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

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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Our AMD FX9590 was taken direct from the retail channel, so no hand picked ‘media review sample’ today. No fancy box either with a heatsink included in the bundle – this is strictly a ‘processor only’ deal. An AMD reference cooler would melt under the pressure from this 220watt TDP monster and we would imagine system builders will be educated by AMD on what coolers they should be using.

We got hold of an internal pack from AMD and they recommend the following coolers (or better):

  • Corsair H80i (fan rpm >2800).
  • Antec Kuhler H2O 920 (fan rpm >2330).
  • Coolit ECO II-120FB, Fat Boy (fan rpm>2383).

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If you were paying attention earlier in the review, then you would have seen that the AMD FX9590 is a PileDriver processor in the Vishera family. It is built on the same 32nm process as the FX8350, so we would imagine these are hand picked wafers, the cream of the crop lifted directly from the line.

Does the FX9590 run at 5ghz all the time? AMD say “The AMD Turbo Core frequency applies when half of the available cores are active.” In plain terms, only when 4 cores or less are active.

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While we have reviewed some of the Gigabyte Z87 boards in recent weeks, it has been quite a while since we looked at a 990FX board from the company. The 990FXA-UD5 has received AMD Validation, along with the ASUS Crosshair & Sabertooth. We have heard a few horror stories behind closed doors in the last week that getting the FX9590 completely stable at 4.7-5.0ghz isn’t easy.
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The motherboard ships with a rather good bundle, including 2 way and 3 way SLI connectors, a manual, software disc, Gigabyte sticker, backplate and SATA cables.
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The Gigabyte 990FXA-UD5 is an ATX form factor board, measuring 30.5cm x 24.4cm.
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The PCB is black and features some heavy duty heatsinks around the CPU socket to help with the cooling of the VRM’s.
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The motherboard has four DDR3 memory slots which support DDR3 2000(O.C.)/1866/1600/1333/1066 MHz memory modules. These operate in dual channel mode.
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South Bridge:

  1. 6 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (SATA3_0~SATA3_5) supporting up to 6 SATA 6Gb/s devices.
  2. Support for SATA RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID5, RAID 10 and JBOD.

2 x Marvell 88SE9172 chips:

  1. 2 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (GSATA3_6, GSATA3_7) supporting up to 2 SATA 6Gb/s devices.
  2. 2 x eSATA 6Gb/s connectors on the back panel supporting up to 2 SATA 6Gb/s devices.
  3. Support for RAID 0 and RAID 1.

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    1. 2 x PCI Express x16 slots, running at x16 (PCIEX16_1, PCIEX16_2)
    2. 1 x PCI Express x16 slots, running at x8 (PCIEX8) (Note 4)
    3. 2 x PCI Express x16 slots, running at x4 (PCIEX4_1, PCIEX4_2)
    4. 1 x PCI Express x1 slot

(All PCI Express slots conform to the PCI Express 2.0 standard.)

  1. 1 x PCI slot

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  1. 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse port.
  2. 1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector.
  3. 1 x IEEE 1394 port.
  4. 8 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports.
  5. 2 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports.
  6. 2 x eSATA 6Gb/s connector.
  7. 1 x RJ-45 port.
  8. 6 x audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out/Rear Speaker Out/Side Speaker Out/Line In/Line Out/Microphone).

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Along the bottom of the board from left to right are : Audio connector, a fan header, several USB headers, TPM and front panel connectors. There is a single 8 pin power connector to maintain CPU stability.

If you want to grab one of these motherboards now – head over to ARIA – they are on offer at £130.79 inc vat.

We wanted to test the AMD system with the highest specification memory. With this in mind Corsair very kindly offered to send us 16GB of their latest Vengeance Pro Series 2,400mhz memory.
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The Corsair Vengeance Pro ships in a colourful package featuring an artistic photograph of the heatspreader, as shown above.
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The heatsinks are nicely designed with curved edges and company branding on the sides.
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This memory has an XMP profile set at 2,400mhz with 10-12-12-31 timings.

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Corsair also sent over one of their H100i coolers which we reviewed back in November last year, it is one of the best mainstream ‘all in one’ coolers money can buy. You can read our full review over here.

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We tested the Bequiet! Dark Rock Pro 2 cooler back in June 2012. It scored highly in our review and we thought it was a good idea to test it out again today with the high end AMD system. The AMD FX9590 is a 220Watt TDP CPU, and BeQuiet quote 220W TDP support on the front of their box, so it should be a decent match.
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The BeQuiet! Dark Rock Pro 2 is a very sexy looking cooler, finished in all back, with two high quality fans included. The fans are supplied fitted, so you simply need to attach it to your motherboard.
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We built a system featuring both Corsair H100i and the BeQuiet! Dark Rock Pro 2 installed. This meant we could swap over coolers easily enough during testing. Both were able to handle the FX9590, but we will delve into this shortly when we look at the motherboard BIOS on the next page.
We flashed the Gigabyte 990FXA-UD5 bios to the latest version, which you can find here. If you can’t be bothered manually looking for the BIOS files, then Gigabyte include Windows software on their disc which can automatically look online, download and flash for you. Without the latest version installed, the FX9590 didn’t prove stable at all for us.

