When AMD tells us it’s sending over a new FX-series CPU, we can’t help the sudden rush of excitement. It’s an automatic response, born of a time when a new AMD CPU had the potential to offer something genuinely competitive.
But those days seem long gone. All we get now are half-hearted revisions of increasingly elderly chips.
The FX-8320E is the perfect example of that. AMD released this chip late last year, along with the FX-8370E as a pair of lower-powered octo-core CPUs for the more power-conscious consumer.
These two chips use AMD’s Bulldozer processor tech and squeeze into a 95W TDP. They’re able to do this by utilising a lower base clock, but retaining the same Turbo clock as their non-E brethren.
To that end, this FX-8320E is running at 3.2GHz as standard, with the ability to hit 4GHz as needed. The standard FX-8320’s clockspeed sits some 300MHz higher at 3.5GHz.
So far, so good. For 30W less power you only sacrifice 300MHz of CPU horsepower, which seems like a pretty good trade-off.
But the fact these CPUs are still running with an outdated version of the Bulldozer architecture makes them seem more like an afterthought than a proper processor release. In the Kaveri APU, launched a year ago, AMD used the latest revision of Bulldozer, codenamed Steamroller. Its next APU, Carrizo, will use the final Bulldozer revision which is codenamed Excavator.
This 95W processor then, using the old Piledriver architecture, is two generations behind AMD’s top x86 CPU cores.
And it doesn’t look like it has any interest at all in shifting the FX range over to the Excavator design, despite the IPC (instructions per clock) boosts that both the Steamroller and Excavator tech have over Piledriver.