AMD FX-9590 Eight-Core Processor

AMD's flagship FX Series processor is the FX-9590 Eight-Core CPU that came out during the summer of 2013. This processor was a beast when it came out as it had 8-cores along with a 220W TDP rating, a 4.7 GHz base clock and a turbo clock of 5.0 GHz. The bad news is that they were extremely hard to get at the time due to only a handful of processors being able successfully hit those speeds not to mention only a handful of AMD 990FX boards supported a 220W TDP processor and you needed water cooling. AMD FX-9590 Processor The original reviews on this processor are pushing four years old, so with AMD Ryzen series processors coming out this quarter we figured we'd go back and revisit the AMD FX-9590 processor. It has been years since AMD has had any major updates for their top end processor series as they are based on the Piledriver architecture that debuted in 2012. AMD's Piledriver architecture uses modules that have two cores each, so four of these modules would give you a grand total of eight CPU cores.
AMD FX Processors​ For AM3+
Model Number Frequency Total L2 Cache L3 Cache Cores Thermal Design Power Mfg Process Price
FX 9590 4.7/5.0 GHz 8MB 8MB 8C/8T 220W 32nm SOI $199.99
FX 9370 4.4/4.7 GHz 8MB 8MB 8C/8T 220W 32nm SOI $179.99
FX 8370 4.0/4.3 GHz 8MB 8MB 8C/8T 125W ​32nm SOI $184.99
FX 8370E ​3.3/4.3 GHz ​8MB 8MB 8C/8T 95W 32nm SOI $196.67
FX 8350 4.0/4.2 GHz 8MB 8MB 8C/8T 125W 32nm SOI $149.99
FX 8320 3.5/4.0 GHz 8MB 8MB 8C/8T 125W 32nm SOI $134.99
FX 8320E 3.2/4.0 GHz 8MB 8MB 8C/8T 95W 32nm SOI $129.99
​​FX 8300 ​​3.3/4.2GHz ​​8MB ​​8MB ​8C/8T ​95W ​32nm SOI $104.95
​​FX 6300 ​​3.9/4.2GHz ​​6MB ​​8MB ​6C/6T ​125W ​32nm SOI $80.99
  When the AMD FX-9590 first launched in OEM systems they were priced at $900 and then in 2014 when they were released to the retail market they were around $300. Here in 2017 you can pick one of these processors up for $199.99 shipped, a far cry from the $900 price tag OEM's were getting back when they first came out in 2013. The number of AMD AM3+ motherboards has also greatly improved over the years as it has gone from just a few AMD 990FX motherboards offering 220W CPU support to almost all AMD 990FX and AMD 970 chipset based boards being able to work. AMD board prices have also come way down as you can now purchase an ATX board like the ASRock 970A-G/3.1 for $68.99 shipped (after a $10 rebate) that fully supports the AMD FX-9590 CPU and has USB 3.1 Type-A and USB 3.1 Type-C ports as well as an M.2 PCIe Gen 2 x4 slot for an SSD. Having a 5.0 GHz 8-core processor along with a new motherboard that has USB 3.1 and M.2 drive support for under $270 does sound appealing. Let's take a look at how the AMD FX-9590 processor performs on our 2017 CPU benchmark test suite on Windows 10 Pro Anniversary Edition!

Our CPU Test Systems

Before we look at the numbers, let’s take a brief look at the test system that was used. All testing was done on a fresh install of Windows 10 Pro Anniversary Update 1607 build 14393.10 64-bit and benchmarks were completed on the desktop with no other software programs running. We tested on five different desktop platforms (Intel Z77, Intel Z97, Intel Z270, Intel X99 and AMD AM3+) in this article, so we'll just quickly touch on each as all shared common parts (CPU Cooler, Video Card, SSD, Power Supply) and only differed in the board, processor, memory kit and memory timings. Core i7-7700K Test System Picture The Intel Z270 platform that we used to test the Intel 1151 processors was running the Gigabyte Aorus Z270X-Gaming 5 with UEFI F5e that came out on 12/28/2016. The Corsair Vengeance 16GB 4000MHz DDR4 dual channel memory kit was manually set to 3000MHz with 15-15-15-36 1T memory timings as we wanted to test with one of the most popular clock frequencies sold today. We used an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 8GB Founders Edition video card with GeForce 376.33 WHQL drivers for all of the systems. We also used the Corsair AX860i digital power supply, Corsair Hydro Series H105 water cooler and Crucial MX300 1050GB SSDs on all of the desktop systems.
Intel LGA1151 Test Platform