While the FX9590 was correctly listed, the default clock ratio was set at 20x, giving a clock speed of 4ghz. We did notice the FX9590 would turbo sometimes to 5ghz when a few cores were loaded, but it wasn’t ideal. We simply increased the Clock Ratio to 23.5 to get 4.7ghz. The system was stable … well almost.
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We changed the VCore Loadline calibration from auto to ‘high’. Stability was attained at 4.7ghz with both the Corsair H100i set to ‘performance’ mode, and the BeQuiet! Dark Rock Pro 2 on automatic. The BeQuiet! cooler was noticeably less noisy under load. Temperatures at idle were 34 and under load around 52c.
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Now that the system was stable, we loaded the Corsair Vengeance 2,400mhz XMP profile. The board would only accept a 2,133mhz frequency, but still not bad.

As AMD claim this is the first 5GHZ processor we were a little disappointed to see that the FX9590 wouldn’t turbo to 5ghz under any heavy load situation, only in single or dual core tasks. We went back into the BIOS for some more tweaking.
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We increased the CPU Clock Ratio to x25 to get a final figure of 5.0ghz. Stability wasn’t achieved until we pushed the CPU VCore to a +0.050V setting.
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The system was prime stable at these settings 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.
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You can get online verification of these speeds over here.

With both Corsair H100i and BeQuiet! Dark Rock Pro 2 coolers the FX9590 would idle around 36c-39c and rise to around 60c under load (room ambient temperature 22c). Any higher voltage for clock speeds above 5ghz would have dramatically negative effects for the load temperatures and stability, surpassing either cooling solution. We are sure there is more headroom from the processor, but it will need some seriously hardcore cooling to get above 5ghz. We also found that the FX9590 would throttle with a lesser cooler also, even at 4.7ghz, so attention needs to be paid to this.
On this page we present some super high resolution images taken with the 24.5MP Nikon D3X camera and 24-70mm ED lens. These will take much longer to open due to the dimensions, especially on slower connections. If you use these pictures on another site or publication, please credit Kitguru.net as the owner/source. You can right click and ‘save as’ to your computer to view later.
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Today we have installed Windows 7 Enterprise.

Our polls on the Kitguru main site and Facebook page have shown a huge percentage of our readers are still in favour of Windows 7. Our own internal testing shows very little difference between the operating systems in regards to gaming or synthetic benchmark testing, so we are staying with Windows 7 for the time being.

We don’t feel there is any point in testing games at 1024×768 with low image quality settings – gamers today want to play at 1080p or greater resolutions with high image quality. We therefore want to see if there any major differences between the AMD FX9590 system @ 5ghz and our standard Core i7 3960x gaming system which is overclocked to 4.4ghz.

Both systems are using the high end ASUS GTX780 Direct CU II OC graphics card. The Intel system has faster 2,400mhz memory however the AMD FX9590 is clocked higher to 5.0ghz.

These gaming results are not purely scientific, but we wanted to see how the highly overclocked AMD FX9590 system would perform against our long term 3960x gaming testbed, using the same graphics card.

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AMD FX9590 Test System
Processor: AMD FX9590 8 Core processor @ 5ghz
MotherboardGigabyte 990FXA-UD5
Cooler: 
Corsair H100i (performance mode) / BeQuiet Dark Rock Pro 2
Graphics: Sapphire HD7970 6GB Toxic (Synthetic section – Catalyst 13.6 beta) and ASUS GTX780 Direct CUII OC (Games testing – Forceware 320.49)
Memory
16GB Corsair Vengeance Pro Series @ 2,133mhz (10-11-11-28)
Power Supply: 
Corsair HX850
Optical Drive: 
Asus BluRay Drive.
Chassis: 
Lian Li X2000
Boot Drive: 
Patriot 240GB Pyro SE
Storage Drive: 
Patriot 240GB Wildfire.

