Little-known fact: AMD sells a handful of Socket FM1 processors based on its Llano design but without integrated graphics. Those chips are branded as Athlon II parts, and they've been available for some time now. According to CPU World, AMD recently expanded that small lineup with a couple of new offerings.
The Athlon II X4 641 is the faster of the two, with a 2.8GHz clock speed and 100W TDP. It's joined by the Athlon II X4 638, which runs at 2.7GHz but features a slimmer 65W thermal envelope. Both processors have quad cores, 4MB of L2 cache, Socket FM1 packages, and $81 price tags. AMD makes it clear on this page that both models are fabbed on a 32-nm process, so they're not simply previous-gen Athlon II chips re-tooled to fit the new socket.
It's just too bad that, after all this time, AMD still hasn't introduced an entirely worthy replacement for the defunct Athlon II X4 840. That CPU was once the cornerstone of our system guide's Econobox build, thanks to its four cores, 3.2GHz clock speed, and $100 price tag. The closest Socket FM1 offering, the Athlon II X4 651, runs 200MHz slower, 5W hotter, doesn't have the upgrade path of Socket AM3+, and doesn't cost a whole lot less. The full-blown A-series offerings with integrated graphics all fetch a premium.
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|10. YetAnotherGeek2 - $200|
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