Component

Brand/Model

Live Pricing

Processor

Intel Core i7-7700K

Motherboard

Gigabyte Z270X-Gaming 5 Click Here

Memory

16GB Vengeance 3000MHz DDR4 Click Here

Video Card

GeForce GTX 1080 FE Click Here

Hard Drive

Crucial MX300 1050GB Click Here

Cooling

Corsair H105 Click Here

Keyboard

Corsair K70 RGB Click Here

Mouse

Corsair M65 Pro Click Here

Power Supply

Corsair AX860i Click Here

Monitor

ASUS VE278Q 27" Click Here

Operating System

Windows 10 64-Bit Click Here
Intel Z97 Platform: The Intel Z97 platform that we used to test the Intel 1150 processors was running the ASUS Z97-A motherboard with BIOS 2801 that came out on 11/15/2015. The Corsair Dominator Platinum 16GB 2400 MHz DDR3 memory kit was set to 11-11-11-28 1T memory timings. Intel Z77 Platform: The Intel Z97 platform that we used to test the Intel 1155 processors was running the Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H (rev 1.0) motherboard with BIOS F16h that came out on 07/11/2016. The Corsair Dominator Platinum 16GB 2133 MHz DDR3 memory kit was set to 10-11-10-28 1T memory timings. Intel X99 Platform: The Intel X99 platform we picked to use for the LGA2011-v3 processors was the ASUS X99-E-10G WS board with BIOS 0403 and that is the initial release UEFI as no newer version has come out since the introduction of that board in 2016. The Corsair Vengeance 16GB 4000MHz DDR4 dual channel memory kit was manually set to 3000MHz with 15-15-15-36 1T memory timings. AMD AM3+ Platform for FX-8370: The AMD AM3+ platform that we used to test the FX-8370 processor featured the ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Killer  motherboard with BIOS 1.60 that came out on 01/14/2016. The Corsair Dominator Platinum 16GB 2400 MHz DDR3 memory kit was set to 11-11-11-30 1T memory timings. AMD AM3+  Platform for FX-9590: The AMD AM3+ platform that we used to test the FX-9590 used the MSI 990FXA Gaming motherboard as the ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Killer motherboard does not support 220W TDP processors. The MSI 990FXA Gaming motherboard  was tested with UEFI v1.4 that came out on 12/24/2014. This board doesn't allow for memory to run beyond 2133MHz without overclocking, so we tested at 2133 MHz with 11-12-12-30 timings at 1T command rate. Laptops:  Just for fun we also included Dell XPS 13 9350 and Dell Dell XPS 13 9360 laptop results! These are retail Dell laptops with clean installs of Windows 10 Pro Anniversary Update 1607 build 14393.10 installed for comparison to the desktop platforms. Let's take a look at overclocking and move onto the benchmarks!

Memory Bandwidth Benchmarks

SiSoftware Sandra 2016 SP3 Memory Bandwidth: link

SiSoftware Sandra 2016 is a utility, which includes remote analysis, benchmarking and diagnostic features for PCs, servers, mobile devices and networks. This test has been popular for CPU and memory benchmarks for well over a decade and it is one of the easiest benchmarks out there to run.

AIDA64 5.80 Memory & Cache Benchmark: link

AIDA64 is an industry-leading system information tool, loved by PC enthusiasts around the world, which not only provides extremely detailed information about both hardware and installed software, but also helps users diagnose issues and offers benchmarks to measure the performance of the computer.   Memory Bandwidth Results Summary: The AMD FX-9590 8-core processor on our particular 990FX motherboard could only run up to 2133 MHz, but it was close to the memory performance levels of the AMD FX-8370 running 2400 MHz thanks to the higher core clock speeds. The performance gap between AMD FX-Series processors and Intel desktop processors is still pretty wide.

Real World Benchmarks

Dolphin 5.0 x64 Emulator Benchmark: link

The long awaited Dolphin 5.0 release happened in 2016 and thanks to a major cleaning up of the codebase Dolphin has reached a new level of efficiency, powered by a revitalized dynamic recompiler. Dolphin is considered by many to be the best Nintendo Wii emulator for PC you can find. It also works for Gamecube. We are running the official Dolphin 5.0 benchmark as it offers closer mapping to real world Dolphin performance as the previous version was extremely floating point heavy. We feel this is a pretty good general CPU benchmark for real world performance as emulation workloads are something that most gamers will run at one point or another.  We benchmark the standard Wii homebrew application and run it with the speed limit set to 'unlimited' and the External Frame Buffer set to 'real' in case you wanted to run this on your personal system.

