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AMD FX9590 (5ghz) Review (w/ Gigabyte 990FXA-UD5)

Rating: 6.5.

Today we are looking at the new AMD FX9590, clocked at an eye popping 5ghz. The FX9590 is shipped with a base clock of 4.7ghz and a maximum turbo speed of 5.0ghz – the all important figure which has already started a plethora of news stories across the net. AMD wanted to be the first out the door with a 5ghz processor and they achieved it. The question we ask today- ‘Ok – 5ghz, but at what cost?’.

Well we can answer that, immediately.

The cost to the end user will be between £650 and £700 and stores such as ARIA will have stock this week. This is significantly more expensive than Intel’s 3930K (£450) and slightly less expensive than their flagship 3970X (£850).

To put things into perspective, the Haswell Intel 4770K is retailing for £263.99 on ARIA. You could buy two 4770k processors along with some memory and a good power supply for the price of a single FX9590.

With a TDP of 220W and a price around £700 we do have to ask. What the hell are AMD thinking?

AMD FX-9590 AMD FX-9370 AMD FX-8350
Architecture Piledriver Piledriver Piledriver
Family Vishera Vishera Vishera
Manufacture 32 nm SOI HKMG 32 nm SOI HKMG 32 nm SOI HKMG
Cores 8 pcs. (4 pcs. Modules) 8 pcs. (4 pcs. Modules) 8 pcs. (4 pcs. Modules)
CPU Clock Base 4.7 GHz 4.4 Ghz 4.0 GHz
CPU Turbo Core 5.0 GHz 4.7 GHz 4.2 GHz
L2 cache 4 x 2 MB 4 x 2 MB 4 x 2 MB
L3 cache 8 MB 8 MB 8 MB
Max. DDR3 1866 MHz 1866 MHz 1866 MHz
TDP 220 W 220 W 125 W
Base AM3 + AM3 + AM3 +

AMD say they aren’t sampling the processor to the press as it is only for system builders. This has caused much head scratching behind closed doors … not only with us, but with our many retail contacts in the industry. Rest assured, some of these processors will be sold direct to the public, but be prepared to dig deep into that trouser pocket and perhaps bend the credit card a little too.

To test the AMD FX9590 processor today, we didn’t want to go nuts with the cooling. We know some ‘real world’ AMD gamers will be interested in this processor. That means no Liquid Nitrogen, no phase change. Even if they are both kick ass ways to cool a hot running processor, less than 1 percent of the population use either of these cooling methods.

We opted for the Corsair H100i and the flagship BeQuiet! Dark Rock Pro 2, both of which we reviewed here and here respectively in the past.

We have been in talks with retail partners in the last week and apparently the most dependable motherboards to partner up with the AMD FX9590 are from Gigabyte. We got hold of their 990FXA-UD5 and flashed to the latest bios. We will also take a look at this board during the review – is it worth partnering up with the FX9590? For those interested an internal AMD document also indicates that the ASUS Crosshair & Sabertooth has passed AMD validation.

We threw the Sapphire HD7970 6GB Toxic Edition and the latest ASUS GTX780 Direct CU II OC into the mix, along with 16GB of Corsair 2,400mhz Vengeance DDR3 memory. We will compare the FX9590 against a batch of processors from both AMD and Intel, and later in the review directly against a high end gaming system from Intel, featuring the Core i7 3960x and the same graphics card. The very same system we use for most of our graphics card reviews.

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  • John

    tough one to review, its basically so expensive because I reckon AMD have hand picked the parts. no other reason for the price. my friends 8350 can hit 4.9ghz. over £550 for 100mhz? seems mental.

  • Harris

    Its a great cool idea, but AMD are shafting the customers with this,. it should be £300 and I think it might sell out. Even at £500 its way overpriced.

  • Relayer

    What this tells me is that a $160-$200 AMD processor (fx8320-fx8350), once O/C’d, contrary to what many people say, makes a fine gaming chip. This particular chip holds no value as a retail part.

  • Slacker

    So in short: If you’re *REALLY* so hell-bent on buying AMD – better get an FX8350, and spend the remaining £550 on a mental hybrid TEC-water cooling setup, that’ll let you go well over 5 GHz all the time without turbo. Sick.

