AMD's new eight-core FX chips based on aging Piledriver architecture

AMD aims new eight-core FX chips at PCs from under $1,000 to $1,500

AMD FX processor box

AMD FX processor box

Advanced Micro Devices is targeting mid-range desktops with its latest high-end FX chips based on the Piledriver architecture.

The three new FX processors each have eight cores. They chips are designed for home PC builders looking to make their own desktops for just under US$1,000 to as much as $1,500.

FX chips are AMD's highest performing processors and are popular with gamers who overclock their chips and use separate graphics cards. The FX chips compete with Intel's Core Extreme Edition high-end desktop chips.

PCs with the new FX chips will be good for content creation and can be overclocked for gaming. The CPUs can be matched up with graphics processors for a gaming experience that's a notch above standard desktops but not as good as extreme gaming rigs, said Adam Kozak, a product marketing manager at AMD.

The fastest of the new processors is the $199.99 FX-8370, which has a maximum clock speed of 4.3GHz and draws up to 125 watts of power. The other processors, which draw 95 watts, are the $199.99 FX-8370E, which scales to 4.3GHz, and the $146.99 FX-8320E, which has a maximum clock speed of 4GHz.

The chips are based on the Piledriver architecture, which is now two years old. AMD's latest architecture is Steamroller, which is being used in laptops and some desktops.

AMD stuck with Piledriver on the new FX chips because Steamroller has thermal limits that won't allow for the use of eight cores, an AMD spokesman said. Chips based on Steamroller can have up to four cores, and also have integrated graphics processors, which spikes up power consumption.

The FX chips don't have integrated graphics processors, but that may change in the future. AMD earlier this year said it was moving away from making chips that have only CPUs.

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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