|AMD FX-8350 Vishera Desktop Processor|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Processors|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Tuesday, 23 October 2012|
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AMD FX-8350 Features
The following information is courtesy of AMD
AMD FD8350FRW8KHK Specifications
There are four desktop CPUs in the new Vishera product line: the 8350, the 8320, the 6300, and the 4300. This is fewer than the seven new CPUs in the original Zambezi product line. As you can see from the chart below, the basic specifications of the FX-8350 are almost identical to those of last year's FX-8150. The only notable difference is an increase in the base clock speed from 3.6GHz to 4.0GHz; even the maximum turbo clock is the same at 4.2GHz.
As with the Bulldozer CPUs, all of the Piledriver chips are similar, with AMD using core count, clock speed, and amount of L2 and L3 cache to distinguish them. All FX CPUs are unlocked, so you'll be able to tweak clock speeds to the limits your hardware can handle. AMD's Turbo Core technology will use the maximum speed if only half or fewer of the cores are in use; if all cores are in use, Turbo Core is dialed back to keep the CPU within its thermal limits.
Although AMD has introduced a new Socket FM2 for its Piledriver-based APUs, thankfully the existing AM3+ socket is used for the FX series, so a BIOS update is all you'll need for your existing AM3+ motherboard to use these chips. The supporting chipsets remain the same: the 990FX, the 990X, and the 970X, all paired with the SB950 south bridge. All these chipsets provide six SATA 6G ports, 12 USB 2.0 ports, and RAID levels 0, 1, 5, and 10. The only difference is in the supported PCI-E configuration: 2x16 or 4x8 for the 990FX, 2x8 for the 990X, and 1x16 for the 970X. Benchmark Reviews covered the 990FX chipset in our review of the ASUS Crosshair V Formula motherboard. Since no new support chipsets have been introduced for the Vishera CPUs, there's still no native USB 3.0.
The original FX-8150 was the first consumer-level eight core CPU. This led to some arguments over what, exactly, constitutes a "core". AMD said that each Bulldozer module comprised two cores, and thus the four modules in an FX-8150 made it an eight-core chip. Detractors pointed out that each module shared its Level 2 cache and floating point unit with the two integer cores, arguably making each "core" less capable than the cores in older designs like the 6-core Thuban CPUs such as the 1100T. Benchmark Reviews discussed the Bulldozer core architecture in detail here.
Obviously, the exciting thing about the FX-8150 is that it was the first consumer eight core processor. Prior to the AMD FX, if you wanted an eight-core CPU you had to buy a very expensive server-level Xeon or Opteron chip, and then you'd have to deal with things like the special "registered" memory these CPUs require, and an expensive server motherboard lacking many of the features expected in enthusiast-level motherboards...like, say, overclocking. (Yes, I know about the Intel Skulltrail and EVGA SR2 motherboards. But they're the exception.) But as it turned out, there were few situations in which eight cores really made a noticeable difference. If you did a lot of video transcoding, for example, eight cores was great. Otherwise, you might never notice.
The Piledriver architecture brings some IPC improvements to the table. Let's see how much of a difference they, and the higher Piledriver clocks speeds, make in our benchmark tests.