AMD FX-8350 Vishera 8-Core CPU Review - HotHardware

AMD FX-8350 Vishera 8-Core CPU Review

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Even before AMD officially released its Bulldozer-based FX-Series of desktop processors last year, the company was already talking about the follow-on microarchitecture codenamed “Piledriver”. In fact, in the conclusion of our launch article featuring the AMD FX-8150, we posted an AMD-provided slide that showed Piledriver was already on-deck and that it would offer IPC and power improvements over existing architectures, which would result in roughly a 10% to 15% uplift in performance.

We have already shown you what Piledriver could do in mainstream APUs in our coverage of the desktop AMD A10 and A8-Series of products here and the mobile A10-4600M here, but today AMD is finally refreshing its higher-end desktop CPU line-up, which hasn’t seen a new product launch for just over a year. The updated AMD FX-Series of desktop processors featuring the Piledriver microarchitecture was codenamed “Vishera” and we’ve had the flagship variant, the new FX-8350, in the lab for a couple of weeks now. Like other FX-Series processors, the FX-8350 is fully unlocked for easier overclocking, but it’s also been updated with some new features and capabilities courtesy of Piledriver, and AMD has been able to crank the clock speeds way up. In fact, the FX-8350 is the first desktop CPU to feature a base clock of a 4GHz, which can officially Turbo up to 4.2GHz.

We’ve got some quick features and specifications of the new FX-8350 below, along with some related information. Then we’ll move on to the nitty gritty and see just what AMD’s latest flagship desktop processor can do...

AMD FX-Series Processor For 2012
Specifications & Features
CPU Description
Tech/Package 32nm / AM3+
TDP Configs 95W, 125W
Processor Core “Piledriver” (up to 8 Cores), 8MB L2 cache, 256-bit FPUs, 8MB L3 cache
Memory DDR3, 1333-1866, 1.5V
Graphics Core N/A – Pair with AMD Radeon HD 7000 Series Graphics
Performance Management -Core Level: CC6 Power State
-Module Level: L2 Cache power gating via CC6
990FX + SB950
Tech/Package 65nm / FC BGA
TDP Configs 10W for typical configurations
ALink III x4 Gen2
SATA 6 Ports, 6Gbps
USB 12 USB 2.0 Ports, 2 USB 1.1 Internal Ports
PCIe 2.0 Lanes 2x16 or 4x8 + 8x1 + 4x1 + (2x1 on SB)
RAID 0, 1, 5, 10
Software Drivers: Windows 7, Windows 8, Linux


A Side View of the AMD FX-8350 Processor

Before we dive in talk about the new AMD FX-Series, we should call out a few past HotHardware articles which are pertinent to today’s product launch. Although the FX-8350 we’re going to be showing you here today is a new processor, it leverages technologies we’ve previously covered.

The new FX-Series processors, at least for now, will be paired to existing chipsets and motherboards, so we won’t be talking about a totally new platform, like we had to with Trinity and the recently released A-Series APUs. AMD’s latest FX-Series chips use socket AM3+ and are designed for use with previously released AMD 9-Series chipsets, like the high-end 990FX. If you’re unfamiliar with first-gen FX-Series based on the Bulldozer microarchitecture and want to brush up on the features of the 990FX chipset and the newer Piledriver microarchitecture, the list of articles above is a good place to start.

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So since I stopped using AMD in 2009, I haven't looked back. I was out of the country when the core 2 duo made its appearance, otherwise I would have jumped ship sooner. The reason I feel the need to make a comment on this one, is because I feel the fx-8350 isn't getting the praise it deserves here. Sure, intel's are faster, they've been faster for a long while now, but AMD hasn't always been about speed, especially over the past few years.

  AMD is more about the price per performance ratio, at least it's always felt that way.  Yet most of us with the funds available still prefer to take the faste, more expensive route, but in reality how many of us even have any sort of bottle necking issue related to our CPU anymore?  Why over pay for minor gains, that aren't even required for todays game when AMD has given us a solid lower power CPU that delivers quite a punch considering it's under $200.

