AMD Unveils New FX Chips for High-End Desktops

AMD also is cutting the price on other powerful FX chips and launching the latest edition to its Radeon line of GPUs.

AMD FX Chips

Advanced Micro Devices is building out its high-end FX processors aimed at users of high-performance desktop PCs and enthusiasts who like to build their own systems.

AMD on Sept. 2 unveiled three new members of the FX Series processors that offer eight cores and focus on both performance and energy efficiency. In addition, the company announced new pricing for what officials call "processor-in-a-box solutions" that include closed-loop cooling and that target enthusiasts.

At the same time, AMD launched its Radeon R9 285 graphics card for desktop PCs aimed at the gamer community.

The three new FX CPUs include the FX-8370 chip, which offers speeds of up to 4.3GHz and consumes 125 watts of power. The other two chips—the FX-8370E and FX-8320E—are both more energy-efficient CPUs that aim for a greater balance between performance and price. Both also offer eight cores, but the FX-8370E can run at lower speeds than its faster relative—between 3.3GHz and 4.3GHz—while the FX-8320E offers frequencies of up to 4GHz. They also both consume 95 watts.

All three are based on AMD's Piledriver architecture.

AMD officials also are recommending that users pair the new FX CPUs with the vendor's Radeon R9 GPUs, which enable enthusiasts to leverage other AMD technologies such as Mantle graphics API, Eyefinity for supporting multiple independent displays and TrueAudio for better sound.

Both the unlocked FX-8370 and FX-8370E are priced at $199.99 per 1,000 units shipped, while the FX-8320E is priced starting at $146.99.

"Enthusiasts can experience seamless multitasking and unleash the real capabilities of multi-threaded applications with additional enthusiast performance-tuning features unlocked as standard," Bernd Lienhard, corporate vice president and general manager of AMD's Client Business Unit, said in a statement.

The eight-core FX-9590 and FX-9370 processor-in-a-box solutions—unveiled a year ago—offer closed-loop liquid cooling. AMD reduced the price on the FX-9590 from $282 to $229.99, while the FX-9370 comes in at $210.99, down from $265. The FX-9590 offers speeds of up to 5GHz and consumes 220 watts.

The latest Radeon R9 graphics card is the 285, which supports such technologies as FreeSync displays and TrueAudio from AMD and is designed to run games at 1080p and beyond, the company said.

The GPU, first unveiled last month, is based on AMD's Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture, which includes support for the upcoming DirectX 12 API and promises significant power and efficiency improvements over DirectX 11, and Mantle.

It offers speeds of up to 918MHz, 2GB of GDDR5 memory, up to 3.29 teraflops of single precision compute power and support for OpenGL 4.3.

The GPU is available immediately for $249.

Gamers and enthusiasts are getting a lot of attention these days. Intel on Aug. 29 launched its Core i7-5960X Extreme Edition, an eight-core desktop chip with 20MB of cache and base speeds that hit 3.0GHz but can be overclocked to run faster. The offering is based on Intel's "Haswell" architecture.

"This product family is aimed squarely at those enthusiasts who push their systems further than anyone, and we're offering the speed, cores, overclocking and platform capabilities they have asked us for," Lisa Graff, vice president and general manager of Intel's Desktop Client Platform Group, said in a statement.