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AMD FX 8350 CPU with Wraith Cooler Review

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Introduction

The AMD FX-8350 processor is a mid-level 8-core 125W processor from AMD. Designed to offer a both ‘tall and wide’ performance, it features 8 cores and turbo boost. Being 8 cores wide will benefit multi-threaded applications like media encoding, traditional ray-trace renderers, home video and photo editing, and multi-threaded low-level API’s like DirectX 12 and AMD Mantle. The turbo boost offers more performance for applications using older APIs, smartly using the TDP limit of the processor to increase throughput via increasing clock speed.

Like all AMD FX processors, the platform configuration speeds are unlocked for voltage and frequency adjustment offering tunability for any use case – end users can tweak the performance/clockspeed/boost/voltages to suit their needs, be it a quiet PC or a fast-as-it-can-go benchmark system.

The Bulldozer FX series CPU’s have been with for some time now. Updates to the FX series were brought to us with the release of the Vishera architecture. That was in late 2012. Since then the series has been expanded to offer greater variety and prices have dropped, but nothing much else changed. That was until just recently when AMD started packaging new coolers with select processors. Depending on which processor you purchase, you may get the new Near-Silent 95W Cooler, the new Near-Silent Cooler, or what we are looking at today; the new Wraith Cooler.

The Wraith Cooler promises better performance and quieter operation over the previous cooler. AMD’s previous cooler packaged with the 125w processors leaved a bit to be desired. It was the loud side and overclocking headroom was minimal. If AMD’s new Wraith cooler makes any improvements over that, it will be a welcome addition to anyone purchasing a CPU packed with it.

AMD’s take on the FX Series

AMD FX Processors unlock maximum, unrestrained processing performance for extreme responsiveness you can see and feel.

Maximum Performance

  • The industry’s only affordable 8-core desktop processor
  • Overclock with easy to use AMD Overdrive™ technology and AMD Catalyst™ Control Center™ software suites
  • Supreme power available from virtually every core configuration – also available in 6- and
  • 4-core variants
  • Aggressive performance for mega-tasking and intensive applications like video editing and
  • 3D modeling

Innovative Architecture

  • The industry’s first and only native 8-core desktop processor for unmatched multitasking and pure core performance with “Bulldozer” architecture
  • New 32 nanometer die shrink designed to reduce leakage for improved efficiency, increased clock rate headroom and improved thermals
  • Can deliver cores and performance you need without raising the power requirements

An Industry Leader in Price for the Performance

  • Unlocked processors allow the maximum in tunable performance
  • AMD Turbo CORE Technology dynamically adjusts performance to give you the best experience, no matter what you are doing
  • Get superior performance at a competitive price with unlocked technology

AMD’s take on the Wraith Cooler

AMD offers premium thermal solutions for people who care about the way their PCs run, sound, and look.

We’ve listened to our customer feedback and designed our newest coolers to deliver near-silent operation, bolstered with capable thermal hardware – with no increase in pricing when these new coolers have been added to existing processors – for a tremendous value.

The AMD Wraith Cooler

Featuring near-silent 39dbA operation, the AMD Wraith Cooler is practically inaudible when installed in your PC.1,2 That’s less than one-tenth the noise of its predecessor, but with impressive thermal performance thanks to 24% more cooling surface fin area and 34% more fan airflow.3,5 Backlit illumination and an attractive fan shroud makes the Wraith Cooler an impressive piece of hardware that every PC enthusiast can be proud to show in their system, available now and bundled exclusively with processors like the AMD FX™ 8370, FX™ 8350, FX™ 6350, and A10-7890K APU.

The Near-Silent 125W AMD Thermal Solution

When results are all that matter: the Near-Silent AMD 125W AMD Thermal Solution features the AMD Wraith Cooler’s near-silent operation and capable thermal performance, without the illuminated shroud.2,4 This powerful cooling hardware can be found on both the AMD Athlon™ X4 880K and the proven A10-7870K processors.

 

Up next, the specifications and packaging.

