AMD Vishera - FX 8350 Performance Review

Company: AMD
Author: James Prior
Editor: Charles Oliver
Date: October 23rd, 2012


AMD is adopting a yearly(ish) cadence for product cycle refreshes, and as such we now have a new line of AMD FX processors. The new processors are codenamed Vishera and feature four Piledriver architecture modules; no graphics cores found here - this is a CPU, not an APU. The Piledriver revision of Bulldozer architecture, Bulldozer version '1.5', aims to address three areas from the first product: single thread performance, performance per watt, and floating point performance. Four models are being introduced today, two with all four modules enabled, one with three modules, and one with two modules. All use the AM3+ socket; no new chipsets are being released with the processors.

AMD FX 8250

The original FX processor line up was also the first generation of the Bulldozer architecture, using the Zambezi desktop codename. The chips were branded FX, with a four digit model number - 4100 series for dual module quad core, 6100 for triple module hexacore, and 8100 for quad module octocore. If you're thinking that you've heard the Piledriver codename before recently, you'd be right - this is the same architecture that found its way into the Trinity APU, which is sold on the desktop as a the second generation A-series APU. Instead of the two modules in Trinity, Vishera has four modules for a total of eight cores.

  FX 8350 FX 8320 FX 6300 FX 4300
CPU Cores 8 8 6 4
Core Clock / Turbo 4GHz / 4.2GHz 3.5GHz / 4GHz 3.5GHz / 4.1GHz 3.8GHz / 4GHz
NB Clock 2.2GHz 2.2GHz 2GHz 2GHz
L2/L3 Cache 2MB / 8MB 2MB / 8MB 2MB / 8MB 2MB / 4MB
Memory Speed 1866MHz 1866MHz 1866MHz 1866MHz
TDP 125W 125W 95W 95W
Socket AM3+ AM3+ AM3+ AM3+
Price (USD, SSBP) $195 $169 $132 $122

Vishera products include the FX 4300, 6300 and 8300 branding, consistent with the previous generation and bumped to indicate new product family, not relative performance. The range-topping FX 8350 is our subject today:

Specification Overview - AMD FX 8350

  • 8 core CPU [Piledriver architecture, four modules]
  • 4GHz CPU core clock / 4.2GHz CPU all-core Turbo
  • 1.2Bn transistors / 315mm2 die size
  • Manufactured on 32nm SOI from GlobalFoundries
  • Socket AM3+
  • Dual Channel 128-bit Memory Controller
    • Two DIMMS - 1866MHz
    • Four DIMMS - 1600MHz
    • Simultaneous Read/Write in unganged mode w/four DIMMs
    • Supports AMD Memory Profiles (AMP) & Intel XMP
  • 125W TDP with AMD Turbo Core 2.0
  • 256 Single Precision GLFOPS
  • 64 Double Precision GFLOPS
  • AES, FMA3, FMA4, AVX, AMD-V, SSSE4.2 Instruction sets
  • $195USD SEP

The introductory pricing of the FX 8350 is a lot lower than where the FX 8150 was introduced, and only ~5% higher than current FX 8150 pricing. AMD's marketing team appears very focused on competitive positioning and knowing where the FX 8350 sits; the Intel Core i5 3570K is approximately the same price and is AMD's marketing focus for the FX 8350.