How does AMD’s final 8-core FX salvo compare with Intel’s 22nm enthusiast 6-core flagship?

IMG_5081

As you would have read from many other reviews today, Intel’s fledgling Ivy Bridge-E doesn’t offer any perceptible improvement from the previous Socket 2011 iteration, Sandy Bridge-E, apart from improved average/peak power consumption and slightly more overclocking headroom on the integrated memory controller . For any major performance speed-ups, we will have to wait another year for the 8-core Haswell-E chips which will also come with high speed (presumable also “early adopter” priced) DDR4 memory support.

Meanwhile at resource-strapped AMD, with the bulk of engineering having their hands tied up with the console design wins and APU/HSA efforts, Rory Read and co. decided to give its loyal fan base something to shout about with a special bin of last year’s Vishera FX, resulting in the 220W TDP rated monstrosity known as FX-9590, factory clocked at an aggressive 4.7GHz with an occasional 5GHz turbo boost. Initially exclusive to boutique system integrators and commanding a much-ridiculed price tag, AMD has since made the chip available to the retail channels and brought the cost down to more palatable levels.

Here’s a quick spec table of the candidates we have in our test today:

Intel Core i7-4960X AMD FX-9590
Cores/Modules 6 4
Threads 12 8
TDP 130w 220w
Base Clock 3.6 GHz 4.7 GHz
Boost Clock 4 GHz 5 GHz
L3 Cache 15MB 8MB
Official Memory Support 1866MHz Quad channel 2133MHz Dual Channel
Price $990 <$500

 

Please click on to the next page for the system configuration and benchmark tests…