AMD Advanced Thermal Solutions

The new cooler isn’t quite the Wraith, though it’s much improved over it’s predecessor, with more surface area to dissipate heat and a much more efficient fan. It’s rated at being able to fully cool a 95W load, which isn’t even close to the TDP of theAthlon X4 845 itself. At stock clocks this means that it’s more than sufficient to cool it during even the highest of loads. Testing of idle temps was done after 15 minutes of long idle, ensuring it was sitting and doing absolutely nothing. The load temperature was measured by running through 30 minutes of Battlefield 4, a normal workload that represents a very normal activity to be doing. Sound level was also measured using the above specifications yet with a sound meter at a meter away from the source.

AMD X4 845

AMD X4 845

It seems that the little cooler is more than up for the task. More than that, it wasn’t an annoying sound either. Even if it were quiet, the pitch of the fan can sometimes be far more trying than something that’s loud, yet soothing. This was a mere rush of air. Not being a K model, this means that it, too, isn’t capable of being overclocked, thus we didn’t quite test that capability. The Athlon X4 845, then, does not necessarily need a massive cooler at all.

Power Consumption

This is where the improvements and advancements on the 28nm process truly come into play. They’ve done a tremendous amount of work in getting Excavator and the Athlon X4 845 to be more power efficient compared to Steamroller. Power efficiency and performance-per-watt has always trailed behind Intel’s offerings, and still does with this. That isn’t to say that we aren’t seeing great changes, things that can be used to make future processors more efficient, but it’s still not quite on par with the competition. Thankfully we’re looking at a whopping 112W working with a regular desktop environment, and that’s the full system. If we take away the R7 370 at a presumed 26 watts, as reported by HWiNFO64, then we’re left with the CPU, motherboard I/O, RAM and the SSD using the remaining 86W total. During a round of Battlefield 4 the power consumption rose to 193W total, with the GPU drawing the majority of that, at 110W (the maximum for Trinidad). The result is a very efficient processor compared to what it has been in the past. This is a great step forward, even if it doesn’t quite match Intel in this particular department. It’s hard to ignore the progress that AMD has made with the Athlon X4 845.

Conclusions about the Athlon X4 845

AMD’s Athlon X4 845 is an interesting proposition. It’s a value-oriented processor that’s positioned at the low-end to provide an entry-level compute platform. It’s capable of playing games fairly well at 1080P, and certainly it’ll be even more capable with a better GPU, despite it having an upper limit of about a GTX 970 or the R9 390. It’s also better than it’s Intel counterpart in everything except in regards to power consumption. The end result is a very peculiar one, considering you can have DDR4 and more connectors on an Intel platform as opposed to being limited to SATA and DDR3 (albeit higher speeds) on FM2+. This is, though, a stop-gap. One that doesn’t quite give much options for upgrading into the future. But maybe that’s the point, letting you have a sufficient PC for now while waiting and saving for the really expensive rig of your dreams.

It’s not blistering fast, but it doesn’t have to be. The Athlon X4 845 is definitely fast enough for most, and is more than capable of handling a variety of difficult workloads in short order. It’s a good processor at a good price. It isn’t the best, but it wasn’t meant to be either.

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AMD Athlon X4 845 review, Excavator is bulldozing the steamroller
In absolute terms the X4 845 provides good performance. It isn't the most quick, but paired with a good GPU you can game very well at 1080P and beyond. A very good value while waiting for Zen to make its appearance.
Performance80%
Features80%
Cooling80%
Noise80%
Value90%
What's Right
  • Price
  • Power Usage
  • Included Cooler
What's Wrong
  • Small L2 Cache
  • No Viable Upgrade Path
82%Overall Score
Reader Rating: (1 Vote)
75%