Intel isn't the only one with new processors on the horizon. Listings for a pair of quad-core Athlon II processors, the Athlon II X4 620 and Athlon II X4 630, have appeared at a multitude of online retailers in Europe.
According to price search engine Geizhals, the Athlon II X4 620 runs at 2.6GHz with a 95W power envelope, 512KB of L2 cache per core, no L3 cache, and support for two channels of DDR3-1333 memory. The Athlon II X4 630 has similar specs but a faster 2.8GHz clock speed.
British e-tailer Premier One Vision Computers has the lowest prices: £72.86 for the X4 620 and £87.57 for the X4 630. Those figures are 32% and 59% greater, respectively, than what Premier One charges for the Athlon II X2 250. If we carry over the same pricing relationships across the Atlantic to Newegg (which lists the X2 250 for $79), we end up with prices of $105 for the Athlon II X4 620 and $126 for the Athlon II X4 630.
That's quite affordable, especially since Intel's cheapest Core 2 Quad will set you back $150 right now. In that price range, these Athlon II X4s may also end up competing with slightly higher-clocked Phenom II X3s. We'll have to get them in our labs to see which offerings end up delivering the most value.
We should also note that these listings validate (at least in part) that MSI processor compatibility list we happened upon last month. The list details a handful of triple- and quad-core Athlon IIs, including the 620 and 630.