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

Introduction & What’s New?


The 32nm “Vishera” processors from AMD have been around for a long-while; since October 2012 to be exact. Vishera was AMD’s Zambezi successor with Vishera being based on the Piledriver architecture and Zambezi on Bulldozer. Since the first release of Vishera, AMD has continued to refresh its FX product stack with new CPUs based on the same architectural design and AMD’s most recent releases maintains that trend. On September 2nd 2014 AMD officially revealed three new CPUs for the FX line; the FX 8320E, the FX 8370 and the FX 8370E. We are looking at the FX 8370E processor which is AMD’s attempt to tame the high TDP of their 8 core FX line down to 95W; previously the standard TDP stood at 125W.

There are two other releases which we will not be reviewing today. First is the FX 8370 (4/4.3GHz) which is a new flagship part which sits under the FX 9370 (4.4/4.7GHz) and FX 9590 (4.7/5GHz), but improves slightly over the FX 8350 (4/4.2GHz) in clock speed. Secondly is the FX 8320E which is an energy efficient variant of the already-released FX 8320 which is a 3.5/4GHz part. All of the FX 8XXX and FX 9XXX parts sport 8 Piledriver cores divided over four modules.

For the AMD enthusiast these newest releases may disappoint since they do not bring anything new to the market: instead they refresh existing technology. AMD is taking advantage of a matured production process instead of advancing the FX line onto their newest CPU architecture “Steamroller”. Steamroller is what the CPU component of Kaveri APUs are based on and it features improved IPC (Instructions per Cycle) performance and greater power efficiency. The decision by AMD to opt for the same technology means we are unlikely to see any ground-breaking results – instead we should expect AMD to rely on the use of lower prices to remain competent against their main rival Intel.

Interestingly AMD’s PR pitch for their newest E series energy efficient FX CPUs relies on rallying the cost advantage versus the Intel & Nvidia combination. AMD claim by choosing an FX CPU and Radeon GPU you can get better performance at the same price point. I think the R9 285 + FX 8370e is a smart combination as the objectives of both those AMD products have been to improve power efficiency over some of their more power-hungry siblings.

In our review of the AMD FX 8370e we will not be overclocking. My reason for this is that there is no point of pitching an energy efficient CPU if you’re going to throw those power savings away with an overclock, you might as well just buy the FX 8370 instead. You can still overclock the FX 8370e but don’t expect results to be significantly different from the FX 8350 or FX 8370 both in terms of performance and power consumption. You can find 5GHz OC results for the FX 8350 in our graphs.

Before we delve into the review I would like to briefly explain how the FX 8370E’s power saving mechanism works. Unsurprisingly it manages power consumption with clock speed controls. At idle it will clock down to its lowest ratio which is 7X giving a frequency of 1.4GHz and around 0.85 volts.

If you add a medium-high intensity multi-threaded workload it clocks around 3.6GHz.

Moving on to a high intensity load that utilises all the cores and we see it drop back to its base frequency of 3.3GHz. It simply cannot clock higher than this without exceeding its TDP specification of 95W.

The highest clock speed comes on single threaded applications. If you utilise only one core to its maximum you can clock up to 4.3GHz on that particular thread.

Rumour: AMD Preparing Three New CPUs: FX-8370, FX-8370E and FX-8320E

AMD may have given up the fight with Intel in the very high end market but in the sub-$200 “mainstream” market, where most CPUs are bought, AMD is still putting up a fight. The latest move by AMD will be to launch a refreshed range of Piledriver processors, three to be exact. Piledriver has had a shelf life of nearly 2 years making it one of AMD’s longest serving CPU architectures and there’s still no obvious sign of a replacement…. although we’ve already seen Steamroller on the FM2+ APU platform. The three new CPUs will be the FX-8370, FX-8370E and FX 8320E. As the names suggest these are all 8 core parts while the two “E” marked parts have reduced TDPs of 95W compared to the standard 125W TDP for 8 core AMD FX processors. The E probably stands for efficient or energy efficient. The FX 8370 is the new successor to the FX 8350, although it still sits below the FX 9590 and FX 9370. It has 8 cores, 8MB of L3 cache, a 125W TDP, a 4.1GHz base clock and 4.3GHz boost clock, it comes in at a price of $189 which is just below the $199 the FX-9370 costs and the $215 the FX 9590 costs. Next up is the FX 8370E which has identical specifications to the FX 8370 and costs the same but has a 95W TDP. Finally the FX 8320E is identical to the FX 8320 in price and specifications but has a reduced 95W TDP instead of 125W. AMD has likely been able to reduce TDPs of their Piledriver parts through a maturation and fine tuning of the Piledriver 32nm manufacturing process.

Source: WCCFTech

Image #1 courtesy of AMD, image #2 courtesy of X-Bit Labs