  • Deedasmi

    Can we see Prime95 statistics between the two machines? All of these tests combine CPU and GPU numbers. Lets give them a chance to fight raw data calculation.

  • Gamgigo

    Seriously, just buy a FX 8350 and overclock it.. Alternatively just buy an i704770K and be done with it. There’s zero point in buying this.

  • George

    Why so desperate to show intel ahead ? Every comparison is against an overclocked intel , just to show intel pulling ahead . Yes clock to clock intel is ahead , you dont have to cook the results to show that . When you show a “benchmark” of a factory clocked cpu against only one overclocked cpu in every game benchmark , something is wrong . And dont you dare call me a fanboy , I own an intel cpu , and I know this generation of intels is better. But this is disturbing …. money talks ?

  • kindred

    amd sucks period what a wast of time and money on that processor and the price is insane maybe 1 day again amd will shine i used to be an amd fanboy back in the day when they were actually competing but now there useless and crap

  • Myk SilentShadow

    The ASUS Crosshair Sabertooth??? you ARE kidding right? you’ve smashed together the name of 2 DIFFERENT branded ASUS Motherboards, the names are ASUS Crosshair V Formula(-Z) & the ASUS Sabertooth 990FX R2.0(Gen3)

  • Brook

    No overclocking attempt?!?!?

  • Yes, we left out an ‘&’ Myk SilentShadow. fixed. deep breaths.

  • Brook We explained the temperatures went too high, past 5ghz due to extra voltage needed. best we could get stable on the coolers was a forced, constant 5ghz under load. If you want to get this past 5ghz, it would need something a little hardcore. this was explained in the review.

  • John Ronn

    So using this FX-9590 which just a good clocked Vishera, it’s just as good as a same priced i7, and the Steamroller isn’t even out yet, looks like Intel have some competition.

    Add the new Steamroller (which will be even better) using the soon to be released Radeons, and the next gen AMD optimized games from the AMD/Radeon using consoles, and all i7s will be blown away.

    Thanks all I needed to know.

  • John Ronn

    In games of course, because 99% of people reading this that’s what they’re into.

  • slate

    Where do you get those prices?

    FX-9370 $353 at Tigerdirect http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications … CatId=1946

    No price for a FX-9590 as CPU but they do have a system http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications … &CatId=114

    And powerconsumption is not bad for a CPU running at those speeds

  • John Ronn

    In current games this factory clocked vishera more than holds it’s own with the top i7s but still looks like an Intel biased article, I wonder how well you’ll be able to fudge the results when the AMD Radeon optimized ported games are released at the end of this year and the many more to follow?

    The AMD Steamroller running AMD optimized games from AMD Radeon consoles is going to blow Intel’s i7s away, and it wont be as costly as this turbo charged vishera.

  • Hi John im afraid the results are just facts, not an opinion – hence the screenshots showing them from the applications etc. Your answer to this ‘Intel biased article’ is to wait until game developers ‘optimise a ported console game designed for an AMD APU’? Basically you want an AMD biased article then?

    I don’t think PC gamers want any console ported games, I know I don’t. But, feel free to buy the FX9590 – its a good chip and very fast, just very expensive and outperformed by Intel processors in the same price zone and even at half the price. If you are happy with the performance, have the cash and don’t want Intel then go for it! We are here to share facts, information and inform the readers on what we think at the end of the day. No law saying you have to agree with it.

  • i7 USER

    Pointless review and product a total waste of time.

  • JibbJamonit

    “AMD say they aren’t sampling the processor”

    Really? All of them say it in unison? Like a big crowd of AMD employees?

    Also please never use the word “plethora” again. Really that word needs to be retired.

  • JibbJamonit

    Steamroller will be even better! Just you wait! Just like Bulldozer. This is not a guess, it’s a fact that Steamroller is going to be better because I want it to be. Any information showing otherwise is obvious lies.

  • Pwewee

    “The system was prime stable at these settings and the core voltage showed 1.476V in the BIOS and around 1.49V in CPUz.”

    Are you trying to be funny? Look again buddy your CPU-z screenshot reads 1.58v vcore. And you wonder why it’s running hot?

    what an amateur.

