The Athlon II processor is AMD's newest addition to the K10 family, based around the same core design, the Athlon II carries many of the improvements that the Phenom II processor currently supports and we will run down a few of them now for you.
- Dual Mode Memory
AMD's dual mode memory controller supports both a DDR2 and DDR3 Dual Channel memory controller on the single CPU. This allows for a seamless upgrade path allowing users with current AM2+ motherboards to use the Phenom II and Athlon II processors in their current motherboards with DDR2 memory, while allowing upgrade path to DDR3 at a later date.
This is where Athlon II makes its distinction from the Phenom II line. Athlon II has had a cache cut done in order to save money on production as well as to reduce its overall performance.
Phenom II processors come with three caches - a Level 1 cache, a Level 2 cache and a shared Level 3 cache. Athlon II has no Level 3 cache integrated to the System Command Queue or better known as the integrated Northbridge. The L2 and L1 cache sizes are identical to the Phenom II processors, so no changes have been made there.
Looking at the Athlon II processor there isn't much different at all apart from the writing on the top of the IHS. The same AM3 938-pin package is used, which we hope AMD will change with AM4 socket to go pinless similar to how Opteron has now gone.
The current line-up of Athlon II X4 processors from AMD shows only two processors on their map, the 620 and the 630. The 620 processor that we are looking at today comes clocked at 2.6 GHz where the 630 comes clocked in at 2.8 GHz. Both share the same quad-core design, cache structure and socket support.