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AMD Athlon 64 4600 plus review

Impressive value at stock clockspeeds

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Our Verdict

Another AMD chip that can't live with the Intels, but affordability counts strongly in its favour

For

  • Very tempting price

    Efficient use of cache memory

Against

  • Can't compete with Intel's big-hitters

The launch of Intel's Core 2 processor was a rude shock for AMD, at the time happily extracting top dollar from PC enthusiasts for its Athlon 64 X2 dual-core chips. Now you can buy this mid-range X2 for just £123, including Chancellor Brown's pound of VAT flesh. Remarkable.

As part of an economy drive, AMD has dropped most of its 2MB cache processors. So, the 4600 plus makes do with just 512k per core while the Core 2 Duo packs at least 2MB.

But such is the efficiency of the Athlon 64's highly integrated architecture, the stingy cache memory has little impact on performance, which falls somewhere between the Core 2 Duo E6300 and E6400 chips at stock clock speeds, as it does in terms of price, too.

However, when it comes to overclocking prowess, it gets monstered by its Intel nemeses.