Last year I previously purchased an AMD FX6100 CPU, not unhappy with that choice at all, but a re-build of another PC gave me a chance to try the newer 6300 processor, so I'll compare that to the older one. The old FX was also good bang per buck (initial price was too high) With recent price cuts the 6300 moves into a bargain price bracket for a hexacore processor
The updated piledriver processors, are revisions of the original bulldozer processors and initially I didn't expect a notable gain in performance overall, however real world it's proved quite a strong processor even more so than the 6100.
My pros and cons list:
+ Bang per buck, in the sub £100 CPU category this is unmatched in terms of performance at this price point
+ Easy to overclock, even more so than the 6100 (slightly better power consumption) unlocked as all FX cpu's are
+ Single threaded performance improved over bulldozer (in some cases quite a bit but Intel still rule here)
+ Faster than a 125w 6200 CPU, yet with lower clock speeds! In some cases it beats the old 8120 FX cpu
+ Undervolts very well (if you are into quiet computing)
+ Excellent multi threaded performance
+ Easy to cool (but get a better heatsink/fan)
- Standard stock cooler is actually identical to the Athlon II 65W CPU's, and a fair bit smaller than the original 6100 FX cooler, plan on getting another heatsink/fan if you're overclocking
- Still mixed performance in low threaded applications (though improved over the first FX series)
I'm personally much more interested in real world results than running benchmark tests suites. I do photo and video work quite often, so I dropped a HD video file into handbrake for conversion to MP4. Both the 6100 and 6300 were running at 3.5GHz.
6100 did the conversion in 9:20, 6300 in 7:38, whilst I expected a boost that was bigger than I imagined.
I found Lightroom 5 to be quicker and an uptake of around 20% in exporting raw files, again at the same clock speed. The CPU seems to cope well with image editing in a number of applications, even with larger image files of 16-24mp the FX6300 feels fast and responsive.
Games also showed an improvement, whilst I still suggest looking at the GPU first, all my games showed an improvement in fps and played smoother on the newer CPU. Passmark was around 6520 score. 7zip showed an improvement over the 6100 also around 10%
So what changed with bulldozer to piledriver?
The design of the CPU is the same as older ones, but the extra year has given AMD the chance to refine a few areas.
+ Improved branch prediction and prefetching
+ Support for AVX1.1, FMA3, F16C, Bit Manipulation and Trailing Bit Manipulation instructions
+ Larger L1 Translation Lookaside Buffers and L2 efficiency improvements
+ Improved FPU and integer scheduling, and better branch prediction and prefetching
+ Turbo core 3
All this sounds great but does it show up in the real world? Well so far I have to say yes it does. Some areas such as the new instructions supported might not matter right now, but down the road it could have quite an impact.
AMD's FX might have had mixed receptions from some review sites, but real world you want to build a pc/upgrade to a CPU that doesn't cost a ton, has a good performance for heavier tasks. As I said in my FX6100 review, you want the performance there mostly in multi threaded software. As so few applications are single threaded nowadays it doesn't make sense to mark a CPU down that does very well for more intensive multi threaded tasks.
At this price range you can buy the FX6300 or an Intel Core i3 3220. Intel have a good processor which is well designed and efficient, but it actually costs a bit more than the AMD processor and when the meat hits the grinder the i3 is still stuck with a dual core design which just can't match the FX6300 in intensive applications. Even at stock speed it's quite a difference, the unlocked AMD is really a much better choice for bang per buck wise.
Factor in the cost of an AMD board and it becomes an even more appealing choice.
This isn't the fastest CPU out there, it's a mid level processor that's got a fairly hefty upper cut and punches well above it's weight. I've made the mistake of buying very expensive processors in the past (£200-£300+), today really in this price range I can't imagine many people being anything but very pleased with the performance of this CPU even when you are doing more demanding work. If you're building an office pc then you'll be fine with a Sempron or Athlon II dual core (plenty fast enough for that type of PC) The FX CPU is for those looking to do more demanding tasks, but not breaking the bank either.
The FX8320 would be the next step up with an extra module (2 cores) that's also a good CPU at that price too. The Intel i5's are very good but fairly expensive and they're not massively faster for some tasks (video work the 6300 runs them pretty close at times)
I'm a bit puzzled with the FX4300 CPU, it's only about £5 cheaper and with 4v6 threads just doesn't add up value wise (the CPU is fine but it's just priced all wrong)
So this now gets my double thumbs up, if you want to extract the most pound of flesh for your cash then the FX6300 is unbeatable right now.
on 8 June 2013
I bought this cpu for my latest cheap gaming build, and was probably the most expensive element of the computer (I managed to get a really good deal on a second hand HD 6950) but I would say the cpu is one of the best value parts. When I bought it it was just under £100, which compared to the Intel i5 models (Intel Core i5-3450) that benchmark around the same performance was a good sized saving of over £50. Another good aspect of the FX6300 is that by changing the settings in the BIOS, you can enable turbo mode, which is a kind of inbuilt overclocking feature which enables the cpu to step up it's clock speed without you having to manually adjust the multiplier.
