Despite the release of AMD Ryzen chips and the subsequent expansion of this family, Advanced Micro Devices is not going to say goodbye to AMD FX processors in the near future. In a message to partners, AMD announced that Ryzen and FX will exist in the company’s product family, with the latter being offered for both entry-level systems and for relatively large PCs.
The FX suffix gained popularity in 2003-2006, when AMD used it to mark its most productive processors for desktop computers. At that time, the AMD Athlon FX was really unrivaled in terms of performance, leaving behind both the Pentium 4 and Pentium Extreme Edition, in the vast majority of applications. In the time of AMD Phenom, the FX suffix was not used, but it was returned as a separate trademark at the end of 2011, when AMD released the first processors based on Bulldozer microarchitecture. The latter could not justify the expectations placed on it in the segment of high-performance CPUs for desktops and servers, and therefore the development of the corresponding processors was curtailed in 2012. Nevertheless, in October of the same year the company released processors based on the microarchitecture Piledriver (improved Bulldozer) and Vishera / Seoul crystals – AMD FX 4300/6300/8300 and Opteron 4300/6300.
In the future, AMD optimized the power / frequency potential of these chips, and also selected the chips with the highest frequency potential, but in fact, the evolution of Vishera / Seoul stopped in mid-2014. In order to maintain the relative competitiveness of the AMD FX family, Advanced Micro Devices lowered processor prices and also worked with motherboard manufacturers to release new platforms supporting M.2, USB Type-C, and other technologies. Apparently, AMD believes that FX processors are still attractive in certain market segments, despite the high heat dissipation and the lack of support for a number of modern instructions. Thus, the sale of processors based on crystals submitted almost five years ago, will be continued this year.
It is logical to expect that the older models of AMD Ryzen processors will be positioned by the manufacturer as solutions for the most powerful PCs, while FX will be targeted at other segments. For example, the AMD FX 8350 and higher chips are proposed to be opposed to Intel Core i5 6400 (Skylake) processors and more powerful (see table). Other FX will compete with the Core i3 and Pentium generations of Skylake and Haswell. It is noteworthy that older AMD FX processors are recommended to be equipped with AMD Radeon R9 Fury and AMD Radeon R9 390 graphics cards based on Fiji and Hawaii chips that are not produced from the second quarter of 2016.
From the documents of AMD
For partners who are interested in the possible motives of buyers to choose AMD FX after the release of Ryzen, the developer has released a special brochure describing the advantages of FX. So, it says that AMD FX processors can work at huge clock speeds due to the free multiplier (which means the ease of overclocking) and have more cores than competitors of similar cost. Of course, the high clock speeds of multi-core processors mean increased power consumption and heat generation, which requires investment in an advanced motherboard and cooling system and can reduce the demand for older AMD FX models among potential customers. Hardly AMD understands that the sales of powerful FX significantly decreased immediately after the release of Ryzen, and therefore do not make any promises regarding the life expectancy in the market of older FX models. The only thing AMD promises is that Ryzen and FX will co-exist for some time.
Vishera crystals have been produced for several years, their yield and frequency potential are at a very good level, which means that the cost of such chips is relatively low. Therefore, there should not be any problems with the proposal of powerful AMD FX from the CPU developer. With its statements for partners, AMD confirms this and says that it will continue to supply the available processors for the motherboards with AM3 + connectors in stock.
Motherboard with AM3 + connector from Gigabyte
To date, it is difficult to say what the demand for AMD FX products will be as the Ryzen family expands. Apparently, AMD expects to first find out this, and only then fold the release of FX, sets of logic for them and the production of motherboards. In the meantime, the situation with demand remains uncertain, AMD FX from the shelves will not be lost.