AMD’s in a bit of a lull this time of year and there isn’t much interesting happening. To fill in the gaps between whenever they launch new GPUs in the months of September/October and their recent launch of the rest of the Kaveri APUs, they are pushing out another two chips, this time for socket FM2+ and socket AM3+. The Athlon X4 860K is a replacement for the outgoing Athlon X4 760K and the FX-8300 bridges in the price gap between the FX-6350 and the FX-8320.
The Athlon X4 860K is a cut-down version of the A10-7850K that’s been out for quite some time. It features two AMD Steamroller modules packing in two integer cores each, which makes it technically a quad-core chip. Base clock speeds are 3.7GHz and the cores are multiplier-unlocked, which makes tweaking the chip far easier. The L2 cache is still at 4MB L2 and there are no integrated graphics capabilities whatsoever.
Most of the time this isn’t a bad thing in itself, as Kaveri APUs have proven themselves to be very good overclockers and the single-core performance is pretty close to Intel’s Core i3 processors already. With the integrated GPU lasered off, it would be easy to pair this with less expensive DDR3-1600 RAM modules as well as find a decent air cooler and overclock it a fair bit. With something like the Zalman CNPS10X, 4.5GHz should be easily doable.
The FX-8300 arrives a little later than expected, given that the Piledriver FX family has been out for some time. It’s an underclocked FX8350 that didn’t pass AMD’s binning tests. It ships with base clock speeds of 3.2GHz boosting to 3.5GHz and has a much lower 95W TDP. Although this chip has been available for a while, it’s only been seen in OEM machines and was never available to the public. AMD’s launching of this chip is interesting, clearly they’re trying to avoid another socket FM1 fiasco where suppliers and distributors were sitting with APUs that they couldn’t easily sell.
Since most of AMD’s new chips only reach us ages after other countries receive them, there’s little chance of seeing either of these chips before the year is out. No mention has been made of their price, although the Athlon 860K could find a home under the R1000 price point to rival Intel’s Pentium G3258.