Monitor: Apple 30 inch Cinema HD

Gaming compare system:

Processor: Core i7 3960 X Extreme Edition @ 4.4ghz
Graphics Card: ASUS GTX780 Direct CU II OC (Forceware 320.49)
Cooler: Antec 920 H20
Memory: 16GB G.Skill 2,400mhz @ 10-11-10-30
Motherboard: Asus Rampage IV Extreme
Power Supply: Enermax Platimax 1250W
Optical Drive: Asus BluRay Drive
Chassis: Lian Li PC-A77FR Aluminium Red Full Tower Case
Boot Drive: Patriot WildFire 120GB
Secondary Drive: 1TB Samsung
Monitors: Dell U3011

Synthetic compare systems:

Processor: Intel Core i7 4770k (3.5ghz & 4.5ghz)
Motherboard
Asus Z87 Sabertooth
Cooler: 
Corsair H100i (performance mode)
Graphics: Nvidia GTX670
Memory
16GB Corsair Vengeance Pro Series @ 2,400mhz (10-12-12-31 2T)
Power Supply: 
Corsair HX750
Optical Drive: 
Asus BluRay Drive.
Chassis: 
Lian Li X2000
Boot Drive: 
Patriot 240GB Pyro SE
Storage Drive: 
Patriot 240GB Wildfire.

 

Intel Core i7 3700k
Processor
:
 Intel Core i7 3770k
Motherboard
Asus P8Z77-V Deluxe
Cooler
Arctic Cooling Freezer 13
Memory
16GB G.Skill @ 2,400mhz 11-11-11-31.
Power Supply: 
ADATA 1200W.
Optical Drive: 
Asus BluRay Drive.
Chassis: 
Cooler Master Cosmos 2.
Boot Drive: 
Kingston SSDNow V+200 90GB.
Storage Drive: 
Patriot 240GB Wildfire.

Intel E5 2687W x 2

Motherboard: Asus Z9 PE-D8 WS
Coolers: Corsair H80 x2
Memory: 64GB Kingston Predator 1,600mhz 9-9-9-24 1T
Power Supply: Seasonic 1000W Platinum Modular
Optical Drive: Asus BluRay Drive
Chassis: Lian Li X2000FN
Boot Drive: Corsair 240GB Neutron GTX SSD
Secondary Drive: Corsair 240GB Neutron SSD

Intel E5 2660
Motherboard: Gigabyte X79S-UP5-WIFI
Cooler: Corsair H100
Memory: 16GB G.Skill ARES 2,133mhz @ 9-11-10-28
Power Supply: Corsair AX1200
Optical Drive: Asus BluRay Drive
Chassis: Lian Li X2000a
Boot Drive: Intel 510 120GB
Secondary Drive: Patriot 240GB WildFire

Intel i7 3960X EE
Motherboard: Asus P9X79 WS WorkStation
Cooler: Corsair H100
Memory: 8GB Corsair Dominator GT8 2400mhz memory
Power Supply: ADATA 1200W
Optical Drive: Asus BluRay Drive
Chassis: Cooler Master Cosmos 2
Boot Drive: Crucial C300 128GB SSD
Secondary Drive: Patriot 240GB Pyro SE

Intel i7 3820
Motherboard: ASRock Extreme4-M
Cooler: Intel reference cooler
Memory: 8GB Corsair GTX8 @ 2133mhz
Power Supply: ADATA 1200W
Chassis: Lian Li PC60
Boot Drive: Crucial C300
Secondary Drive: Patriot Pyro SE 240GB

Intel i5 3570K @ 4.2 – OCUK Prodigy Arctic Gaming System
Motherboard: ASRock Z77E-ITX Intel Z77
Cooler: Coolit Liquid
Memory: Corsair Vengeance White 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C9 1600MHz Dual Channel Kit
Power Supply: OCZ ZS 750W PSU
Chassis: Bitfenix Prodigy Mini ITX Case – White
Boot Drive: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB
Secondary Drive: 1TB HDD

AMD FX 8150 Black Edition
Processor: AMD FX 8150 Black Edition
Motherboard: Gigabyte 990FXA-UD7
Cooler: Noctua NH D14
Memory: G-SKill Ripjaws 1600mhz 8GB (2x 4GB)
Power Supply: ADATA 1200W
Chassis: SilverStone Raven 3
Boot Drive: Intel 40GB SSD
Secondary Drive: Patriot 120GB WildFire

Intel Core i7 990X
Processor: Intel Core i7 990x
Cooler: Corsair H100
Motherboard: Gigabyte G1 Assassin
Memory: Kingston HyperX 6GB
Drives: Crucial RealSSD C300 256GB
Power Supply: Corsair AX1200
Chassis: Antec Twelve Hundred

Core i7 970 @ 4.6ghz
Cooling: Coolit Vantage
Motherboard: MSI X58A-GD65
Chassis: Thermaltake Level 10 GT
Power Supply: Corsair AX1200
Memory: 6GB ADATA @ 2133mhz 9-10-9-32
Storage: Kingston SSDNow V+ 512GB Gen 2 SSD (Storage) / Crucial RealSSD C300 256GB (OS boot)

Intel Core i7 2700k
Processor: Intel Core i7 2700k
Cooling: ThermalTake Frio OCK
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z68AP-D3 Z68 Motherboard
Chassis: Silverstone Raven 3.
Power Supply: Corsair 850W.
Memory: Corsair 1600mhz memory
Storage: Intel 80GB SSD (boot) / Patriot Wildfire 120GB SSD.