Benchmarking scores using Passmark's Performance Test with and without turbo
Standard clock: 6534
The cpu is really quite powerful, especially in comparison to my previous cpu which benchmarked at around one third of the FX 6300, and makes a really good upgrade for people like me who have left it a bit late to upgrade to more recent generations of processors. However, the only issue I had with this cpu is that the stock heatsink and fan they supply with it is absolutely minute! it's an 80mm amd fan on an 80mm alloy heatsink with pre-applied generic thermal paste. I'm not really sure this cooler provides much benefit in the way of temps, and I only used it for a couple of days because I replaced it with the Arctic cooling A30, which is complete overkill because It's probably one of the largest coolers I've ever seen. At the moment (in summer, using turbo mode) when the fans are on silent settings, temps during normal usage are around 31 degrees, when the fans are on 100% speed, it takes it really close to room temperature, like mid 20's, which is very impressive in my books! Even when heavily overclocking and under load (using prime95), I've never seen the temperatures exceed 51 degrees, so very impressive stuff (I'm running a prime 95 blend test now with stock clocks and it's been running for about 20 minutes and it's at 40 degrees). On a side note, the coolest I've ever seen the cpu temps were 12 degrees just after boot during the winter when it was freezing outside. Although it should definitely be said I'm not sure how safe overclocking would be with the stock heatsink.
Anyway,I would definitely recommend buying this cpu, because at £90 it's spectacularly good value. It's only 95W TDP, so doesn't require heavy duty cooling solutions and requires less juice from the power supply than the octo core models. If you are in need of something with more power then you might want to shell out 30-60 more pounds and upgrade to the 8350 or 8320 (the 6300 is more powerful than the 8100), but for me at least this wasn't necessary and just slightly too expensive. I think the 6300 will last me for a good few years, and I definitely can't see it struggling with any games that I throw at it. In combination with my HD 6950, they have managed to hold every game that I've thrown at it on max quality settings flawlessly. So, if you are on a budget, (I managed to build my pc for a total of £350 because I got my case and the HD 6950 for £40 off a friend who had upgraded and left them behind.) and you are going to be doing relatively cpu intensive activities like gaming or digital art projects and don't want to be bothered by lag or compromising lower quality settings then the FX6300 is for you. Also, if you are looking for a replacement cooling solution for the tiny heatsink, the A30 is a great enthusiasts cooler (40 degrees at full load is great) and only cost me £30. However, I have also tried the Arctic Alpine 64 Pro rev. 2 on it, and although it's only designed for 90w TDP processors, it handled the temps nicely (and was definitely better than the stock heatsink) and only costs £10. (it's also very quiet) Sorry for the long review, but if it helps anyone to decide whether they want to buy it then it's worth it.
on 28 January 2015
Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. So good for the price, I'm drooling. BF4 max settings no prob. You should pair it up with an R9 280x/285/270x or Nvidia GTX 770/760. Excellent for multitasking, 60 chrome tabs, BF4 and windows media player all run side by side smoothly. My first build has this CPU an R9 280x and an m5a97 mobo as well as 8 GB of ram, and after a year of use it just seems to work better and better all the time.
Pros: Great CPU, easy to overclock to 4.1GHz (BSOD above 4.3 in my experience), made for multitasking, handles games very well, good established architecture.
Note: If you plan on getting a better GFX card than a 280x/285 or 770, you will need a better CPU. Go i5 if you can.
on 4 February 2014
This CPU is great and a great price. Performs fantastically in most application, although lacking a little in single-core performance.
Far better than Intel's offerings (i3 3220 namely) at the same price.
Fantastic overclocking also, just upgrade the stock heatsink.
Definetely your best choice if on a budget.
Unfortunately the AM3+ memory controller is very poor, so you should pair this with some decent RAM to get the most of it (1600Mhz at CAS9 or 1333 at CAS8)
Also, the stock cooler is poor and makes a fair bit of noise, although not anything particularly distracting it would be nice to have more overclocking capabilities on stock and quieter.
on 23 May 2015
My last Built was 7-8 years ago, at that time i bought the Q9550 Intel cpu that ran great for many many years. So coming up with a new spec for a new built, i was keen on trying the AMD for 2 reasons - improvement over old designs- Amd is cathcing up to intel IMO , and it has vastly improve over the years from when i studied computing ( 10+ years ago) and secondly price, for this price the direct competition would be an entry level i5 although there is much pro's and con's. In the real world you probably wouldn't notice much. I unpacked my CPU's ,disable the quiet and power saving function, overclocked the speed to 4.3GHZ at all times and my computer is pretty much works with everything i thought at it and the best thing was my built only cost me £300 ( not including graphic card).
on 7 August 2015
Again amd delivers! Intel is better than amd but for the price you can not deny it! The best amd CPU compared to the best Intel has a big price range, Intel is only slightly better and for over £80 more than the amd 8350!
