AMD “Piledriver” FX-8350 on OpenIndiana

FX-8350 unboxed

I’ve recently acquired a brand-spanking-new AMD FX-8350 CPU as an upgrade to my Phenom II X6 box. All the recent benchmarks of this CPU seem to fairly consistently point to it being a multithreaded monster. Plus, AMD has dropped the price of the new FX CPUs compared to the original Bulldozer architecture parts – and the icing on the cake is that the upgrade path is as simple as performing a BIOS update on my budget ASRock motherboard, and swapping out the old CPU for the new. Bliss!

So, given that AMD’s Piledriver archtecture might be a bit of an unknown as far as compatibility with Illumos and OpenIndiana goes, how does it fare? Well, the system seems to boot fine and run: here is the CPU as detected by Peter Tribble’s Solview app:

FX-8350 detected by Solview

8 cores, running at 4.0GHz – good. Let’s throw half a dozen VMs its way and see what happens:

VirtualBox VMs and the FX-8350

CPU utilization as measured by Solview is in the foreground. I should mention that this is also with a couple of OpenIndiana Zones running: GlassFish serving up a wiki, and a local BIND resolver.

In the time since I’ve installed the CPU I’ve experienced a couple of system freezes, so I’ve disabled core power saving features in BIOS to see if that changes anything. Yes, this is a new CPU architecture on a development build of an OS, but all in all, it’s working fairly well. Assuming I can iron out any stability issues, the FX-8350 is easily an incredible bargain.

Update 1: After further investigating the system hanging issues, it’s not limited to OpenIndiana, and is also encountered with Ubuntu Linux installed. Further updates to happen as I get to the bottom of this 🙂

Update 2: See here.

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5 thoughts on “AMD “Piledriver” FX-8350 on OpenIndiana

  1. Pingback: System hard freezes with the AMD FX-8350 « Dave Koelmeyer

  2. cnxsoft

    Hi,

    I’m considering buy a new PC with the next month with AMD FX8350 or an Intel equivalent, and one of the things I want to do is run some virtual machines with VirtualBox.

    The host os will be Ubuntu 12.04, but I’ll probably run at least one virtual machine with Windows 7 or 8. What worries me with the FX8350 is that it lacks Vt-X extension, and this seems to be a requirements for Windows 8 in VirtualBox, so I wonder if this only works with Intel CPUs. Would you have any insights? Thanks.

    Reply
      1. davekoelmeyer Post author

        It will work with AMD-V – looking at that post the fix is to simply enable hardware assisted virtualization, in this case for the Intel CPU being used. For AMD CPUs the equivalent feature is AMD-V.

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