Click here to skip to the proof on why FX WILL SURVIVE!
For those of you who don't know, the FX line is the AMD equivalent of the Intel Extreme processors, which are unlocked and ready to be overclocked! The difference, about $700+ or so. That was until the FX 9xxx series came out.
AMD fans have already been waiting for a new chipset since the 990FX came out a couple years ago, but AMD seemed to be concentrating on their APUs, a smart strategy given it is their edge against Intel. Even their graphics cards were (and are) amazing, giving NVIDIA a run for their money! But instead of a new chipset, AMD thought it would crank out another generation of CPUs.
When the FX 9370 and FX 9590 were released, it was a big win for AMD. If for nothing else but that AMD was the first to reach 5.0GHz with a CPU! That is big news. Intel has yet to release a CPU that will match that speed. Granted, both AMD and Intel CPUs had already been overclocked to 5.0GHz and beyond by enthusiasts, but neither manufacturer had attempted that jump until now.
Kick In The Pants
The kicker was that the FX 9590 was about $1,000 USD! The FX 9370 was considerably lower, but were still talking hundreds upon hundreds of dollars. I believe that many AMD fans are fans because we can buy a top-of-the-line (FX) CPU at a fraction of the price of an Intel Extreme, and still compete moderately well. I'm not sure if AMD was just trying to squeeze as much money out of Vishera - which was also the foundation of the previous AMD FX generation - or if they really wanted to make Intel sit up and take notice, but this was a tragedy in my eyes. It was the first time I saw forum threads where AMD fans turned on themselves.
In addition, these CPUs draw up to 220W of power, which meant you could only use these if you had a compatible (top-of-the-line) motherboard. In all fairness, if you did have the appropriate motherboard, you didn't have to do a BIOS (UEFI for many of us) update in order to get it to work like most CPUs prior. The AMD FX series is not how AMD makes their bread and butter, but with the 9-series it really makes one think if the publicity they got for breaking the 5.0GHz barrier was worth turning away AMD fans...
Months have gone by, benchmarks have surfaced, and people have settled down (somewhat). What we now know is that the FX 9590 can be quite formidable to Intel (Ivy or Haswell) depending on its use. And now that they have been out for sometime, prices have dropped considerably for the 9-series. I have been eying either one since Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and just watched the FX 9590 drop to $300 on NewEgg, where many outlets like Amazon and TigerDirect followed hours later. This makes these chips quite a bargain, despite their power draw.
Okay, here's what you've been waiting for. If you're like me then you've kept tabs on the FX for their next generation. Why? Probably because you're hoping for a cheaper 10-series with less power consumption while still retaining all the benefits of the 9-series. Or maybe you're just a true AMD nut!
Whatever the case, you have seen countless roadmaps paraded around claiming that AMD is getting rid of FX. It is believable, considering the lack of a new chipset, the failure (success?) of the 9-series, and that it's not where they make their money. However, these timelines are not to be trusted...
I came across an article with a timeline spanning a few years proclaiming that the FX line would not even get an update through 2015! I am not one to believe in anything so easily, even when all hope seems utterly lost. This is a good thing because I found proof to the contrary!
Apparently, AMD Manager of APU/CPU Product Reviews, James Prior, stated to Gamers Nexus that the roadmap was nothing but a fake! He added that FX parts aren't being phased out! James continued by saying that it was highly uncommon for such companies to create a roadmap more than a year long, giving many news outlet no credence that their "leaked" roadmaps were valid.
To Sum It Up
This is amazing news for many AMD fans, but how will they find out? Through my small blog? Through the minute article in Fudzilla? In Gamers Nexus (whatever that is...)? However they do, I hope they find it soon before jumping ship and shelling out thousands of dollars for a new rig...
I feel that I should also note that there were other CPUs released from AMD along with the 9-series, the 9-series was just the star of that show. And that I am not much of a fan for AMD's graphic cards, yet, I do see the importance of AMD's acquisition of ATI. While the timing of the purchase may have been poor, there is no doubt that their successful APU venture would not have been as fruitful without ATI's knowledge.