We build a machine that’s red and black to hopefully beat our benchmarks black and blue
The Mission Variety is the spice of the Lab, so this month we decided to eschew our traditional builds and go with one you don’t see every day—an all-AMD computer, built with (most of) the best parts we could get our hands on. We’re sure some of you will question the purpose of this build, so our pre-emptive answer is we built it because we could, and we were curious to see how a balls-out AMD build would benchmark, as we haven’t seen over-the-top AMD rig since The Matrix: Revolutions let us down. Plus, everyone is always ragging on us for ignoring AMD, so here you go AMD enthusiasts—an entire PC built just for you.
Note: This article was originally featured in the January 2013 issue of the magazine.
Boutique system builder CyberPowerPC opened up its armory and grabbed a handful of new weapons to hand out to its LAN Gaming Series. Gamers can now build a small form factor (SFF) LAN III system based on Intel's flagship X79 platform with 3rd generation Core i5/i7 (Ivy Bridge) processor options, or opt for an AMD 990FX foundation topped with up to an 8-core Vishera CPU, both of which are flanked by the latest AMD and Nvidia graphics cards.
The overclocking community is wasting no time putting AMD's new 8-core "Vishera" FX-8350 processor to work chasing world records for CPU frequency. To wit, MSI yesterday sent out a press release bragging that it's 990FXA-GD80 motherboard was used by an overclocker to set a world record of 8.37GHz, and it's already been leapfrogged...twice! The new record, at least for today, stands at 8.67GHz, giving Asus a bit of momentary bragging rights.
Can AMD make magic? Check out our in-depth Vishera benchmarks.
On paper, AMD’s Bulldozer microarchitecture always sounded like a mean, green machine. When it landed last year, though, in the form of the Zambezi processor (aka FX-8150), it actually went about as fast as a bulldozer.
AMD didn’t just give up and curl into a ball. The company went back to work polishing the FX chip into the new AMD FX-8350 “Vishera.” The chip might look like a Zambezi, but it features an improved branch predictor, improved scheduler, larger L1 translate lookaside buffer, new FMA3 and F16C instructions, L2 improvements, among many other changes.
Vishera looks the same externally and the good news: it’ll use the same AM3+ socket too.
We've got Ivy Bridge, we've got Trinity, when are we going to see a desktop follow-up to AMD's Bulldozer chips? Some hub-bub around the Web says we'll be seeing the Piledriver-based Vishera lineup sometime in the third quarter, with the flagship AMD FX-8350 possibly coming at the end of October.