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

AMD FX-8350 Vishera 8-Core CPU Review

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The new AMD FX-8350 uses the same packaging and socket as previous-generation FX-series processors, based on the Bulldozer microarchitecture. As such, save for some markings atop the chip’s integrated heat-spreader, the new AMD FX-8350 looks just like its predecessor.

 
AMD FX-8350 8-Core CPU: Top and Bottom

As we’ve already mentioned though, the main differences between the new FX-series and the previous gen, are the new processor’s updated Piledriver microarchitecture, which offers a number of performance and efficiency enhancements over Bulldozer, and the new processor’s more advanced 32nm manufacturing process.

 
AMD FX-8350 CPU-Z Processor and Cache Details

Here is an up-close-and-personal look at the FX-8350 as reported by the latest version of CPU-Z. As you can see, the FX-8350 uses AMD’s existing AM3+ socket infrastructure. If you remember, socket AM3+ was an update to the older socket AM3, and although pin-compatible, AM3+ adds support for CPU voltage loadline, increased ILDT current for higher frequency HyperTransport links, increased DRAM current, and two memory channels with official support for speeds of up to DDR3-1866. All of these features are exploited on the AMD FX-8350.

As you can see in the images above, the AMD FX-8350 has 128K of L1 data cache (16K per core), 256K of L2 instruction cache (64K shared across each dual-core module), 1024K of L2 cache per core, and a total of 8MB od shared L3 cache. The FX-8350 uses the same 200MHz base clock as previous generation FX-series processors as well; it’s peak 4.2GHz Turbo frequency is derived by using a 21x multiplier and the default 200MHz base clock. Note that the chip runs at about 1.4v when hitting max Turbo. Cool ‘n Quiet is also present on the latest FX, however. When idling, the chip clocks down to 1.4GHz at only .9v.

Overclocking the AMD FX-8350
Boosting Beyond Max Turbo

 
We were present when the original FX was overclocked to over 8GHz, achieving a Guinness Book World Record in the process. Since its predecessor was such an adept overclocked, we were eager to see what the new FX-8350 could do. To that end, we also spent some time overclocking the new AMD FX-8350 processor, using a standard air cooler and the UEFI overclocking options available on the Asus CrossHair V Formula. For these overclocking tests, we bumped the CPU voltage up to 1.4125v, disabled Turbo, and increased the CPU's multiplier until our test system was no longer stable.


AMD FX-8350 Overclocked to 4.7GHz

In the end, we were able to take the FX-8350 up to a stable 4.7GHz. Unfortunately, due to time constraints and an incompatibility with AMD OverDrive and our test-bed’s motherboard, we don’t have accurate temperature data to share at this point. But considering how easy it was to take our CPU to 4.7GHz, we suspect that higher clocks will easily be possible with more exotic cooling and more aggressive voltage tweaking.

As an interesting aside, overclocking the FX-8350 to 4.7GHz resulted in a Cinebench R11.5 score of 7.94, and increase of 1.01 or 14.5% over the stock score of 6.93, and enough of a boost to overtake the Core i7-3770K.
 

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results are weird. I5 doing just as well as the i7s in some cases. Are these software tests suitable?

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Results are not weird at all. The tests are a combination of single and multi-threaded workloads, and we've got three families / generations of Intel processors represented. In single threaded workloads, the newer Ivy Bridge-based Core i5's are sometimes able to outperform older Sandy Bridge-based chips due to architectural enhancements and higher Turbo speeds. Also note that additional cores and support for HT won't benefit a test that's single or dual-threaded at most.

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I just had to make this decision for a client who was having difficulties with her Phenom II 965 system which I recognized because we have the same issues on my system with the same processor and MB and frequent lock ups. This is a different architecture all together from CPU to board to memory bus I know but the price difference for an i7-3820 relative to the productivity it produces for her applications as a professional architect are to good to not go with them. This processor is also a couple weeks to late for the necessity we had at then, either way the price VS the performance makes it irrelevant either way.

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rapid1:
either way the price VS the performance makes it irrelevant either way.

Irrelevant?,......I don't think so.

When you consider that most of Intel's latest CPUs require you to buy a new motherboard to go with your shiny new chip, the AM3+ board's ability to run the latest FX processors gains a new clarity.

Even though I already have an FX-4170, I can just buy a FX-8350 CPU and install it and I'm upgraded. I might need a BIOS update, but that's no big deal. The performance isn't what my i7-2600K gets, but it's completely acceptable for my needs.

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Marco, I have a question,............I've heard it said that Windows eight has optimizations built-in that take advantage of AMD Vishera's newer design. Is this true, or is it just so much BS?

Did you test this CPU with Win-8 to see if it performs better in Win-8 as opposed to Win-7? Are there any plans to do so?

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@Realneil - Windows 8 does have updates to the scheduler that should increase performance and efficiency slightly with Bulldozer and Piledriver, but the I haven't done any official testing. Don't expect much of a boost though--a couple of percentage points here and there, tops.

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Marco C:
Don't expect much of a boost though--a couple of percentage points here and there, tops.

Thanks for the answer Marco.

I may get one of these FX-8350 CPUs once the prices calm down a little.

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Me too, the performance looks good enough for me, but Newegg has them listed for $30 over msrp. Maybe next month will be the time to buy.

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CDeeter:

Me too, the performance looks good enough for me, but Newegg has them listed for $30 over msrp. Maybe next month will be the time to buy.

That's why I'm waiting. I don't like the 'brand new' tax either.

 

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Ok, so I am in the middle of deciding between this Amd fx 8350 processor and the Intel® Core™ i7 3970X Six-core 3.5GHz/4.0GHz Turbo 15MB L3 Cache w/ HyperThreading. I have been asking a lot of people for their opinion and really want to know, which processor will preform better? Can someone please tell me which processor has better performance? Thanks.

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They both will perform well, but the Intel part is certainly faster.

You already know that you'll pay a hefty price premium for the extra performance though. The motherboard will be more expensive too.

The bottom line is that the AMD setup is plenty good enough for most uses, but the Uber Expensive Intel part that you're comparing it to is the performance king.

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