AMD Athlon X4 880K Review - Godavari

When purchasing a low cost processor, you need to know what your main use of it will be.  Depending on your needs, a low cost processor might not be the best choice; especially if you are wanting to do heavy duty tasks such as video encoding.  Of course, if you're on a budget, a lower cost processor might be exactly what you are after, as long as you are aware of the limitations, you can make an informed choice.  For around $96 with free shipping, you can begin to build a budget minded quad-core system with the AMD Athlon X4 880K processor. [caption id="attachment_187446" align="aligncenter" width="645"]AMD Athlon X4 880K AMD Athlon X4 880K CPU Lid[/caption] When taking a look at low cost processors, AMD has two different types.  The APU, which includes a graphics processing unit, and a CPU, which does not.  The AMD Athlon x4 880K is a CPU, not an APU, so you must use a discrete graphics card.  The AMD 880K, is a quad-core processor built on their Steamroller architecture, it features a base clock speed of 4.0GHz, with a built-in turbo speed of 4.2GHz.   As it is one of AMD's K processors, it is unlocked so it could be overclocked to run faster. https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLx15eYqzJifdAhuXgLSy0lIDV7Qk3glP-&v=ISgUoFSlE-U Included with the Athlon x4 880K, is AMD's latest cooler, the Near Silent 125W cooler.  In early 2016, AMD introduced it's Wraith cooler, which included a fan shroud with LEDs and a newly designed cooler.  The Near Silent 125W cooler is the same cooler that is included in the Wraith package, without the fancy fan shroud and LEDs. This CPU cooler is very well designed and should allow for some overclocking headroom with the AMD Athlon X4 880K 'Godavari' processor as you'll see later in our review. AMD Athlon X4 880K Features and Specifications
AMD Athlon x4 880K CPU Specifications
Platform Desktop
Microarchitecture Steamroller
Processor Core Godvari
Total L1 Cache 256KB
Total L2 Cache 4MB
Unlocked Yes
CMOS 28nm
Package FM2+
# of CPU Cores 4
Base Clock Speed 4GHz
Max Turbo Core Speed 4.2 GHz
Max Temps 72.40C
TDP 95W
Thermal Solution Included Near Silent 125W
Max Memory Speed 2133MHz
Memory Interface DDR3
Memory Channels 2
AES Support YES
FMA FMA4
AVX AVX
AMD Virtualization Yes
[caption id="attachment_187446" align="aligncenter" width="645"]AMD Athlon X4 880K AMD Athlon X4 880K CPU Lid[/caption] The top of the processor has the Integrated Heat Spreader, where you find the usual markings that includes the model number, manufacturer date, batch number and production location. [caption id="attachment_187447" align="aligncenter" width="645"]AMD Athlon X4 880K AMD Athlon X4 880K Bottom of CPU Pins[/caption] Flipping over to the base of the processor, we can see that AMD is using pins to connect the processor to the FM2+ socket. Let's take a look at the AMD X4 880K on our test system.

AMD X4 880K Test System

[caption id="attachment_187967" align="aligncenter" width="645"]AMD Athlon X4 880K AMD Athlon X4 880K Test System[/caption] [caption id="attachment_187890" align="aligncenter" width="645"]AMD Athlon X4 880K AMD Athlon X4 880K CPUz[/caption]
AMD Athlon X4 880K Test System
Component Brand / Model Live Pricing
Processor AMD Athlon X4 880K Click Here
Motherboard Gigabyte F2A88XM-D3HP Click Here
Memory SK Hynix DR3 16GB (4x4GB) Click Here
Video Card EVGA GTX 970SC Click Here
Hard Drive Intel Pro 2500 180GB SSD Click Here
Hard Drive 2 Sandisk Ultra II 480GB SSD Click Here
Power Supply Corsair CX750M Click Here
Operating System Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit Click Here
The above listed components will be installed on an open air test bed, and will be tested with a fresh install of Windows 10 64-bit Anniversary edition.  All patches, drivers and firmware will be updated prior to beginning the testing. All testing is done in a temperature controlled room that is maintained at 72F (22.2C), with a 24-hour burn in being completed before testing begins.  Whenever possible, we will utilize integrated benchmarks, running them three times and averaging the results. Near Silent 125W Thermal Solution The AMD Near Silent cooler comes ready to be attached to the motherboard.  Rather than using push pins, screws or some other type of installation method, AMD's motherboards have a retaining clip already installed, all the user has to do is slide the clips over the brackets and flip the locking bracket into place.  This is an extremely easy and fast installation method. [gallery ids="187445,187444"] Taking a look at the cooler itself, AMD has placed a 92mm Delta fan on the top, model QFR0912H, that is rated for 3200RPM, pushing 60.47CFM at 37.0dBA.  The new cooler measures 119 x 100 x 80mm (LxWxH), making it a bit larger than it's predecessor.  Included on the new cooler is designed like most coolers, with aluminum fins tightly packed to provide more surface area for cooling.  Starting at the base and routing through the aluminum fins, are four 6mm copper heat pipes that are designed to distribute the heat evenly through the fins. [caption id="attachment_187443" align="aligncenter" width="645"]AMD Athlon X4 880K AMD Athlon X4 880K Bottom of Near Silent 125W Cooler[/caption] Taking a look at the bottom of AMD's Near Silent cooler, we see that the heat pipes do not come into contact with the CPU.  Instead, they are connected to a copper baseplate that has a brushed finish on it.  AMD pre-applies a thermal pad making installation that much quicker and easier. [caption id="attachment_187968" align="aligncenter" width="645"]AMD Athlon X4 880K AMD Athlon X4 880K CPU and Near Silent CPU Cooler Installed[/caption] Many enthusiasts will probably never take a second look at the AMD Near Silent cooler system, however as this is a low cost processor, we will use this cooler so we can evaluate it's performance.

