AMD FX-8370E Review: Pulling The Handbrake For More Efficiency

Going more slowly is more efficient. That’s what AMD must have thought when they designed its new FX-8370E processor, thus closing a gap in the company's line-up. We evaluate whether this CPU is really more efficient and what happens when we overclock it.

AMD’s three new FX processors are here: the FX-8370, FX-8370E, and FX-8320E. The company also made several older models more affordable. As we'll see though, street pricing still lands close to the respective MSRPs. And the performance benchmarks are going to suggest that AMD needs a couple rounds of cuts before mainstream enthusiasts can get excited about its latest efforts.

AMD sent over an FX-8370E operating at a 3.3 GHz base clock rate. It accompanied the chip with a motherboard, since the new processor wouldn't run on our older Socket AM3+-based platforms; the requisite BIOS updates weren't available yet.

Furthermore, AMD told us that its latest and greatest was rated for a TDP of just 95 W, which would certainly be an improvement over previous FX models. Hold your horses, though. How did the company's engineers achieve this using a familiar architecture and the same manufacturing technology? Is it binning? A less aggressive Turbo Core implementation? Some revision to the die?

A New Focus on Efficiency? Fine by Us!

We’ll take AMD’s word (and TDP rating) as accurate and switch things up a bit to reflect on the new CPU's focus. Of course we'll give you performance benchmarks as well, but only at the end and after a special preamble.

Our purpose is to figure out how much power this processor draws at its stock and Turbo Core clock rates. We want to know where its sweet spot is, and to explore when overclocking just doesn't make sense anymore. From there, we'll benchmark at three different clock rates for a more in-depth look at efficiency.

Unfortunately, AMD shot itself in the foot by using ASRock's Fatal1ty 990FX Killer. Its idle power consumption is a lot higher than what we’re used to from other boards with the same socket. Obviously, this results in the CPU's total power consumption measurements, measured from the motherboard, turning out a lot higher than they need to be.

In the end, this is just another FX processor, so we’re not going to cover the architecture in-depth. If you're new to the FX and the technology inside of it, check out AMD FX-8350 Review: Does Piledriver Fix Bulldozer's Flaws?

Where the new CPU lands in AMD's FX family, sporting four modules able to schedule eight threads concurrently, can be gleaned from the following table:

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  • MeteorsRaining
    The price point is a deal breaker. Its a fairly good CPU for AMD builders, but can't give it the tag of budget builder, you get i5 non-K in that price. Its moving into a higher (cost wise) territory with weak arsenal.
  • The_Doc
    How to start a benchmark review? But of course, let's show how powerful is AMD in single core!

    I think we all get it Vishera isn't exactly wonderful in single core operations, but:

    A) I have yet to see any software which requires A LOT of single core power, it's 2014, if something is still single-core, it probably doesn't need all that power or il old enough to make even Vishera good at it.

    B) You are comparing a 2012 architecture to a 4790K, It's like comparing Pentium 4 to a Pentium G3258.
  • husker
    Article quote: "However, it's probable that AMD sent us a sample chosen specifically for this purpose. Plus, there is almost certainly variance from one -8370E to the next. And so it's hard to know if the FX-8370E is actually better."

    If you pre-suppose that your sample is tainted why bother to do the testing and the article in the first place. Perhaps this is a case where your should purchase the product of the shelf in order to better serve your readers.
  • 1991ATServerTower
    I would have liked to see a power consumption chart of the following cpus all clocked to 3.8GHz.

    8150, 8320, 8230e, 8350, 8370e.

    That would demonstrate the improvements of Vishera over Bulldozer, as well as any improvements offered by binning.
  • oxxfatelostxxo
    "If you pre-suppose that your sample is tainted why bother to do the testing and the article in the first place. Perhaps this is a case where your should purchase the product of the shelf in order to better serve your readers."

    1) almost every vendor does this, cpus, graphics, ect..
    2) the chip they received is exactly what you get when you buy it off the shelf, however every cpu/gpu ect varies by a small amount. The vendors simply make sure that review sites get the top end of that group. In all honesty we are probably talking 3% performance from the majority at most.
  • ShadyHamster
    Any chance the older 8320/50 could be tested at the same voltages and clock speeds to better compare power usage?
    My 8320 will happily run 3.5/3.6ghz @ 1.15v as long as turbo core is disabled.
  • m32
    I've had a few 8350's that needed 1.41-1.45v for 4.5. These E models needs less voltage compared to the originals when dealing with "moderate" overclocks.

    I will probably get the 8320E for my office computer during Black Friday. $140 is the price right now but I prefer $125 or less for an AMD CPU.
  • Chris Droste
    for all we know a nice, process-refined 8350 is the exact same chip under the hood, they just clocked it down and gave it a new name. someone wake me when AMD starts to innovate desktop CPUs again.
  • hmp_goose
    While it's nice to see a sweet spot staked out for the OC, and really nice to hear about how much smaller the heatsink can be, what I'd like to see if the E OCs cooler/ less wattage then the two non-Es. I like to think a 8350 is better then a 8320 if you care about power consumption at all, and want to see if the trend continues with the 8370 & 8370E …
  • RedJaron
    1722318 said:
    The price point is a deal breaker. Its a fairly good CPU for AMD builders, but can't give it the tag of budget builder, you get i5 non-K in that price. Its moving into a higher (cost wise) territory with weak arsenal.
    Precisely, which goes right along with what Igor said:

    Quote:
    Yes 4.5 GHz and higher is possible, but at a certain point you're going to spend too much on a beefy motherboard and high-end cooler, negating the value of overclocking outright.

