AMD FX-8350 Review: Does Piledriver Fix Bulldozer's Flaws?

Benchmark Results: Productivity

Presented with another threaded title like ABBYY’s FineReader, the FX-8350 barely trails Intel’s Core i7-3770K. Then again, FX-8150 was already outperforming the Core i5-3570K, so the tweaked architecture and higher clock rate only reinforce that result. Give this design a threaded application and it does well. Got it.

I swear I’m not purposely trying to mix things up by dropping in single-threaded tests right after the heavily parallelized ones. This is the same order I try to use in every review.

As if to remind us why FX-8150 got so thoroughly shredded upon its introduction, our Lame encoding workload shows a 4 GHz FX-8350 narrowly edging out the 3.7 GHz Phenom II X4 980 (which was introduced a year and a half ago, mind you). Although Piledriver appears to be an improvement over Bulldozer, AMD still has not matched the per-clock performance of its prior architecture, unfortunately.

We see the same outcome when we convert a PowerPoint presentation to PDF format—a single-threaded task. Vishera fares better than Zambezi, but all four Intel processors get this job done before the first AMD processor wraps it up.

Our Visual Studio benchmark sees FX-8350 cutting more than four minutes from our compile job—a better-than-10% speed-up compared to FX-8150. AMD’s latest cannot come close to Core i7-3770K, but the Piledriver-based processor does manage to best Intel’s Core i5-3570K.

Chris Angelini
Chris Angelini is an Editor Emeritus at Tom's Hardware US. He edits hardware reviews and covers high-profile CPU and GPU launches.
  • amuffin
    Looks like AMD did pretty well with the 8350.

    I now really don't see people purchasing it though....people will be buying the 8320.
  • kracker
    Interesting, nice improvement over BD, it spars very closely or beats the i5-3570K sometimes, It really can't compete with intel's high end, but nevertheless good job AMD!
  • sixdegree
    AMD is doing good with the pricing this time. This is what AMD should be: aggressively priced CPU with added features.
  • esrever
    The price is actually nice this time. Hopefully AMD sticks around and gives good deals like this for years to come.
  • Nice job AMD. It just kept itself afloat! Not performance killer, but good enough to get a chunk of desktop sales just in time for the holiday season. Probably wouldn't buy it over an Intel system because most apps are still quite single threaded, but I would certainly consider it. Welcome back to the race AMD. Keep up the good work!
  • najirion
    so... amd will still keep my local electric provider happy. Good job AMD but I think FM2 APUs are more promising. The fact that APUs alone can win against intel processors if discrete graphics is not involved. Perhaps AMD should focus in their APU line like integrating better gpus in those apus that will allow dual 7xxx graphics and not just dual 6xxx hybrid graphics. The entire FX architecture seems to have the issue with its high power consumption and poor single-thread performance. Better move on AMD...
  • dscudella
    I would have liked to see more Intel offerings in the Benchmarks. Say an i3-2120 & i3-3220 for comparisons sake as they'll be cheaper than the new Piledrivers.

    If more games / daily use apps start using more cores these new AMD's could really take off.
  • EzioAs
    Interesting. Probably not a gamers first choice but for users who regularly use multi-threaded programs, the 8350 should be very compelling. About $30 cheaper than a 3570K and can be overclock as well, video/photo editors should really consider this. It doesn't beat current Intel CPUs in power efficiency but at least it's significantly more efficient than Bulldozer.

    Thanks for the review.
    Btw Chris, how many cups of joe did you had to take for the overclocking testing? ;)
  • sorry just not overly impressed.
    5-12% performance increase 12% less power - sound familiar?
    the only difference this time was less hype before the release. (lesson well learned AMD!)
  • gorz
    I think the fx-4300 is going to be the new recommended budget gaming processor. Good price that is only going to get lower, and it has overclocking.