Categories: FeaturedProcessors

AMD Athlon X4-845 Carrizo Processor Review

Final Thoughts


Pricing

At the time of writing, the AMD Athlon X4 845 is on back-order from Amazon UK for £56.59 including delivery. This a marvellous value proposition considering the quad-core configuration and good multi-threaded performance.

Overview

Ideally, I would have preferred testing this particular CPU with lots of other budget options from Intel including the Pentium G3258 which is renowned for having exceptional single-threaded performance when overclocked. Unfortunately, issues with sampling meant this wasn’t possible. Throughout the testing, I wanted to make sure the CPU was pitted against products in a similar price range in the interest of fairness. When spending just over £50 for a processor, expectations are quite low but there should still be enough performance to play various games, do some light video work and have a fulfilled PC experience.

The AMD X4-845 is well suited to these tasks and consistently outputs very good performance. Granted, it’s not great when dealing with WinRAR file compression and the memory latency is the highest I’ve seen. Putting these issues aside, the processor is capable of impressive multi-threaded performance as shown by the Cinebench results and happens to be more adept at video editing than the G3200. Of course, this is down to the additional two cores. Honestly, I don’t expect many people to be purchasing this chip for its video editing abilities or compute time. The real purpose for the X4-845 is to be an affordable gaming CPU or part of an HTPC.

It’s a shame that the lack of an integrated GPU makes it less convenient for users building a compact, no-frills media PC and this also adds to the overall cost to the end-user. On a more positive note, the AMD X4-845 is a wonderful option for people investing in their first gaming PC and have no intentions of selecting expensive graphics hardware. It’s also perfect for casual gaming scenarios and should please the majority of users with realistic expectations. The processor’s gaming performance is remarkably strong and competes with the A10-7850K. I was a little disappointed with the 3DMark score but the overclocked result more than made up for this.

In terms of overclocking, the locked multiplier restricts the chip’s potential and it’s challenging to surpass 4.02GHz via BCLK tuning, Even when using high-end water cooling, the memory controller comes into play and cannot remain stable even when accounting for this in the BIOS. Saying that, anyone should be able to achieve around 3.95-4.00GHz with decent cooling hardware and this also includes the stock heatsink. Much of this is insignificant though because the mainstream user wanting a cheap processor is unlikely to engage in overclocking.

The AMD X4-845 is fairly efficient but there’s not a massive improvement in thermal loads or power consumption compared to the A10-7850K. It’s not a huge issue because the power consumption remains low and the CPU doesn’t output much heat. Although, it would have been exciting to see the wattage closer to budget Intel solutions.  Overall, the picture is very positive and I strongly believe this is one of the best value processors ever unleashed onto the market.

Pros

  • Excellent packaging
  • Good multi-threaded performance
  • Great temperatures
  • Magnificent value-for-money
  • New stock cooler is quiet
  • Superb option for users with modest graphics hardware

Cons

  • x8 PCI Express 3.0 could bottleneck high-end GPUs
  • Locked multiplier
  • Requires discrete graphics card

“The AMD Athlon X4-845 is a great processor for budget users wanting to build a PC which can confidently cope with the latest games and mainstream applications. Additionally, it competes pretty well against similar priced Intel offerings while offering more cores for your money.”

AMD Athlon X4-845 Carrizo Processor Review

Thank you to AMD for providing this review sample.

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John Williamson

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