General Performance Testing

General Performance Testing will consist of using several benchmarks that should provide a good glimpse at the AMD 880K overall performance.  These benchmarks will provide a good idea of what it can do for the average home user. SiSoftware Sandra CPU Arithmetic Benchmark [caption id="attachment_187927" align="aligncenter" width="645"]AMD Athlon X4 880K AMD Athlon X4 880K SiSoftware Sandra Processor Arithmetic[/caption] SiSoftware Sandra Multi-Media [caption id="attachment_187928" align="aligncenter" width="645"]AMD Athlon X4 880K AMD Athlon X4 880K SiSoftware Sandra Multi-Media[/caption] Cinebench R15 [caption id="attachment_187921" align="aligncenter" width="645"]AMD Athlon X4 880K AMD Athlon X4 880K Cinebench R15[/caption] PCMark 8 Advanced Home Overall Score [caption id="attachment_187895" align="aligncenter" width="645"]AMD Athlon X4 880K AMD Athlon X4 880K PCMark 8 Home Advanced[/caption] CPUz Bench [caption id="attachment_187893" align="aligncenter" width="645"]AMD Athlon X4 880K AMD Athlon X4 880K CPUz Bench[/caption] Handbrake [caption id="attachment_187896" align="aligncenter" width="645"]AMD Athlon X4 880K AMD Athlon X4 880K Handbrake 10.5 Encoding[/caption] Legit Reviews Benchmark Results:  Taking a look at the benchmarks, we can start to see a trend.  In tests where a single core is tested, the cheap Intel G4400 has a slight advantage over the AMD 880K.  However, most applications are quickly becoming multi-core/multi-threaded capable, which is where we start to see the AMD 880K take the lead; for a low cost solution, it is starting to show promise.

File Encryption and Compression Testing

File encryption and compression are two heavy CPU usage tasks.  CipherShed is based on TrueCrypt, and is an open source encryption program.  Included with CipherShed is the same benchmark that made TrueCrypt an important tool in analyzing encryption performance. While 7-Zip is a very common tool that users might find themselves using to compress data for email, or saving storage space CipherShed AES Encryption [caption id="attachment_187899" align="aligncenter" width="645"]AMD Athlon X4 880K AMD Athlon X4 880K CipherShed AES[/caption] CipherShed Serpent Encryption [caption id="attachment_187900" align="aligncenter" width="645"]AMD Athlon X4 880K AMD Athlon X4 880K CipherShed Serpent[/caption] CipherShed TwoFish Encryption [caption id="attachment_187901" align="aligncenter" width="645"]AMD Athlon X4 880K AMD Athlon X4 880K CipherShed TwoFish[/caption] SiSoftware Sandra Cryptography [caption id="attachment_187929" align="aligncenter" width="645"]AMD Athlon X4 880K AMD Athlon X4 880K SiSoftware Sandra Cryptography[/caption] 7-Zip File Compression [caption id="attachment_187894" align="aligncenter" width="645"]AMD Athlon X4 880K AMD Athlon X4 880K 7-Zip Compression[/caption] Legit Reviews Benchmark Results:  As we stated, file encryption and compression uses advanced algorithms to manipulate the data, which uses the CPU processing power to it's fullest.  We expect a big difference between the Intel i5 and the AMD 880K.  The difference between the two low cost options though, was a bit surprising.  For encryption, the difference was between 13% and 33% depending on the type of encryption you wanted to use.  File compression, the 880K took an even stronger lead, with between 25% and 40% better performance.  

