The FX-4300 is an AMD processor that is on the market for a while but can be found nowadays as an inexpensive option to the most powerful models, like the FX-6350 and the FX-8350. Let’s check if is it a good option for a budget computer.
Recently, we tested the FX-6350, which was re-launched by AMD with a new cooler, called Wraith (click here to read our review of this cooler.) We concluded that the FX-6350 is a CPU with a good cost/benefit ratio for average computers. But how about the FX-4300? This question was still in our minds.
The FX-6350 is a quad-core CPU, based on “Vishera” core, manufactured under 32 nm technology, with TDP of 95 W, socket AM3+, base clock of 3.8 GHz and a turbo clock of 4.0 GHz. Its main difference from the FX-6350 is, of course, two cores less, and the slightly lower clock.
Using price as a guide, the direct competitor of the FX-4300 is the Intel Pentium G4400. However, as we want to check if the FX-4300 is a good low-cost option to the FX-6350, we compared its performance against the FX-6350, and also the FX-8350 (to have a comparison between the three families). We also included the A10-7870K, and the Core i3-6100. It is important to keep in mind, however, that all those processors are more expensive than the analyzed model.
As the FX-6350 (and every socket AM3+ processor) has no integrated video, we ran the tests using an independent video card. As it is a mainstream processor, it would make no sense using a high-end video card; so we used a GeForce GTX 950 from Gigabyte (read this video card review here.) On the other CPUs, we disabled the integrated video and used the same video card.
Figure 1 unveils the box of the FX-4300 we used in our tests.

FX-4300 CPU ReviewFigure 1: box of the FX-4300

Figure 2 shows the box contents: a manual, the CPU itself, a case sticker and a simple full-aluminum cooler.

FX-4300 CPU ReviewFigure 2: box contents

Figure 3 unveils the FX-4300 CPU.

FX-4300 CPU ReviewFigure 3: the FX-4300 CPU

Figure 4 shows the bottom of the CPU.

FX-4300 CPU ReviewFigure 4: underside of the FX-4300

Let’s compare the main specs of the reviewed CPUs in the next page.
[nextpage title=”The Reviewed CPUs”]
In the tables below, we compare the main features of the CPUs included in our review.

CPU Cores HT IGP Internal Clock Turbo Clock Core Tech. TDP Socket Price

FX-4300

4

No

No

3.8 GHz

4.0 GHz

Vishera

32 nm

95 W

AM3+

USD 90

FX-6350

6

No

No

3.9 GHz

4.2 GHz

Vishera

32 nm

125 W

AM3+

USD 130

Core i3-6100

2

Yes

Yes

3.7 GHz

Skylake

14 nm

51 W

LGA1151

USD 125

FX-8350

8

No

No

4.0 GHz

4.2 GHz

Vishera

32 nm

125 W

AM3+

USD 160

A10-7870K

4

No

Yes

3.9 GHz

4.1 GHz

Godavari

28 nm

95 W

FM2+

USD 140

Below you can see the memory configuration for each CPU.

CPU L2 Cache L3 Cache Memory Support Memory Channels

FX-4300

2 x 2 MiB 8 MiB Up to DDR3-1866 Two

FX-6350

3 x 2 MiB 8 MiB Up to DDR3-1866 Two

Core i3-6100

2 x 256 kiB 3 MiB Up to DDR4-2133 or DDR3L-1600 Two

FX-8350

4 x 2 MiB 8 MiB Up to DDR3-1866 Two

A10-7870K

2 x 2 MiB Up to DDR3-2133 Two

[nextpage title=”How We Tested”]During our benchmarking sessions, we used the configuration listed below. Between our benchmarking sessions, the only variable device was the CPU being tested, besides the motherboard and memory, which had to be replaced to match the different CPUs.
Hardware Configuration

Operating System Configuration

  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
  • NTFS
  • Video resolution: 1920 x 1080 60 Hz

Driver Versions

  • NVIDIA driver version: 358.91

Software Used

Error Margin
We adopted a 4% error margin. Thus, differences below 4% cannot be considered relevant. In other words, products with a performance difference below 4% should be considered as having similar performance.[nextpage title=”PCMark 8″]
PCMark 8 is a benchmarking software that uses real-world applications to measure computer performance. We ran three tests: Home, which includes web browsing, writing, light gaming, photo editing, and video chat tests; Creative, that includes web surfing, video editing, group video chat, video conversion, and gaming; and Work, which runs tasks such as writing documents, web browsing, spreadsheets, editing, and video chatting. Let’s see the results.
FX-4300 CPU Review
On the PCMark 8 Home benchmark, the FX-4300 was 6% slower than the FX-6350, 12% slower than the FX-8350, obtained similar performance to the A10-7870K, and was 21% slower than the Core i3-6100.
FX-4300 CPU Review
On the Creative benchmark, the FX-4300 was 6% slower than the FX-6350, 13% slower than the FX-8350, performed similarly to the A10-7870K, and was 21% slower than the Core i3-6100.