Description: <--pagebreak-->Specifications and Packaging

Specifications

AMD FX PROCESSORS WITH NEW AMD Wraith Cooler
Model NumberFrequencyTotal L2 CacheL3 CachePackagingThermal Design PowerCMOS Technology
​FX 83704.0/4.3 GHz8MB8MBsocket AM3+125W32nm SOI
​FX 8350​4.0/4.1 GHz​8MB​8MB​socket AM3+​125W​32nm SOI
​FX 6350​3.9 GHz​8MB​8MB​socket AM3+​125W​32nm SOI
AMD FX PROCESSORS​
Model NumberFrequencyTotal L2 CacheL3 CachePackagingThermal Design PowerCMOS Technology
FX 95904.7/5.0 GHz8MB8MBsocket AM3+220W32nm SOI
FX 93704.4/4.7 GHz8MB8MBsocket AM3+220W32nm SOI
FX 83704.0/4.3 GHz8MB8MBsocket AM3+125W​32nm SOI
FX 8370E​3.3/4.3 GHz​8MB8MBsocket AM3+95W32nm SOI
FX 83504.0/4.2 GHz8MB8MBsocket AM3+125W32nm SOI
FX 83203.5/4.0 GHz8MB8MBsocket AM3+125W32nm SOI
FX 8320E3.2/4.0 GHz8MB8MBsocket AM3+95W32nm SOI
FX 63503.9/4.2 GHz6MB8MBsocket AM3+125W32nm SOI
FX 63003.5/4.1 GHz6MB8MBsocket AM3+95W32nm SOI
FX 62003.8/4.1 GHz6MB8MBsocket AM3+125W32nm SOI
FX 61003.3/3.9 GHz6MB8MBsocket AM3+95W32nm SOI
FX 43504.2/4.3 GHz4MB8MBsocket AM3+125W32nm SOI
FX 43003.8/4.0 GHz4MB4MBsocket AM3+95W32nm SOI
FX 41303.8/3.9 Ghz4MB4MBsocket AM3+125W32nm SOI
FX 41003.6/3.8 Ghz4MB8MBsocket AM3+95W32nm SOI
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Description: <--pagebreak-->Packaging

AMD has altered the cosmetics of their recent offering to highlight the changes. The FX 8350 with Wraith Cooler is packaged in a black box with orange/gold trim. A picture of the cooler resides on the top of the box and a see through window to the processor resides on one side of the box. Clearly, AMD wants you to what you are getting in the box.

Upon opening, the cooler noticeably takes up the majority of the box. The processor is contained in its own separate internal black box.

A Closer Look

The small black box contains the FX 8350, an AMD FX case badge, and a certificate of authenticity.

The FX 8350 is cosmetically similar to most of AMD’s desktop line. The processor uses a 940-pin organic micro Pin Grid Array aka. The pins are attached to the socket mating surface of the processor.

Like the processor, the Wraith Cooler is packaged in its own internal box.

The new Wraith cooler’s lower design does not look too different than the older cooler. There are some very noticeable differences when looking at the top though. There is a much larger fan attached. There is also a shroud around the fan, which makes the new cooler much cleaner looking. Lastly, the power cable is sleeved.

Thermal compound is applied to the cooler by default. The mating surface did have some minor scratched on it and it is not as smooth as it could be. Overall, it is as good as we have seen from any other OEM packaged cooler.

The sleeving is fairly well done and adds a touch of class to the new Wraith Cooler.

As an added bonus, lit AMD logo resides on one side. The lighting is subdued enough to not overpowering and is the most noticeable when looking at it straight on.

 

Now to move onto the test set up.

System Configuration and Software

Testing Hardware (AMD):

  • Gigabyte 990FX-Gaming Motherboard
  • Kingston HyperX Fury 16GB 1866MHz DDR3 Memory
  • Crucial M550 256GB Solid State Drive
  • PowerColor Radeon R9 285 TurboDuo Graphic Card

Testing Hardware (Intel Z170):

  • Gigabyte Z170X-UD5 TH Motherboard
  • Kingston HyperX Fury 16GB 2133MHz DDR4 Memory
  • Patriot Ignite 960GB Solid State Drive
  • PowerColor Radeon R9 285 TurboDuo Graphic Card

Testing Hardware (Intel X99):

  • Gigabyte X99-UD5 WiFi Motherboard
  • Kingston HyperX Fury 16GB 2133MHz DDR4 Memory
  • Patriot Ignite 960GB Solid State Drive
  • PowerColor Radeon R9 285 TurboDuo Graphic Card

CPU Cooling:

  • AMD Wraith Cooler
  • Swiftech H320X2 Pretige AIO

Testing Operating System and Utilities:

  • Microsoft Windows 10 Home

General System Benchmarks:

  • PCMark 8
  • Super Pi

CPU Benchmarks:

  • Fritz Chess
  • Cinebench R15 – CPU
  • 7-Zip
  • Handbrake

Memory Benchmarks:

  • AIDA64 Engineer
  • Passmark Performance Test 8 – Memory

Game Benchmarks:

  • 3DMark
  • Cinebench R15 – Open GL
  • Unigine Heaven
  • Bioshock: Infinite
  • Grand Theft Auto V
  • Metro: Last Light
  • Tomb Raider

On to performance testing

General Performance and CPU Performance Results

General Performance Results

PCMark 8

“Use the PCMark 8 Storage benchmark to test the performance of SSDs, HDDs and hybrid drives with traces recorded from Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office and a selection of popular games. You can test the system drive or any other recognized storage device, including local external drives. Unlike synthetic storage tests, the PCMark 8 Storage benchmark highlights real-world performance differences between storage devices.”

