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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.
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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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