AMD Vishera FX-8350 Reviewformerstaff - October 22, 2012
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When Bulldozer was released a year ago, it had a problem that was almost bigger than the single threaded performance and that was broken expectations. After five or so years of delays and hearing about the forthcoming new architecture from AMD, reviewers everywhere put the likes of SuperPi to it and it was all over but the crying. The debate went on about what was exactly wrong with the bold new architecture, and it has been largely written off by many "experts" as un-fixable.
Needless to say I have been eagerly anticipating getting to review the second incarnation of this new architecture to see for myself if it was viable and I have to say that I believe that it is a rousing success. The FX-8350 shows improvement on every front that I have tested it on. AMD has said from the onset that this is a "forward thinking " architecture and that idea is becoming increasingly more difficult to dismiss as subterfuge for poor single threaded performance. As it has always been, software coding follows hardware capability and the number of softwares that use multiple threads increases exponentially every year. It would not make sense from a competitive standpoint not to encode this way.
Whether the FX 8350 is considered to be merely a newly stepped version, or an architectural overhaul of the original Bulldozer release makes no difference to me. It's faster, runs lightly threaded apps better, uses less energy, and overclocks like a (insert your own expletive). As you paged through the benchmarks I ran for this review, you noticed that the new AMD flagship moved up the bar graphs a good bit, and in some cases coming in second only to the almighty i7-3960X. As software vendors start to code for this forward thinking architecture the performance disparity between Intel and AMD's latest should be minimized as it does perform better in software that is able to utilize the strengths of the processor.
AMD has taken a distinctly different path with the release of the Piledriver than it did with its predecessor. Last time there was no shortage of good looking company slides promising that the performance would be 1.6x the performance of some processor with an i7 in front of it, and it left people scratching their heads as to what that reference was to, and trying to locate that specific benchmark program. This time AMD seems to have done things a lot differently. Relatively little was heard or seen in the way of promises, but what showed up in that little green clam shell definitely delivered the performance promise of a year ago.
- Increased per thread performance
- Higher base frequency at same TDP
- Higher overclocking
- Eight cores
- More performance/lower price
- Increased multi threaded performance
- Single threaded performance still not on par with competition