FX-4300 CPU Review

On the Work benchmark, the FX-4300 obtained similar performance to the FX-6350 and the A10-7870K, was 7% slower than the FX-8350, and was 17% slower than the Core i3-6100.
[nextpage title=”3DMark”]

3DMark is a program with a set of several 3D benchmarks. Fire Strike runs a “heavy” DirectX 11 simulation. Sky Diver also measures DirectX 11 performance and is aimed at average computers. The Cloud Gate benchmark measures DirectX 10 performance, and the Ice Storm Extreme measures DirectX 9 performance and is targeted to entry-level computers, so we don’t run it.

Keep in mind that we used a GeForce GTX 950 VGA in this test on all CPUs.

FX-4300 CPU Review

On Fire Strike, the FX-4300 was 9% slower than the FX-6350, 12% slower than the FX-8350, obtained similar performance to the A10-7870K, and was 10% slower than the Core i3-6100.

FX-4300 CPU Review

On the Sky Diver benchmark, the FX-4300 was 18% slower than the FX-6350, 26% slower than the FX-8350, 5% slower than the A10-7870K, and was 16% slower than the Core i3-6100.

FX-4300 CPU Review

On the Cloud Gate benchmark, the FX-4300 was 25% slower than the FX-6350, 41% slower than the FX-8350, 8% slower than the A10-7870K, and was 28% slower than the Core i3-6100.

[nextpage title=”Photoshop CC and Cinebench R15″]

Photoshop CC

The best way to measure the performance of a CPU is by using real programs. The problem, of course, is to create a methodology that offers precise results. For Photoshop CC, we used a script named “Retouch Artist Speed Test,” which applies a series of filters to a standard image and gives the time Photoshop takes to run all of them. The results are given in seconds, so the less, the best.
FX-4300
In this test, the FX-4300 was 22% slower than the FX-6350, 30% slower than the FX-8350, 26% faster than the A10-7870K, and was 26% slower than the Core i3-6100.

Cinebench R15

Cinebench R15 is based on the Cinema 4D software. It is very useful to measure the performance gain obtained by the presence of several processing cores while rendering heavy 3D images. Rendering is an area where a bigger number of cores helps a lot because usually, this kind of software recognizes several processors (Cinebench R15, for example, can use up to 256 processing cores).
We ran the CPU benchmark, which renders a complex image using all the processing cores (real and virtual) to speed up the process. The result is given as a score.
FX-4300 CPU Review
On Cinebench R15 CPU benchmark, the FX-4300 was 36% slower than the FX-6350, 53% slower than the FX-8350, 7% slower than the A10-7870K, and 25% slower than the Core i3-6100.
[nextpage title=”Video encoding”]

DivX

We used the DivX converter, a tool included in the DivX package, in order to measure the encoding performance using this codec. The DivX codec is capable of recognizing and using all available cores and the SSE4 instruction set.
We converted a Full HD, six-minute-long .mov video file into a .avi file, using the “HD 1080p” output profile. The results below are given in seconds, so the lower the better.

FX-4300

On DivX encoding, the FX-4300 was 14% slower than the FX-6350, 20% slower than the FX-8350 and the A10-7870K, and was 38% slower than the Core i3-6100.

DVDShrink

DVDShrink is an old but still very useful program to “shrink” video DVDs that have more than 4.7 GiB of data to fit single-layer DVD media. We used it to compress the DVD of “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” DVD to 4.7 GiB. The results below are given in seconds, so the lower the better.
FX-4300 CPU Review
In this test, the FX-4300 was 12% slower than the FX-6350, 19% slower than the FX-8350, 9% slower than the A10-7870K, and 13% slower than the Core i3-6100.