Intel Core i7 2600k
Processor: Intel Core i7 2600k
Motherboard: ASRock Fatal1ty Z68 Professional Gen 3
Cooler: Intel XTS-100H
Memory: ADATA 1600mhz DDR3 8GB (2x4GB)
Power Supply: Thermaltake Toughpower 850W
Boot Drive: Intel 510 SSD 250GB

Intel Core i5 2500k
Processor: Intel Core i7 2500k
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z68AP-D3 Z68 Motherboard
Cooler: Arctic Cooling Freezer Xtreme Rev.2 CPU Cooler
Memory: Corsair 1600mhz memory 8GB (2x4GB)
Power Supply: Corsair 850W.
Boot Drive: Patriot Pyro 120GB SSD.

AMD Phenom II X6 1100T 
Processor: AMD Phenom II X6 1100T
Motherboard: Gigabyte 990FXA-UD7
Cooler: Noctua NH D14
Memory: G-SKill Ripjaws 1600mhz 8GB (2x 4GB)
Power Supply: ADATA 1200W
Chassis: SilverStone Raven 3
Boot Drive: Intel 40GB SSD
Secondary Drive: Patriot 120GB WildFire.

Software:
3DMark
PCMark 7
Cinebench 11.5 64 bit
FRAPS Professional
Unigine Heaven Benchmark
CrystalDiskMark
Cyberlink PowerDVD Ultra 11
Cyberlink MediaEspresso
Atto Disk Benchmark
CrystalDiskMark
SiSoft Sandra

Games:
Alien V Predator (Direct X 11)
GRID 2 (Direct X 11)
Dirt Showdown (Direct X 11)
Sleeping Dogs (Direct X 11)
May Payne 3 (Direct X 11)
Tomb Raider (Direct X 11)

Technical Monitoring and Test Equipment:
Asus USB BluRay Drive
Lacie 730 Monitor (Image Quality testing)
Thermal Diodes
Raytek Laser Temp Gun 3i LSRC/MT4 Mini Temp
Extech digital sound level meter & SkyTronic DSL 2 Digital Sound Level Meter
Nikon D3X with R1C1 Kit (4 flashes), Nikon 24-70MM lens.

Game descriptions are edited with courtesy from Wikipedia.

PCMark 7 includes 7 PC tests for Windows 7, combining more than 25 individual workloads covering storage, computation, image and video manipulation, web browsing and gaming. Specifically designed to cover the full range of PC hardware from netbooks and tablets to notebooks and desktops, PCMark 7 offers complete PC performance testing for Windows 7 for home and business use.
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The system scored 4,829 points. A lot lower than Intel Z87 systems we have tested in recent months.

3DMark 11 is designed for testing DirectX 11 hardware running on Windows 7 and Windows Vista the benchmark includes six all new benchmark tests that make extensive use of all the new features in DirectX 11 including tessellation, compute shaders and multi-threading.

After running the tests 3DMark gives your system a score with larger numbers indicating better performance. Trusted by gamers worldwide to give accurate and unbiased results, 3DMark 11 is the best way to test DirectX 11 under game-like loads.

If you want to learn more about this benchmark, or to buy it yourself, head over to this page.
3dmark11
3dmark11
The AMD system scores a total of 10,095 points, but how does the Physics performance compare against several of the latest high end Intel processors?
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Last place for the FX9590, scoring 8,100 points. The reference clocked 4770k scores significantly more, and the Core i7 3960x is way out in front scoring 15,158 points.

3DMark is an essential tool used by millions of gamers, hundreds of hardware review sites and many of the world’s leading manufacturers to measure PC gaming performance.

Use it to test your PC’s limits and measure the impact of overclocking and tweaking your system.

Search our massive results database and see how your PC compares or just admire the graphics and wonder why all PC games don’t look this good.To get more out of your PC, put 3DMark in your PC.
3dmark
3dmark
The system scores a total of 6,485 points. The Physics score is 8,957 points. How does the FX9590 @ 5ghz compare against several of the latest high end Intel processors?
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The FX9590 at 5ghz scores less than the Intel Core i7 4770k at 3.5ghz in this particular test. The Intel Core i7 3960X @ 4.4ghz is miles ahead, scoring almost 16,000 points.

SiSoftware Sandra (the System ANalyser, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant) is an information & diagnostic utility. It should provide most of the information (including undocumented) you need to know about your hardware, software and other devices whether hardware or software.Sandra is a (girl’s) name of Greek origin that means “defender”, “helper of mankind”.

