Review Index:

AMD FX-8350 and FX-6300 Processor Review: Vishera Breaks Cover

Author: Josh Walrath
Subject: Processors
Manufacturer: AMD

Power, Overclocking, and Heat



AMD has worked very hard in controlling their power consumption, but it has not always been easy.  While Zambezi stayed within TDP limits at stock speeds, it could really suck the juice when overclocked.

View Full Size

View Full Size

At idle all of the parts do pretty well, with the 1100T being the most power hungry of the bunch (if you really want to call it power hungry).  Once things are loaded up we see some interesting swings.  My 8350 sample pulls the most power at load (using Cinebench R11.5), even coming in some 30 watts higher than the older 8150.  This is not necessarily surprising since there is a 400 MHz difference between the two, and the 8350 does put in a better result.  The more interesting difference is that again of the 6300 vs. the 6200.  Both chips have around the same performance in Cinebench R11.5, but the power difference is some 43 watts.  The i7’s load characteristics are just sick as compared to how fast it runs.

Overclocking and Heat

The moment we have all been waiting for.  How far do these two processors go?  With good cooling people were often able to take the 8150 up to 4.8 GHz.  I was able to take the older FX-6200 up to 4.5 GHz pretty comfortably, though it started to get a bit shaky at that point.  So where did it all fall out here?  I used an older Thermaltake tower/heatpipe cooler with an 80 mm fan.  It is superior to the stock option from AMD, but it should not be considered an extremely good cooler.  Any self-contained LCS will do a far better job in cooling the CPU.

I was able to take the FX-6300 to 4.6 GHz core and 2.6 GHz NB/L3 cache.  I disabled the AMD Turbo functionality, as well as increased the voltage to 1.5v.  I went into the Asus BIOS and disabled some of the power protections to get as many amps to the socket as possible.  The cooler was seemingly holding this processor back.  I do believe it could have gone well above that number, but much better cooling is needed.  If a user expects these parts to hit 5 GHz on air with a marginal cooler, they are going to be disappointed.

View Full Size

Add another 200 MHz to both core and NB/L3 and we have the final overclock of this particular chip.

The FX-8350 came in around the same.  Using the same adjustments I was able to take it to 4.6 GHz core and 2.4 GHz NB/L3 cache.  I did have to do something a bit different though.  When I ran it at 1.5v, it would trigger the thermal protection and shut the system down.  It simply got too hot.  I took the voltage down to 1.425 and it smoothed right out.  It still got pretty toasty at that speed and voltage, but this seems like a chip that begs for more voltage and better cooling.

AMD claims that most of these chips will run perfectly fine at 5 GHz with either a full water cooling system or one of the self-contained LCS (like AMD is offering with the top end part).  At 5 GHz the FX-8350 is going to be a very fast product with very good performance, with increases over stock in the range of 20% to 30% in a lot of applications.  I know I saw a nice jump even at 4.6 GHz.

When overclocked these chips again show a pretty significant jump in power consumption.  When I hit 4.6 with the FX-6300, it jumped around 60 watts at the wall.  This is quite a bit better than the older FX-6200 at 4.5/4.6 GHz, which showed a 100 watt difference at the wall as compared to stock.

At stock speeds the cooling I had was more than adequate.  Chip temps rarely got above 42C, and in fact stayed mainly around 37C to 39C in light work.  The heat does seem to ramp up pretty quickly when going above 4.2 GHz with the three and four module SKUs.  I am not sure what the new FX-4300 will do, as it only has ½ the working modules and L3 cache.

October 23, 2012 | 05:24 AM - Posted by Humanitarian

" While Zambezi was not exactly stillborn, it was more than a tad under-cooked" Haha, oh Josh, I love your analogies.

Overall it was as expected, which is a shame because I never expected much from this. I don't think it's a big enough improvement for me to switch up from my zambezi but may pull some new people in with that price point.. Afterall, it's what AMD need if they want to have a financially viable business.

October 23, 2012 | 04:43 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

"Copious amounts of dust helps to simulate real world conditions."

LOL Josh is the best hardware reviewest on the interwebz.

October 23, 2012 | 04:53 AM - Posted by niteowler

No Cinebench R11.59 single core results? Move my 1100T up to 4 ghz just like the FX-8350 and it beats it in most situations easily. It's been two years and AMD can't even supply me with a worthy upgrade. Another year...... another dud.... sigh

October 23, 2012 | 04:57 AM - Posted by Josh Walrath

Move that 8350 up to 4.4 or 4.6 and then take another look.  Can't overclock one without the other.  Add in some NB/L3 overclocking and the processor really perks up.  Remember, these results were all stock clocks.

