AMD’s FX 8370 and 8370e: What is 30 Watts Good For?

We try out AMD’s latest FX chips…

FX 8370 (1 of 2)

With no new silicon on the horizon AMD has had to take some drastic steps to keep its high-end consumer FX product line relevant. Last year we saw the launch of a 4.7 Ghz, 220 Watt TDP bin of the same OR-CO stepping of the Piledriver-based Vishera chip that AMD’s been peddling to enthusiasts since the end of 2012. This year we are seeing price reductions and a new kind of energy-efficient chip enter the FX family. These FX 83x0e chips are 95 Watt versions of their FX 83×0 twins. They use the same silicon and have the same turbo bins but they have lower based clocks which enable them to wiggle in under the 95 Watt TDP limit.

With the performance of the Piledriver core and the existing FX chips a well-known quantity there is only really one question left for us to answer in this review: what is the performance gap between the e and non-e versions of the FX 8370?

FX 8370 (2 of 2)

To answer this question we assembled a system.

8370e Test settings

As always the raw data from our testing is available on OneDrive.

FX 8370e benchmarks

In single threaded benchmarks the gap between standard and the e version of AMD’s FX 8370 is small but when you fire up the whole chip and start drawing loads of power the difference in TDP has a much clearer impact on performance. That said the e version still clearly beats out the non e version in terms of efficiency and performance per watt. For a 24 percent reduction in rated TDP you give up 12 percent in performance.

This doesn’t really tell the whole story performance per watt story though. We broke out Prime95 and ran it on both of the chips to see what full load power consumption looks like. The standard 8370 consumed 246 Watts while the 8370e pulled only 167 Watts. That’s a 79 Watt reduction in power consumption.

To recap, for a 12% performance hit the FX 8370e requires only 2/3rds of the power under load of a standard FX 8370. The only question that I can’t seem to answer is why you would still buy the standard FX 8370 when the e version is so much more efficient and they’re priced the same.

AMD pricing

Speaking of pricing AMD’s adjusted the pricing of its whole FX lineup and has chosen to offer the standard and e versions of its FX chips for the same amount of dough. Thus the customer gets a pretty straight forward choice between performance and efficiency at the $200 and $150 price points. Performance is always good, but at least for us here at S|A passing on the efficiency gains that the e chips offer is a difficult proposition.S|A

The following two tabs change content below.
Thomas Ryan is a freelance technology writer and photographer from Seattle, living in Austin. You can also find his work on SemiAccurate and PCWorld. He has a BA in Geography from the University of Washington with a minor in Urban Design and Planning and specializes in geospatial data science. If you have a hardware performance question or an interesting data set Thomas has you covered.