The Athlon X4 845 is one of the most recent value CPUs launched by AMD for socket FM2+, with four cores, 3.5 GHz base clock and 3.8 GHz turbo clock, no integrated video, based on the new “Carrizo” core. Let’s test it!
The Athlon X4 845 is, just like the Athlon X4 880K, which we already tested, a quad-core CPU that uses socket FM2+, but offers no integrated video. However, while the X4 880K uses the Godavari core (Steamroller architecture), the Athlon X4 845 uses the new Carrizo core, that is part of the Excavator architecture. This new architecture uses a 28 nm manufacturing process, but has only half of the L2 cache (1 MiB for each two cores).
Besides that, the Athlon X4 845 offers a smaller amount of PCI Express 3.0 lanes: just eight lanes, instead of the 16 lanes present on the Athlon X4 880K and other CPUs that use this socket. This, however, should not be a real-world performance limitator, as we proved in this article. Besides that, being a low-cost CPU, it will hardly be paired with a high-end video card, and surely not with an SLI or CrossFire array. Another important difference in this new architecture is the improved energetic efficiency: the Athlon X4 845 has a TDP of 65 W. This is because the Carrizo core is derivated from mobile models.
In terms of price, the direct competitor of the Athlon X4 845 is the Pentium G4400 from Intel, but it also is close of the FX-4300, which has no integrated GPU too. Unfortunately we had no Pentium G4400 available for this test, so we will compare the Athlon X4 845 to the FX-4300. We also included in the comparison the A10-7870K (to see if is there any performance difference between both architectures) and a Core i3-6100. Keep in mind, however, that these two last CPUs are not competitors to the Athlon X4 845, since they are in a higher price level.
As the Athlon X4 845 has no integrated video, we ran the tests using an independent video card. As it is a mainstream processor, it would make no sense using a high-end video card; so we used a GeForce GTX 950 from Gigabyte (read this video card review here.) On the other CPUs, we disabled the integrated video and used the same video card.
Figure 1 unveils the box of the Athlon X4 845 we used in our tests.

Athlon X4 845Figure 1: box of the Athlon X4 845

Figure 2 shows the box contents: a manual, the CPU itself, a case sticker and a simple full-aluminum cooler called “95 W thermal solution”.

Athlon X4 845Figure 2: box contents

Figure 3 unveils the Athlon X4 845 CPU.

Athlon X4 845Figure 3: the Athlon X4 845 CPU

Figure 4 shows the bottom of the CPU.

Athlon X4 845Figure 4: underside of the FX-4300

Let’s compare the main specs of the reviewed CPUs in the next page.
[nextpage title=”The Reviewed CPUs”]
In the tables below, we compare the main features of the CPUs included in our review.

CPU Cores HT IGP Internal Clock Turbo Clock Core Tech. TDP Socket Price

Athlon X4 845

4

No

No

3.5 GHz

3.8 GHz

Carrizo

28 nm

65 W

FM2+

USD 68

FX-4300

4

No

No

3.8 GHz

4.0 GHz

Vishera

32 nm

95 W

AM3+

USD 90

Core i3-6100

2

Yes

Yes

3.7 GHz

Skylake

14 nm

51 W

LGA1151

USD 125

A10-7870K

4

No

Yes

3.9 GHz

4.1 GHz

Godavari

28 nm

95 W

FM2+

USD 140

Below you can see the memory configuration for each CPU.

CPU L2 Cache L3 Cache Memory Support Memory Channels

Athlon X4 845

2 x 1 MiB Up to DDR3-2133 Two

FX-4300

2 x 2 MiB 8 MiB Up to DDR3-1866 Two

Core i3-6100

2 x 256 kiB 3 MiB Up to DDR4-2133 or DDR3L-1600 Two

A10-7870K

2 x 2 MiB Up to DDR3-2133 Two

[nextpage title=”How We Tested”]During our benchmarking sessions, we used the configuration listed below. Between our benchmarking sessions, the only variable devicand was the CPU being tested, besides the motherboard and memory, which had to be replaced to match the different CPUs.
Hardware Configuration

Operating System Configuration

  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
  • NTFS
  • Video resolution: 1920 x 1080 60 Hz

