It has been more than a year since AMD launched its last major update to the top end FX processor line -- the FX-9590. The company has been quiet in the face of Intel's high-end launches, but today AMD is shipping a new CPU that's aimed at multi-core performance enthusiasts who don't want a furnace sitting on their motherboards, and prefer more modest power consumption and quiet computing.
The new FX-8370, FX-8370E, and FX-8320E are familiar in many ways. These cores are still based on the older Piledriver architecture that debuted in 2012, they can still process two threads per module and four modules total for eight CPU cores, and they still rely on AMD's Socket AM3+.
What's new today is the power envelopes and, in one case, a slight speed bump. More details and information below as we do the play-by-play.
|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 R9 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|
|Drivers: Windows 7, Windows 8, Linux
$199.99, PiB to be released soon.
Nothing has changed on the chipset front, the AM3+ platform is still powered at the top end by AMD's 990FX platform built on 65nm technology with integrated USB 3.0 and SATA 6G. Memory support is limited to DDR3-1866, but most motherboard manufacturers test and validate higher frequencies; consult your motherboard manual if you want to bump up clock speeds.
According to AMD, it built the new 95W parts so that existing motherboards that don't support above a 95W processor can be outfitted with a high-end eight-core chip. Up until now, the only eight-core AMD processor below 125W was the FX-8300 -- and it looks to have been a rare OEM part with a 3.3GHz base clock and an unknown Turbo Boost clock (reported Turbo frequencies range from 3.5 - 4.2GHz across the Internet).
Now, thanks to the FX-8370E and FX-8320E, buyers with less powerful systems will be able to upgrade to better silicon. The FX-8370E has a 3.3GHz base clock and 4.3GHz Turbo, while the FX-8370 has a base clock of 4GHz and a peak clock of 4.3GHz. Unfortunately, we weren't able to test the FX-8320E for this review.
Our CPU-Z results above show both cores topping out at 4,290MHz but that doesn't tell the whole story. The FX-8370E spent more time bouncing around with workloads and would settle as low as 3.6GHz under load. The FX-8370E maintains top frequency more so over time. Let's fire up some benchmarks and see what they're made of.