  • “The system was prime stable at these settings (5ghz) and the core voltage showed 1.476V in the BIOS and around 1.49V in CPUz. The validation below shows 1.58 volts as we were pushing it harder to try further overclocking above 5ghz (unsuccessfully), but it was stable at 5ghz with 1.488v as shown in the CPUz screenshot below.” – should clear it up?

    At 1.58 volts NEITHER cooler we used could cope under load (even at 5ghz) so the review as it stands wouldn’t have been possible at all – none of it – so im not sure the point you are making. The FX9590 would need LN2, phase or ultra high end watercooling for stable results at 1.58 volts. It wouldnt have been ‘running hot’ in the review, it simply shut down when loaded for a few seconds.

    To make it clearer I copied the CPUZ screenshot from earlier in the review to that OC page as well, as it shows the core voltage we ran throughout testing.

  • miffy

    I’m just gonna wait until the new consoles come out, after that they’ll all be optimized best for AMD GPUs + CPUs and oh look they use multithreading finally, so AMD will get a massive boost.

  • Harris

    Always amusing to see the AMD fanboys coming out of the woodwork.

    Reality check.

    its a preoverclocked FX8350, same architecture, but YOU have to supply the hardcore cooling, they dont even bundle a cooler with it. Also how can this be justified by saying it should only be released to retail patners? Are retail partners going to miraculous drop the price of the 9590 from £700 to around £200? which is really where it should be positioned based on FX8350 pricing. I think not.

    Dealers are already selling highly overclocked 8350’s,. this brings nothing new to anyone. just a massive price.

  • Ivan

    Well, some bizarre comments in here – are AMD really that loved that an honest review is seen as an ‘attack’?

    I am a proud FX8350 owner, and I have my 8350 running at 5ghz. it took a lot of work, and an expensive water cooling kit to achieve it, but im a very proud owner now.

    This CPU should have been promoted as a limited edition sell. in small numbers. sell it for £700, but work with a partner to bundle a very high end cooling kit costing around £400. AMD users would have loved the whole idea of building the rig and getting 5ghz+ results.

    I know someone on the forums who bought this CPU and he can’t even get it stable at 5ghz. I would say its going to be difficult. This isnt a new design after all, just a hand picked 8350 designed to clock higher. The work is still in the hands of the user. its just priced too high. System builders will be forced to charge a fortune, and most of them can already use a 8350 to get similar if not identical results at a fraction of the cost. Those genuine people who do want the CPU to get OC results on LN2 are forced to buy a new system from a selected AMD partner? thank god ARIA are selling them. what a monumental F8ck up from AMD.

  • Amet

    Just a thing…. why dont used an update BIOS? everyone knows that a outdated BIOS could affect top processor power’s compsumition…

  • dood

    If it makes anyone feel better CPUs in that price range are never worth the money, ever. They don’t put out real-world performance much higher than something around $350. They didn’t back when the Extreme Edition Pentium 4’s and original AMD FX were out either, so get over it. Nothing in that range will hurt either company though, they don’t make their majority of money off those.

    If you’re an AMD fanboy just deal with it that the benchmarks don’t add up higher than Intels in certain benchmarks, that’s how it always is. If you’re gaming, the benchmarks were almost the same, though. I bet neither the AMD or Intel in that price range throw out much more frames per second than i7 4770k or a FX 8350 anyway.

  • julian

    amd is just simply incapable of competing on the top end anymore. if you read the top of the fx9590 chips these were copy righted and made in 2011. they obviously then did not release them because they were to hard to cool and not cost effected to sell. but aparently after 2 years they had no other ideas to compete these obviously due to heat require some very rare elements to compete driving up the cost but this is still a really bad deal i mean you can buy a 3770k or 4770k for half that price and overclock it .5 ghz less and still out perform the amd. and unfortunately for this in a few months intels comming out with there 6 core and maybe even 8 cores.

  • Amet

    Still being a bad-focused review for a well-focused comparison

    Updated BIOS
    HD7870 graphics card for 1920x1080p gamming FPS comparison
    HD7970 (or better) card for 2560×1600 gamming FPS comparison
    Stock Speed for all models, OC just in the final to proof the FX9590 OC capabilities
    Windows 8.1 platform
    Maybe a HD7990 for 3840×2160 gamming FPS comparison…

  • Andrew

    The CPUs should of really been tested stock. and thats about it. Don’t care what you can and cant achieve.