Driver Versions

  • NVIDIA driver version: 358.91

Software Used

Error Margin
We adopted a 4% error margin. Thus, differences below 4% cannot be considered relevant. In other words, products with a performance difference below 4% should be considered as having similar performance.[nextpage title=”PCMark 8″]
PCMark 8 is a benchmarking software that uses real-world applications to measure the computer performance. We ran three tests: Home, which includes web browsing, writing, light gaming, photo editing, and video chat tests; Creative, that includes web surfing, video editing, group video chat, video conversion, and gaming; and Work, which runs tasks such as writing documents, web browsing, spreadsheets, editing, and video chatting. Let’s see the results.
Athlon X4 845
On the PCMark 8 Home benchmark, the Athlon X4 845 was 11% slower than the FX-4300, 11% slower than the A10-7870K, and was 30% slower than the Core i3-6100.
Athlon X4 845
On the Creative benchmark, the Athlon X4 845 was 7% slower than the FX-4300 and the A10-7870K, and was 26% slower than the Core i3-6100. Athlon X4 845On the Work benchmark, the Athlon X4 845 was on par with the FX-4300 and the A10-7870K, but was 20% slower than the Core i3-6100.
[nextpage title=”3DMark”]

3DMark is a program with a set of several 3D benchmarks. Fire Strike runs a “heavy” DirectX 11 simulation. Sky Diver also measures DirectX 11 performance, and is aimed on average computers. The Cloud Gate benchmark measures DirectX 10 performance, and the Ice Storm Extreme measures DirectX 9 performance and is targeted to entry-level computers, so we don’t ran it.

Keep in mind that we used a GeForce GTX 950 VGA in this test on all CPUs.

Athlon X4 845

On Fire Strike, the Athlon X4 845 performed similarly to the FX-4300 and the A10-7870K, and was 10% slower than the Core i3-6100.

Athlon X4 845

On the Sky Diver benchmark, the Athlon X4 845 had the same performance of the FX-4300, was 4% slower than the A10-7870K, and was 15% slower than the Core i3-6100.

Athlon X4 845

On the Cloud Gate benchmark, the Athlon X4 845 was 7% faster than the FX-4300, performed similarly to the A10-7870K, and was 23% slower than the Core i3-6100.

[nextpage title=”Photoshop CC and Cinebench R15″]

Photoshop CC

The best way to measure the performance of a CPU is by using real programs. The problem, of course, is to create a methodology that offers precise results. For Photoshop CC, we used a script named “Retouch Artist Speed Test,” which applies a series of filters to a standard image and gives the time Photoshop takes to run all of them. The results are given in seconds, so the less, the best.
Athlon X4 845
In this test, the Athlon X4 845 performed similarly to the FX-4300, was 23% faster than the A10-7870K, and was 29% slower than the Core i3-6100.

Cinebench R15

Cinebench R15 is based on the Cinema 4D software. It is very useful to measure the performance gain obtained by the presence of several processing cores while rendering heavy 3D images. Rendering is an area where a bigger number of cores helps a lot, because usually this kind of software recognize several processors (Cinebench R15, for example, can use up to 256 processing cores).
We ran the CPU benchmark, which renders a complex image using all the processing cores (real and virtual) to speed up the process. The result is given as a score.
Athlon X4 845
On Cinebench R15 CPU benchmark, the Athlon X4 845 had a technical tie with the FX-4300, was 5% slower than the A10-7870K, and was 24% slower than the Core i3-6100.
[nextpage title=”Video encoding”]

DivX

We used the DivX converter, a tool included in the DivX package, in order to measure the encoding performance using this codec. The DivX codec is capable of recognizing and using all available cores and the SSE4 instruction set.
We converted a Full HD, six-minute long .mov video file into an .avi file, using the “HD 1080p” output profile. The results below are given in seconds, so the lower the better.

Athlon X4 845

On DivX encoding, the Athlon X4 845 was 11% faster than the FX-4300, 11% slower than the A10-7870K, and was 31% slower than the Core i3-6100.

DVDShrink

DVDShrink is an old but still very useful program to “shrink” video DVDs that have more than 4.7 GiB of data to fit single-layer DVD media. We used it to compress the DVD of “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” DVD to 4.7 GiB. The results below are given in seconds, so the lower the better.
Athlon X4 845
In this test, the Athlon X4 845 was 6% faster than the FX-4300, was on a technical tie with the A10-7870K, and was 7% slower than the Core i3-6100.

