AMD has released its new generation chips, so now it’s time to take a look at what the current AM3+ lineup looks like. We have already benchmarked all of AMD’s Vishera CPUs against their Intel competitors, but now we’ll go one step further by making an overall ranking based on our results. This list will help you pick your next CPU upgrade for your favourite motherboard, which is still compatible with the old AM3 socket.
As you may have noticed, choosing an AM3+ CPU was quite difficult lately due to AMD’s lack of recent releases. Unfortunately, not only Bulldozer-based Zambezi CPUs are no longer available in retail (no surprise there), but even the Thuban six-core Magny-Cours and the new Richland Athlon X4s are becoming increasingly rare.
So we had to make some interesting picks based on our benchmark results, such as this new top three: the FX-9590 (5.0 GHz), FX-9370 (4.7 GHz) and FX-8350 (4.2 GHz). It really boils down to their price/performance ratio, not forgetting that someone looking for a high-end processor can still opt for a modern i7 or one of AMD’s eight or ten core CPUs.
But enough talking! Let’s dive right into it with the list below:
5: AMD FX-8350
With a base clock of 4.2 GHz, the Vishera flagship was one of the best AM3+ CPUs when it hit the market back at the end of August 2012. It wasn’t even that far behind its main rival, the Core i5 3570K, in most benchmarks. For example, in our app launch test, where we time how long it takes to open 15 applications consecutively using an SSD, both CPUs scored exactly 24 seconds.
However, this eight-core processor is nearly four times as expensive as Intel’s offering!
4: AMD FX-9370
This tasty treat has a TDP of 220 watts and it’s only available to Overclockers UK for £249. (about $390) Unfortunately, it’s just not worth its price because the FX-9370 is only eight per cent faster than the FX-8350. Besides, this model does have a nice Turbo speed of 5 GHz out of the box, which will definitely please all the overclockers out there!
However, considering that our previous No. 1 ranked AMD CPU is nearly three times cheaper makes this new Vishera an excellent long term investment at £249. (about $390)
3: AMD FX-9590
This brand new flagship model has an impressive set of specs with 5 GHz Turbo and base clocks both reaching crazy levels at 4.7 GHz! Its TDP is much higher than any other Zambezi CPUs, though; you’ll need a huge air cooler to keep it cool.
Unfortunately, this CPU is currently only available in the United States for an even crazier price of $580! That’s six times more expensive than Intel’s i7-4770K. That makes us doubt that AMD will unleash its full potential here because there are few people willing to spend that much on a CPU nowadays.
We’re still waiting for some real sales numbers to see if these CPUs are selling well or not. If they are, then maybe AMD will decide to release them worldwide very soon. Until then, let’s sit back and enjoy their insane specs without paying crazy prices…
2: AMD FX-4300
If you want a good starter CPU that won’t break the bank, the FX-4300 is your best choice. With specs like its 4 GHz base clock and 4.2 GHz Turbo speed, it’s not going to let down anyone looking for a cheap upgrade from a slower Intel CPU.
It also has two serious rivals: the Core i3 4130 and Athlon X4 740. Both cost around £75 ($110) at Overclockers UK, while they’re roughly half as expensive in the United States thanks to their lack of official availability in Europe. The only real difference between these three CPUs is that the Athlon X4 740 can be overclocked from 3.2 GHz to 4 GHz, whereas the Core i3 4130 is limited to 3.4 GHz even when overclocked, and the FX-4300 tops out at 4.2 GHz.
The Core i3 easily wins this battle thanks to its four HyperThreaded cores, which give it a 24 per cent advantage in multi-threaded tasks over the FX-4300. However, these two CPUs are so close in price that they come down to choosing between AMD’s massive Level 3 cache (2 MB vs 1 MB), or Intel’s faster internal graphics (the Core i3 has HD 4400 graphics clocked at 1200 MHz vs 756 MHz for the FX-4300).
1: AMD FX 8150
AMD’s processor range is really kicking ass this year, and the FX-8150 proves it. This CPU has 8 cores clocked at 3.6 GHz (our app launch test showed an impressive score of 27 seconds!), which can be Turbo Boosted to 4 GHz when there are only four active cores – clearly a bad move, since the app launch time improved by just 0.4 seconds!
In short, if you want raw CPU power at a reasonable price from AMD Vishera, the FX-8150 is your best bet. Its current asking price of £115 ($175) makes it a great choice for anyone looking for a new affordable high-end processor.
So far, so good! Stay tuned because we have a few more AMD Vishera-based CPUs to cover. Meanwhile, you can check out our previous overview of the best gaming CPUs for your money to see how the FX 8150 stacks up against its Intel rivals.