While things do not look like a good start for the FX 8350, as PCMark 8 includes quite few single threaded tests, so it is natural for the Intel processors to make a strong showing.

Super PI Modded 1.5

“In August 1995, the calculation of pi up to 4,294,960,000 decimal digits was succeeded by using a supercomputer at the University of Tokyo. The program was written by D.Takahashi in collaboration with Dr.Y.Kanada at the computer center. This record should be the current world record. (Details are shown in the windows help.) This record-breaking program was ported to personal computer environment such as Windows NT and Windows 95. In order to calculate 33.55 million digits, it takes within 3 days with a Pentium 90 MHz, 40 MB main memory and 340 MB available storage.”

Floating point match is one of Intel’s strong suites and it shows here. The FX 8350 does not fare well against the more expensive Intel offerings.

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CPU Performance Results

Fritz Chess

Fritz Chess is a benchmark in which a fictitious game of chess is played. As each move has to be calculated by the computer, it is an excellent test of CPU muscle.

The tables turn with Fritz Chess. Here the AMD processors get to stretch their multi-threaded legs. With the base frequency of the FX 8350 and FX 8370 being equal, their scores are almost identical. Both also best the Intel Core i5 6600K.

CPU testing continued on next page.

CPU Performance Results Continued and Memory Performance Results

CINEBENCH R15

“CINEBENCH 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 Iron Man 3, Oblivion, Life of Pi or Prometheus and many more.

CINEBENCH is the perfect tool to compare CPU and graphics performance across various systems and platforms (Windows and OS X). And best of all: It’s completely free.”

The entire FX line makes a good showing in Cinebench.

7-Zip

This form allows you to measure the performance of your computer. The benchmark shows a rating in MIPS (million instructions per second). The rating value is calculated from the measured speed, and it is normalized with results of Intel Core 2 CPU with multi-threading option switched off. So if you have modern CPU from Intel or AMD, rating values in single-thread mode must be close to real CPU frequency. There are two tests, compression with LZMA method and decompression with LZMA method. Once the total passes reaches 100, the score is taken.

 

7-Zip is a well threaded application and even the far most expensive i5 6600K is no match for any of the AMD FX 8 core processors.

Handbrake

“HandBrake is a tool for converting video from nearly any format to a selection of modern, widely supported codecs.”

The workload video file is a ~6.27 GB, 3840 x 1714, 73.4 Mbps, 24fps, H.264, .mov video file that is transcoded to a ~1480 MB, 1920×858, ~17.1 Mbps, 24fps, H.264, .mp4 video file. Transcoding is done using Intel Quick Sync.

Do to the shortness in out testing time frame; we were only able to test Handbrake on a few other processors.

Memory Performance Results

AIDA64 Engineer Edition

“FinalWire Ltd. today announced the immediate availability of AIDA64 Extreme Edition 1.50 software, a streamlined diagnostic and benchmarking tool for home users; and the immediate availability of AIDA64 Business Edition 1.50 software, an essential network management solution for small and medium scale enterprises. The new AIDA64 update implements AVX-optimized benchmarks for the upcoming Intel Sandy Bridge processors, adds a brand new video encoding benchmark, and supports the latest AMD and nVIDIA graphics processors.”

The Intel and DDR4 clearly wins this round. The memory performance of the AMD is just no match.

Passmark Performance Test 8 – Memory

 

Again we see that memory performance in tilted in favor of the more expensive Intel models and the higher speed DDR4 memory.

To the next page, gaming performance.

Description: <--pagebreak-->

Synthetic Game and Non- Synthetic Game Performance Results

Synthetic Game Results

3DMark – Firestrike

“The new 3DMark includes everything you need to benchmark your hardware. With three all new tests you can bench everything from smartphones and tablets, to notebooks and home PCs, to the latest high-end, multi-GPU gaming desktops. And it’s not just for Windows. With 3DMark you can compare your scores with Android and iOS devices too. It’s the most powerful and flexible 3DMark we’ve ever created.

Fire Strike is a showcase DirectX 11 benchmark designed for today’s high-performance gaming PCs. It is our most ambitious and technical benchmark ever, featuring real-time graphics rendered with detail and complexity far beyond what is found in other benchmarks and games today”

CINEBENCH R15

“CINEBENCH 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 Iron Man 3, Oblivion, Life of Pi or Prometheus and many more.

CINEBENCH is the perfect tool to compare CPU and graphics performance across various systems and platforms (Windows and OS X). And best of all: It’s completely free.”