We think that’s quite fitting.It works along the lines of other Windows utilities, however it tries to go beyond them and show you more of what’s really going on. Giving the user the ability to draw comparisons at both a high and low-level. You can get information about the CPU, chipset, video adapter, ports, printers, sound card, memory, network, Windows internals, AGP, PCI, PCI-X, PCIe (PCI Express), database, USB, USB2, 1394/Firewire, etc.Native ports for all major operating systems are available:

  • Windows XP, 2003/R2, Vista, 7, 2008/R2 (x86)
  • Windows XP, 2003/R2, Vista, 7, 2008/R2 (x64)
  • Windows 2003/R2, 2008/R2* (IA64)
  • Windows Mobile 5.x (ARM CE 5.01)
  • Windows Mobile 6.x (ARM CE 5.02)

All major technologies are supported and taken advantage of:

  • SMP – Multi-Processor
  • MC – Multi-Core
  • SMT/HT – Hyper-Threading
  • MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSSE3, SSE 4.1, SSE 4.2, AVX, FMA – Multi-Media instructions
  • GPGPU, DirectX, OpenGL – Graphics
  • NUMA – Non-Uniform Memory Access
  • AMD64/EM64T/x64 – 64-bit extensions to x86
  • IA64 – Intel* Itanium 64-bit

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sandra memory
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There is no doubt the FX9590 is the fastest AMD processor we have tested, but it is only mid way in the chart, behind the 4770k and other high end Core i7 processors, even from the last generation.

CINEBENCH R11.5 64 Bit is a real-world cross platform test suite that evaluates your computer’s performance capabilities. CINEBENCH is based on MAXON’s award-winning animation software CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Spider-Man, Star Wars, The Chronicles of Narnia and many more.

CINEBENCH is the perfect tool to compare CPU and graphics performance across various systems and platforms (Windows and Mac OS X). And best of all: It’s completely free.
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The FX9590 @ 5ghz scores 8.31 points, slightly below the reference clocked Intel Core i7 4770k. We will also look at real world 3D rendering on the next page.

V2011 is the first release of 3DStudio Max to fully support the Windows 7 operating system. This is a professional level tool that many people use for work purposes and our test will show any possible differences between board design today.

Autodesk 3ds Max Design 2011 software offers compelling new techniques to help bring designs to life by aggregating data, iterating ideas, and presenting the results.

Streamlined, more intelligent data exchange workflows and innovative new modeling and visualization tools help significantly increase designers’ creativity and productivity, enabling them to better explore, validate, and communicate the stories behind their designs.

Major new features:

  • Slate: A node based material editor.
  • Quicksilver: Hardware renderer with multithreaded rendering engine that utilizes both CPU and GPU.
  • Extended Graphite Modeling Toolset
  • 3ds Max Composite: A HDRI-capable compositor based on Autodesk Toxik.
  • Viewport Canvas toolset for 3D and 2D texture painting directly in the viewport
  • Object Painting: use 3D geometry as ‘brushes’ on other geometry
  • Character Animation Toolkit (CAT): now integrated as part of the base package
  • Autodesk Material Library: Over 1200 new photometrically accurate shaders
  • Additional file format support: includes native support for Sketchup, Inventor
  • FBX file linking
  • Save to Previous Release (2010)

We created a new 8200×3200 scene and recorded the time for the hardware to finalise the render.
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The fastest AMD processor for 3D rendering, taking 6 minutes and 24 seconds. It is a little behind the 4770k, but manages to pip the reference clocked 3770k.

CyberLink MediaEspresso 6 is the successor to CyberLink MediaShow Espresso 5.5. With its further optimized CPU/GPU-acceleration, MediaEspresso is an even faster way to convert not only your video but also your music and image files between a wide range of popular formats.

Now you can easily playback and display your favourite movies, songs and photos not just on your mobile phone, iPad, PSP, Xbox, or Youtube and Facebook channels but also on the newly launched iPhone 4. Compile, convert and enjoy images and songs on any of your computing devices and enhance your videos with CyberLink’s built-in TrueTheater Technology.

New and Improved Features

  • Ultra Fast Media Conversion – With support from the Intel Core i-Series processor family, ATI Stream & NVIDIA CUDA, MediaEspresso’s Batch-Conversion function enables multiple files to be transcoded simultaneously.
  • Smart Detect Technology – MediaEspresso 6 automatically detects the type of portable device connected to the PC and selects the best multimedia profile to begin the conversion without the need for user’s intervention.
  • Direct Sync to Portable Devices – Video, audio and image files can be transferred in a few easy steps to mobile phones including those from Acer, BlackBerry, HTC, Samsung, LG, Nokia, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, and Palm, as well as Sony Walkman and PSP devices.
  • Enhanced Video Quality – CyberLink TrueTheater Denoise and Lighting enables the enhancement of video quality through optical noise filters and automatic brightness adjustment.
  • Video, Music and Image File Conversion – Convert not only videos to popular formats such as AVI, MPEG, MKV, H.264/AVC, and FLV at the click of a button, but also images such as JPEG and PNG and music files like WMA, MP3 and M4A.
  • Online Sharing – Conversion to video formats used by popular social networking websites and a direct upload feature means posting videos to Facebook and YouTube has never been easier.

