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AMD FX-8320E AM3+ Processor Performance Review

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AMD FX-8320E AM3+ Processor Performance Review

By David Ramsey

Manufacturer: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.
Product Name: AMD FX-8320E
Model Number: FD832EWMHKBOX
UPC: 730143305297

Price As Tested: $139.99 (Amazon | Newegg)

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.

amd_fx-8320e_1

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
FX-9590 8 220 watts 4.7gHz 5.0gHz DDR3-2133
FX-9370 8 220 watts 4.4gHz 4.7gHz DDR3-2133
FX-8370 8 125 watts 4.0gHz 4.3gHz DDR3-1866
FX-8370E 8 95 watts 3.3gHz 4.3gHz DDR3-1866
FX-8320 8 125 watts 3.5gHz 4.0gHz DDR3-1866
FX-8320E 8 95 watts 3.2gHz 4.0gHz DDR3-1866

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.


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9 comments

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  1. Roland

    Gaming performance is changing… I picked up a G3258, Great little CPU with performance greater than say the i5 750(ish) overall. So nothing to sneeze at and if you overclock can easily surpass stock i5s. Problem?

    Well, a few of the newest games can’t be run on it (think Dragon Age Inquisition) as they require 4 cores. So what are we left with? On the cheaper side this or say the 860K. Suddenly those cheaper AMD Quads are looking a whole helluva lot more attractive and as you said your not likely to see to much difference. Fast is still fast just not as fast as some. I’ve always maintained though that for “most” your not going to notice much of a difference is most tasks provided other areas are relatively equal.

    1. David Ramsey

      I’ve never heard of a game that requires four cores; generally, a program just spawns threads and lets the OS and CPU sort out which resources will handle them. Windows has dozens of threads running when you’ve just booted and are sitting there (actually, I just checked, and Task Manager says I have 65 processes going in this case). Most of these threads are low priority, and it could certainly be the case that some modern games would run better with four cores, but they should run, if poorly, with dual cores or even a single core.

      So, as you point out, AMD’s lower cost multi-core chips may well be better for some of these games than a “faster” Intel CPU.

      1. Roland

        Hi David, So sorry for the late reply. I never heard of it either till recently.. Kind of floored me actually since I’ve built a few budget machines for others that will certainly complain if they land up buying that game (one other to.. can’t remember it’s name) Basically what happens is both cores go to 100% and just sit there not allowing you to play.

  2. Athlonite

    I would have been more impressed if AMD had die shrunk this CPU to 22nm instead of just reducing the clock speed thus the TDP from 125 to 95 well big whoop AMD as soon as you clock it the same as an FX8320 (3500MHz) it’s using the same 125W

    1. David Ramsey

      Well, it’s up to GlobalFoundries to get their process size down. It’s a non-trivial thing, you know, which is probably why I don’t know of any company other than Intel that’s managed it.

      I agree the “E” thing seems kinda silly.

  3. Meh

    It took 8 cores to do it but they finally beat an i5 whether that’s good or bad I don’t really know, but hey still cheaper than an Intel processor I’m not complaining I bought one as well.

  4. CrabbyR

    Hi, I picked up an interesting but odd 8320E , purchased it for 132 CAD , came sealed in an amd box with fan which is a pretty good price, Everywhere I look on websites
    the base clock is listed as 3.2 ghz , the unit I have is a base clock of 3.5 , I even looked at the chip again to make sure that the E was present on the processor , which it was ,cpu z reports it as 8320 E, So at stock settings it`s 3.5 and 4.0 turbo , I have a ASrock
    970 extreme 3 board so out of curiousity I set the multiplier down to 3.2 and , it didn`t want to go there, still reported 3.5,
    Guess I could force it down , so this begs the question , Is it a 8320 misbranded and 125watts or a flukey 8320e thats running 95 watts at 3.5 . I haven`t seen anything on the web from anyone else about this, Any thoughs or info?

    1. David Ramsey

      That is an excellent question. My first suggestion would be to make sure you’re running the latest BIOS for your ASRock motherboard– the 8320E came out after most 970 motherboards. So update your BIOS if needed and see if that fixes things.

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