Heaven

“Heaven Benchmark immerses a user into a magical steampunk world of shiny brass, wood and gears. Nested on flying islands, a tiny village with its cozy, sun-heated cobblestone streets, an elaborately crafted dirigible above the expanse of fluffy clouds, and a majestic dragon on the central square gives a true sense of adventure. An interactive experience with fly-by and walk-through modes allows for exploring all corners of this world powered by the cutting-edge UNIGINE Engine that leverages the most advanced capabilities of graphics APIs and turns this benchmark into a visual masterpiece.”

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Non- Synthetic Game Results

Bioshock: Infinite

“Indebted to the wrong people, with his life on the line, veteran of the U.S. Cavalry and now hired gun, Booker DeWitt has only one opportunity to wipe his slate clean. He must rescue Elizabeth, a mysterious girl imprisoned since childhood and locked up in the flying city of Columbia.”

Bioshock: Infinite, developed by Irrational Games and published by 2K Games, is the third iteration of the Bioshock franchise. It uses the extremely popular Unreal 3 game engine and is one of the best looking games of 2013.

Grand Theft Auto: V

“When a young street hustler, a retired bank robber and a terrifying psychopath find themselves entangled with some of the most frightening and deranged elements of the criminal underworld, the U.S. government and the entertainment industry, they must pull off a series of dangerous heists to survive in a ruthless city in which they can trust nobody, least of all each other.

Grand Theft Auto V for PC offers players the option to explore the award-winning world of Los Santos and Blaine County in resolutions of up to 4k and beyond, as well as the chance to experience the game running at 60 frames per second.”

Grand Theft Auto: V is the newest game in our benchmark suite. The game offers players a huge range of PC-specific customization options, including over 25 separate configurable settings for texture quality, shaders, tessellation, anti-aliasing and more. It has the highest recommended system requirements in our game benchmark suite.

 

Game testing continued on next page.

Game Performance Results Continued and Overclocking

Game Performance Results Continued

Metro: Last Light

“It Is the Year 2034. Beneath the ruins of post-apocalyptic Moscow, in the tunnels of the Metro, the remnants of mankind are besieged by deadly threats from outside – and within. Mutants stalk the catacombs beneath the desolate surface, and hunt a midst the poisoned skies above.”

Developed by 4A games and published by Deepsilver, Metro: Last Light uses the 4A game engine. At it’s highest settings, the 4A game engine is capable of bringing all but the most extreme gaming systems to their knees.

Tomb Raider

“Tomb Raider explores the intense and gritty origin story of Lara Croft and her ascent from a young woman to a hardened survivor. Armed only with raw instincts and the ability to push beyond the limits of human endurance, Lara must fight to unravel the dark history of a forgotten island to escape its relentless hold.”

Tomb Raider was developed by Crystal Dynamics and published by SQUARE ENIX, Eidos Interactive. It features a modified version of the Crystal game engine and was the first game to integrate AMD’s TressFX 2.0, which adds hair, fur and grass physics.

Overclocking

Like most modern processors, the FX Series has a variable clock rate. The FX 8350 features a base clock of 4.0 GHz, with a turbo clock of 4.2 GHz. The Wraith Cooler was nice and quiet and the temps wer notably improved over the previous cooler.

I started off overclocking the FX 8350 with the Wraith Cooler installed. All power saving features were turned off and the Line Load Calibration was set to “extreme”. I was able to eventually get a nice clock of 4.6 GHz with a typical of the FX line 1.425v. The systems was perfectly stable, though the Wraith Cooler did start to get on the louder side, but it was not unbearable.

Up next it was time to push FX 8350 with more aggressive water cooling. Like before, all power saving features were turned off and the Line Load Calibration was set to “extreme”. The results speak for themselves.

 

The Conclusion and Final Thoughts are next.

Final Thoughts and Conclusion

The new AMD FX 8350 is far from ground breaking. It does not really need to be either. Its multi-threading prowess would make the Intel Core i3 an easy target and can even take down the more expensive Core i5 in some cases. As the overclocking testing showed, it has quite a bit of potential to be tapped.

The Wraith Cooler is a massive improvement over the previous cooler. It is quite a bit quieter. It also outperforms it. I’ve never been able to overclock much past 4.2 -4.3 GHz with the previous cooler, but the Wraith was still going strong at 4.6 GHz and it looked good doing it too.

The AMD FX-8350 is currently priced at $159.99 at Newegg. The FX 8350 with Wraith Cooler will add another $10 – $20 depending on where you purchase it. I think it is worth the entry price for the upgrade and it is certainly an upgrade.

Likes

  • Excellent Multi-threading Performance
  • Very Reasonable Price
  • Strong Overclocking Potential
  • Best OEM Cooler Available

Dislikes

  • Lack Luster Single Threaded Performance

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