price competition they aggressively put into play is something all consumers can be happy about. While this release won’t pressure Intel into lowering the prices on their top of the line beasts, like the Core i7 975, which is untouched as far as performance goes, it can put pressure on Intel’s lower end CPUs, making PCs more accessible, and more affordable to consumers.
There’s really no reason to go out and spend $600 on a CPU if your main tasks on your computer involve playing games, listening to music, and browsing the internet. A lower end quad, or even triple core would work just fine. Spending less on your CPU frees up more budget for graphics, which have a much greater impact on performance. After all, if spending $200 less on a CPU means that you can afford the best overclocking motherboard and a good air cooler, then that’s a tradeoff you should be willing to make, assuming you can overclock. Nothing is quite as satisfying as taking an $80 chip and making it scream like a CPU that costs much more.
The nostalgia triggered by the name Athlon had me intrigued by these CPUs, and they matched my expectations. While they may not have the absolute performance edge over their Team Blue counterparts that the original Athlon family had, they are still solid performers and, most notably, are incredible overclockers. Nothing can beat the feeling you get from taking a cheap little dual core and clocking it 1GHz higher in literally 5 minutes. It’s great to see AMD isn’t sitting still as we eagerly await the release of their upcoming 6-core Bulldozer chip.
AMD Athlon II X2 240e
AMD Athlon X3 435