AMD has released details about its new unlocked FX processors with up to eight cores, using a 32 nanometer process. The new FX processors are aimed at the enthusiast and technical user, including gamers and graphic artists who can take advantage of the extra cores and higher clock speeds.
Code named "Vishera," the new FX processors utilise the same AM3+ sockets as the current AMD FX processors. DIY users will be able to drop in the new processors after a BIOS firmware update, but please make sure to check with your motherboard manufacturer.
The new FX processors are aimed at the mid-level enthusiast, who has to balance overall system price with performance and features. The FX-8350 has eight cores, has a base clock of 4.0GHz, and is unlocked. The FX-8350 is priced at $195 (about £120), the same as the Intel Core i5-3450, though AMD is aiming at the more expensive Core i5-3570k (£200 RRP) as its main competition.
Like the FX-8350, the i5-3570k is unlocked, though the i5 is a quad-core processor. Since the FX-8350 starts with a base clock of 4.0GHz, enthusiasts and boutique gaming system builders should have no problem achieving 4.5GHz with active air cooling, and even 5.0GHz with liquid cooling.
Other new CPUs in the FX family include the FX-8320 (eight cores, 3.5GHz base frequency, $169 or £105), the FX-6300 (six cores, 3.5GHz base frequency, $132 or £80), and the FX-4300 (four cores, 3.8GHz base frequency, $122 or £75). All four FX processors are shipped unlocked, so each one can be tuned to extract more performance.
Note that UK pricing for the new AMD processors has not been confirmed and may differ from the exchange rate-based figures cited. For more, see Joel Hruska's in-depth examination of the AMD FX-8350.