Today we are taking a look at a custom iBuyPower AMD FX Ultimate PC designed to showcase the capabilities of the AMD FX 9590 CPU. The specifications are below:
- Processor: AMD FX 9590 8-Core Black Edition at 4.7 GHz
- Video Card: 2x AMD HD 7990 in CrossFire
- Motherboard: ASRock 990FX Extreme9
- System Memory: 16GB DDR3 2133 MHz AMD Radeon RG2133 Gamer Series
- Power Supply: 1200W Corsair AX1200i 80 PLUS PLATINUM
- SSD: 2x240GB Solid State in RAID 0 (By: Corsair) (Model: Force GS)
- Storage: 2TB Seagate (7200 RPM)
- Optical Drive: LG 24x Dual Format/Double Layer DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW
- Cooling: NZXT Kraken X40
- Chassis: NZXT Phantom 630 Full Tower
- OS: Microsoft Windows 8 (64-Bit Edition)
Keep in mind, these specifications cannot be chosen on iBuyPower’s online configurator, but at the time the PC was sent to us it was priced at a theoretical $3,999. Configuring a similar build now would be cheaper due to a variety of discounts iBuyPower currently offers for many of the components.
The AMD FX 9590 retails by itself for around $350 at the time of this writing, or $399 with a bundled liquid cooling system. However, AMD’s suggested pricing for the FX 9590 is $306. It should be noted that the FX 9590 is rated to have a TDP of 220W, and tends to run very hot. This is the reason AMD’s preferred method of offering the CPU is either through a system builder such as iBuyPower, or bundled with a liquid cooling system since many air cooling systems would not sufficiently cool the CPU. Also, the FX 9590 cannot be run on all 990FX chipset motherboards, only certain motherboards which have been rated for it due to the sheer amount of power it requires.
Now, having read that, most enthusiasts would slowly back away from the FX 9590 on the basis that any CPU with that many warnings cannot possibly be worth considering. Many enthusiasts have likely also read various FX 9590 reviews and have concluded that it either doesn’t perform as well as they like, uses too much power, or runs too hot. These are all valid concerns that we shared, and we spoke to AMD at length about this PC and the FX 9590 in order to fully understand why the FX 9590 exists and its purpose in the market.
The FX 9590, plainly stated, is a binned and overclocked FX 8530 CPU. AMD’s idea with the FX 9590 was not to compete with Intel, but rather to create the most powerful 32nm Vishera-based CPU they possibly could. We were told that the FX 9590 is not expected to sell at high volume and was created mostly for the reason of “we did it because we could”. It was designed to appeal to AMD enthusiasts who want to get the best, most powerful CPU the company can create (in this gen), as well as gamers and other enthusiasts who want to maximize performance but are hesitant to overclock an FX 8350 to the same frequency as the FX 9590.
The FX 9590 is a Black Edition and comes with an unlocked multiplier, though it’s not expected that most FX 9590 owners will take advantage of that since this CPU comes out the gate running hot and power hungry as it is.
To really sum it up, AMD released an 8-core CPU running at 4.7 GHz just to see how hard they could push the architecture with no regard to power consumption or heat. While this may not be an optimal approach for someone who likes to maintain a respectable power to performance ratio, for someone who only cares about maximizing performance, this is a reasonable strategy. Depending on how one utilizes their processor, the FX 9590 may or may not be better than a similarly priced Intel CPU such as the i7-4820K or i7-4770K in terms of performance.
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