AMD Vishera FX-6300 & FX-4300 Review
With several new product releases over the last few weeks, AMD has been on a mission to gain back market share. While Trinity targeted the entry level crowd with a well rounded family of APUs, their Vishera FX-series firmly targets an enthusiast niche that doesn’t need or want onboard graphics capabilities. The FX-8350 serves the upper registers of this niche and belies its $199 asking price but the rest of the FX family will allow users to build highly overclockable systems for even less.
The FX-4300 and FX-6300 are being introduced at substantially lower price points than their 8-core brethren. They are supposed to appeal to entry level gamers or anyone that wants to easily tweak their system. Meanwhile, being a simple drop in upgrade for anyone with a 990FX system virtually guarantees that users with older Phenom II processors will be looking on with interest.
AMD’s FX-6300 is considered by many to be the current “sweet spot” of the Vishera lineup since it combines six cores and a cache structure that’s similar to higher end FX-series processors with fair asking price of just $132. Like its siblings the FX-6300 comes with an unlocked multiplier that ensures easy overclocking and supports memory speeds up to 1866MHz. From a pure specifications standpoint this new processor replaces the FX-6100 of yesteryear but can also be considered a spiritual successor to the 6-core Phenom X6 family.
At the bottom of AMD’s current FX-series product stack lies the $122 FX-4300. This unlocked quad core processor still uses the Piledriver architecture and boasts clock speeds that are quite similar to those of the A10-5800K APU. Like the FX-6300 its TDP hovers around the 95W mark since it still uses an eight core design, albeit one with four of those cores disabled. L2 and L3 cache have also taken a significant hit with allotments of 4MB each. Naturally, it is AMD’s intent that the FX-4300 effectively offers an upgrade solution for anyone still holding on to a Phenom II X4 processor. We just have to wonder how it will stand out with the more powerful FX-6300 in such close proximity.
AMD’s sights may be set upon older Sandy Bridge processors for these two lower end FX-series CPUs but that may not go as planned. Granted, the i3 2120 and i5 2300 are still available at retailers, Ivy Bridge replacements are priced quite competitively. Currently the i3 3220 and i3 3225 (which incorporates a higher end integrated GPU) sit at $130 and $145 respectively, possibly spoiling AMD’s party before it has even begun.
Other than core counts and actually frequencies, the main differentiating factor between the FX-6300, FX-4300 and the Intel competition will likely be unlocked nature of AMD’s products. At these lower price points, Intel just doesn’t offer an easy, reliable way to overclock their processors. The FX-series on the other hand just needs a small voltage bump and a multiplier change to really start stretching its legs.
The audacious launch of processors that significantly undercut the competition while also offering more processing threads has many excited about AMD’s products again. However, cutting the 8-core processor down to create the FX-6300 and FX-4300 eliminates part of the FX-8350’s allure and may have some unintended performance consequences.
|Latest Reviews in Processors|