Intel isn't the only one releasing new processors today. With quite a bit less pomp—even less than a price list update, in fact—AMD has released its first quad-core Athlon II X4 processor. Newegg currently lists the Athlon II X4 620 in stock for $125.99.
The processor has four 2.6GHz cores with 512KB of L2 cache each, a Socket AM3 package, and a 95W thermal envelope. Those specs sound similar to those of the Phenom II X4 810, but there's one key difference. Unlike its Phenom II brethren, the Athlon II X4 has no L3 cache. At least, if there's L3 cache in the silicon, it's not enabled.
We'll have to take this specimen (or one like it) into our labs to figure out what difference the missing L3 cache makes. However, AMD is pricing it right at the same level as the Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition, which has three 2.8GHz cores, L3 cache, and an unlocked upper multiplier. Intel's cheapest quad-core Core 2 remains at around $150, and the rival chipmaker continues to offer only dual-core CPUs below that price point.