From the initial testing of the brand new AMD FX-8350 "Vishera", the performance was admirable, especially compared to last year's bit of a troubled start with the AMD FX Bulldozer processors.
For many of the Linux computational benchmarks carried out in this article, the AMD FX-8350 proved to be competitive with the Intel Core i7 3770K "Ivy Bridge" processor. Seeing the FX-8350 compete with the i7-3770K at stock speeds in so many benchmarks was rather a surprise since the Windows-focused AMD marketing crew was more expecting this new high-end processor to be head-to-head competition for the Intel Core i7 3570K on Microsoft's operating system.
The slated retail price at launch for the FX-8350 is $195 USD. The Intel Core i5 3570K is presently retailing for around $230 and the Intel Core i7 3770K is around $330. In other words, the AMD FX-8350 is offered at a rather competitive value for fairly high-end desktops and workstations against Intel's latest Ivy Bridge offerings -- if you're commonly engaging in a workload where AMD CPUs do well.
In not all of the Linux CPU benchmarks did the Piledriver-based FX-8350 do well. For some Linux programs, AMD CPUs simply don't perform well and the 2012 FX CPU was even beaten out by older Core i5 and i7 CPUs. We can hopefully see improvements here later on through compiler optimizations and other software enhancements. As shown in my earlier AMD Piledriver compiler tuning tests from the A10-5800K Trinity, with the current GCC release there isn't much improvement out of the "bdver2" optimizations for this processor that should expose the CPU's BMI, TBM, F16C, and FMA3 capabilities over the original AMD Bulldozer processors. I hope that we will see further compiler improvements out of AMD to close some of these performance gaps.
Due to the open nature of Linux with a wide variety of options being available for testing the kernel, different compilers and compiler flags, plus countless other settings and packages that can be tweaked, many more AMD FX-8350 benchmarks are on the way. An article following up closely after this initial launch-day AMD Vishera article will also go over the performance-per-Watt, the Linux gaming benchmark performance, and other interesting data.
From my initial testing of the AMD FX-8350 over the past two weeks (though the last couple of days over in Prague for LinuxDays), I'm quite satisfied with the AMD FX-8350 eight-core processor on Linux. Aside from the FX-8350 performing well in most CPU benchmarks, the FX-8350 also works well under Linux. The only Linux compatibility complaint I have about the Piledriver CPUs on Linux is that the CPU temperature monitoring didn't work from Ubuntu 12.10, but that isn't normally a show-stopping problem. It would also be nice for AMD to port more user-space utilities to Linux for overclocking and other CPU information reporting, but there isn't any CPU vendor currently doing that for Linux so it's basically a feature request.
Stay tuned for more Vishera Linux testing and thanks to AMD for providing this early FX-8350 sample for being able to provide launch-day Linux coverage for their many open-source customers.