Gaming Performance Testing

For those that want to do gaming on a low cost processor, we will take a look at a few different types of games, this is an indication of how well the low cost processor works with the Memory, Storage and GPU. 3DMark Time Spy [caption id="attachment_187959" align="aligncenter" width="645"]AMD Athlon X4 880K AMD Athlon X4 880K 3DMark TimeSpy[/caption] Rockstar Games: Grant Theft Auto V [caption id="attachment_187904" align="aligncenter" width="645"]AMD Athlon X4 880K AMD Athlon X4 880K Grand Theft Auto V[/caption] Codemasters: Dirt Rally [caption id="attachment_187906" align="aligncenter" width="645"]AMD Athlon X4 880K AMD Athlon X4 880K Dirt: Rally[/caption] CD Projekt: Witcher 3 [caption id="attachment_187907" align="aligncenter" width="645"]AMD Athlon X4 880K AMD Athlon X4 880K Witcher 3[/caption] Legit Reviews Gaming Performance Results:  Depending on the game, the gaming performance of the AMD 880X will vary.  In the three games we tested, it received better performance than the Intel G4400, but lower performance than the Intel i5 6600K.  It's performance lead over the low cost Intel solution was anywhere from 2% - 16% and had a very respectable framerate.

AMD X4 880K Overclocking

Overclocking the AMD 880K can be done two different ways, either through the motherboard's BIOS or using AMD Overdrive.  By default, the CPU Clock Ratio is set to 40 and CPU Clock Control at 100, giving the CPU it's 4.0GHz default speed.  To overclock, we adjusted the CPU Clock Ration by 1 until we were no longer able to boot into Windows.  Then we stepped it back down one, and begin stability testing. [caption id="attachment_187948" align="aligncenter" width="645"]AMD Athlon X4 880K AMD Athlon X4 880K - Gigabyte F2A88XM-D3HP Overclocking[/caption] We were able to boot successfully at 4.5GHz, while 4.6GHz we would lock up the system, requiring us to do a BIOS reset.  Testing at 4.5GHz, the system was fully stable, allowing us to perform stability testing and some benchmarks to see if there was any improvement. [caption id="attachment_187961" align="aligncenter" width="645"]AMD Athlon X4 880K AMD Athlon X4 880K AMD Overdrive[/caption] AMD's Overdrive is a great piece of software for both the novice and enthusiast wanting to get the most out of their system.  It includes an Auto-Tune option, where it will test your system looking for the optimal settings.  In addition, you can set them manually, and use their Stability test to run an hour long test on the processor.  Finally, AMD has their own little benchmark within Overdrive to evaluate how your system tuning affects performance. [caption id="attachment_187949" align="aligncenter" width="426"]AMD Athlon X4 880K AMD Athlon X4 880K CPUz Overclock[/caption] 3DMark TimeSpy [caption id="attachment_187962" align="aligncenter" width="645"]AMD Athlon X4 880K AMD Athlon X4 880K 3DMark TimeSpy Overclocked[/caption] PCMark 8 Home Advanced [caption id="attachment_187963" align="aligncenter" width="645"]AMD Athlon X4 880K AMD Athlon X4 880K PCMark 8 Home Advanced Overclocked[/caption] CodeMasters: Dirt Rally [caption id="attachment_187964" align="aligncenter" width="645"]AMD Athlon X4 880K AMD Athlon X4 880K Dirt Rally Overclocked[/caption]   Legit Reviews Overlocking Results:  While we were only able to boost the CPU base clock speed from 4.0GHz to 4.5GHz, in reality it took it from running at 4.2GHz with Turbo to 4.5GHz.  Not a huge overclock, but gives either a 7% or 12.5% boost in clock speed.   Taking a look at the benchmarks, we saw a small increase in performance of between 3% to 5%.

