AMD's new FX chips offer more cores at lower cost

AMD's new 8-core gaming FX chips are based on Piledriver and are priced under $200 for 1,000 units

Advanced Micro Devices on Tuesday introduced 8-core FX series chips for desktops with prices under US$200 in units of 1,000, giving gamers the ability to build faster PCs at lower prices.

The FX-8350 and FX-8320 chips are based on new Piledriver CPU cores, and have clock speeds of up to 4.2GHz. The chips usually go into gaming systems and are unlocked, meaning enthusiasts can tweak the clock speed to run systems faster.

"You can easily overclock this new line-up to 5GHz with off the shelf cooling solutions we provide," said Leslie Sobon, corporate vice president, client desktop products, in a blog entry.

PC maker Maingear is offering new desktops with AMD's new FX chips, and the PC maker said the 8-core chips can be clocked to 5.0GHz. The new chips allow users to build desktops that are less expensive, Maingear said.

The new chips are faster and cheaper than earlier FX-series chips based on the Bulldozer microarchitecture, AMD said in a statement. The new chips are about 15 percent faster than predecessors.

The FX-8350 chip is priced at $195 in units of 1,000, while the FX-8320 chip is priced at $169. The new FX-series chips are AMD's fastest gaming processors, while Intel's fastest gaming processor -- the Core i7-3960X Extreme Edition processor -- is more expensive at $999, according to an Intel processor price list.

AMD traditionally has had a strong presence in the desktop market, but falling chip prices have hurt the company. AMD last week said that revenue for its Computing Solutions unit, which deals in chips, fell by 28 percent year-over-year during the fiscal third quarter, which ended Sept. 29. The company last week reported a loss for the previous fiscal quarter and said it would lay off 15 percent of its staff -- about 1,800 employees -- as it tries to get back to profitability.

AMD also announced a 6-core FX-6300 with a clock speed of 4.1GHz, which is priced at $132. Also announced was a quad-core FX-4300 with a clock speed of 4.0GHz, which is priced at $122.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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