Anyway this CPU is great for the price, upgraded from a fx 4100 and I can see the difference already, everything is smoother, programs start up faster, open world games are better and even rendering videos are better! It is not the best CPU on the market, but for the price and what you get is very good as the amd 8350 is not that much better than this one! Overall happy with the buy and definitley recommend if you are going to build your own rig. Make sure you get a better heat sink than stock if you plan to overclock!
on 28 July 2015
There should be two ratings for this chip - gaming & productivity.
I have owned the 6300 since October 2013 & it has been great overall, as my PC is mainly used for video rendering & photo editing.
I decided to take the plunge back into gaming a few months ago and this is where the doubts crept in. Anyway, I bought myself a fantastic GPU, an Nvidia GTX 970 & tested out a few games, including more demanding titles like GTA 5 & Crysis 3 (amongst a plethora of more basic 2D/3D titles)... the more demanding games amongst my collection were clearly struggling at higher detail levels, so I had to radically tone down the settings to get anywhere near acceptable frame-rates & Crysis in particular continually locked and when I checked the resources, the primary core being used was maxed out at 100% in the log and clearly the 6 cores were not being utilised. I had the same issue with GTA 5, which would run for a while & then lock, resulting in ctrl+alt+del to gain access to the desktop (same 100% maxed out core in the log).
So I gave up on these particular games after fiddling around for an age to get them to function correctly.
On the plus side, games like Tomb Raider & Shadow Warrior ran fine, a little stuttering here & there, but perfectly playable.
The less demanding games like Sina Mora, Giana Sisters, Cavestory+, Titan Quest etc. - you know the sort, all ran beautifully.
After performing the usual web-based trawling looking for other users using a 970 & a 6300, I could clearly see that my otherwise perfectly functional rig, during intense gaming sessions, was being bottlenecked by this slightly dated cpu.
So, to wrap this up - its a great chip, its a budget buy of course and as long as you don't expect to push your system with the latest & more demanding games, then you'll get your monies worth. For image editing & basic video rendering, its really solid, and my system has been incredibly stable overall.
Well worth a punt, but I'll give it 3 stars, as by today's standards, it is average in terms of performance.
Off to the land of Intel ;-)
on 27 December 2013
So far, I havent got much on my computer. Just browers, email client, skype, and a few games. It is very quick on those applications, and the 6 cores really help in running lots of programs at once. I had Skype open, Maxthon which was downloading some drivers and applications, and GTA IV maxed out and I saw no lag whatsoever.
Browsing is also smooth even when I turn off GPU Acceleration.
I got this processor because I use Photoshop a lot and sometimes Cinema 4D, but I haven't installed these yet as I need to find the CD's (I will update later when I do install them).
However, as a lot of people pointed out, the stock cooler isn't very good. Unlike it's predecessor, the Phenom series, the heatsink included hasn't got any heatpipes.
I can't give any actual temp's because the thermal module in this processor isn't very accurate because of the equation it uses to state temperatures, but I would recommend you get a new cooler (I'd highly reccomend the Arctic Cooling A30 and the Zalman CNPS10X, they have superb reviews, and will keep your processor ice cool!).
The fan on the heatsink is as loud as before, but has more blades so it has a higher CFM. But it is quite loud and emits a irritating whirring noise. Maxed out (Which it will never reach), it becomes very loud, but this isnt a problem as it stays on 40% ish most of the time.
All in all, I would recommend this highly to anyone who dosent have hundreds to spend on an Intel equivalent.
on 21 October 2013
Built a gaming rig and was torn between this and an i5 but with a small budget in mind it had to be the 6300 otherwise I would not be able to afford a GFX as well.
People will endlessly tell you that most games wont exploit the 6 cores this chip has to offer and that you would be better off to get a quad-core instead. However, I find 6 to be just right as you can have 4 cores dedicated to a game that is running and 2 'spare' cores for background applications. For example, if like me, you ALT+TAB games alot to keep an eye on e-mails or to look stuff up on the net then this core is great as there is no lag caused due to the multitude of cores.
A great buy at a great price in my mind. Yeah Intel is best but for the price I just couldn't resist.
on 6 February 2015
Been using the fx 6300 for ages, and it's of course fantastc. Overclocked to 4.6GHz and it's now running stabely at 35 degrees celcius tops! Completely stable as well.
I can't recommend AMD's stuff enough, these processors out perform some Intel stuff that are twice the price.