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

Benchmark Results: SiSoftware Sandra 2013 Beta

Remember that AMD’s Bulldozer architecture added hardware acceleration for AES encryption and decryption, and this naturally carries over to Piledriver. Basically, this capability is bottlenecked by memory bandwidth—the faster you can feed the CPU, the better it performs in the AES-256 benchmark.

After running a handful of spot-checks on performance, we decided to use 16 GB of DDR3-1600 memory instead of 8 GB of DDR3-1866, particularly since the RAM drive we use for alleviating storage bottlenecks would carve some of that memory away anyway, and the extra bandwidth did nothing to speed up our results. Nevertheless, FX-8350’s loss to FX-8150 is a result of that lower data rate. Had we used DDR3-1866 modules, the FX-8350 would have matched the Ivy Bridge-based chips at DDR3-1600 closer to 20 GB/s.

It doesn’t appear that Vishera’s cache latencies—often thought to be one of Zambezi’s performance issues—are any different. AMD's architects confirm the L3 isn't changed. The L2's minimum latency isn't any different, either. But average L2 latency should drop as a result of optimizations.

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.