On Tuesday, AMD introduced its new FX-9000-series processors. The company quoted their peak Turbo speeds (5GHz for the FX-9590, 4.7GHz for the FX-9370) and a rough time frame for availability ("this summer"), but it revealed little else. We were left wondering about base clocks, power envelopes, and potential retail availability.
Well, today, AMD has finally answered our questions. The company told us the base clocks for the FX-9590 and FX-9370 are 4.7GHz and 4.4GHz, respectively. Also, as rumored, thermal envelopes for both offerings are "~220W." That’s a substantial increase over the 125W TDP of AMD’s current FX-series flagship, the FX-8350.
AMD’s original announcement said the FX-9590 and FX-9370 would become "available from system integrators globally beginning this summer." We asked whether these processors will also be available at retail. The company’s response: "AMD is considering all options, but their initial plan is [system integrators]." In other words, you may not find these chips outside of pre-built PCs.
As Scott pointed out on Tuesday, keeping a 220W processor from overheating likely requires some exotic liquid cooling. System integrators will presumably offer machines tailor-built to accommodate the FX-9590 and FX-9370, but sticking the same CPUs into any old enthusiast PC could be fraught with danger—or, most likely, loud fan noise and thermal throttling. AMD’s decision to target system integrators exclusively may be sensible given the cooling requirements involved here.
To get a sense of how these chips are likely to perform, have a look at this section of our FX-8350 review, where we overclocked the same "Vishera" silicon to a 4.5GHz base clock with a 4.8GHz Turbo peak, very similar to the FX-9370’s 4.4/4.7GHz base/peak frequencies.