Agisoft Photoscan 1.2.6 x64 - 2D to 3D Image Manipulation Benchmark: link

Agisoft PhotoScan is a stand-alone software product that performs photogrammetric processing of 2D digital images and generates 3D spatial data to be used in GIS applications, cultural heritage documentation, and visual effects production as well as for indirect measurements of objects of various scales. We us the 50 images from the 'Building' sample data download page for our benchmark. We take the total time it takes to complete four steps: Align Photos, Build Dense Cloud, Build Model, Build Texture with all the default settings for each.

KeyShot 6.3 - 3D Rendering and Animation: link

KeyShot 3D rendering and animation software is one of the fastest, easiest way to create amazing, photographic visuals of your 3D data. We installed KeyShot 6.3 to do some benchmarking and real-world stress testing using the camera_benchmark.bip scene that is included with the application. This benchmark tests a 800x554 pixel image with a continuous sample rate and shows the Frames Per Second (FPS) that the scene is being rendered from. This scene has nearly 42,000 triangles and does a good job at using all available cores to render the scene.

Blender 2.78a Open Source 3D Creation Benchmark: link

Blender is the free and open source 3D creation suite. It supports the entirety of the 3D pipeline—modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking, even video editing and game creation. We use the BMW CPU Benchmark (CCO, 3MB) created by Mike Pan for our testing. We load bmw27_cpu.blend, hit f12 to render the animation and use the final time for the chart below. We do not use Blenchmark, so do not compare scores from that add-on to ours. Real World Benchmark Results Summary: When it comes to our 'real world' benchmark tests the AMD FX-9590 performed behind the stock Intel Core i7-2700K 'Sandy Bridge' processor in all but one of these benchmarks. The new Intel Core i3-7350K dual-core processor was less than 40 seconds slower than the AMD FX-9590 in Photoscan, which is impressive considering the benchmark takes about 20 minutes to run on each of those processors.

Media Encoding & Encryption Benchmarks

HandBrake v1.0.1 - link

HandBrake is an open-source, GPL-licensed, multiplatform, multithreaded video transcoder, available for MacOS X, Linux and Windows. It is popular today as it allows you to transcode multiple input video formats to h.264 output format and is highly multithreaded. We used Big Buck Bunny as our input file, which has become one of the world standards for video benchmarks. For our benchmark scenario we used a standard 2D 4K (3840x2160) 60 FPS clip in the MP4 format and used Handbrake version 1.0.1 to do two things. We used the new Fast 1080p30 preset to shrink that down to a 1920 x 1080 video clip to reduce the file size. This is something people often do to save space to put movies onto mobile devices. We also ran the workload using the normal preset as it puts the CPU at a higher load than the Fast 1080p30 preset.  

X264 HD Encoding - link

the x264 HD Benchmark is a reproducible measure of how fast your machine can encode a short HD-quality video clip into a high quality x264 video file. It’s nice because everyone running it will use the same video clip and software. The video encoder (x264.exe) reports a fairly accurate internal benchmark (in frames per second) for each pass of the video encode and it also uses multi-core processors very efficiently. All these factors make this an ideal benchmark to compare different processors and systems to each other. We are using x264 HD v5.0.1 for this test. Media Encoding Benchmark Results Summary: Our media tests showed that the Intel Core i7-7700K Kabylake processor was 6-7% faster in our handbrake test than the Intel Core i7-6700K Skylake processor and an impressive 13-14% faster than the Intel Core i7-4790K Haswell processor. More impressive is the fact that it was 30% to 46% faster than the Intel Core i7-2700K Sandy Bridge processor overclocked up to the same 4.5GHz clock speed. In our x264 HD benchmark the Intel Core i7-7700K  was 5% faster on the first pass and a solid 7% faster in the second pass versus the Core i7-6700K.  Not bad results here as this will shave tens of minutes off transcoding entire movies.

