Just over a month ago, AMD announced its FX-9000-series processors, which included the world's first chip with a peak 5GHz clock speed. Today, the FX-9000 series is finally available—but only in pre-built PCs from system integrators.
AMD tells us the FX-9590 and FX-9370, which run at 4.4GHz and 4.7GHz with peak Turbo speeds of 4.7GHz and 5GHz, respectively, can now be found in PCs from nearly a dozen system integrators across the U.S. and Canada. Those system integrators include Canada Computers, CyberPower, iBUYPOWER, Digital Storm, Extreme PC, Maingear, Memory Express, NCIX, Origin PC, Puget Systems, and Velocity Micro.
CyberPower, for instance, offers the new chips in its Scorpius 9000 system. The FX-9590 is a $690 upgrade over the FX-8350, while the FX-9370 carries a more reasonable $130 premium. In Origin PC's Genesis, you're asked to pay an extra $736 for the FX-9590 and $367 for the FX-9370. Some machines, like Velocity Micro's Vision M35, seem to be designed solely with the FX-9000 series in mind, because there's no way to select other processors when configuring them. (The base Vision M35 config costs $2,999, in case you're wondering.)
By the way, all three of the aforementioned PCs have liquid cooling as standard. That's reassuring, since AMD told us last month that both the FX-9370 and the FX-9590 carry 220W thermal envelopes. The FX-8350, for reference, has a 135W TDP, and Intel's current fastest desktop processor, the Core i7-3970X Extreme, is rated for 150W.
The FX-9370 and FX-9590 have impressive clock speeds, no doubt about it, but I'm not sure their performance justifies those insane power envelopes—or the prices some vendors are charging. The FX-9590 is clocked 18-19% higher than the FX-8350, but the FX-8350 was more than 20% slower than the Core i7-4770K in our benchmarks on average. And remember, the Core i7-4770K is an 84W chip with a $350 price tag.
I suppose only the FX-9590 gives you the right to brag about having the world's highest-clocked desktop CPU, though.