October 23, 2012 | 05:10 AM - Posted by niteowler

Their lack of performance gains is frustrating. Not trying to put a downer on your article but I've been AMD for a long time now and I'm tired of making excuses for them.... aren't you?

October 23, 2012 | 05:14 AM - Posted by Josh Walrath

I think my conclusion holds up well.  This is essentially a part that should have been released last year.  Only now do they have a competent next gen part that competes with what Intel has at that price range.  I do miss the days of competition where AMD had the original K7 and K8.  So, they have a good part that has finally reached market and will attract some buyers.  It doesn't beat up the competition in any meaningful way, but it is a good step forward for the company.  Hopefully Steamroller continues this trend.

October 23, 2012 | 05:32 AM - Posted by niteowler

With the money trouble that their in, Piledriver is not going to be the shot in the arm that they need. AMD could go away by Steamroller's arrival.

October 23, 2012 | 05:57 AM - Posted by Josh Walrath

Well, their financial situation is much more stable now and they actually have some money in the bank.  They will get through Steamroller, but beyond that is a big crap shoot.  While their ex-CFO did leave them in good financial shape, we have to wonder how much he undermined the foundation of the company with his policies.

October 23, 2012 | 06:08 AM - Posted by niteowler

Not to argue your point but AMD just announced quarter 3 results of a $157 million loss and well as hundreds of layoffs for employees planned. I wouldn't exactly call anything about that as "stable".

October 23, 2012 | 06:32 AM - Posted by Josh Walrath

Well, they consolidated debt, built up cash reserves, and paid down a lot of stuff all the while renegotiating contracts to be less financially binding.  They are in a better overall shape now then they have in years, and while this past quarter was a big negative... they are still ahead of where they were 2 years ago by a long shot.

October 29, 2012 | 11:03 PM - Posted by carinca (not verified)

1100T's limit is 4Ghz
8350's limit is 4.9-5Ghz
Let's compare them now.
And a 1100T at 4Ghz doesn't win in all scenarios against a 8350 a 4Ghz.

October 23, 2012 | 02:24 PM - Posted by brisa117

That's some fast "DDR-2" on the test page : P

Must have cost you an arm and a leg.

October 23, 2012 | 02:56 PM - Posted by Josh Walrath

Haha, you should see the hammer I had to use to get those damn DDR-2 modules to fit into the motherboard I used!

Thanks for the head's up... fixed.

October 23, 2012 | 02:40 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Lets see how it does at 5GHZ and nice NB speed....

October 23, 2012 | 02:57 PM - Posted by Josh Walrath

I'm requesting one of their LCS and will attempt to get there.

October 23, 2012 | 03:02 PM - Posted by Mr. Old School (not verified)

Perfect timing, i'm building a new rig and getting ready to purchase the mobo and CPU next month. I've been using AMD CPUs since 1994. I'll probably go with the 6300 and then upgrade further when they get around to releasing a new chipset, I also prefer sticking with the lower wattage parts.

October 23, 2012 | 06:03 PM - Posted by Nilbog

Great Article as always Josh!

Its refreshing to see AMD with a competing part.
Unless i was reading wrong, it looks like they finally surpassed the X6. About damn time, way to go.
Geeze that i7 is freakin fast though.
Although it would be nice to see this vs an i5 to get a better idea of performance.
I am really happy for AMD.
Next CPU better have the 3.0s on the Mobo though. I want to see comparisons of Intels USB 3.0 and PCIE 3.0 vs AMDs

I am finally starting to understand where AMD is going with this architecture. I am really looking forward to seeing where they will go with this later on down the road.

October 23, 2012 | 06:38 PM - Posted by aparsh335i (not verified)

It's funny because i always want AMD to make some big comeback, we need to keep that competition stiff with Intel so they don't get lazy.

I was thinking in my head - this FX6300 is priced low and games fine, maybe i'll try it in my next build.

Then i remembered i5-2500k is only $159.99 @ microcenter....why the heck would i even use an FX6300? The i5-2500k will still be faster, overclock higher, and do all of this while using less power and putting out less heat.

Cmon AMD!!! Step it up!

October 29, 2012 | 11:07 PM - Posted by carinca (not verified)

the i5 2500k doesn't cost 159$
stop lying.

October 31, 2012 | 05:33 AM - Posted by mctigue1973 (not verified)

I'm going on my 8th gaming rig and I'm sticking with AMD. Intel cpu's dont't hold up as good is AMD. With out over clocking i had a FX 6200 walk all over a Intel I7 2700k. and then replaced it with my friends I7 3770k and no diffrents at all. same boards, same ram, same SSD size and brand. Even same MSI GTX 580 video card. So don't beleave every thing you read. Most people are not testing cpu's right OR they are being pay to talk down AMD. I have been working on computers long enuff to know whats up.

