What's new
  • Please do not post any links until you have 3 posts as they will automatically be rejected to prevent SPAM. Many words are also blocked due to being used in SPAM Messages. Thanks!

FX-8350 CPU Review; AMD's Vishera Arrives

SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
Staff member
Joined
Feb 26, 2007
Messages
12,840
Location
Montreal
Overclocking Results

Overclocking Results


With unlocked multipliers and a history of strong clock speed showings, the FX-series processors are designed with overclockers in mind. Unlike Intel’s offerings where enthusiasts have to pay a premium for unlocked CPUs, every FX SKU from the FX-8350 to lowly FX-4300 features fully adjustable CPU ratios without the need for additional tuning. However, if you are someone that enjoys squeezing every additional ounce of performance from a CPU, most 990FX motherboards include a treasure trove of features designed to maximize overclocks.

For our overclocking tests, air cooling was used (a Thermalright TRUE 120) we set a voltage limit of 1.45V as an absolute maximum. HT link speed and every other clock speed element was left at default levels.

FX-8350-4.jpg

Even though we didn’t spend as much time as we would have liked to on overclocking the FX-8350, it was a joy to work with. By simply increasing the multiplier to 24.5x and upping a few basic voltages we were able to hit 4.9GHz with absolute stability. Further tuning allowed for a slight increase in the CPU Bus to 201MHz which did overclock the memory by a slight amount but resulted in a sort-of final clock speed of 4.924GHz (or 4.916 as CPU-Z reads it). We’re sure that with a few more hours 5 GHz and higher would have been within reach but the deadline for this article was quickly approaching so we left it there….for now.

FX-8350-5.jpg

As you might expect a nearly 25% clock speed overclock allows the FX-8350 to really shine in benchmarks. Unfortunately, in-game wasn’t affected as much as we would have hoped.

FX-8350-83.jpg

FX-8350-84.jpg

FX-8350-85.jpg

FX-8350-86.jpg

FX-8350-87.jpg
 
Last edited:

SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
Staff member
Joined
Feb 26, 2007
Messages
12,840
Location
Montreal
Conclusion

Conclusion


AMD’s new FX-8350 processor may not be a revolutionary product but it represents the next logical step towards evolving a platform that will be around for the foreseeable future. After the lackluster showings of Bulldozer, Llano and to a lesser extent Trinity, AMD had something to prove and for the most part, they did just that. Naturally, there were highlights and lowlights throughout testing as the FX-8350 sought out way to overcome its predecessor’s missteps but there’s still quite a bit to like here.

Piledriver may improve upon the original Bulldozer architecture in nearly every way imaginable, but that doesn’t necessarily make it competitive on all levels. Its main design benefits seem focused upon providing higher speeds in an effort to yield better results and that tactic did succeed more often than not. From a raw IPC standpoint, the Piledriver-based core outperforms a similarly clocked previous generation CPU by a slight amount, proving that benefits extend beyond mere clock speed increases. While these two points fit perfectly into the evolutionary nature of Vishera, AMD’s latest architecture still lags far behind Intel’s comparable solutions in certain disciplines.

Regardless of what first looks like minimal performance benefits, the FX-8350 is one hell of a CPU. In nearly every one of our System and Productivity tests, it thoroughly trounced similarly priced Intel offerings and at times overcame the more expensive 3770K. This not only represents a turning point for AMD against its arch rival but there was also a significant amount of daylight between the FX-8350 and FX-8150. At times, the new processor was able to surge to an easy 15% to 20% lead over the previous generation’s flagship. That’s impressive considering Intel only managed a 1% to 10% bump between Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge.

Back when Trinity was reviewed, legacy instruction sets proved to be the Piledriver architecture’s Achilles’ heel but that didn’t happen to such a dramatic extent with the eight core Vishera part. Unlike with the A10-5800K, the FX-8350’s raw 8-core horsepower allowed it to power through most tests that used older extensions. There were still some missteps in x87-centric benchmarks like AIDA64’s SinJulia but they were few and far between.

FX-8350-3.jpg

While the FX-8350 can compete against the 3770K in most applications, gaming framerates fell by the wayside due to poor single thread performance. There are some areas where significant improvements have been made but on average Piledriver has done little to fix Bulldozer’s flaws in this area. Not all is lost since the FX-8350 does gain back some ground once higher resolutions stress the graphics card. But even then, it typically polls in the lower half of our charts. Unless newer titles end up requiring additional cores for optimal performance, the FX-8350 may not an optimal choice for a gaming-oriented system.

Power consumption is another area where AMD is facing an uphill battle. Performance per watt has certainly increased in the transition from Zambezi to Vishera but the FX-8350 still requires nearly as much juice as Intel’s top of the line twelve thread 3960X. It fares even worse against the latest 22nm Ivy Bridge competitors. This won’t be a deal breaker for most end users but itcould set AMD back in the eyes of OEMs and large system builders.

Throughout this review, we’ve constantly brought up the FX-8350’s pricing, and with good reason. At just $195 it represents a phenomenal value, particularly for anyone with an existing AM3+ system. This is actually a low enough point that we feel AMD is now offering a processor that consistently beats most Intel offerings on the price / performance front. Granted, game framerates could have been better but crank up those detail settings and the difference between a $195 FX-8350 and a $300 Intel alternative won’t all that noticeable.

The FX-8350’s overclocking chops provide one hell of a value-added proposition as well. After a few minor voltage tweaks and CPU ratio changes, our sample nearly broke the 5GHz barrier on air cooling and we’re sure that given a few more hours, we could have pushed even further. While AMD now has a top-to-bottom FX lineup that supports unlocked multipliers and easy overclocking, Intel has continued pushing enthusiasts towards premium products. Again, we cannot emphasize enough what this unlocked $195 processor can bring to the table for overclockers.

In a world of simple incremental improvements, the FX-8350 is a breath of fresh air. It may not be the fastest processor on the block and like Bulldozer, Piledriver is defined by excellent multi core performance alongside lackluster single thread benchmark scores. However, the FX-8350’s enticing price, overall performance against the immediate Intel competition and improvements over AMD's previous generation should make it an instant hit.

24046d2ee78a9861.gif
 
Last edited:
Top