AMD Athlon II 620 X4

Test Setup and Overclocking

Test System
 
As mentioned on the previous page this is very much a processor for those seeking either a cheap all-round system, or to install a better processor into their current set of hardware. The AMD Dragon platform is build around this very philosophy. To this end it would be defeating the object somewhat to drop it into a high-end all-singing system and so we've gone for a more budget conscious one to find out exactly how much performance can be obtained on a very tight budget.
 
Motherboard : Gigabyte MA785GT-UD3H
Processor :
AMD Athlon II 620 X4
Memory :
Corsair XMS3 1333MHz DDR3 2x1GB
Cooler :
Thermalright Ultra 120 with Yate Loon 120mm fan
Graphics Card :
ASUS 4850 512MB TOP using Catalyst 9.10
HDD : 
Samsung Spinpoint F1 1TB
Operating System : 
Windows 7 Home Premium 64
 
So far, so very average. However, with a little overclock this could be quite a useful rig, so let's see what we can get the processor to do before we move on to some benchmarking.
 
 
Overclocking
 
CPUzOverclocking the X4 620 was an exercise in both joy and frustration in equal measures. Starting from the defaults of 2000MHz NB and HTT, 200MHz bus x13 multiplier to give the default 2.6GHz we kept the voltage stock and, like all good overclockers, gradually bumped it up 5MHz at a time and tested for stability each time. The first point of call with any processor that starts in the 2GHz bracket is to hit the 3GHz barrier, and 230 bus speed saw this appear without even the slightest difficulty. 240 bus speed came and went, and 250 was hit with only a minor tweak to the voltage, up to 1.39v. Load temperatures were still around 40°c and there seemed no end to how far this could be pushed.
 
Unfortunately that seemed pretty much to be that. An increase of the bus to 255 provided a blue screen, and so the voltages were increased. +0.1v on the northbridge and HTT, and the processor was increased to 1.45v. It was still very unstable and whilst it would at least boot into Windows now, it was only a couple of minutes before the dreaded blue screen appeared again. Incredibly frustrating. No reasonable combination of voltages or tweaks would get it stable at anything other than the 3.25GHz that was got very early and pretty much at default voltages.
 
As a final attempt the core voltage was upped to a staggering 1.55v in an attempt to get it stable around the 3.3GHz mark. This was met with a annoying lack of success. There is a definite block with a bus speed of over 250 which has baffled us all, especially considering the ease at which that 250 bus was obtained.
 
Therefore the voltage was lowered back to just above stock, with the bus at 250, northbridge at 2000MHz and HTT at 2000MHz to run the overclocked tests. A 650MHz increase with absolutely zero effort on a chip with this much value is not to be sniffed at, so let's run some benchmarks and see if all this effort was worthwhile.
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Most Recent Comments

03-11-2009, 04:01:04

tinytomlogan
We welcome VonBlade to the Overclock3d Review team by sending him an AMD Athlon II 620 X4 to review.

Continue Reading

03-11-2009, 05:01:00

Mul.
Welcome to the team VB!

The X4 620 certainly is a stonking processor for the money, though my hunch is that the OC limitation lies with the motherboard. 250HTT can often be a real struggle for some boards. It may have been a CPU related limitation if the mobo didn't offer a decremental NB multiplier.

Good work!

03-11-2009, 07:37:11

VonBlade
Thanks Mul.

It was the most frustrating OC I've ever attempted. Usually you get towards it and gradually strike the balance between stability and the CPUz screengrab of death. This was just all or nothing.

It's amazing value for money though.

03-11-2009, 16:09:49

painejake
Picked one of these up last week actually... Gotta say for the cash it is a complete bargain. I managed 3.4Ghz but unstable. Running at 3.2GHz very stable

At 70-80 for a 3.2GHz Quad CPU you can't complain at all

Nice review VB

03-11-2009, 17:57:56

Rastalovich
Great review VB.

I think I'm alone in feeling uneasy about the pricing on this.

I do accept that, yes it's quad core, and yes it'll capably handle what's thrown at it - and I can see oc'ers liking this.

So why the uneasy feeling... perhaps if the 77 is mrrp and it onlines at 70 or a snatch under, I'd feel a little better.

But I think I latch onto the superpi score (which there is a multicore version available now I think I've seen), just under 25s for an oc. Then look over at Intel's camp, especially considering the 220 mobo/cpu idea. Intel are ofc making the adjustments too, and they're 'pentiumizing' previous c2d cpus, and yeah they're 2 cores (if u bank on 4 cores, or have a legit reason to think ur software will use it - ur not really on a budget imo) - but they are more attractively priced imo, and ofc they oc too.

Tough one.

04-11-2009, 13:29:13

Judderman
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='VonBlade'
Thanks Mul.

It was the most frustrating OC I've ever attempted. Usually you get towards it and gradually strike the balance between stability and the CPUz screengrab of death. This was just all or nothing.

It's amazing value for money though.
Very good review, and looks like the chip is going to be a bit of a bargain, to check if the 250fsb is the limit did you drop the multiplier down?, this may give an indicator if the 250fsb is the problem or the 3.2ghz clock is the limit

04-11-2009, 13:57:15

funslave
Hi, new here.

1. Nice review, man. 'Cause that's real life, where the silicon you buy does only a part of what most reviews say.

2. It looks to me that the notorius and long praised 785G chipset is somewhat stucked in OC. I don't especially blame a certain producer, but the chipset/BIOS combination. AMD770 + SB710 appears more OC-friendly, since I personally jumped over the 250 mark, and I bet I'm not the only.

3. Picked one of these nano-beasts last month. I've come along with a CADAC. After getting around 3.7 GHz with decent voltage, finally managed the 3.9 GHz with 13 x 300 on air cooling, but at 1.6V (see validation below). By the way, was it possible to set the memory to "Ganged" in the BIOS? I've noticed that you may OC further in this way.

It is also a question of luck: during more than a 6-year period, this is only the third CPU I own in a long series which proved to be highly OC-able.

Sorry, I'm not allowed to post links.

04-11-2009, 15:44:11

VonBlade
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Judderman'
did you drop the multiplier down?, this may give an indicator if the 250fsb is the problem or the 3.2ghz clock is the limit
Yes. Sorry I thought I'd said. The multiplier was dropped to 5, 7 and 10 and it still fell over at 250. Which does indicate it's probably the mobo.

Another test is in the pipeline.
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