November 2, 2012 | 04:07 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

What a crock of shit! walk all over a 2700k! Blah Blah Blah.
there only just keeping up with the i5, are they not!. Would you be on you 8th gaming rig this year cos you keep blowing them up as you don`t have a clue what your doing?

October 12, 2015 | 12:13 PM - Posted by Xavier (not verified)

Hi, Neat post. There is an issue with your web site in web explorer,
might test this? IE nonetheless is the market leader
and a large component to folks will miss your fantastic writing due to this problem.

Here is my web-site :: vietnamairlines

January 24, 2013 | 02:48 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)


KOoL sToRy BrO!!!!!

I especially like the part where you swapped out AMD processors and Intel Processors "Using all the same motherboard and Ram"....Which is impossible

Time to get real here

October 23, 2012 | 06:39 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Josh, did you bench at min rez for comparison? I would like to see it vs an i7 would be cool.

October 23, 2012 | 06:57 PM - Posted by Oskars (not verified)

Could there be multi gpu tests in a seperate review, with hd 7870 and 7970, maybe even 7770 series performance level cards? To see at what point FX Vishera crossfire or sli is adequate. Games with old and new engines could be differentiated...

October 24, 2012 | 01:50 AM - Posted by Josh Walrath

Might take a while to do it (to-do list is rather long these days), but I think this would be an interesting aspect to test.

October 23, 2012 | 08:05 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Let's see an Interlagos 16-core version of this part. AMD is behind at single-threaded performance so they should emphasize their strength which is multiprocessing.

Also let's see a dual-CPU capable version of Vishera, and some cheap desktop motherboards with dual sockets. Multi-threading is here to stay.

November 15, 2012 | 01:26 AM - Posted by Lou (not verified)

Cheap dual socket opteron boards are not available. Our best price for dual socket is about $500-$600. Single socket 16 core may be interesting in some tests though.

October 24, 2012 | 04:45 AM - Posted by Wolvenmoon (not verified)

How much is it going to cost me to stick 16 cores worth of piledriver on one motherboard?

October 24, 2012 | 09:16 PM - Posted by razor512

Please if possible do another round of benchmarking with the 8350 at 4.8GHz, and the 1100T at 4GHz

Almost every review I have seen so far, shows the 8350 hitting 4.8GHz before the heat overpowers what most heatsinks can handle.

The average overclock for the 1100T is 4GHz (though some users are able to hit 4.4GHz on liquid cooling)

anyway, most of the people who are reading this article are most likely overclocking their CPU. If I build my own system targeted at performance, I am going to overclock.

The newer FX chips run at a significantly higher clock speed and even at those high clock speeds, struggles to beat the 3.3GHz 1100t.

For the users overclocking their Phenom II x6's to 4GHz, how viable will the 8350 be when overclocked to 4.8GHz as compared to the 1100t?

Remember, the Phenom II has a higher IPC so a 700MHz overclock will do a lot more for it than an extra 800MHz will do for the 8350.

October 29, 2012 | 11:10 PM - Posted by carinca (not verified)

The 8350 beats the 1100T in every scenario just fine and the difference is more than obvious.
The 8350 is AMD's fastest cpu in everything by a good margin.

October 24, 2012 | 11:35 PM - Posted by loophole (not verified)

Thanks for the indepth article Josh. Just one minor correction. In the Test Setup section on the third page, the third sentence reads:
"In the meantime we have seen Intel release their Ivy Bridge lineup, as well as the Ivy Bridge E series."

I'm assuming this should read "Sandy Bridge E" instead of Ivy E, unless you guys at PCPer have access to some shiny newness that you're not telling us about ;)

Otherwise, a good read.


October 25, 2012 | 04:29 PM - Posted by Josh Walrath

Ack, yes... I meant SB-E.  I almost wish that socket would just die...

October 28, 2012 | 07:44 AM - Posted by Arb (not verified)

It would be interesting to see how much power spike happened on the 8350 when it was clocked to 4.6ghz. Since its only 400mhz overclock but AMD cpu's lately have been know to chew power up on mild overclock's.

November 4, 2012 | 01:31 PM - Posted by Mykive (not verified)

I went from amd sempron to amd phenom then to 2x xeons loved it now im with i7 3770k 4.9Ghz im never going back to amd!

November 4, 2012 | 01:40 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

8 Cores, TDP @ 95w, stock speed 4.0ghz/4.6ghz turbo, running cool on air, under $200.00 then we're talking... until then I see no reason to purchase. Step in the right direction however..dont give up AMD!

January 26, 2013 | 01:47 AM - Posted by theprofiteer (not verified)

You guys do know both the PS3 and XBox720 will be using AMD APUs. AMD is not going anywhere.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <blockquote><p><br>
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.