For our testing today we are converting a 3.3GB 720p MKV file (2h:12mins) to Apple Mp4 format for playback on a portable device. This is a common procedure for many people and will give a good indication of system power. We are using the latest version of the software.

We test with hardware acceleration disabled and then enabled to monitor the changes. We use the same graphics card in both systems.
video encoding
The system is actually pretty quick in this benchmark, completing the encode in less than 9 minutes. It still can’t manage to match the fastest Intel Core i7 systems however.

We measure the system USB 3.0 performance by using the excellent Patriot SuperSonic Magnum 256GB USB 3.0 drive, which we reviewed back in February this year.
crystaldiskusb3
Performance of the USB 3.0 ports is actually slightly disappointing. We have tested this drive recently in some of the new Z87 motherboards and it has scored just over 300 MB/s in the sequential read test for instance. We reinstalled the motherboard USB 3.0 drivers and even reinstalled the operating system from fresh. The results were always close to those above.

Due to the nature of this kind of flash, and via the USB 3.0 interface, 4k and 4k QD32 performance is substantially worse than from a native SSD drive across a SATA connector.

The ATTO Disk Benchmark performance measurement tool is compatible with Microsoft Windows. Measure your storage systems performance with various transfer sizes and test lengths for reads and writes. Several options are available to customize your performance measurement including queue depth, overlapped I/O and even a comparison mode with the option to run continuously. Use ATTO Disk Benchmark to test any manufacturers RAID controllers, storage controllers, host adapters, hard drives and SSD drives and notice that ATTO products will consistently provide the highest level of performance to your storage.
usb3
Similar results to CrystalDiskMark above. Slightly disappointing. You can see how much better this drive seems to operate on some of the recent Z87 boards, over here.
We measure performance of the Patriot Wildfire 256GB Solid State Drive when connected to the GB 990FXA-UD5 controller.
crystaldiskwildfire
The Wildfire drive scores well in this benchmark, although these results are a little lower than the last Z87 motherboards we have tested. Not as bad as the USB 3.0 results on the last page however.

The ATTO Disk Benchmark performance measurement tool is compatible with Microsoft Windows. Measure your storage systems performance with various transfer sizes and test lengths for reads and writes. Several options are available to customize your performance measurement including queue depth, overlapped I/O and even a comparison mode with the option to run continuously. Use ATTO Disk Benchmark to test any manufacturers RAID controllers, storage controllers, host adapters, hard drives and SSD drives and notice that ATTO products will consistently provide the highest level of performance to your storage.
wildfireatto
These results are good, peaking at 540 MB/s sequential read and around 490 MB/s sequential write.

Aliens V Predator has proved to be a big seller since the release and Sega have taken the franchise into new territory after taking it from Sierra. AVP is a Direct X 11 supported title and delivers not only advanced shadow rendering but high quality tessellation for the cards on test today.

To test the cards we used a 2560×1600 resolution with DX11, Texture Quality Very High, MSAA Samples 1, 16 af, ambient occulsion on, shadow complexity high, motion blur on.

We don’t feel there is any point in testing games at 1024×768 with low image quality settings – gamers today want to play at 1080p or greater resolutions with high image quality. We therefore want to see if there any major differences between the AMD FX9590 system @ 5ghz and our standard Core i7 3960x gaming system which is overclocked to 4.4ghz. Both systems are using the high end ASUS GTX780 Direct CU II OC graphics card.
AvP
The FX9590 system scores a little lower in the minimum frame rate result, but in real world terms it wouldn’t be noticeable. Not at these settings anyway.

Sleeping Dogs started development as an original title, but was announced in 2009 as True Crime: Hong Kong, the third installment and a reboot of the True Crime series. As a result of the game’s high development budget and delays, it was canceled by Activision Blizzard in 2011. Six months later, it was announced that Square Enix had picked up the publishing rights to the game, but the game was renamed Sleeping Dogs in 2012 since Square Enix did not purchase the True Crime name rights.

We are using the highest possible image quality settings at 1080p, including the high resolution texture pack.

