AMD FX-8350 Vishera 8-Core CPU Review
Performance Summary and Conclusion
Performance Summary: The FX-8350 is the most powerful desktop processor released by AMD to date. The improvements afforded by its updated Piledriver microarchitecture, in addition to significantly increased frequencies, have resulted in a processor that clearly outperforms its Bulldozer-based predecessors across the board. And it does so while consuming less power, which hints at its improved efficiency as well. Unfortunately for AMD, while they have eaten into Intel’s lead in the desktop CPU space somewhat, they have not changed the performance landscape all that much. Intel’s higher-end Core i5 and Core i7 processors, are still the highest performing and most efficient desktop processors available.
The new AMD FX-Series of desktop processor is still a clear step forward for AMD. The FX-8350 we tested offered better performance and improved power efficiency than its predecessor in every test we ran. Forward progress is something that AMD needed and that is what they got with the new FX-Series of desktop processors, even if the amount of forward progress isn’t enough to significantly shift the balance of power in the desktop CPU space. We would have liked to have seen a new chipset accompany this CPU release that would bring things like native USB 3.0 and PCI Express 3.0 support to AMD’s high-end desktop platform, but that’s not in the cards just yet. The former can be added via third-party controllers and the latter offers minimal benefit to end-users at this time. Regardless, it still would have been nice to have feature parity between Intel and AMD in that respect. Compatibility with current platforms does make it easy for existing AMD owners to upgrade their processors, however, which is something we always like to see.
The initial Piledriver-based FX-Series product line-up is going to consist of four processors, ranging from the high-end FX-8350 at $195 to the more mainstream FX-4300 at $122. The processors will differ in their core counts, Northbridge frequencies, base and Turbo CPU clocks, cache compliments and TDP. Please note, however, that all of these initial FX-Series processors will feature the same die; quad and hex-cores listed here will feature the same 8-core die with a core module or two disabled. At the FX-8350’s expected price point, it goes head-to-head with Intel processors like the Core i5-3470 ($199) and Core i5-3570 ($214). Unfortunately, the performance comparisons between those chips don’t favor AMD. The FX-8350 outpaced the i5-3470 in a couple of tests, but overall, we’d still consider the Core i5-3470 the “faster” CPU. The Core i5 is more power friendly too. What the AMD FX-8350 does offer over mainstream Core i5 chips though is an easy upgrade path for existing AMD owners and more flexibility for overclocking, due to its unlocked multipliers.
Ultimately, the new FX-Series of desktop processors from AMD is an evolutionary step for the company that advances their products forward. If you’re an AMD fan looking for a new CPU, the FX-8350 is the fastest processor the company has released to date. It is not, however, a threat to Intel’s high end CPU line-up.