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AMD FX8370E Review

When I started testing AMD’s FX-8370E I had the horrible suspicion that it might be faulty as the clock speed started at 3.3GHz and didn’t seem to increase with Turbo. This meant the performance was significantly lower than the 4.0GHz/4.2GHz FX-8350 – which didn’t seem right.

The explanation is that FX-8370E rapidly hits its 95W TDP when it is under load. When the cores are heavily loaded the clock speed will throttle back until you have a 3.3GHz or 3.6GHz CPU.

AMD calls the FX-8370E a 3.3GHz/4.3GHz part but, to our way of thinking, it is effectively a 3.3GHz/3.6GHz CPU and it would be more appropriate to rename this processor as an FX-8310 with a 95W TDP and slot it in below the 125W FX-8320. You would also need to price it at £99 to achieve any kind of ‘winning feeling’.

While it’s good that the FX-8370E draws less power, it’s still high and not recommended for a small chassis. To get it anywhere near ‘cool and quiet’ will require work on the cooling.

The biggest problem that we see with AMD’s FX-8370E, is that people who buy a chip labelled as ‘4.3GHz’ will expect it to run at that speed when they need performance the most.  In all likelihood, your FX-8370E will top out at 3.6GHz when the going gets tough. For a chip costing £145 inc vat that seems a little stingy.

Ultimately, you will get similar performance with a lower power draw by looking at an Intel chip. If you go with AMD’s FX family, then bear in mind that the monster 4.4GHz FX-9370 is only £10 more and the 4GHz 8350 is just £128. The pricing of the FX8370E is just wrong.

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Pros:

  • Compatible with existing AM3+ boards
  • Uses 30w less than previous version
  • Enough performance for mainstream users

Cons:

  • Rapidly hits power limit, which disables the turbo boost.
  • Hard to achieve the claimed 4.3GHz in regular use, in most cases it tops out at 3.6GHz.
  • Uses Piledriver rather than Steamroller technology.
  • Pulls almost 50% more wattage than equivalent Intel Core i5 with no clear performance win.
  • Expensive.

KitGuru says: One of the biggest challenges facing mankind in the 21st century will be power. Bills are increasing, alternative sources are being investigated and, for the first time, gamers and enthusiasts are wondering if they can ‘get away with less’. As it stands, this AMD processor is £145 in the UK (inc vat), which is not cheap, and it uses around 95 watts. If power saving is your aim, then it’s hard to ignore the fact that the AMD FX-8370E will draw significantly more power than an Intel processor in the same class. Hardly ‘Eco’ by any stretch of the imagination. If you’re hunkering for 8-core FX-8xxx action from AMD, we’d suggest the full blown 8370 that’s currently attacking world records.

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Rating: 7.0.

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