AMD launched recently a new version of its FX-6350 processor, this time with the new stock cooler called Wraith. This CPU has six cores, runs at 3.9 GHz base clock and 4.2 GHz maximum clock, and used socket AM3+. Let’s check if is it a good CPU for work and gaming.
AMD does not announce a new FX processor for a long time, but the latest news is the launch of the new stock cooler, capable of cooling the CPUs with TDP of 125 W. At first, this new cooler, called “Wraith”, was escorting only the FX-8370 and the A10-7890K CPUs, but AMD soon announced that the FX-8350 and the FX-6350 could also come with it.
The FX-6350 is a six-core CPU, based on “Vishera” core, manufactured under 32 nm technology, with TDP of 125 W, socket AM3+, base clock of 3.9 GHz and turbo clock of 4.2 GHz. It is a mainstream model, like the FX-6300, which differs mainly because of the 100 MHz lower clock, and the lower TDP (95 W “only”).
Using price as parameter, the direct competitor of the FX-6350 is the Core i3-6100 from Intel. Besides that, AMD itself offers another CPU with similar price tag, the A10-7870K, which has four cores, uses socket FM2+ and comes with Radeon R7 integrated video.
Therefore, to test the FX-6350, we ran some programs and games, comparing its performance to the direct competitor (Core i3-6100), but also to the A10-7870K. Besides that, we also included on the comparison the FX-8350, which is similar to the FX-6350, but with two more cores and 100 MHz higher base clock.
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-6350 with Wraith cooler we used in our tests.

FX-6350 ReviewFigure 1: box of the FX-6350 with Wraith cooler

Figure 2 presents the CPU itself.

FX-6350 ReviewFigure 2: the FX-6350 processor

Figure 3 shows the bottom of the CPU.

FX-6350 ReviewFigure 3: underside of the FX-6350

As we mentioned, the new thing is that now you can find the FX-6350 with the new AMD “Wraith” cooler. It has a copper base, four heatpipes, and a 92 mm fan. In Figure 4 you see the Wraith aside with the standard AMD cooler for 95 W CPUs, that came with the A10-7870K. We will review this cooler in another article.

FX-6350 ReviewFigure 4: the Wraith cooler (left) compared to the stock AMD cooler (right)

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-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-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 the 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-6350 Review
On PCMark 8 Home benchmark, the FX-6350 was 15% slower than the Core i3-6100, 6% slower than the FX-8350, and 7.5% faster than the A10-7870K.
FX-6350 Review
On Creative benchmark, the FX-6350 was 15% slower than the Core i3-6100, 7.5% slower than the FX-8350, and 7% faster than the A10-7870K.
FX-6350 Review
On Work benchmark, the FX-6350 was also 15% slower than the Core i3-6100, being 3.8% slower than the FX-8350 and 3.3% faster than the A10-7870K.
[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 on 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 ran it.

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

FX-6350 Review

On Fire Strike benchmark, the FX-6350 obtained similar performance to the Core i3-6100, was 3.7% slower than the FX-8350 and 7.5% faster than the A10-7870K.

FX-6350 Review

On Sky Diver benchmark, the FX-6350 was also on tie with the Core i3-6100, was 9% slower than the FX-8350 and 16% faster than the A10-7870K.

FX-6350 Review

On the Cloud Gate benchmark, the FX-6350 was 4.5% slower than the Core i3-6100, 22% slower than the FX-8350, and 22% faster than the A10-7870K.

[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-6350 Review
In this test, the FX-6350 was 5.5% slower than the Core i3-6100, 11% slower than the FX-8350, and 61% faster than the A10-7870K.

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 recognize 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-6350 Review
On Cinebench R15, the FX-6350 was 17% faster than the Core i3-6100, 27% slower than the FX-8350, and 45% faster than the A10-7870K.
[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 an .avi file, using the “HD 1080p” output profile. The results below are given in seconds, so the lower the better.

FX-6350 Review

On DivX encoding, the FX-6350 was 27% slower than the Core i3-6100, and 7% slower than the FX-8350 and the A10-7870K.

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-6350 Review
In this test, the FX-6350 presented the same performance of the Core i3-6100, was 8% slower than the FX-8350, and 4% faster than the A10-7870K.

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-6350 Review

Here the FX-6350 was 26% slower than the Core i3-6100, 5% slower than the FX-8350, and had the same performance of the A10-7870K.
[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-6350 Review
On Battlefield 4, the FX-6350 obtained similar performance to the Core i3-6100 and the FX-8350, and was 23% faster than the A10-7870K.

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-6350 Review

In this game, the FX-6350 was 20% slower than the Core i3-6100, 8% slower than the FX-8350, and 27% faster than the A10-7870K.

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”, antialising 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-6350 Review

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 framerate 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-6350 Review

On GTA V, the FX-6350 obtained the same performance of the Core i3-6100, was 10% slower than the FX-8350, and 31% faster than the A10-7870K.

Mad Max

Mad Max is an open-world action game launched in September of 2015, using the Avalanche engine. In order to measure the performance using this game, we ran its intro, measuring the framerate with FRAPS three times. We ran the game at Full HD, with image quality set as “normal”.

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

FX-6350 Review

In this game, all of the four CPUs had the same performance.

Rise of the Tomb Rider

Rise of the Tomb Rider 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-6350 Review
Also on Rise of the Tomb Rider, 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-6350 Review

In this game, the performance was the same on all processors too.
[nextpage title=”Overclocking”]
Like all the FX family CPUs, the FX-6350 has an unlocked clock multiplier, which means it is possible to overclock it just changing its multiplier.
However, in quick tests, we were not able to configure the processor to work stable at more than 4.2 GHz, which is the very turbo clock of this model. We did not change any voltages, which means it may be possible to overclock it if you try different voltage configurations.
Besides that, 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”]
Like any good mainstream CPU, the FX-6350 combines a reasonable processing power and a fair price, being a good buy for the user who wants to build a PC for work or gaming, without spending too much money. So, what we can do to evaluate it is to compare it to other CPUs on the same price range.
Compared to the Core i3-6100 from Intel, the FX-6350 was slower on some programs (mainly video converting), but faster in other ones (the ones that take advantage on the larger core count.) On games, we can say there is a technical tie: both CPUs ran most games with similar framerates, which means none of the is a bottleneck. So, both the CPUs are good choices if you are building a budget gamer computer.
And when comparing the FX-6350 to the more expensive FX-8250? Our tests show that the FX-8350 has advantage only on applications that use all the processing cores, like Cinebench R15. On most games, however, the FX-6350 has the same performance of the FX-8350, thus bringing a better cost/benefit ratio.
We also compared the FX-6350 to another AMD processor, with similar price tag, but different platform (and objective): the A10-7870K. While we already proved that the A10-7870K is a interesting CPU due to its good performance integrated video, it makes no much sense when we disable its integrated video and use an independent video card, because in this case, the FX-6350 is faster in some games and programs, being a better choice.
In short, is the FX-6350 worth? Considering it has a cost/benefit ration similar to its direct competitor, better cost/benefit than its superior model (FX-8350) and higher processing performance than the high-end A10 model, it is a good option to build a mainstream computer, for games or work, using a “real” video card.
PS: We will review of the Wraith cooler on a separated article.