The AMD Athlon-II X4-640 is a quad core processor clocked at 3.0 GHz. The L2 Cache is 2 MB ( 512KB for each of the 4 cores). The Athlon ii X4 640 has an integrated Memory controller, which reduces the latency in the processor to memory communication and makes the processor to memory communication fast. The fast integrated memory controller partly makes up for the smaller cache memory.
The L1 Cache is 64 KB of instruction cache and 64 KB of data cache for all the four core. This makes up a total of 256 KB of L1 instruction cache and 256 KB of data cache.
The Athlon II X4 640 communicates with the chipset using high speed differential HyperTransport bus at 2 GHz. The Hypertransport Bus has massive bandwith with eases up the bottleneck in the processor to peripheral communication. AMD was pioneer in design and use of the Integrated memory controlled as well as the differential HyperTransport Bus. Intel later on used the same technology with its core i3 and core i5 processors.
The Athlon ii X4 640 will fit in your existing motherboard with AM2+ and AM3 socket. AMD has done some commendable job, knowingly or unknowingly in bringing out a large number of processors that come under one umbrella as far as the compatibility to the AM2+ and AM3 motherboards are concerned. If you have a relatively old processor and you need to upgrade the performance, it is likely that replacing with the sub $100, Athlon ii X4 640 will do the job for you.
The TDP rating of the Athlon ii X4 640 is relatively high at 95 Watts. This means the it will require some decent cooling arrangement as far as the heatsink and fans are concerned.
Other notable features include 64 bit support, AMD virtualization support, and the support for the multimedia instructions, including the latest SSE4a. Notice that while the Intel processors support the both SSE4.1 and SSE4.2, AMD has its own proprietary implementation that it calls SSE4a.
The Athlon ii Series of processors give decent performance at acceptable cost point. You may also like to consider the bigger brother, Athlon ii X4-645, which is the fastest quad core Athlon II processor at the time of writing. The Athlon ii X4 645 bumps up the frequency by 100 MHz, giving you additional performance improvement of the order of 3%.
High end gamers who typically use dual core will benefit by switching to the quad core Athlon ii X4 640, and the good news is, they can do so, without spending too much. The Athlon ii X4 640 is a sub $100 processor, making it a competitor to the more expensive core i5 processors.
AMD Athlon II X4 640 Benchmark
Several benchmarks have proved that AMD Athlon II X4 640 has decent performance level as compared to the similarly priced core i3 and core i5 processors from Intel. The passmark ( Performance test 6.1) score of Athlon II X4 640 has been found to be 2392 which is marginally lower than much more expensive Intel core i7-920’s score of 2688.
In PC Mark Vantage score, AMD Athlon II X4 640 was found to be doing well or even better that the Intel core i7-920 ( Source :http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=556&Itemid=99999999&limit=1&limitstart=6 ).
We recommend t that you head to several benchmarking tests performed by other sites if you are interested in exploring the relative benchmark scores.