Neil makes a great point here too, with AMD you can swap out chips and you're up and running. With intel we're looking at least $40-$50 for the locked equivalent to the 8350, and then we're dumping more into the motherboard.  I hadn't even thought of this.

AMD may not be the fastest here, but they are back on the path that once put them on top. Let's just hope they finish ironing out the problems bulldozer brought along and give us a product that puts intel back in the rear view.

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I don't have the 8350 myself,.....not yet anyways.

But I realize that these new AMD chips are plenty good enough to give ~good~ game. (you just need a good video card)

As for AMD, I guess that the best complement that I can give them is to buy from them.

I have a Phenom-II 980 Black, and a FX-4170 Quad core and they are both great gamers. Before too long, I'll have the FX-8350 too.

AMD really doesn't have to beat Intel as to performance. All they have to do is to keep producing viable products for less money.

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@RepoTactics You make a decent troll here. It's the difference between decently good for $200 or TOTL for $1000. 500% of the price for maybe 40-60% increase in performance doesn't quite add up for me. If you have the money, feel free to spend it, but there really is no comparison if you do.

As for this review of the 8350, I'm still happy with mine. Running mine at 4.3GHz on air completely stable on my Sabertooth 990FX R2.0 with 32GB of Corsair XMS ram @1600MHz. Kind of tiffed that my CPU doesn't quite match up to Intel, but for $200, who can complain?

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So if this processor had to be matched up with an equivalent from Intel's Ivy-bridge series what would it be?

It's one thing to simply say its outperformed by this, but outperforms this but I think it's much more informative to see a direct comparison to it's equivalent from the other side.

It's easier to compare Intel to Intel and AMD to AMD cpu's so finding the CPU that matches one from one brand to another serves as sort of the translator for comparison

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The closest comparison is the i5-3470

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Thanks man!

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Clearly AMD is way behind, they have to use more cores and overclock their processors to have a chance against Intel cpus. Amd is still using the 32 nm process and Intel is on the 22nm and moving on to 14nm process in about a year or so. Similar AMD processors are going into the new consoles and being well underclocked. Can you say "severe bottleneck"?

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MichaelHenry:

Clearly AMD is way behind, they have to use more cores and overclock their processors to have a chance against Intel cpus. Amd is still using the 32 nm process and Intel is on the 22nm and moving on to 14nm process in about a year or so. Similar AMD processors are going into the new consoles and being well underclocked. Can you say "severe bottleneck"?

Gaming benchmarks say otherwise.  Often times AMD CPU's paired with any GPU outperforms intel CPU's with the same GPU's.

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MichaelHenry:

Clearly AMD is way behind, they have to use more cores and overclock their processors to have a chance against Intel cpus. Amd is still using the 32 nm process and Intel is on the 22nm and moving on to 14nm process in about a year or so. Similar AMD processors are going into the new consoles and being well underclocked. Can you say "severe bottleneck"?

While I do think AMD is still behind Intel for performance, I think they have steadily been catching up. Ive seen alot of benches where Intel and AMD are neck in neck or one is slightly better than the other for gaming but its never by to much when they are using the same GPU like Dorkstar said.

Honestly I think the only thing Intel still has on AMD is manufacturing process and they will throw out that $1000 chip for the guys that have cash to burn. I know AMD is the budget conscious build but in terms of performance on their flagship chips you really cant complain and they all still come with good headroom for overclocking.

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I recently picked this chip up and I am nothing but impressed with it. I also have a ASUS Sabertooth 990fx r2.0, 32gbs Patriot Viper 3 1866, 2x OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOP 120's on RAID - 0 and a HD 7950 and I am not only running every game, including Crysis 3, maxed out, but when I want to do something, it's there. It overclocks very gracefully. I used ASUS's AI Suite II and MSI Afterburner to O.C. my components and have it stable and air cooled in my Azza Gensis 9000 @50c cpu and 54c GPU temps. CPU is 4.59ghz and gpu is 1.1ghz Core, 1575mhz x 4 RAM clock.

Over clock results, base is almost stock with a very slight o.c.

http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f399/CyLMischief/FinalOC-1.png

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