Performance computing and environmental sympathy aren't exactly bum chums. After all, high end chips tend to be power hungry. But what if there was a low-power version of AMD's quad-core processor architecture that gave you the same performance without the gas guzzling?

That's exactly what the new AMD Athlon II X4 610E is supposed to deliver. Actually, the environmental aspect is a bit of a ruse. The real advantage of a low-power chip is the options it gives you in terms of form factors. With a power rating of just 45 Watts, the Athlon II X4 610E will run in much smaller systems while producing less heat and noise.

Anyway, inside the 610E's casing is precisely the same quad-core Propus die used in the AMD Athlon II X3 435 and AMD Athlon II X4 620 processors. It's therefore not AMD's most advanced quad-core architecture and lacks a shared L3 shared cache memory pool. At 2.4GHz, the 610E is also clocked significantly lower than AMD's full-power processors.