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

Benchmark Results: 3DMark 11

Futuremark’s attempt to capture overall gaming performance with its 3DMark benchmark sees AMD’s FX-8350 improve on the FX-8150 by several hundred points, placing it behind the pricier Core i5-3570K and Core i7-3770K CPUs. 

That’s a really big generalization, though. The sub-tests are where we see how each platform affects the overall gaming experience.

The only CPU that seems to impact graphics performance is AMD’s Phenom II X6 1100T, but only by a couple of percentage points. Everything else is on almost-identical footing as the Graphics suite purposely isolates our GeForce GTX 680.

The Physics sub-test is where processor performance plays a predominant role, as Futuremark partitions the simulated world it creates into several isolated regions, creating multiple threads.

When it’s fully taxed, the FX-8350 is able to best Intel’s Core i5-3570K, a $230 quad-core chip. Turning on Hyper-Threading on the Core i7, however, kicks performance up another notch.

The Combined sub-test also exhibits plenty of difference between processors. It’s threaded insofar as the simulated world is partitioned into multiple regions. The outcome isn’t the same as the Physics test, though, because there’s a considerable graphics workload applied as well. As we’ll see in the real-world game testing, AMD’s chips have a tendency to bottleneck our GPU, and so the FX-8350 slides down in the field behind three Ivy Bridge-based processors.

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.