Everything Digital, Everything Art

[Review] AMD AM3+ 8-core FX 9590 CPU & Blender Part 2

Since the first review of the AMD FX 9590, I thought it would be best to do a follow-up review since it has been some time since the first review, that happened a week after purchasing the CPU. First off, that beast of a CPU is a hefty CPU in terms of wattage, taking in a whopping 220W, but that’s not what I want to really talk about. There is a lot I want to mention, and that is about how well it works for 3D software, it’s practicality, and an overall fair review. So, let’s get back to business, and start to talk serious business.

First off, with Blender it worked “ok”, but it was very dependent on the OS. With Windows 7, there are some FX specific updates. These updates seem to help with the 8100 series quite well, and I’ve seen some great render times with Blender using the 8100 series, and even some 8300 series, but the 9000 series has not been good.  So, that is one issue. As for everything else, it has worked very well.

Keep in mind, I was running the 9590 with an air-only cooling system, and running it at 4.7GHz with Turbo disabled. Without a liquid cooling solution, getting the 5.0GHz speed wasn’t going to happen. With a Cooler Master Hyper 212, I was able to get it up to 4.82GHz stable, and running at 60C under load. Still, it was nothing to really brag about in terms of Blender rendering. In Windows 10, which did speed up my rendering, still gave me a 6 minute and 24 second render time, using the BMW27 scene.

Now, Linux users of course had much better times with these CPUs, and I’m guessing because of how the Linux kernel deals with the logical cores. Using an Ubuntu Live USB, with Blender 2.72, I was able to render the same scene in 4 minutes; a 2.5 minute increase from the usual render time. To test the Windows side for differences, I used Passmark, Maxwell’s Benchwell, and Cinebench; all of which showed slightly slower times than the ones made by the 5.0-5.2GHz 9590 users. This told me there was not an issue with the CPU, or settings, but how Blender dealt with the CPU. Even with the AVX kernel turned off, times were only a few seconds better, and developers were stumped.

Another point I want to make with this CPU, is that everyone on the internet will tell you that this CPU is a waste of time, and that it’s just an overclocked FX 8350. Now, this is true to an extent. The stats are the exact same, except that the core clock is faster. Something I want to point out between the two processors. In order to get the 8350 to the same speed (even 4.7GHz), will require some overclocking of the core, the voltage, and the VRM, as well as a lot of time and heartache. I went as far as overclocking it to 4.4GHz, and ran into stability issues, even with voltage increases. Already I was having to put a load onto my VRM. With the 9590, I didn’t have to do any of this, unless I wanted to go over 4.72GHz. Not only that, that base speed still doesn’t require a liquid cooling system (at least anything better than the stock liquid system). So, think about that. Another $20 for a CPU set up to run 4.7Ghz out of the box, without having to do ANYTHING.

Now for the bad part, it will leave you wishing you had more, and will always run hot no matter what. If you want something that just runs, and runs well, get a 8350, and live with it. If you want to overclock, and liquid cool it, get the 9590. Either way, I do not recommend it for Blender Windows users at all. Intel CPUs are not that expensive anymore; get a 2011v3 motherboard, a 4770k haswell, and render the same scene in under 3 minutes, while having the same performance as a 9590 everywhere else.

Just so you know, I got so sick of the poor performance, I bought a Corsair H100i GTX liquid cooling system (I really didn’t want to deal with the old Swiftech system in the garage), and it did quite well the first boot. The 2nd boot the pump failed, an issue that was suppose to be fixed with newer units, and my 9590 died quite quickly at a measly 4.72GHz. I’m now using a 8350, until I the 2016 horizon where I see what AMD has in store for us. If it looks good, I may try again, otherwise I’m moving to Intel; an option that seems to be more feasible for my rendering needs.

So, with that, take what I say into account when deciding if you want this CPU or not. I personally hated AMD the day the CPU died, but at the same time I missed the performance I had when it was replaced by the 8350. Still, I wish I had a CPU that was good enough to help render anything in my 3D software.