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

Rumour: AMD Preparing FX-9000 5GHz CPU, Centurion FX Repeat Anyone?

A while back we brought you the rumour that AMD was preparing a 5GHz Centurion FX processor. That in fact turned out to be a false rumour that apparently had no accurate grounding, particularly as people were suggesting the chip would be guaranteed to run at 5GHz on air yet many industry sources confirmed that would not be possible. Now we have a similar story emerging from a SweClockers report, who I might add are normally quite accurate with their leaks and reports.

The report says that AMD is preparing two new FX processors based on Piledriver and Vishera. The FX 9000 and FX 8770 CPUs. Not much is known about the FX 8770 other than it will be lower down in terms of specifications compared to the FX 9000. The FX 9000 on the other hand is reported to run at 4.8GHz stock with a 5GHz turbo mode. This CPU will have a huge 220W TDP compared to the 125W TDP on the FX 8350 which is already too hot and power hungry for most people’s liking.

Below you can see the known specifications of these two CPUs, thanks to WCCFTech for putting this table together.

Like with the Centurion FX rumour I am highly sceptical of these rumours although 4.8GHz stock and 5GHz turbo does seem a bit “more realistic” than Centurion FX’s “5GHz on air” expectation. AMD recently teased on its Facebook page that “We’ve made something for gaming combat so you can always be ready for war. Can you guess what our announcement might be? Stay tuned…”. There is definitely something special coming from AMD but whether that is a new CPU, a new GPU or a new APU is anyone’s guess.

What are your thoughts on all of this?

Image courtest of Overclock.net

Intel Haswell Mobile “Core i7 4930MX” Flagship Gets Benchmarked

According to a leaked Intel Haswell roadmap by VR-Zone, Intel’s Haswell mobile flagship will be launching on June the 3rd 2013. These mobile Haswell chips will be based around the 22nm Haswell micro-architecture, like their desktop counterparts, except will operate within much stricter power thresholds and utilize a reduced die size. The specifications of the three Haswell mobile Core i7 processors can be seen below courtesy of WCCF Tech.

The Intel Core i7 4930MX is the latest mobile processor to get put under the microscope and below you can see its CPU-Z validation.

The GPU-Z of the Intel Haswell mobile Core i7 4930MX shows that it uses Intel HD 4600 graphics.

More importantly though, Intel’s Core i7 4930MX processor was tested in a few benchmarks of which you can see the results below:

AIDA64 Extreme Edition:

  • CPU AES – 16492 MB/s
  • CPU ZLiB – 309.1 MB/s
  • CPU Hash – 3014 MB/s
  • CPU PhotoWorxx – 14315 Mpixel/s

3DMark 11:

  • Performance Preset – P1418
  • Extreme Preset – X374

Further game benchmarks were also run here, but the results are a bit “hit and miss” and hard to put into context so we haven’t bothered trying to include them. In an effort to put those other results in context for you, here are a few other results from other processors running AIDA64 Extreme Edition suite tests:

AIDA64 Extreme Edition:

  • CPU PhotoWorxx – FX 8350 (12508 Mpixel/s), i7 3770K (14045 Mpixel/s), A10 5800K (9142 Mpixel/s) and i7 3960X (22812 Mpixel/s) source
  • CPU ZLiB –  FX 8350 (328 MB/s), FX 8150 (262 MB/s) and 2500K (218 MB/s) – source
  • CPU Hash – FX 8350 (4110 MB/s), FX 8150 (3678 MB/s) and 2500K (2599 MB/s) – source

So as you can see the Core i7 4930MX certainly compares favourably to current generation desktop processors rivaling the likes of the Core i7 3770K in most tests but with a much smaller TDP. What are your thoughts on these benchmark results?

Source

AMD FX 8570 and HD 8970 Show Up In CPU-Z Database

Haswell clocked at 7GHz showed up recently in the CPU-Z database, all thanks to the excellent efforts of Ocaholic and their rigorous archival searching, through thousands of CPU-Z validations. Now it appears they are onto another gem as their most recent efforts have uncovered evidence of an AMD FX 8570 CPU and an AMD HD 8970 GPU.

According to the above CPU-Z validation there is evidence of an AMD FX 8570 CPU processor based off the 32nm Vishera silicon, probably the Piledriver design. It features similar core specifications to the other AMD FX 8 core Piledriver processors except with a higher clock speed of what appears to be 4.3GHz stock. For reference the FX 8350 runs at 4GHz stock and the FX 8320 runs at 3.5GHz stock.

On the other hand there is also a HD 8970 graphics card spotted with the FX 8570 processor, this graphics card reportedly uses Direct X 11.0. This seems strange since the HD 7970 used Direct X 11.1 and it is unlikely AMD would go backwards down the Direct X 11.1 API with the release of a new graphics card series – it seems more likely that it is a CPU-Z validation error (that is if it is even a HD 8970 at all).

As with all speculation and leaks like this, we advise you to take the information with all the relevant precautions. However, it is still nice to speculate, what are your thoughts on the FX 8570 and HD 8970 processor validations? Real or fake?

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AMD Preparing The 5GHz Centurion FX Processor, Cost $795

AMD has been somewhat noncompetitive of late when it comes to the enthusiast segment of the processor market. Arguably its FX 8350 achieves general parity with the i5 3570K but everything higher than that seems to leave AMD trailing in the distance. That said it is understandable that AMD is focusing primarily on APUs and graphics cards with its typically gamer friendly methods that involve the Never Settle (Reloaded) bundles.

Despite AMD’s FX processors being overshadowed by Ivy Bridge and Sandy Bridge-E, AMD hasn’t lost hope in them just yet. This rumour is a bit of a spectacular one but our industry sources would suggest it is actually realistic. AMD is apparently preparing a Vishera based Super FX processor which is codenamed the Centurion. This CPU from AMD will be guaranteed to run at 5GHz on air cooling, although the exact specifics of voltages and supporting hardware required are unknown.

These chips will probably represent the absolute créme de la créme of the Piledriver production process and have been cherry picked to hell and back. 5GHz on air will certainly be an impressive achievement, something even Intel’s 2500Ks struggled to match in most cases. Yet, there is a HUGE catch, and we mean HUGE. Sources indicated that this limited edition AMD Centurion Super FX processor will have a price tag of $795. If you consider you can currently pick up at FX 8350 for $200 then paying $795 for what is a glorified and more overclockable FX 8350 is eye watering. We are hoping AMD have done more than just cherry pick because power consumption and temperatures will need to be on the money if this chip is to be competitive.

It certainly isn’t going to be one for the mainstream user, but for the die-hard AMD enthusiast I can see this being popular. What are your thoughts on the AMD Centurion?

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