Until last month, all of AMD's 8-core FX processors had a minimum TDP of 125 Watts. That changed with the August announcement of the FX-8300, a 95-watt model that features eight execution cores, a nominal 3.2 GHz core clock, and a maximum 3.5 GHz boost clock. This product is only targeted at Greater China's OEMs, though, leaving the rest of the world's AMD enthusiasts who own 95-Watt motherboards without an 8-core upgrade path.
That changes today with the launch of the new FX-8320E and FX-8370E, two new processors with a 95-Watt TDP. The FX-8320E ($147 MSRP) sports 3.2/4.0 GHz nominal/max boost clock rates, while the FX-8370E ($199 MSRP) features higher 3.3/4.3 GHz limits. Like all FX processors, these 95-watt 'E' models are multiplier-unlocked and have significant overclocking headroom if you're willing to deliver power over the stock power limit.
There's also a new 125-Watt model, the FX-8370. This represents a new high-water mark for FX processors with this power limit, boasting a maximum boost clock of 4.3 GHz. It shares the same 4.0 GHz nominal clock rate as the FX-8350, though.
Aside from these fresh offerings, AMD claims that MSRPs have been significantly reduced across the entire 8-core FX lineup. If the company's new targets are respected by retailers we should see about a $65 drop in the FX-9590 (without bundled liquid cooler); a $20 drop in the FX-9370 (also without the cooler); and a $10 decrease for the FX-9590, FX-8350, and FX-8320 compared to last month's e-tail pricing.
*Note that model numbers ending in WOX indicate that a liquid cooler is included
Price reductions are always welcome, but the most significant news is definitely the viability of 8-core FX CPUs for folks who own a budget AM3+ motherboard limited to a 95 Watt CPU socket. There are few low-cost AMD boards out there, and it's nice to see a real upgrade option for 4- or even 6-core AMD processor owners.
Intel has a lock on the premium multi-threading market, but with the bottom-rung Core i7 costing about $300 we're happy to see a price-conscious alternative for half of that buy-in, especially one that can be accommodated without a premium 125-watt motherboard. When it comes to processing multiple threads, a powerful Core i5 will be bested by an 8-core FX processor in many applications, so there's a unique value proposition offered by AMD here.
We are less inspired by the new 125-Watt FX-8370, as the meager 100 MHz maximum turbo speed bump over the FX-8350 leaves us wanting. As for the 220-Watt options such as the FX-9370 and FX-9590, we're skeptical about the value these can offer vs. an Intel Core i7, considering the relatively high cost of an AMD motherboard that is compatible with these high-power processors. In addition, you'd have to invest even more cash into an aftermarket cooler if you don't choose the costlier option that includes a bundled liquid cooler. In contrast, socket 1150 Core i7 processors all come equipped with standard Intel coolers that do a decent job at stock clocks.
In any case, we'd like to see what these new FX models can do. We haven't had time to properly test them yet, but we will have a full review for our readers soon.