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 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.