AMD FX-8350 and FX-6300
Posted on: 10/22/2012 09:18 AM
Today AMD is launching its second generation FX processors based on the Piledriver microarchitecture. This next step in the evolution of the FX-series aims to refine the original recipe by improving performance and efficiency. Once again the range will include processors with up to eight cores, while six and four core models will also be available...
Roughly this time last year we got our first look at the new AMD FX series which was based on the Bulldozer architecture. Unfortunately Bulldozer wasnít all it was cracked up to be, falling short of competing with the Intel Sandy Bridge processors which at the time were already 9-months old. Worse still was the fact that in certain instances the FX-series failed to surpass the Phenom II range.
Concluding that article we noted that there was still more to come from Bulldozer, and AMD claimed that there was also much more to be seen from the FX range. Little has changed in the last year, particularly on the desktop front. Although we did recently see the release of the Trinity based APUs, little has changed when it comes to the FX series.
Today AMD is giving the FX series a refresh with the release of the second generation Vishera FX-series based on the Piledriver architecture. Piledriver is essentially an enhanced version of Bulldozer with the focus of improving instructions per clock and frequency.
Those hoping AMD would abandon Bulldozer might be disappointed as Piledriver picks up where Bulldozer left off. Fundamentally the architecture remains the same and rather than redesign from the ground up AMD has just made a number of small improvements.
Perhaps the most controversial issue with the FX-series was the new integer core/module design. With Bulldozer the floating-point unit featured a complete redesign. It had been improved to support many new instructions while also allowing resource sharing between cores. There are now two 128-bit FMACs shared per module, allowing for two 128-bit instructions per core or one 256-bit instruction per dual-core module.
Although each module appears in the operating system as two cores they are not true cores in the sense that they do not have as many resources as traditional AMD cores. So while AMD claimed that the FX-8150 was the first true eight-core desktop processor, in reality it wasnít and the performance reflected that. Again Piledriver doesnít change this architecture in any significant way, meaning that the module design still exists.
As we saw recently when testing the A10-5800K Trinity based APU there was a dramatic improvement in power consumption which allowed AMD to crank up the frequency. AMD has said that the 2nd generation FX-series processors will offer up to 20% to 30% better performance increase under digital media workloads, which is obviously a significant leap forward.
The new Vishera FX-series features 4, 6 and 8 Piledriver core models, all of which support the existing Socket AM3+ and 9xx series chipsets of the 1st generation FX-series Zambezi processors. These new processors also use Turbo Core 3.0 technology and employ the same dual-channel DDR3 memory interface.
The processors being released today include the FX-8350, FX-8320, FX-6300 and FX-4320, the specifications are listed in the table above. Although AMD is releasing four new FX-series processors we are only testing the FX-8350 and FX-6300. When compared to their predecessors the FX-8350 comes clocked a little over 10% higher than the FX-8150, though the maximum turbo core frequency is the same at 4.2GHz.
The six-core FX-6300 is clocked 6% higher than the FX-6100 though it is clocked lower than the FX-6120, FX-6130 and FX6200 processors. The FX-4300 is clocked at the same 3.8GHz frequency as the older FX-4150 though whereas the older model featured the full 8MB L3 cache the FX-4300ís cache has effectively been cut in half, reducing it to just 4MB.
Printed from Legion Hardware (http://www.legionhardware.com/articles_pages/amd_fx_8350_and_fx_6300,1.html)