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AMD FX-8320E AM3+ Processor Performance Review

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Unigine Heaven 4.0 Test

While Heaven 4.0 is a “synthetic” benchmark, it nonetheless gives you a good idea of your total system performance. To score well in Heaven, you must have a beefy graphics system and a CPU that can keep it fed. Heaven follows a camera among the islands of a floating, medieval-style village, rendered with exquisite detail.

Heaven was one of the first benchmarks to exploit tessellation, an algorithmic method of applying surface roughness and detail so that the designer doesn’t have to specify the topology of (for example) each individual stone in a footpath. Tessellation handles details like this automatically, but imposes a serious additional load on the system.

As with the other graphics tests in this review, I ran Heaven with both minimal and maximal settings. There’s one thing you should understand as you read these results: when you run graphics tests with minimal settings, the CPU is generally the gating factor; whereas with maximum settings, the video card(s) become the gating factor.

Unigine Heaven 4.0

Our results bear this out: we see substantial gains overclocking the FX-8320E, but even at 4.5gHz, it can’t match the per-core muscle of the i3-4360. Once we crank the settings up, though, we see the results flatten out, since the video cards are the determinant here, and all the test systems use the same GTX 580 SLI system.

In the next section I’ll beat these systems with the very tough 3DMark Firestrike Extreme test.


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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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