We don’t feel there is any point in testing games at 1024×768 with low image quality settings – gamers today want to play at 1080p or greater resolutions with high image quality. We therefore want to see if there any major differences between the AMD FX9590 system @ 5ghz and our standard Core i7 3960x gaming system which is overclocked to 4.4ghz. Both systems are using the high end ASUS GTX780 Direct CU II OC graphics card.
sleeping dogs
Similar performance levels, with the 3960X averaging 2-3 frames per second extra.

After a delayed release from late 2012 to March 2013, the game received much anticipation and hype. Tomb Raider received much acclaim from critics, who praised the graphics, the gameplay and Camilla Luddington’s performance as Lara with many critics agreeing that the game is a solid and much needed reboot of the franchise. Much criticism went to the addition of the multiplayer which many felt was unnecessary. Tomb Raider went on to sell one million copies in forty-eight hours of its release, and has sold 3.4 million copies worldwide so far.
tr1tr2

We used the Ultimate quality setting at 2560×1600 with the settings detailed above.

We don’t feel there is any point in testing games at 1024×768 with low image quality settings – gamers today want to play at 1080p or greater resolutions with high image quality. We therefore want to see if there any major differences between the AMD FX9590 system @ 5ghz and our standard Core i7 3960x gaming system which is overclocked to 4.4ghz. Both systems are using the high end ASUS GTX780 Direct CU II OC graphics card.
tomb raider
The AMD FX9590 delivers slightly lower average results, but the minimum frame rate in this game is a little higher. Again, not really noticeable in the real world, but repeatable in our tests.

Max Payne 3 is a third-person shooter in which the player assumes the role of its titular character, Max Payne. Max Payne 3 features a similar over-the-shoulder camera as its predecessors, with the addition of a cover mechanic, while also retaining much of the same run-and-gun style of gameplay. Max Payne 3 also marks the return of bullet-time in action sequences, for which the franchise is notable.

In bullet-time it is possible to see every bullet strike an enemy in detail. New to the series is a “Last Stand” mechanic, which gives the player a grace period after losing all health during which time the player may kill the enemy that wounded them in order to continue playing, however this mechanic is only usable if the player has one or more bottles of painkillers in their possession.
MaxPayne3 2013-07-09 13-42-11-69

We don’t feel there is any point in testing games at 1024×768 with low image quality settings – gamers today want to play at 1080p or greater resolutions with high image quality. We therefore want to see if there any major differences between the AMD FX9590 system @ 5ghz and our standard Core i7 3960x gaming system which is overclocked to 4.4ghz. Both systems are using the high end ASUS GTX780 Direct CU II OC graphics card.
max payne 3
The I7 system scores higher frame rates in this test, although the minimum frame rates show a 1fps variable in favour of the FX system.

Dirt Showdown is the latest title in the franchise from Codemasters, based around the famous Colin McRae racing game series, although it no longer uses his name, since he passed away in 2007.
showdown_avx 2013-06-20 11-50-00-44showdown_avx 2013-06-20 11-49-54-01
We configured the game at the ULTRA preset with a 2560×1600 resolution and 4x MSAA.

We don’t feel there is any point in testing games at 1024×768 with low image quality settings – gamers today want to play at 1080p or greater resolutions with high image quality. We therefore want to see if there any major differences between the AMD FX9590 system @ 5ghz and our standard Core i7 3960x gaming system which is overclocked to 4.4ghz. Both systems are using the high end ASUS GTX780 Direct CU II OC graphics card.
dirt showdown
The FX9590 @ 5ghz outscores the i7 3960x @ 4.4ghz in this particular test, which is interesting.

MetroLast Light takes place one year after the events of Metro 2033, proceeding from the ending where Artyom chose to call down the missile strike on the Dark Ones. The Rangers have since occupied the D6 military facility, with Artyom having become an official member of the group. Khan, the nomad mystic, arrives at D6 to inform Artyom and the Rangers that a single Dark One survived the missile strike.

4A Games’ proprietary 4A Engine is capable of rendering breathtaking vistas, such as those showing the ruined remnants of Moscow, as well as immersive indoor areas that play with light and shadow, creating hauntingly beautiful scenes akin to those from modern-day photos of Pripyat’s abandoned factories and schools.
MetroLL 2013-06-20 11-09-21-14
We set the resolution to 2560×1600 and the settings shown in the screenshot above.

We don’t feel there is any point in testing games at 1024×768 with low image quality settings – gamers today want to play at 1080p or greater resolutions with high image quality. We therefore want to see if there any major differences between the AMD FX9590 system @ 5ghz and our standard Core i7 3960x gaming system which is overclocked to 4.4ghz. Both systems are using the high end ASUS GTX780 Direct CU II OC graphics card.
metro last light
Excellent performance from both systems, averaging over 40 frames per second at all times.

