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.
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.
The AMD A10-6790K was added to AMD’s official price list. AMD A10-6790K runs at 4 GHz having a Quad-Core chip with 4.3 GHz Turbo Core frequency, slightly slower than the A10-6800K. The A10-6790K is priced at $122 / €91 / £76, being 16% cheaper than the A10-6800K.
Also the company added prices of FX-9370 and FX-9590 microprocessors for the AM3+ platform. AMD FX-9370 and FX-9590 extreme performance processors were launched in June, having ultra-high operating frequencies, countered by very high TDP and steep price. They were first sold for around $350 / €262 / £218 and $800 / €600 / £500. The FX-9370 and FX-9590 CPUs were eventually priced down to a more reasonable level, being sold at $224 / €168 / £140 and respectively $306 / €230 / £191.
Finally, AMD reduced prices of A6-6400K, A8-6500 and A8-6600K models to $62 and $97, around 12% decrease given the previous price spec, which was $122 / €91 / £76, for the A8-6500 and A8-6600K, and $71 / €53 / £44 for the A6-6400K.
Thank you CPU World for providing us with this information
ASUS have revealed that all their current 990FX motherboards will fully support AMD’s FX 9000 series of processors which currently consist of the FX-9370 and FX-9590 processors. These will work fine without the need for any BIOS updates but the clarification was needed as the high TDP of the FX-9000 series means that some motherboards might struggle or fail to meet the demanding power requirements.
ASUS confirm that the Crosshair V Formula-Z, Sabertooth 990FX R2.0 and M5A99FX Pro R2.0 will all support the FX-9000 series fully. AMD recommend that you pair their CPU with a 1200W PSU (massive overkill in my opinion) and a decent closed loop liquid CPU cooler like a Corsair H100i.
ASUS are also claiming that their motherboards will be able to support up to 2400MHz on the memory side of things, something not all other vendors can offer.
“ASUS is a market leader in the motherboard industry, thanks to the quality and innovation of its products,” said Roy Taylor, Corp Vice President of Global Channel Sales at AMD. “The out-of-the-box support for AMD FX-9000 Series processors offered by its 990FX-based motherboards is further proof of the solid design and high-quality components for which ASUS has long been renowned. In fact it’s so good, I used the same motherboard in my PC at home.”
Edit: PCSuperStore appears to have removed the listings as it probably had a slap on the wrists from AMD.
While we confirmed a few days ago that AMD’s FX processors would be only available to System Integrators we also believed that some retailers would go against AMD’s recommendations and sell them as individual OEM parts. CPU World has revealed that this has happened already with one retailer PCSuperstore currently listing both the FX-9590 and the FX-9370. At the time of writing this that retailer was selling AMD’s FX-9590 for a hefty $920.31 and it was selling the FX-9370 for £576.27. These boxed processors have the model numbers FD9590FHHKWOF and FD9370FHHKWOF respectively. The WOF is believed to denote WithOutFan.
Strangely if you set these prices within the context of the rest of the CPU market the FX-9370 competes a tiny bit lower than the Core i7 3930K and the FX-9590 competes a little bit lower than the Core i7 3960X. Yet we all know by now that AMD’s processors don’t really come close on performance, especially when you consider these new FX processors are already clocked so high their is little room for further overclocking, that is while the Core i7 3930K and 3960X both have the capacity to rise from their mid 3GHz clock speeds to upper 4GHz clock speeds.
With quite mediocre “bang for buck” levels and high power consumption it remains to be seen if AMD’s FX-9000 series CPUs will be a hit or not.
AMD recently released two brand new processors to its FX portfolio. These consisted of the FX-9590 and the FX-9370 processors. Below is a quick recap of the details about those two processors from our previous article:
The FX-9590 and FX-9370 CPUs both run AMD Turbo Core 3.0 which allows the FX-9590 to turbo up to a maximum 5GHz and the FX-9370 to turbo up to a maximum 4.7GHz. According to AMD both these CPUs have eight Piledriver cores. The base clock of the FX-9590 is 4.7GHz while the base clock of the FX-9370 is 4.4GHz. Both have 8MB of L2 and L3 cache and reportedly support up to DDR3 2400MHz memory. Apparently the OEM/System integrator pricing for these CPUs is $800 for the FX-9590 and $400 for the FX-9370.
Up until now we weren’t sure if they would be system integrator exclusives or if they would be available to consumers as retail boxed units as well, but AMD has now confirmed the status of these new products. AMD have recently told the Tech Report that these new processors will not be available to consumers. In fact they are now going to be System Integrator parts ONLY. That means you can only buy these in pre-built systems, of course that probably won’t stop some people whipping these out of systems and putting them up on eBay, or even some system integrators selling them as OEM parts. However, AMD will endorse none of this and will not sell these as individual boxed retail units.
The reason for this all comes down to the 220W TDP. This creates motherboard compatibility issues and cooling solution issues. These concerns are explained more below, with a quote from our previous article:
There is some worry among motherboard vendors as most AM3+ motherboard sockets are only designed for around a 125W TDP with a little bit of overclocking headroom. Apparently the FX-9590 and FX-9370 have 220W TDPs meaning motherboard vendors will have to issue a compatibility announcement, some lower end and mid range motherboards just won’t have the VRM to support these new CPUs. Although if these CPUs are only released through the OEM system integrator channel, then compatibility issues shouldn’t be a problem as system builders will be given details on which motherboards they can put these CPUs in.
We heard a lot of rumours about AMD preparing some kind of “5GHz” FX processor and quite frankly after the Centurion FX processor rumour fizzled out we thought that was the end of that. But then something more plausible arrived about a week back as we heard about the AMD FX-9000 series CPUs and these were to be 5GHz processors but the 5GHz represented the maximum turbo frequency not the base clock. Today AMD have informed us of the official release of the FX-9000 series of CPUs which indeed are the latter, CPUs capable of reaching a max Turbo of 5GHz.
These new CPUs from AMD consist of the FX-9590 and the FX-9370. According to AMD these new CPUs will become available immediately but the initial release will be through system integrators and OEMs only. AMD did not mention if we will see consumer availability that allows you to buy these units individually but I think we can expect this in the next few months.
The FX-9590 and FX-9370 CPUs both run AMD Turbo Core 3.0 which allows the FX-9590 to turbo up to a maximum 5GHz and the FX-9370 to turbo up to a maximum 4.7GHz. According to AMD both these CPUs have eight Piledriver cores. The base clock of the FX-9590 is 4.7GHz while the base clock of the FX-9370 is 4.4GHz. Both have 8MB of L2 and L3 cache and reportedly support up to DDR3 2400MHz memory.
There is some worry among motherboard vendors as most AM3+ motherboard sockets are only designed for around 125W TDP with a little bit of overclocking headroom. Apparently the FX-9590 and FX-9370 have 220W TDPs meaning motherboard vendors will have to issue a compatibility announcement, some lower end and mid range motherboards just won’t have the VRM to support these new CPUs. Although if these CPUs are only released through the OEM system integrator channel, then compatibility issues shouldn’t be a problem as system builders will be given details on which motherboards they can put these CPUs in.
Apparently the OEM/System integrator pricing for these CPUs is $800 for the FX-9590 and $400 for the FX-9370.
What are your thoughts on these new CPUs from AMD?