Noise, Temperature and Power Ratings

We will use a P3 Kill-A-Watt power meter to monitor the power usage throughout all phases of testing.  While testing, we will make note of the highest and lower power usage, the highest and lowest power usage is listed below. [caption id="attachment_187910" align="aligncenter" width="645"]AMD Athlon X4 880K AMD Athlon X4 880K Power Consumption[/caption] While the AMD Athlon x4 880K test system was idle, it was pulling 41W of power, which was slightly less than the other two processors included in this test.  However, once the system ramped up to a full load, the 880K began to devour power, increasing by 213W of power, reaching a maximum power draw of 254W! [caption id="attachment_187911" align="aligncenter" width="645"]AMD Athlon X4 880K AMD Athlon X4 880K CPU Temperatures[/caption] Stock coolers are notorious for providing poor cooling, over the past couple of years, both AMD and Intel has been working to improve their coolers, or opting to not include a cooler when they know enthusiasts will use alternative methods.  The new AMD Near Silent 125W cooler, did a pretty good job at cooling the 880K processor.  At idle, it was sitting at a cool 27.25C, during testing, it reached a maximum of 47.75C.  This is much less than the rated maximum temperature of 72.4C.  Once we overclocked the processor, the Near Silent 125W cooler helped to keep it below the 72.4C but it was close, topping out at 70.8C. Noise Testing To test the noise level, an Extech sound level meter with a +/- 1.5dB accuracy was used.   We will first take an ambient noise reading, and then place the sound meter 6 inches from the Near Silent 125W fan.  Without doing any fan adjustments, we will monitor the noise level, to see how "Near Silent" the fan is. The ambient sound level was registering at 35.5dB, once the system was turned on, we did not register any increase in the ambient noise level.  As we put the system under a heavy load, we could hear when the fan started to speed up.  During testing, the loudest the fan got to was 42.25dB.   We have seem after market cooling solutions that are much louder, and some that are a bit quieter.  If the system was built into a case, with a side panel on, I think for most people, it would be difficult to hear this fan.  For an OEM heat sink and fan solution, this is an impressive option. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=soc5x_4IACQ  

Final Thoughts and Conclusions

[caption id="attachment_187446" align="aligncenter" width="645"]AMD Athlon X4 880K AMD Athlon X4 880K CPU Lid[/caption] When looking to build a budget system, every penny counts.  If you can afford it, buying a high end processor, graphics card, memory, and motherboard is definitely the way to go.  However, if you are looking at a budget system, the AMD Athlon X4 880K is a great alternative that provides good performance, while saving you some money.  Depending on your specific needs, the type of processor you have might not make as much of a difference as you would expect. The AMD Athlon X4 880K Godavari CPU can be purchased for around $95 with free shipping, but you need to keep in mind that this is a CPU and not an APU, meaning it does not include any kind of graphics processor.  The  Gigabyte MicroATX GA-F2A88XM-D3HP motherboard that we used to benchmark it on can be purchased for just $59.99 shipped, so the core system here is rather affordable as you are talking under $160 for a processor, heatsink and motherboard. If you wanted to deal with a $10 rebate you can get the board for $49.99 shipped at Newegg. That would put you at $145 for those three system pieces! In our testing, we compared it to the an Intel low cost processor that we had on hand, the Intel Pentium G440 and an enthusiast grade Intel Core i5-6600K, both of which are Skylake based.  In our testing, the Intel Pentium G4400 dual-core processor ($59.99 shipped) was not able to keep up with the AMD 880K in most tasks and benchmarks. As you would expect, the AMD Athlon X4 880K wasn't able to keep up with the Intel Core i5-6600K ($219.99 shipped).  Keeping in mind, that a processor costs more than our entire core system that was being tested and is not a typical processor for a low-cost budget system.  Plus you need to keep in mind that AMD includes a nice cooler with the Athlon X4 880K. Intel does not include one with the Intel Core i5-6600K, so you'll need to factor in at least $25 - $50 for a low-end air cooler or double that for a mainstream water cooler. [caption id="attachment_187968" align="aligncenter" width="645"]AMD Athlon X4 880K AMD Athlon X4 880K CPU and Near Silent CPU Cooler Installed[/caption] While the AMD 880K is unlocked, and overclocking is supported, we weren't able to squeeze out a huge overclock score. Doing a very quick overclock by increasing the CPU Clock Ratio, we were able to push it to 4.5GHz (keeping in mind that the auto Turbo speed is 4.2GHz); the 4.5GHz is still between a 7% and 12% overclock.  Of course your experience and other components will greatly impact your overclocking success.  Even with that small overclock, we did see an increase in the performance of up to 5%. The AMD 880K is using their FM2+ socket which has been around for several years, so motherboards are readily available.  It also uses older DDR3 memory, which is pretty cheap, and you might have some already sitting around from a previous system. If you are wanting a budget system it is hard to go wrong with this platform! Legit Reviews Value Award Legit Bottom Line:  If you have a tight budget for a new computer capable of gaming and typical home use the AMD Athlon X4 880K is a great option.  Having a tight budget when building a gaming system, isn't always fun.  You typically have to cut corners somewhere, however the AMD Athlon X4 880K allows you to save on the CPU allowing you to spend your budget dollars on upgrading other components.