We’ve been big fans of doing comparison articles on similar hardware for you guys and so we’ve decided to continue doing them. Our previous hardware comparison was between the GTX 1060 and GTX 970, both very capable gaming cards. That comparison article was met with popularity, so thank you to all the readers who gave it a look or gave us feedback.
For this article, we’re going to be discussing the frequent debate between the FX 8300 and the FX 8350. They are both FX 8 series processors, don’t get that twisted. But we’ll look a bit deeper into what each of them offers, as well as talk about the value per dollar each brings. More than likely, you are looking at those two AMD FX processors to fill out or upgrade your budget-oriented rig. That makes comparing the two CPUs for value much more important as we obviously want the best processor for the price.
Prices: FX 8300 and FX 8350
Before we proceed to any explaining, it’s best to understand the prices of both processors. The 8350 retails for more money than the 8300, but their price differences aren’t as big as one might expect. As of this publication (note: prices may change at any time), the FX 8300 is priced at $98.69 from AMD’s official seller page. Comparatively, the FX 8350 Black Edition is priced $162.91 with the new Wraith cooler.
While the jump from ~$98 to ~$162 is not the biggest, consumers still have a conscious decision to make. For example, would roughly $60 best be used to upgrade from an 8300 to an 8350? Or is it better to stay with the cheaper 8300 and use that money elsewhere, perhaps on a mechanical keyboard (read our list of the best under $50)?. Continue reading below as we examine why one might buy either processor, as they both have their own pros.
Why buy the AMD FX-8300?
Here we’ll discuss what the FX-8300 offers you that the FX-8350 probably won’t. Again, they are both very similar processors made by the same manufacturer and, on a larger scale, both target the same kind of audience. There is a lot of overlap in terms of features for both CPUs, but we’re here to dissect the differences for you.
One of the biggest reasons you might prefer an 8300 over the more expensive and newer 8350 is price. We went over this in the section above so it’s plain and simple: the FX-8300 costs less than the FX-8350. The cost differential is not as great as something like going from an i5 to an i7, but if you’re trying to save a few dollars it does matter. The Thermal Design Power (TDP), or the maximum amount of power the AMD FX 8300 can draw is set at 95 watts. That is a bit less than the maximum 125 watts that the 8350 might draw, so if you’re looking to save slightly on power costs, the 8300 uses less of it. Again, the margins are not too big, but we are comparing two processors in the same exact family here.
The only thing I could really say about the FX-8300 is this: if you want a highly rated 8-core processor that has excellent single-core speed and you are going to be using this for a gaming build, get the FX-8300. It handles everything pretty well, never really gets too hot or noisy, and has 8 full cores along with respectable clock speeds. The price is definitely worth considering, as this is one of the cheapest among our choices for best CPU under $150. Bottom line is if you need something like this that’s affordable and gets the job done for gaming, the 8300 is enough.
Why buy the AMD FX-8350?
We made the distinction that the FX-8300 is an awesome mid-tier gaming processor that can be purchased for low-tier prices. But what about the FX-8350? Surely the raised price has to be for something, right? Absolutely. The FX-8350, in as briefly as we can put it, is simply a more powerful version of the FX-8300.
While the 8300 might be cheaper by $50 or $60, the FX-8350 does offer a faster base clock rate. It runs at 4.0 Ghz compared to the FX-8300’s base rate of 3.3 Ghz. Both processors are unlocked at 8 cores, so overclocking should be as simple as getting to your motherboard’s BIOS system and changing the clock rate from there. More on this later.
Perhaps another reason you might choose the FX-8350 vs the FX-8300 is the new Wraith cooler that now comes with later versions of the 8350. This was a recent addition by AMD but it is definitely a welcome one. The Wraith cooler is noticeably better than the stock cooler both the 8300 and 8350 originally came with. It is quieter, uses about the same amount of power, and is extremely efficient in cooling. Plus, it looks really cool, perfect for those that enjoy adding a theme to their desktop.
Verdict: AMD FX-8300 vs FX-8350
This was a rather simple comparison. The 8300 costs a little bit less than the 8350, while still offering 8 physical cores and a decent clock speed of 3.3 Ghz. The 8350 obviously costs more, also has 8 physical cores but with a base clock speed of 4.0 Ghz, and includes the new Wraith cooler.
Before we get into which one you should purchase, first comes our pro tip.
Pro tip: if you have an FX processor, overclock it! Click here to see our comparison between Ryzen vs. FX!
This may seem obvious to seasoned PC gaming vets, but for those that aren’t aware, AMD’s FX processors are mostly unlocked. This means that as a consumer, you are able to overclock them to your desired clock rate. You’ll definitely need a dedicated cooler if you wish to do heavy overclocking however (for instance, overclocking the older FX-6300). This is also why the Wraith cooler appeals to so many gamers. It does its job much better than the stock cooler does.
Now we can get into which you should purchase. Everyone’s PC needs are different so let me try to be detailed in explaining what the best processor might be for you. The clear winner on paper is the FX-8350. It is more powerful, has a faster clock rate, and has an excellent cooler. However that is merely on paper.
Because both processors are overclockable to your desires, it is probably best to get yourself an AMD FX-8300. Why? You can achieve virtually the same performance using the FX-8300 as the FX-8350 by overclocking. The base clock rate of 3.3 Ghz from the FX-8300 can be bumped up to match the performance of the FX-8350. The only difference is that the maximum TDP that the FX-8300 draws is 30 watts less. Essentially, the performance of the FX-8300 can match the performance of the FX-8350 while also using much less power. Talk about value.
Winner: AMD FX-8300 overclocked
So for the best value for your money, do yourself a favor and get the FX-8300. Against the FX-8350, it doesn’t win head-to-head. But with some easy maneuvering, you are able to match performance while drawing less power. This is also why we tend to recommend the AMD FX-8300 the most. It was featured on our “Best Budget CPUs” list instead of the FX-8350 for exactly this reason. You can usually pick it up for under $100 too.
What good is the FX-8350 then?
You’re probably wondering why the AMD FX-8350 even exists if the FX-8300 is that much better? Well, it is technically more powerful than the 8300 at its core. The base rate is faster and it does a better job at not heating up so quickly. For the more casual gamer or PC user, the FX-8350 is still an excellent choice. But if you’re going to do any overclocking at all (which you absolutely should if you’re buying an FX processor), it’s best to get the FX-8300 and perhaps use that saved money on a better cooler as well as some gaming accessories.