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AMD FX-6350 review

Is the new processor chip from AMD an update in name only?

Our Verdict

Product features

  • Processor Core : Hexa-core (6 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Faster stock clock
  • Good value for money
  • Great for budget builders with no interest in overclocking

Against

  • No improvement with overclocking
  • Intel chips still have it licked

The AMD FX-6350 is the update to the budget gaming chip of choice from the Piledriver generation. But if you were underwhelmed by the technical advances in the new desktop Haswell chips, prepare to be resolutely indifferent to what this new FX CPU from AMD offers.

For £89 (AU$146, US$136), the FX-6300 was a great little chip, offering a decent chunk of true multi-threaded performance to boost what it sorely lacked in single-threaded oomph.

The Piledriver update didn't deliver the technical boost the individual Bulldozer "cores" needed to match the gaming prowess of competing Intel chips, but when you took the savings on the platform as a whole into account you could pair up this budget CPU with a better GPU than you could with a Core i5 Ivy Bridge chip.

The AMD chips can't compete at the top-end yet, but down the price-scale you can get a lot for your money.

So, what does this update to that great little chip offer? Sadly not a great deal. The FX-6350 is a little more expensive and you get a higher base clock boost from 3.5GHz to 3.9GHz, but the turbo speed only gets a modest 100Mhz hike up to 4.2GHz.

Still, that offers a fair chunk more multi-threaded performance with the X264 score going up from 26fps on the FX-6300 to 33fps with the FX-6350.

Budget builders

While the stock-clocked performance starts to make this new update tempting for budget builders, the fact that it comes nowhere near the performance of the original chip when it comes to overclocking is disappointing. We were able to happily run the FX-6300 at 5GHz - where it gets a Cinebench score to rival the Haswell i5 4670K - but the new FX-6350 taps out at a disappointing 4.6GHz.

In the situation of a budget build, however, stock performance is probably more important. That's especially true given the sort of high-end AMD motherboard you'd need to actually hit those heady overclocking highs.

Benchmarks

CPU rendering performance
Cinebench R11.5: Index score: Higher is better

AMD FX-6350: 4.97
AMD FX-6300: 4.34
CORE i5-4670K: 6.36

OC rendering performance
Cinebench R11.5: Index: Higher is better

AMD FX-6350: 5.89
AMD FX-6300: 6.30
CORE i5-4670K: 7.59

1080p gaming performance
BioShock Infinite: FPS: Higher is better

FX-6350: 86
FX-6300: 86
I5-4670K: 100

None of that really helps the gaming performance, with these Piledriver chips still lagging massively behind the Intel CPUs in terms of single-threaded grunt. Even the non K-series Haswell i5 is a virtual mile ahead of the FX-6350 in terms of in-game performance.

Verdict

All GPUs being equal, the AMD chip is going to hold back your graphics card in comparison to the performance you could get in combination with an Intel CPU. With the FX-6300 still available for a good chunk less than this updated silicon, it's tough to recommend this chip.

For our money the FX-6300 is a more worthwhile Piledriver chip, and we'll be waiting until next year to see what a proper six-core Steamroller FX chip can deliver.

Tech Specs

Product TypeProcessor
Processor CoreHexa-core (6 Core)
Thermal Design Power125 W
Processor ManufacturerAMD
Product FamilyFX
L3 Cache8 MB
Clock Speed3.90 GHz
Processor SocketSocket AM3+
Brand NameAMD
64-bit ProcessingYes
Overclocking Speed4.20 GHz
L2 Cache6 MB
Product SeriesFX
ManufacturerAdvanced Micro Devices, Inc
Product ModelFX-6350
Product NameHexa-core FX-6350 3.9GHz Black Edition Desktop Processor
Package TypeRetail
Manufacturer Part NumberFD6350FRHKBOX
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.amd.com
Marketing InformationAMD FX Processors unlock maximum, unrestrained processing performance for extreme responsiveness you can see and feel.
Process Technology32 nm
Weight (Approximate)35 g