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AMD FX-8350 Review - Armchair Empire

AMD FX-8350 Review


  • 9/10
    Price - 9/10
  • 5/10
    Power Consumption - 5/10
  • 7/10
    Game Performance - 7/10
  • 6/10
    Single Core Performance - 6/10
  • 7/10
    Multi Core Performance - 7/10
6.8/10

Our Rating


AMD FX-8350 Quick Specs
Cores 8
Cache L3 – 8 MB Shared
Base Clock Speed 4 GHz
Standard Overclock Speed 4.73 GHz
Base Power Consumption 125 W

Introduction

Can a 4-year-old AMD CPU really make a mark on today’s CPU market? The FX-8350 – with the Wraith Cooler – retails much cheaper compared with several Intel processors, only costing more than the Core i3 lineup. And, this is probably a major reason why it still continues to garner a lot of support from gamers and enthusiasts alike. But, is there a reason today to consider this processor? That’s what we try and figure out.

First off, let’s take a quick look at what comprises the FX-8530 in the hardware specs department. To start with, this is a physical 8 core processor that operates at a base clock speed of 4GHz and naturally boosts to 4.2GHz. That is pretty impressive on paper. Like other FX series AMD processors, it does not come bundled with an integrated graphics card but the money saved on purchasing this processor can get you a decent graphics card albeit with a little more cash influx.

This processor eats up around 125W, which is significantly higher than the i5 6400 that has a TDP rating of just 65W – but the advantage is that the FX-8350 overclocks rather well. As for caching, it offers an L3 cache of 8MB that translates to 1MB per core. Overclocked speeds are impressive at 4.73 GHz with the stock Wraith Cooler, whereas a liquid cooler takes it up several notches to over 8GHz though that much clock speed isn’t necessary in real world applications.

Sale
AMD FD8350FRHKBOX FX-8350 FX-Series 8-Core Black Edition Processor
  • Platform: Desktop
  • Frequency: 4.0/4.2GHZ (Base/Overdrive)
  • Cores: 8

Performance Analysis

The FX-8350 has for long been a favorite among gamers and enthusiasts for its overclocking and multi-thread applications. Besides, at less than $130, this processor is only slightly costlier than the Core i3 6100, which has comparable single core performance to the 8350 but gets blown out of the park when it comes to multi-thread performance (only when you overclock the 8350).

Let’s take a quick look at the Passmark values first. The FX-8350 scores a cool 8.940 as opposed to the i3 6100 that takes in a lower 5.465 score. In fact, the FX-8350 matches the i5 6400 scores meaning it is a better option when multi-core performance is required. This is because the processor has physical 8 cores as opposed to the 2 cores of the i3 6100 and the 4 cores of the i5 6400.

Next up let’s look at the Cinebench R15 scores. In the single threaded tests, The i3 scores almost double on the FX-8350 but the FX-8350 reverses the trend on multi-threaded tests. Clearly, the FX-8350 is a multitasker but not much of a single core performer with just 96 on the R15 single threaded test. Whereas, the Core i3 6100 registers a good 156.17. In Dolphin Emulation benchmarks, the i3 6100 wins the race by bringing in a lower score of 8.33 while the FX-8350 manages a 13.53.

Finally, let’s compare the FX-8350 with the 6100’s HandBrake test scores. First, up is encoding low-quality films where the lower version Intel processor takes slightly longer. With 4K encoding though things take a turn and the FX-8350 does a poorer job though both registers less than 20 seconds.

Basically, what this means is that the two processors are tied head to head in terms of stock performance on benchmarks. In the real world, the differences will not be visible between the two. At times the core i3 will perform only slightly better and on other processes, the AMD chipset will fare better.

One key aspect though is the pricing and because the FX-8350 is only slightly costlier than the 6100 Core i3, we feel it is a better bet. If you ever feel bottlenecked, you can always overclock the CPU and extract that last bit of performance out of it. Yes, it suffers in performance with newer generation Core i5 and Core i7 processors but for what you pay, you get a really decent overall performer. Besides, the money you save on the FX-8350 can go into a neat graphics card especially if you are a gamer.

Pros

  • Lower priced processor and cheaper motherboards.
  • An overall performer with decent scores in almost all benchmarks should be sufficient reasons to get the AMD FX-8350.
  • Designed for overclocking, this processor really does double up on clock speeds without much heating.
  • Compatible with older generation AMD motherboards because the architecture remains the same and it relies on DDR3 DIMMs.

Cons

  • Outdated technology that does not match up to latest generation of processors from Intel.
  • Eats a lot of power in stock configuration and naturally heats up when overclocked.
  • With Ryzen 5 coming out shortly, the 8350 might just have breathed its last.

Should You Buy The AMD FX-8350?

We are a bit undecided with the AMD FX-8350. First of all, because of its price to performance, we feel it ought to get a mention in our list. However, with the impending launch of Ryzen 5, which should give a better overall performance at least in the single core department, purchasing a four-year-old CPU may not be the best idea.

Moreover, you will have to change a lot of hardware if tomorrow you wish to move to the Ryzen series since they have a different architecture and higher support levels. What we feel is that the FX-8350 is an excellent budget purchase only if overclocked well. It garners to gamers mostly and lets you extract the maximum out of the processors without making an upgrade. Once Ryzen 5 releases, we have to compare the two’s performances before actually ruling out the FX-8350 and that is why it retains its position in our top CPU list.

Verdict

A reliable performer that has been doing the rounds for years now, AMD FX-8350 was supposed to revolutionize the processor market in its launch year. Unfortunately, the euphoria did not last and AMD was relegated to the realms of affordable unlocked processors. Gamers were probably the only lot who preferred the AMD chipset on offer whereas the rest moved on with newer generations of Intel.

The AMD FX-8350 is a confident reliable workhorse that does a good job straight out of the box. It is affordable and lets you invest into a better graphics card, more memory and the likes. What really excites us though is the stable higher clock speeds theoretically possible with this processor.

In short, if you are in a hurry and have less than $130 to spend on a processor, go get the AMD FX-8350 today. If you have a higher budget but really want that shiny new graphics card, save some money by buying this processor. But, if you can wait then give Ryzen 5 a chance since it too has some models that cost just about $130.

Ratings

Price – 9

Power Consumption – 5

Game Performance – 7

Single Core Performance – 6

Multi Core Performance – 7