Grid 2 is the sequel to the racing video game Race Driver: Grid.  It was developed and published by Codemasters. The game includes numerous real world locations such as Paris, numerous United States locations, and many more, and also includes motor vehicles spanning four decades. In addition, it includes a new handling system that developer Codemasters has dubbed ‘TrueFeel’, which aims to hit a sweet spot between realism and accessibility.
grid2_avx 2013-06-20 10-53-35-90grid2_avx 2013-06-20 10-53-40-21grid2_avx 2013-06-20 10-53-43-43

We tested at 2560×1600 with 8x AA and ULTRA settings, shown above.

We don’t feel there is any point in testing games at 1024×768 with low image quality settings – gamers today want to play at 1080p or greater resolutions with high image quality. We therefore want to see if there any major differences between the AMD FX9590 system @ 5ghz and our standard Core i7 3960x gaming system which is overclocked to 4.4ghz. Both systems are using the high end ASUS GTX780 Direct CU II OC graphics card.
GRID 2
Both systems are closely matched, but the 3960x system comes out slightly on top.

Today we are measuring the system wattage at the wall socket via a calibrated meter.

The system power drain was measured in the following states:

CPU Load: Cinebench R11.5 64 bit.

power consumption
idlecinebench load
When idle, the system consumes only 82.5 watts. Under Cinebench R11.5 64 bit load, this rises to 317 watts. Not the most efficient of processor designs, but we already knew this.
After spending the last week with this system we can make an educated guess that AMD simply wanted to be first to release a 5ghz processor. There seems to be no logical reason why the release of the FX9590 processor makes any sense in today’s market. AMD can  sometimes stand behind questionable marketing campaigns, such as when they promoted the FX8150 as the first processor to hit 7ghz, then 8ghz.

Many people didn’t realise at the time that 6 of the 8 cores were disabled to achieve the overclock. Its a meaningless chase for bigger numbers, translating to absolutely nothing in the real world. You show me an enthusiast user who buys an eight core processor to run with six disabled and ill show you a psychiatric hospital.

There is no doubt that the FX9590 is interesting, after all it has been a talking point now online for quite some time. We all want AMD to become competitive in the high end again, to recapture the glory days of their earlier FX processors.

Sadly, back in the real world the FX9590 is frequently beaten by the Core i7 4770k and this is before we even look at the higher cost 3930k and 3960x/3970x models.

The main sticking point with the FX9590 is obviously the pricing. AMD have had such a strong position in the low end now over the last twelve months, offering a range of fantastic, competitively priced processors.

Our Facebook page has been full of shared reader systems featuring low cost AMD processors now for months. The flagship AMD FX8350 is a good buy also, at only £149.99 inc vat. ARIA even sell a complete system based around the FX6300 6 core processor for only £304.79 inc vat. Add a sub £150 video card into that system and you would have a decent little gaming system, all for less than £500.

Based on AMD’s reputation for low cost designs we would therefore hope a new flagship processor at £700 would be competitive against Intel Core i7 parts.

It isn’t.

Sure, we could say that fanatical AMD overclockers will love the FX9590, but unless you have money to burn we can think of better ways to spend that £700. When up against the Core i7 4770k or 3930k/3960x it is seriously outgunned. This is probably why AMD aren’t sampling the part directly to the press, aiming it at system builders. Again, we can’t imagine a system builder will want to cool this monster long term, while offering a warranty. There is only a 1 year warranty on the FX9590 too, so that is worth bearing in mind.

As a gaming processor the FX9590 is very capable however very few game developers are utilising more than three cores for their games, so with a FX9590 there are generally four or five cores idle in the background. A 3570k or FX8350 is a much more cost effective gaming processor in my opinion.

The AMD FX9590 is a solid processor for 3D rendering, but Intel have made a lot of strides in the last couple of generations, and we found that even the Core i7 4770k is a much more effective design on a core per core basis, even with four less physical cores. The 3960X/3970X is still the mainstream flagship for this task, but in fairness we can’t imagine too many people will complain with a FX9590 @ 5ghz rendering their scenes.

It proves very difficult to score the AMD FX9590 as it is a seriously niche product. The price alone drops the overall score several points. If AMD brought it out around the £300 mark then it would have made a lot more sense, but at £700 there is no possibility for a recommendation. If you are a wealthy AMD overclocker then you are likely to have one already on pre-order, but everyone else will be longing for an affordable processor from AMD which can challenge the £260 Intel Core i7 4770k.

Pros:

  • 5ghz, yes 5ghz!
  • decent performance.
  • good for 3D rendering.
  • hand picked for maximum frequencies.

Cons:

  • needs high end cooling.
  • puts a lot of strain on the motherboard.
  • runs hot.
  • high power drain.
  • struggles to compete.

Kitguru says: An interesting release from AMD to target system builders, but we can’t help but feel it is a little like bringing a knife to a gunfight.

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