AMD FX 8350 CPU with Wraith Cooler Review: Stock Cooling Gets an Upgrade

Test System and Benchmarks

AMD Test System:

ProcessorAMD FX-8370E, AMD, FX-8350, AMD FX-8370, AMD FX-9590
CPU Cooler
Noctua NH-U14S and CM Seidon 120M with Noctua NT-H1 thermal compound
Power Supply
Corsair HX850W 80 Plus Gold PSU
MemoryPatriot Viper 3 “Black Mamba” 2x8GB DDR3 2133 MHz CL11
StorageOCZ Agility 4 256GB SSD (OS)
GraphicsGigabyte GeForce GTX 770 WindForce OC
DriversAMD all-in-one driver ver:8.70a, NVIDIA 335.23 WHQL drivers.
MotherboardAsrock 990FX Fatal1ty Killer (P1.10 BIOS), Gigabyte 990FXA-UD3 Rev 4.0 (F2 BIOS-FX-9590 benchmarks)
Case
DimasTech EasyXL Test Bench/NZXT Phantom Switch 810 SE (temperature testing)
Operating SystemWindows 7 x64 Ultimate SP-1 with latest patches and updates

Intel Test System:

ProcessorIntel Core i5-4670K (Retail), i7-4770K (Retail)
CPU Cooler
Phanteks TC14-PE with Noctua NT-H1 thermal compound
Power Supply
Corsair HX850W 80 Plus Gold PSU
MemoryPatriot Viper 3 “Black Mamba” 2x8GB DDR3 2133 MHz CL11
StorageOCZ Agility 4 256GB SSD (OS)
GraphicsGigabyte GeForce GTX 770 WindForce OC
DriversIntel Chipset Driver 10.0.3, NVIDIA 335.23 WHQL drivers.
MotherboardMSI Z97 Gaming 7 (E7916IMS 1.0)
CaseDimasTech EasyXL Test Bench
Operating SystemWindows 7 x64 Ultimate SP-1 with latest patches and updates

Latest working BIOS, updates and drivers were used at the time of the review. Each test was conducted at least three times for accuracy.

System Benchmarks

  1. Aida64 Engineer 4.50
  2. CineBench R15
  3. PCMark 8 v2.0.228
  4. WinRAR 5.01
  5. Handbrake 0.9.9
  6. x264 FHD 1.0.1

Gaming Benchmarks

  1. 3DMark (Firestrike test) v1.2.362 – Default Preset
  2. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Fraps Benchmark, Ultra Preset + FXAA on 1920×1080

While the FX 8350 is not the star of this review, plugging in its performance benchmarks to our test suite from when the FX 8370 and FX 8370E came out paints a picture of how it stacks up in performance to those processors.

As for the AMD Wraith, it does fairly well in PWM mode, never needing to ramp more than 1400 RPM while showing decent cooling compared to the legendary Hyper 212+. There is headroom still with the fan able to ramp up all the way to 3000 RPM. Although obviously, it is far from quiet as well, registering up to 48.6dBA with the SPL meter 51cm away at 300 RPM. The fan ramps up and down in a smooth audio profile and virtually inaudible inside a case at 1700 RPM or lower.

CPU Temperature

Fan Speed (RPM)Sound Level (dBA)
300048.6
290048.3
280047.6
270046.5
260046
250045
240044
230043.7
220041.9
210041
200040.3
190039.2
180038.5
170037.5
160036.8
150036.5
140036.3
130035.7
120035.4
110035
100034.9

The down-ward blowing design of the AMD Wraith helps with the VRM cooling, essential for any AMD FX processor as they tend to run on the hotter less efficient side compared to more recent Intel offerings. The fan is always replaceable with more silent 92mm if users need too, although the bundled fan has plenty of range that a decent fan controller could definitely take advantage of so replacing it is not necessary if acoustics or performance is a concern. The Wraith is not just a good cooler for a stock cooler, it is a good cooler — period. While it does not trounce other tower coolers performance wise, its lower height and VRM-mindful cooling design is a perfect AMD FX processor solution.  In terms of value, the FX 8350 being more affordable than the FX 8370 with only a minor turbo speed downgrade but still highly overclockable makes it a solid choice; the FX 6350 even more so, especially now with the Wraith cooler bundle.

The only real major limitation is the motherboard but thankfully there are many 900-series motherboard offering refreshes that actually provide native Intel chipset amenities such as M.2 and USB 3.1 through 3rd party controllers. Overclockability will also be a motherboard limitation since most older 900-series motherboards tend to have a more conservative VRM design and have not factored in running FX series processors beyond 4.5GHz or FX-9000 series CPUs. In that sense, the actual value placement of the AMD FX with Wraith cooler is still somewhat precariously conditional, albeit admirable just for the fact that AMD provides plenty of options for a processor and chipset line that is this old. Now if only more software could put all those 8-cores to use instead of just one or two cores at a time…

Modders-Inc Recommended Hardware Award

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