AMD FX-8370E 95W “Piledriver” Octa-Core Processor Review

Final Thoughts


Pricing

AMD’s FX 8370E has an MSRP of $199.99. We found it at Amazon in the USA for $194.99 and at Newegg for $209.99, in the UK Overclockers are selling it for £145.99. A 3 year AMD warranty is provided.

Summary

The FX 8370E isn’t a “new” CPU in the typical sense of the word – nothing about it is new or different to what AMD already offer, at least not on a hardware level. It is, however, a new product from AMD in terms of its power management capabilities. We detailed these clock speed variances on the first page. AMD claim that the FX 8370E runs off less power than 125W FX equivalents and they are correct. We have validated their claims and the FX 8370E does what it says on the tin: it offers an AMD 8 core CPU with a reduced TDP compared to current parts. Does it do anything else that’s worth noting? That’s for you to decide.

The release of the FX 8370E has left me, and many other reviewers and technology enthusiasts, wondering why AMD isn’t moving the FX line forward with genuinely new products based on new CPU architectures. Products like this FX 8370E are interesting and had they been released when the rest of the Vishera FX series processors were released back in late 2012 I might have been more inclined to get excited. However, we’re two years on from that and this is late 2014 – technology moves quickly and AMD FX CPUs are starting to feel dated. On a power efficiency level AMD’s Piledriver architecture doesn’t have what it takes to vie with Intel’s 22nm Haswell based CPUs, this shows in our testing. Neither can the FX 8370E compete on single-threaded performance. AMD can still compete on price, which has been the saving grace of popular CPUs like the FX 8350. However, the FX 8370E is more expensive than the FX 8350 and significantly more than the FX 8320 so it doesn’t have a price appeal. AMD also still benefits from better performance than Intel when we look at heavily multi-threaded applications, but most games and everyday programs are not heavily multi-threaded. The power management feature of the FX 8370E constrains that multi-threaded potential too.

For most desktop users interested in an AMD FX processor I think the FX 8350 makes a smart choice in terms of its performance and price – the AMD FX 8350 is still a popular CPU and rightly so; as it offers brilliant value for money. In the only area where the new E series parts have a supposed advantage they don’t actually offer enough power saving to justify buying – they are still power hungry parts. This is because the power consumption level at which AMD were trying to reduce from was simply too high to make a noticeable difference: since when was a 95W TDP a “power efficient” envelope for a CPU? 35W and 55W yes, or maybe 65W for a high-end part, but certainly not 95W. Trying to create energy efficient CPUs from an energy inefficient CPU architecture hasn’t worked in my opinion. I think the FX 8370E and FX 8320E will have limited appeal among AMD’s traditional consumer-base who are driven by the prospect of getting the most for their money. The main target audience of the FX 8370E and FX 8320E chips will be existing AM3+ motherboard owners that have systems that cannot cope with 125W parts. For these users going from a 95W 4 or 6 core CPU to an 8 core unit should offer a nice upgrade.

Pros

  • Reduced TDPs over 125W parts

Cons

  • Existing FX 8350 and FX 8320 parts are better value
  • Reduced power comes at a fairly significant performance hit in most applications
  • Nothing new has been presented

“AMD’s new FX Energy Efficient parts deliver on their claims of improved power consumption but at the cost of reduced performance. The drive to reduce power consumption is a good thing for AMD to pursue but a new CPU architecture for the FX line is urgently needed to effectively achieve this task.”

Thank you to AMD for providing this review sample.