For many PC enthusiasts, it was major news last week when Intel finally rolled out its first eight-core desktop processor in the form of the Core i7-5960X Extreme Edition. But that arrival came years after its chief competitor AMD introduced eight-core chips of its own for desktop PCs.
Beyond the contrast in release dates is the pricing distinction between the two companies. Intel's eight-core debut is priced at $999, while AMD's first octo-core chip cost $245 back in 2011. The difference becomes even starker with AMD's latest trio of eight-core FX processors, all of which have a starting price under $200 -- and one that costs less than $150.
While the 5960X uses Intel's latest Haswell 22nm architecture, the FX-8370, FX-8370E, and FX-8320E are based on AMD's two-year-old 32nm Piledriver architecture. The 8370 has a TDP of 125 watts, whereas the other new processors draw just 95 watts. (In comparison, the Intel 5960X has a TDP of 140 watts.)
Both the 8370 and 8370E have maximum core clock speeds of 4.3GHz, though the 8370's base clock speed is 4GHz and the "E" version's cores start at 3.3GHz. The 8320E has a base core speed of 3.2GHz and maximum speed of 4GHz. Not surprisingly, the 8320E has the lowest suggested price of the new processors at just $146.99, while the 8370 and 8370E will each be priced at $199.99.
Needless to say, the new FX chips can't compare to the 5960X given the 32nm architecture and older AM3+ chipset they make use of, as evidenced by the fact that review sites like Anandtech and HotHardware don't even compare them to the high-end Intel CPU in most of their benchmark tests. Instead, AMD continues to target enthusiasts with much tighter budgets with its FX processors, and the lower-power editions can bring eight-core computing to DIYers with 95-watt motherboards.
In addition to unveiling the new FX CPUs, AMD is also bundling the already available FX-9590 and FX-9370 processors with a Coolermaster supplied liquid-cooling system for $282 and $265, respectively. The 9590 has also received a price trim to $229.99 for the eight-core, 220-watt flagship FX processor that has a maximum clock speed of 5GHz.