  • Hi Andrew – they were tested stock, read the graphs. both stock and overclocked (k series are bought to be overclocked). No point complaining if you aren’t actually reading the content.

    Incidentally if you ‘don’t care about what we can or can’t achieve’ with the products we are testing perhaps you are on the wrong site? We like to test the hardware properly.

  • brag288

    So every amd fanboy thinks that when the new consoles show up amd will rule the world..WRONG.The fact is that every core of the amd processor is weak compared to an intel core,yeah..it may have 8 cores there are games today that use all 8 cores.Everyone who owns an i5,i7 from sandy bridge and on will be fine for the next gen consoles games that will be ported to pc or say…will be ported from pc to console.The fact is that at E3 Microsoft used pcs with i7 and nivida chips.Too much for the next gen amd consoles right?

  • Amet

    Andrew… This processor is for a dual or tripe GPU graphics comparison, for 8 threaded application comparison (12-threaded for i7 EE comparison) and for 4-threaded (1 thread per module in FX case) gamming/application comparison where even the FX9370 hits the samepriced 4770K (stock vs stock), other thing… Everybody knows that 220w TDPs is marketing for “certified” coolingfans and motherboards, the FX9370 doesnt have 10% higher powercompsumition than FX8350, other reality… Microsoft have the worse multitask of the marked in a specie of monopoly with Intel and the 90% of developers limminting the applications and games to use 1~4 threads where Intel hits. Good day for all readers

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  • Issac

    Obviously I’m a little test but after going through this review/benchmark I can’t help be left feeling disappointed. I feel as if we are meant to feel this cpu sucks. The benchmarked hardly show the competition as stated at beginning but rather it shows the 9590 just trailing the ocd i7. Now to rant on amd, why the hell does this cpu need to be made stable to get to advertised clock speed??? It is basically overclocking 8350! And the price whoa!?! @ ~$400 this cpu might be worth it otherwise nah.

  • Bob Smith

    You forgot to mention anywhere that it’s ONLY the REVISION 3 of the GA-990FXA-UD5 mainboard which will run this chip !!

  • SiliconDoc

    TO #15 – it appears AMD has already suffered a humiliating price drop for this failure of a stunt.
    You can see at the egg http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007671%20600213781&IsNodeId=1&name=Socket%20AM3%2b

    $829.99 for the initial failship ( with $25 infrared thermometer LOL ), then the quick and dirty also unlocked with water cooler fast follow up for $389.99 .

    Nice save face move by the insane amd marketing crew who relied a bit too much on the vast amd fanboy fever.

  • Michael

    This is one of the most biased, garbage reviews I’ve ever read. Kitguru is obviously employing Intel Fan Boys who don’t know how to properly review hardware without allowing their personal bias to influence their writing.

    The 9590 is simply an overclocked FX8350. Why you would think or expect this to be some miracle chip is beyond understanding, other than you simply wanted to make the chip look worse than it is. So, you are either sold out to Intel or are completely incompetent. Either way, not a site I would ever recommend to anyone for legitimate reviews.

  • Michael

    The FX9590 cannot be touched by Intel now that Mantle is out. HAHAHAHAHAH idiots who spend twice as much on a 4770K are now being shown up by an Fx8350 that cost half as much. Don’t even mention the FX9590. HAAAAAAAAAAAA!

  • Cheeto

    Don’t the benchmarks seem a little biased? AMD’s CPU is tested at stock while Intel’s CPU is tested at 4.4Ghz in the gaming benchmarks.

  • If you read the article properly, you would see we set the AMD chip to run at a 5.0ghz CONSTANT clock speed even when all cores are active, not 4.7ghz. so actually it is overclocked (and as far as we could push it for this review stable). Regardless of this – people are interested to see how specific processors run at certain speeds – its adding to the depth of benchmark results.

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  • Mallacath

    Is £180 a good price for one of these? I’m not familiar with the average prices of CPU’s up to the same standards of these.

  • Allan

    Yes its quite a good price. sorry I missed this question. the original £700 price wasn’t so good.