AMD FX-8320E AM3+ Processor Performance Review
By David Ramsey
Manufacturer: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.
Product Name: AMD FX-8320E
Model Number: FD832EWMHKBOX
Full Disclosure: Advanced Micro Devices supplied the product sample used in this article.
AMD released a slew of new FX-series CPUs in September, 2014, including the FX-8370, FX-8370E, and the subject of our review, the FX-8320E. This is the low end of AMD’s eight-core FX series of enthusiast CPUs, and the “E” suffix marks it as a low-power variant; nonetheless, AMD touts it as a viable CPU for a gaming system. Benchmark Reviews will run this CPU through our gauntlet of tests to see how true this is.
AMD’s FX-series CPUs were introduced with some fanfare back in October of 2011, and after being feted at AMD’s Austin, Texas facility (since sold), we tested the then-new FX-8150. As the first consumer eight-core CPU (something Intel has only just introduced with the Core i7-5960 Haswell-E processor), the 8150 was an impressive piece of engineering, although its per-core performance wasn’t anywhere near Intel’s best, or even near Intel’s lower end. You can read our evaluation of this processor here.
At the time, AMD outlined their master plan: the then-current generation of FX processors was code-named Bulldozer. The improved, follow-on generation was called Piledriver, and we tested the Piledriver-based FX-8350 CPU here. The third generation was supposed to be Steamroller, but as AMD relied increasingly on their low-power and mobile APU architecture code-named Vishera, the Steamroller plan faded away, and AMD announced that the FX series would not be upgraded to Steamroller. Benchmark Reviews tested the latest high-end FX CPU, the FX-9590, here.
Rather than trying to compete with Intel on pure performance, AMD is aggressively tackling the market with a bang-for-the-buck strategy, especially in the mobile market. And it’s working well for them, although it might leave desktop AMD fans a little unsatisfied.
Features & Specifications
AMD’s current 8-core FX processor lineup comprises 11 different CPUs, differentiated by base and turbo frequencies, officially supported memory speed, and TDP (Thermal Design Power, or maximum power usage in watts), with lower power CPUs such as this review’s FX-8320E coming in at 95 watts, higher end CPUs such as the FX-8370 drawing up to 125 watts, with the top-end parts like the FX-9590 drawing a staggering 220 watts! AMD is a “fabless” company that depends on a separate entity, GlobalFoundries, to produce their designs. Currently GlobalFoundries still uses a 32nm process, which produces significantly larger and more power-hungry devices than the 22nm process Intel uses for its Haswell CPUs.
Here are some representative specs from AMD’s current FX CPU lineup:
|Model||Cores||TDP||Base Freq||Turbo Freq||DDR3 Speed|
Two things are obvious from this table: one, AMD seems to achieve the lower TDPs of the “E” series CPUs by lowering the base clocks, and two, that the FX-8320E we’re testing today represents the bottom of AMD’s eight-core FX lineup. I’ll test this CPU to see how it fares as the basis of a gaming system, comparing it with the FX-9590 as well as a comparably-priced Intel CPU, the Intel Core i3-4360.