AMD trims low-end A-series, Athlon II prices

As the holiday shopping rush looms, AMD has quietly adjusted prices for some of its lower-end Athlon II and A-series desktop processors. The company's new price lists show cuts ranging from just a few percentage points to more than 30%. Of course, since the affected chips were almost all below $100 already, the actual differences don't amount to all that much.

Here's a look at the tweaks for A-series offerings. As always, these prices are for bulk orders of chips (1000-unit quantities, to be exact). They're not suggested retail prices.

Processor Old price New price Decrease
A8-3870K Black Edition $101 $91 11%
A8-3850 $91 $87 5%
A6-3670K Black Edition $80 $77 4%
A4-5300 $53 $47 13%
A4-3400 $48 $40 20%
A4-3300 $46 $36 28%

The changes in this area of AMD's lineup make a little more room for new, Trinity-based APUs, which went on sale about a month ago. Prices for those haven't budged. The flagship A10-5800K is still at $122 in AMD's price list.

Anyway, here's how the cuts have affected the Athlon II family:

Processor Old price New Price Decrease
Athlon II X4 651 $92 $76 17%
Athlon II X4 645 $102 $87 15%
Athlon II X4 641 $81 $65 20%
Athlon II X4 640 $98 $67 32%
Athlon II X4 631 $79 $65 18%
Athlon II X3 460 $87 $69 21%
Athlon II X3 455 $76 $65 14%
Athlon II X3 450 $76 $60 21%
Athlon II X2 265 $69 $48 30%
Athlon II X2 260 $64 $48 25%
Athlon II X2 255 $60 $47 22%
Athlon II X2 250 $58 $47 19%

AMD has removed the Athlon II X4 638 and Athlon II X3 445 from its price list. Many others remain, although not all of them are still available at retail. The Athlon II X4 631, for instance, is listed as discontinued at Newegg, and Amazon only offers it through a lone Amazon Marketplace seller based out of Colorado.

The cheapest quad-core Athlon II that remains widely available seems to be the X4 640, which Newegg sells for $79.99. I think that's probably the cheapest quad-core x86 processor ever offered by either AMD or Intel.

Speaking of Intel, the competition from the blue team still comprises only dual-core Pentium processors. For that same $80 asking price, Newegg will sell you either a 2.9GHz Pentium G645 or a 2.4GHz Pentium G640T—both Sandy Bridge-based offerings with 3MB of L3 cache, no Hyper-Threading, and no Turbo Boost. To be fair, though, these Pentiums have power envelopes of just 65W and 35W, respectively, a fair bit lower than the Athlon II X4 640's 95W.

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