AMD FX 8 A Visceral Era

AMD FX 8-Core Black Edition FX-8320E

By Din

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AMD is well known for years for providing PC enthusiast with high performance processors that gives users value for money. This means you don’t have to break the bank to build a performance PC that is suited for extreme gaming. Last year, AMD introduced an updated version of its popular line of FX processors. Based on the Vishera/Piledriver line, these affordable performance CPUs had been given a makeover with the most telling being the bump down on the Wattage as the new empowered brains now run at 95W compared to the 125W of old. AMD has sent over its FX8320E, which can be considered the entry model for the FX line of processors, for full gauntlet run.

E for Energy

So what is the FX8320E? Well as stated before, it’s a makeover from the previous AMD FX processors, with the ‘E’ at the back representing the “(Energy) Efficient” line. The FX8320E that I have in my hands now is basically a lower-powered version of the previous FX8320 processor that AMD released before. The only differences are the TDP – 95W for the E version compared to 125W for the original FX8320, and the slight speed decrease, 3200Mhz compared to 3500Mhz. Note that while the base speed is decreased, the boost speed for both the processors are still rated at 4Ghz, meaning you’ll still get the same high-end performance as the non “E” version of the FX8320E. Since this is also a Black Edition processor, the multipliers are also unlocked for those seeking a CPU that can be overclocked.

amd_fx8320e

Nothing to See Here

What surprised me by a fair bit is this CPU having no intergraded graphics (IGP) to work with. Honestly, I am too used to processors that come with its own IGP. So much so that the first time I tried to test the processor, I’ve spent 10 minutes trying to find a graphics output on the motherboard. Of course, the logic is simple with this AMD entry. In your hands is a performance processor and certainly you won’t want to use a processor of this quality with just the IGP? Even so, it had been a shocker-, especially as the other processors from the blue side at this price range still includes an on-board IGP.

Cool Story Bro

So does the 95W TDP make a difference? A lot apparently. The first time I boot-up the motherboard and processor, I had been greeted with a 16°C temperature read-out. While I had used a third-party cooler, I honestly did not expect to see a low heat reading. I even presumed the CPU would be heating up more during the stress test, but lo behold – it still chugged along nicely at temperatures ranging in between the lows and highs 20°C. Even when the boost clock has reached 4GHz in PC Mark 8! As long time readers would know, low heat output would mean better overclocking potential.

Not a Potato (Chip)

The 32nm AMD FX8320E uses an AM3+ socket, so should you already own an AMD motherboard with an AM3+ socket. To get this processor to work properly, all you need is a BIOS update. Indeed, the real reason that AMD introduced this CPU is only because there is a fair number of old AM3+ motherboards in the marketspace that only supports up to 95W. This means users that had been looking into upgrading to a new FX processor had to upgrade their mainboard as well. With the introduction of the E-line FX CPUs, which includes the AMD FX8320E, users do not need to invest in new motherboards. This will totally keep the cost down. Kudos to AMD for thinking of this.

CPU

Dance Dance Revolution 3

The AMD FX8320E has a built in memory support for dual channel DDR3 RAM – up to 1866Mhz. there is no support for the new DDR4 memory simply because this CPU is targeted for both the 900+ and the 800+ series chipset (BIOS update required). Thus, this move is a logical choice. The 32nm technology might seem to be dated as well but AMD has proven that there is still many tricks that an old dog could learn.

Powered Performance

I paired the AMD FX8320E with the latest MSI Gaming 970 motherboard, and the garnered performance does not disappoint. Using Futuremark’s PC Mark 8 for my benchmarking needs, I put the AMD FX8320E through its paces. Just for fun, I meddled a little with the motherboard as I tried my level best to do a manual overclock. The results are, well, explosively surprising. From the 3.2Ghz base speed, I managed to bump up the CPU all the way up to 4.5Ghz! In fact, I didn’t have to do many adjustments as all I did had been to boost the Core voltage to 1.5V. The tweaked system remained stable even when I had a rather long DotA 2 session. Not surprisingly, the temperature barely climbed.

Final Thoughts

The AMD FX8320E is honestly a surprising entry – a pleasant one that is. For the price that you can buy this processor for, you’re getting a high performer that has a LOT of potential. Also you’re getting eight Cores, something that would be considered ludicrous a few years ago for a processor at this price range. If you are on the lookout for an affordable system that mainly runs multithreading software and high-end gaming, then the FX8320E is the one for you.

01_amd_fx-8320e

Socket: AM3+
Base Speed: 3200Mhz (4Ghz Boost)
Wattage: 95w
L2 Cache: 1024Kb
Build: 32nm
Microarchitecture: Piledriver
Platform: Volan
Processor Core: Vishera
Data Width: 64 bit
The No of Cores: 8
The No of Threads: 8
Integrated Graphics: None

Futuremark PC Mark 8 Results
Home: 3206
Creative: 2806
Work: 3122

Value: 9/10
Features: 10/10
Performance: 9/10
Design: 9/10
Usability: 10/10

Verdict: Affordable, green, and high performance. AMD has done it yet again!
Total Score: 9.4/10

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