Media Espresso

Media Espresso is a video conversion program that uses the graphics processing unit of the video engine to speed up the conversion process. We converted a 1 GiB, 1920x1080i, 23,738 kbps, .mov video file to a smaller 320×200, H.264, .MP4 file for viewing on a smartphone. The results below are given in seconds, so the lower the better.

Athlon X4 845

Here the the Athlon X4 845 performed similarly to the FX-4300 and the A10-7870K, but and was 29% slower than the Core i3-6100.
[nextpage title=”Gaming Performance”]

Battlefield 4

Battlefield 4 is the latest installment in the Battlefield franchise, released in 2013. It is based on the Frostbite 3 engine, which is DirectX 11. In order to measure performance using this game, we walked our way through the first mission, measuring the number of frames per second three times using FRAPS. We ran this game at Full HD, setting overall image quality at “medium.”
The results below are expressed in frames per second (fps) and they are the mean between the three collected results.
Athlon X4 845
On Battlefield 4, the Athlon X4 845 performed like the FX-4300, was 17% faster than the A10-7870K, and was 6% slower than the Core i3-6100.

Dirt Rally

Dirt Rally is an off-road racing game released in April 2015, using Ego engine. To measure performance using this game, we ran the performance test included in the game, in 1920 x 1080 (Full HD) resolution and image quality configured as “medium” and MSAA off.
The results below are expressed in frames per second (fps).
Athlon X4 845

In this game, the Athlon X4 845 was 6% slower than the FX-4300, performed just like the A10-7870K, and was 37% slower than the Core i3-6100.

Dying Light

Dying Light is an open-world horror game launched in January 2015, using the Chrome Engine 6. We tested the performance at this game with quality options as “high”, antialising on, and Full HD resolution, measuring three times the frame rate using FRAPS.
The results below are expressed in fps and they are the mean between the three collected results.
Athlon X4 845

In this game, the Athlon X4 845 was 7% slower than the other tested CPUs. It is interesting to remember that, as we concluded when we tested PCI Express performance, Dying Light is one of the few games that takes advantage of a higher PCI Express bandwidth.

Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V, or simply GTA V, is an open-world action game released for PCs in April of 2015, using the RAGE engine. In order to measure the performance on this game, we ran the performance test of the game, measuring the framerate with FRAPS. We ran GTA V at Full HD, with image quality set as “normal” and MSAA off.

The results below are expressed in frames per second.

Athlon X4 845

On GTA V, the Athlon X4 845 was 15% slower than the FX-4300, 11% slower than the A10-7870K, and was 33% slower than the Core i3-6100.

Mad Max

Mad Max is an open-world action game launched in September of 2015, using the Avalanche engine. In order to measure the performance using this game, we ran its intro, measuring the framerate with FRAPS three times. We ran the game at Full HD, with image quality set as “normal”.

The results below are expressed in fps and they are the mean between the three collected results.

Athlon X4 845

On Mad Max, the performance on all the four CPUs was the same.

Rise of the Tomb Rider

Rise of the Tomb Rider is an adventure/action game launched in January of 2016, based on Foundation engine. In order to measure the performance using this game, we ran the benchmark included on it, using Full HD resolution and graphics quality set to “medium”.
The results below are expressed in frames per second.
Athlon X4 845
Also on Rise of the Tomb Rider, the performance was the same on all CPUs.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is an open-world RPG released in May of 2015 and based on the REDengine 3 engine. In order to measure the performance on this game, we walked around at the first scene of the game, measuring the frame rate with FRAPS three times. We ran the game at Full HD with image quality set to “medium.”

The results below are expressed in fps and they are the mean between the three collected results.

Athlon X4 845

In this game, the performancand was the same on all processors too.
[nextpage title=”Conclusions”]
Before running our tests, we were believing the Athlon X4 845 should present lower performance than the FX-4300 and the A10-7870K, because of its lower clock and cache memory.
However, it seems like the new Excavator architecture, with the Carrizo cores, reached a good balance of performance and power, being actually faster than the FX-4300 and the A10-7870K in some tests, including games. Besides that, it uses less power, which is always welcome.
So, we concluded that the Athlon X4 845 is a CPU with excellent cost/benefit ratio, and even if it is not the right choice for a high performance computer, it is an excellent option for a budget PC for work and gaming.