Media Espresso

Media Espresso is a video conversion program that uses the graphics processing unit of the video engine to speed up the conversion process. We converted a 1 GiB, 1920x1080i, 23,738 kbps, .mov video file to a smaller 320×200, H.264, .MP4 file for viewing on a smartphone. The results below are given in seconds, so the lower the better.

FX-4300

Here the FX-4300 was 6% slower than the FX-6350, 11% slower than the FX-8350, 6% slower than the A10-7870K, and was 31% slower than the Core i3-6100.
[nextpage title=”Gaming Performance”]

Battlefield 4

Battlefield 4 is the latest installment in the Battlefield franchise, released in 2013. It is based on the Frostbite 3 engine, which is DirectX 11. In order to measure performance using this game, we walked our way through the first mission, measuring the number of frames per second three times using FRAPS. We ran this game at Full HD, setting overall image quality at “medium.”
The results below are expressed in frames per second (fps) and they are the mean between the three collected results.
FX-4300
On Battlefield 4, the FX-4300 was 19% faster than the A10-7870K and obtained the same performance of the rest of the CPUs included in this comparison.

Dirt Rally

Dirt Rally is an off-road racing game released in April 2015, using Ego engine. To measure performance using this game, we ran the performance test included in the game, in 1920 x 1080 (Full HD) resolution and image quality configured as “medium” and MSAA off.
The results below are expressed in frames per second (fps).
FX-4300 CPU Review

In this game, the FX-4300 was 16% slower than the FX-6350, 23% slower than the FX-8350, 6% faster than the A10-7870K, and was 33% slower than the Core i3-6100.

Dying Light

Dying Light is an open-world horror game launched in January 2015, using the Chrome Engine 6. We tested the performance at this game with quality options as “high”, antialiasing on, and Full HD resolution measuring three times the frame rate using FRAPS.
The results below are expressed in fps and they are the mean between the three collected results.
FX-4300

In this game, all CPUs performed the same way.

Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V, or simply GTA V, is an open-world action game released for PCs in April of 2015, using the RAGE engine. In order to measure the performance on this game, we ran the performance test of the game, measuring the frame rate with FRAPS. We ran GTA V at Full HD, with image quality set as “normal” and MSAA off.

The results below are expressed in frames per second.

FX-4300

On GTA V, the FX-4300 was 20% slower than the FX-6350, 28% slower than the FX-8350, was on a technical tie with the A10-7870K, and was 21% slower than the Core i3-6100.

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Rise of the Tomb Raider is an adventure/action game launched in January of 2016, based on Foundation engine. In order to measure the performance using this game, we ran the benchmark included on it, using Full HD resolution and graphics quality set to “medium”.
The results below are expressed in frames per second.

FX-4300 CPU Review

Also on Rise of the Tomb Raider, the performance was the same on all CPUs.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is an open-world RPG released in May of 2015 and based on the REDengine 3 engine. In order to measure the performance on this game, we walked around at the first scene of the game, measuring the frame rate with FRAPS three times. We ran the game at Full HD with image quality set to “medium.”

The results below are expressed in fps and they are the mean between the three collected results.

FX-4300 CPU Review

In this game, the performance was the same on all processors too.
[nextpage title=”Overclocking”]
Like all the FX family CPUs, the FX-4300 has an unlocked clock multiplier, which means it is possible to overclock it just changing its multiplier.
In our tests, in order to achieve stability at 4.2 GHz (200 MHz reference clock and x22 multiplier), it was necessary to raise the core voltage (Vcore) to 1.4 V. It may be possible to raise the clock more if you try different adjusts.
Besides that, if you intend to do overclocking on this model, it is important to use a better cooler, since the stock cooler that comes with the FX-4300 is very limited.
Also, keep in mind that the overclocking capabilities of a CPU also depends on pure luck, since two CPUs of the same model can reach different clock rates.
[nextpage title=”Conclusions”]
It may seem strange to review a CPU launched some time ago, but we were curious about if could this model be used for a budget work or gaming computer nowadays.
That’s why we choose to compare it with the FX-6350 (and the A10-7850) rather than the Pentium G4400, which is the direct competitor in terms of price.
So, could the FX-4300 be a good choice? Well, compared to the FX-6350 and the other models we tested, it was just slightly slower on most tests, and on some games, it even performed similarly. As it is inexpensive, the FX-4300 has actually a great cost/benefit ratio and can be a good choice if you are building a computer on a budget.
However, if you are not that short on money, the FX-6350 or the Core i3-6100 are better options, delivering more performance for a little more bucks.