VeraCrypt 1.19 - link

VeraCrypt is an open-source disk encryption software brought to you by IDRIX and is a fork based on the discontinued TrueCrypt 7.1a utility. The developers claim that weaknesses found in TrueCrypt have been resolved with the VeraCrypt project. This is a popular utility used by people that don't want to use Microsoft's built-in encyption tool for Windows 10 called Bitlocker. Encryption Benchmark Results Summary: The AMD FX-9590 and the Intel Core i7-2700K are trading wins in this benchmark, but the FX-9590 doesn't have the IPC to compete with the newer Intel Core i7 quad-core processors despite having double the cores and higher clock speeds.

Web JavaScript & HTML5 Benchmarks

Mozilla Kraken 1.1: link

Kraken is a JavaScript performance benchmark created by Mozilla that measures the speed of several different test cases extracted from real-world applications and libraries. Kraken uses a test harness based on the SunSpider benchmark. Results are reported in milliseconds (lower is better).

Google Octane 2.0: link

Octane 2.0 is a benchmark created by Google that measures a JavaScript engine’s performance by running a suite of tests that is supposed to be representative of today’s complex and demanding web applications. Octane‘s goal is to measure the performance of JavaScript code found in large, real-world web applications, running on modern mobile and desktop browsers. The latest Octane 2.0 benchmark includes four new tests to measure new aspects of JavaScript performance, including garbage collection / compiler latency and asm.js-style JavaScript performance.

JetStream 1.1: link

JetStream combines a variety of JavaScript benchmarks, covering a variety of advanced workloads and programming techniques, and reports a single score that balances them using geometric mean. JetStream includes benchmarks from the SunSpider 1.0.2 and Octane 2 JavaScript benchmark suites. It also includes benchmarks from the LLVM compiler open source project, compiled to JavaScript using Emscripten 1.13. It also includes a benchmark based on the Apache Harmony open source project's HashMap and a port of the CDx benchmark, hand-translated to JavaScript.

WebXPRT 2015: link

WebXPRT 2015 uses scenarios created to mirror the tasks you do every day to compare the performance of almost any Web-enabled device. It contains six HTML5- and JavaScript-based workloads: Photo Enhancement, Organize Album, Stock Option Pricing, Local Notes, Sales Graphs, and Explore DNA Sequencing. Web JavaScript & HTML5 Benchmarks Results Summary: When it comes to online browsing performance benchmarks like the four we used it goes to show how far behind AMD is in certain benchmark scenarios. Hopefully the new Ryzen processor series will help AMD become competitive here again.

3DMark & Cinebench

Futuremark 3DMark 2.2.3509 - link

3DMark is a popular gaming performance benchmark that includes everything you need to benchmark your PC whether you're gaming on a desktop PC, laptop, notebook, or a tablet. 3DMark includes seven benchmark tests and we'll be running 'Sky Diver' that is aimed at gaming laptops and mid-range PCs.

Maxon Cinebench R15.038 - link 

CINEBENCH is a real-world cross platform test suite that evaluates your computer's performance capabilities. CINEBENCH is based on MAXON's award-winning animation software Cinema 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Iron Man 3, Oblivion, Life of Pi or Prometheus and many more. 3DMark and Cinebench Benchmarks Results Summary: The stock Intel Core i7-2700K processor from 2011 is still able to outperform the AMD FX-9590 processor from 2013. Pretty wild to see the Intel Core i7-7700K in stock from getting 70 FPS more OpenGL performance in Cinebench with exactly the same NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 video card and driver.

Discrete GPU Gaming Performance

Thief

Thief is a series of stealth video games in which the player takes the role of Garrett, a master thief in a fantasy/steampunk world resembling a cross between the Late Middle Ages and the Victorian era, with more advanced technologies interspersed. Thief is the fourth title in the Thief series, developed by Eidos Montreal and published by Square Enix on February 25, 2014. We picked this game title for CPU testing as it is known to scale well with CPUs. We use the games built-in benchmark and test with the default settings with these changes; exclusive fullscreen, vSync off, 1920 x 1080, 60Hz.

Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V, currently one of the hottest PC games, was finally released for the PC on April 14, 2015.  Developed by Rockstar, it is set in 2013 and the city of Los Santos.  It utilizes the Rockstar Advanced Game Engine (RAGE) which Rockstar has been using since 2006, with multiple updates for technology improvements. We picked this game title for CPU testing as it is known to scale well with CPUs. We use the games built-in benchmark and test with the default settings with these changes; vSync off, 1920 x 1080, 60Hz.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is an action role-playing stealth video game developed by Eidos Montreal and published by Square Enix. Set in a cyberpunk-themed dystopian world in 2029, two years after the events of Human Revolution, Mankind Divided features the return of Adam Jensen from the previous game, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, with new technology and body augmentations. The game was released on August 23rd, 2016 for PC users and we are using it to show DX12 performance on the CPUs that we tested. DX12 removed most all of the CPU overhead, so we wanted to see what happens to performance on DX12 game titles as well. We use the games built-in benchmark and test with the default settings with these changes; DX12 enabled, exclusive fullscreen, vSync off, 1920 x 1080, 60Hz, medium graphics. Discrete Gaming Benchmarks Results Summary: Games are playable with AMD FX-9590 and AMD FX-8370 processors, but you aren't getting anywhere near the numbers that you are able to get on Intel processors.  When playing Thief with the DirectX 11 API we were getting 74 FPS on average on the AMD FX-9590 powered system with the GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card. Moving that same card over to the Intel Core i7-7700K platform gave us 150 FPS, which is double the performance. Can AMD Ryzen processors make AMD competitive again when it comes to gaming? In DX12 the performance gap is smaller since there is less of a CPU overhead, but AMD still needs a huge boost to be able to square off with Intel again.

Power Consumption and Temperatures

No review is complete without taking a look at power and the Intel Core i3-7350K doesn't disappoint when we looked closer at the power numbers. The AMD FX-9590 is a 220W TDP processor, so it shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that it used the most power in our three load tests. The AMD FX-9590 platform used 69.1W at idle and that number includes the MSI 990FXA-Gaming motherboard,  NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 FE video card, Crucial MX300 1050GB SSD and the Corsair H105 water cooler. The processor topped out at 273W in Handbrake and 369W while playing Thief. In Handbrake the FX-9590 used 119 Watts more power than the Intel Core i7-7700K, which is a big difference considering how much faster the 7700K was in our testing. AMD Ryzen processors are supposed to be as power efficient as the Intel Broadwell-E series, so it will be interesting to see what the real numbers look like. We just took a quick look at temperatures at stock speeds on the AMD FX-9590 and found that AIDA64 still doesn't appear to be reading this processor right despite being out nearly 4 years. It shows temperatures for each of the four modules, but the idle temp was 0C and the load temp was 31C after a quick 5 minute run of the AIDA64 stress test. Hopefully AMD can with with AIDA64 and other applications for better CPU support. Let's wrap this review up!

Final Thoughts and Conclusions

After taking a fresh look at the AMD FX-9590 processor it is clear that AMD needs Ryzen to be successful. The AMD FX-9590 8-core processor was somewhat competitive with the Intel Core i7-2700K processor, but keep in mind that is an older processor from the Sandy Bridge-era way back in 2011. The AMD FX-9590 processor is priced at $199.99 with free shipping today a fair price for an 8-core processor, but the AMD PileDriver architecture used on these FX series processors just can't compete with what Intel has been releasing for more than half a decade now. AMD has a very loyal fan base though and despite being just a month or two away from Ryzen processors being released we are seeing AMD FX-9590 processors being sold each and every day on Ebay for between $189 and $199 (Intel Core i7-2700K processors are selling used for $175 on Ebay). Many AMD AM3+ platform owners are upgrading from slower models to the FX-9590 processor looking to get the most from their aging platforms. We don't blame them as the upcoming Ryzen processors will be using the new AMD AM4 platform, so you'll have to upgrade your motherboard, buy a DDR4 memory kit and get the latest AMD AM4 HSF mounting brackets from your CPU cooling company. AMD Ryzen Processor Overview Will AMD Ryzen processors be worth the wait? If you've waited for years or months to upgrade your PC, we suggest waiting a little bit longer on that PC build you are dreaming up. Let's see what AMD has been able to do with Ryzen as they claim they have a performance per dollar winner. AMD will have to have some phenomenal numbers, but the few benchmark numbers that they have released are phenomenal with Ryzen beating Broadwell-E processors in applications like Handbrake with similar power usage. AMD Ryzen desktop CPUs will have 8 cores (16 threads) clocked at 3.4GHz, 4 MB of L2 cache as well as 16 MB of L3 cache. We can count how many weeks away we are from Ryzen on our fingers and are waiting patiently to see if AMD Ryzen will challenge Intel's hold on the high-performance desktop CPU market!