AMD's FX-8350 processor is a relatively solid performer for the price, but it has two notable downsides: sub-par gaming performance and high power consumption. Its 125W power envelope dwarfs the 77W of comparable Intel CPUs, and under a real-world load, our FX-8350 test rig drew over twice as much power as an equivalent Core i5-3570K system.
Relief may be on the way, though. Japanese site PC Watch reports that an FX-8300 processor with a lower, 95W TDP will come out later this week, on December 29.
The FX-8300 is said to have the same 4.2GHz Turbo speed as the FX-8350, but with a lower base clock speed of 3.3GHz. (The FX-8350's base speed, by contrast, is an even 4GHz.) Just like its power-hungrier sibling, the FX-8300 will have eight threads, 8MB of cache, and support for DDR3 memory speeds up to 1866MHz. PC Watch quotes a price tag of ¥16,980, which works out to about $199—about the same as what the FX-8350 costs. For reference, Amazon charges ¥16,683 ($195.33) for the FX-8350 in Japan and $189.99 for the same chip in the States.
Considering the lower base speed, the FX-8300 may well be slower overall than the FX-8350, which would put it at a disadvantage compared to Intel's offerings. Still, the benefits of a tighter TDP can't be overstated. Users should be able to enjoy quieter cooling and lower system temperatures than with the FX-8350, even if they use cheaper cooling solutions. Its overclocking potential might be better, as well.
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