FX-8350 vs. Core i5-3470 CPU Review


Today, AMD is releasing its second-generation of FX CPUs, dubbed “Vishera.” The FX-8350 is currently the highest-end model available, running at 4 GHz and costing USD 195. Let’s see how it fares against its main competitor, the Core i5-3470 (3.2 GHz, USD 200). We also included in our comparison the AMD CPU that used to be the highest-end model, the FX-8150 (3.6 GHz, USD 190 currently, USD 280 at its release), and what was then its main competitor, the Core i5-2500K (3.3 GHz, USD 220). For curiosity sake, we also added to the comparison the Phenom II X6 1100T (3.3 GHz, USD 190 when it was sold), which used to be AMD’s fastest CPU before the release of the FX family.

The new FX-8350 uses the socket AM3+, and is compatible with any socket AM3+ motherboard, although the motherboard may need a BIOS upgrade to correctly recognize the new CPU.

AMD FX-8350 CPUFigure 1: The AMD FX-8350 processor

The second-generation FX processors are based on the new “Piledriver” architecture, which is basically the “Bulldozer” architecture used by the previous generation with a few tweaks.

In the tables below, we compare the main features of the CPUs included in our review. All CPUs support the SSE4 instruction set (both SSE4.1 and SSE4.2) and the AVX instruction set, except for the Phenom II X6 1100T, which doesn’t support these instruction sets. On the Phenom II X6 1100T, the HyperTransport bus (which is used to connect the CPU to the chipset) works at 2 GHz (8 MB/s); the memory controller works at 2 GHz, while on the FX CPUs the HyperTransport bus works at 2.6 GHz (10.4 GB/s) and the memory controller works at 2.2 GHz. All CPUs support a “turbo clock” technology, which increases the CPU internal clock as needed. The Core i5 processors included in our comparison do not support the Hyper-Threading technology.

It is important to understand that with the FX CPUs from AMD, each pair of CPU cores share the same front-end engine (i.e., the fetch unit, the L1 instruction cache, and the instruction decoders). So, each pair of CPU cores is part of the same “module,” and the FX-8350 and the FX-8150 are comprised of four of these modules. With the other CPUs included in our review, every core is a complete CPU, each with its own front-end engine.

CPU Cores HT Internal Clock Turbo Clock Max Turbo Core Technology TDP Socket Price
FX-8350 8 No 4.0 GHz 4.2 GHz 4.2 GHz Vishera 32 nm 125 W AM3+ USD 195
FX-8150 8 No 3.6 GHz 3.9 GHz 4.2 GHz Zambezi 32 nm 125 W AM3+ USD 190
Phenom II X6 1100T 6 No 3.3 GHz 3.7 GHz 3.7 GHz Thuban 45 nm 125 W AM3 NA
Core i5-2500K 4 No 3.3 GHz 3.7 GHz 3.7 GHz Sandy Bridge 32 nm 95 W LGA1155 USD 220
Core i5-3470 4 No 3.2 GHz 3.6 GHz 3.6 GHz Ivy Bridge 22 nm 77 W LGA1155 USD 200

Prices were researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review, except for the FX-8350, which is the price provided by AMD. The Phenom II X6 1100T is no longer sold. TDP stands for Thermal Design Power and states the maximum amount of heat the CPU can dissipate. The CPU cooler must be capable of dissipating at least this amount of heat.

Below you can see the memory configuration for each CPU.

CPU L1 Cache (I + D) L2 Cache L3 Cache Memory Support Memory Channels
FX-8350 64 kB per module + 16 kB per core 2 MB x 4 8 MB total Up to DDR3-1866 Two
FX-8150 64 kB per module + 16 kB per core 2 MB x 4 8 MB total Up to DDR3-1866 Two
Phenom II X6 1100T 64 kB + 64 kB per core 512 kB per core 6 MB total Up to DDR3-1333 Two
Core i5-2500K 32 kB + 32 kB per core 256 kB per core 6 MB total Up to DDR3-1333 Two
Core i5-3470 32 kB + 32 kB per core 256 kB per core 6 MB total Up to DDR3-1600 Two

Author: Gabriel Torres

Gabriel Torres is a Brazilian best-selling ICT expert, with 24 books published. He started his online career in 1996, when he launched Clube do Hardware, which is one of the oldest and largest websites about technology in Brazil. He created Hardware Secrets in 1999 to expand his knowledge outside his home country.

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