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

Benchmark Results: Content Creation

A nearly last-place finish for FX-8150 turns into a second-place prize for FX-8350 in our 3ds Max 2012 workload. This time last year we were wondering how AMD could justify charging more for its new flagship than a Core i5-2500K. Now, by bringing the price of FX-8350 down to $200, it’s beating a pricier Core i5-3570K and nipping at the heels of a $320 CPU.

Both FX-based processors actually do pretty well in Blender, similar to what we saw last year (even if this time around we’re using the newer Cycles engine). In fact, even the old Thuban-based Phenom II X6 manages to best Intel’s Core i5-3570K.

The Cinebench single-threaded test illustrates what we’ve known for a year: AMD’s per-core performance is pretty dismal compared to Intel’s. Piledriver at least allows AMD to match the older Stars architecture in the Phenom II X6 and X4 parts. However, Intel’s Ivy Bridge-based CPUs—particularly the Hyper-Threading-equipped Core i7—are much stronger.

Brute-forcing performance with higher clock rates and as many as eight integer clusters allows FX-8350 to snag a second-place finish in the threaded benchmark.

The same speed-up that changed AMD’s position in 3ds Max also affects the results in SolidWorks. The FX-8150 loses out to the $200 Core i5-3470. Meanwhile, the new model manages to top the Core i5-3570K, landing in second place yet again.

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.