    Far too many people forget the whole cost of OCing a chip. Sure, a 4.5 83XX can slightly beat a stock i5, but at what cost? The 6300 is a far more compelling CPU for tweakers. If you're lucky on a few sales, you can get the chip, cooler, and mboard for the same $200. And as pointed out here, unless you're pairing it with a top-shelf GPU, you won't see any gaming benefits with a pricier platform.


    1494949 said:
    B) You are comparing a 2012 architecture to a 4790K, It's like comparing Pentium 4 to a Pentium G3258.

    This is AMD's latest offering. The Haswell refresh is Intel's latest offering. Whatever the products' pedigrees, why shouldn't the two latest SKUs be compared?
  • Amdlova
    the cpu price is not the problem, but a good motherboard for the cpu is too high. I don't want a crap north chipset with crap south chipset. AND i see the 990fx With fear. Amd need Update the chipset...
  • The only issue I see with this CPU is the price of it. I really would not personally see a reason to go with this over the old 8320 or even the 8320E, which are both priced very well for their performance and will overclock similarly to this one, although the non E variants seem to run hotter. At stock, the 8370E will likely match the 8320, but costs too much more. The TDP number to me only tells me how stong a cooler I need WHEN I overclock. Bottom line is, what does it cost and how fast is it for that cost. At $200, I'd have a hard time not forking out the extra $40 for the I5 4670K. Again, not due to it's TDP rating, but what it can do for the money I spend.
  • rdc85
    1335368 said:
    the cpu price is not the problem, but a good motherboard for the cpu is too high. I don't want a crap north chipset with crap south chipset. AND i see the 990fx With fear. Amd need Update the chipset...


    agreed, this cpu need new (limited) mobo to operate.. this making it's a minus point...

    anyways we need to keep advocating good balanced built more often..
    I see lot's of people keep waste money in one (op) part to only be limited by another parts in his system...
    (the true potential of the system is nowhere to be seen)
  • 736169 said:
    1335368 said:
    the cpu price is not the problem, but a good motherboard for the cpu is too high. I don't want a crap north chipset with crap south chipset. AND i see the 990fx With fear. Amd need Update the chipset...
    agreed, this cpu need new (limited) mobo to operate.. this making it's a minus point... anyways we need to keep advocating good balanced built more often.. I see lot's of people keep waste money in one (op) part to only be limited by another parts in his system... (the true potential of the system is nowhere to be seen)


    Agreed, too many people, and some that I personally know will throw a high end K chip in their rig and match it with a $120 GPU while not wanting to overclock said CPU, and then get mad because they can't max out new titles. Recently, a friend's brand new i7 rig was out ran by my overclocked FX rig in a bet on the Metro LL benchmark due to his GTX 650 GPU vs my heavily overclocked R9 280X:lol: He honestly thought he would win, and he was not happy with his purchase after that. It took awhile to explain to him (He's very new to the PC gaming world) that his prebuilt "gaming" rig was hideously imbalanced. It happens all too often, the new to PC guys who buy some of those prebuilts get ripped pretty hard sometimes:(
  • rolli59
    Biggest benefit is for all the people that want to upgrade to 8 core but have previously bought boards that do have low power limits as most of the budget AM3+ boards do.
  • rmpumper
    I will get downvoted for this comment but I have to say this: I find it funny that AMD fans are always claiming that power consumption is irrelevant while at the same time AMD are doing everything they can to improve efficiency.
  • Shin-san
    Something tells me that Bulldozer might have been to get into game consoles. It's an architecture that's easy for people to learn, but hard to extract full power from.

    However, it seems that AMD won't be making any new CPU architectures until 2016. I'm doubtful that AMD will manage to push the clock any further in the near-future, though 5 GHz is possible. A 200W part will make your PC a space heater.

    For the 2016 build, there's a chance that AMD may be revamping the CPU drastically, but there's also the chance that AMD will just give up. The third alternative is that they will release a CPU update for game consoles.

    I'm also doubtful about the hybrid x86/ARM chip they want to make. In theory, it's sound, but I'm thinking of the complications from programming the thing, plus the potential for bugs.
  • vaughn2k
    I want AMD to keep their CPU line-up alive. Therefore, an alternative to Intel's high priced processor. If not, Intel will shoot-up theirs... but please AMD make a better CPU soon. bring HSA soon! And bring back the glorious days, the Athlon was!
  • tomc100
    AMD needs to hire better engineers. This is just embarrassing.
  • Lee Yong Quan
    "Made in Malaysia". yeap , that is my country.
  • xenol
    "Unfortunately, real-world tasks typically aren't as dramatically optimized..."

    I wonder if this is really because those tasks are optimized, or because a combination of factors makes them reach a certain limit faster with more cores.
  • photonboy
    The_Doc,
    Single-core performance is the most important benchmark you can have. It doesn't apply only to programs that just use a single thread, it's a very important tool to determine GAMING performance.

    It's the explanation for why most games run better on Intel hardware. If a game can only use about THREE cores of a CPU then the per-core performance needs to be high or you might get bottlenecking.

    In SKYRIM for example in some benchmarks there's a 45% difference between a Haswell i5 and the FX-8350.
  • Au_equus
    http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/NVIDIA/GeForce_GTX_980/31.html

    IMO, W1zzard on techpowerup said it best in (the last) three words after benchmarking the gtx 980.
  • The article on the fx-8350 is dated October 2012. How little has happened in two years.

    Anyone know if "resonant clock mesh technology" has made it into any AMD processor?