AMD has launched two processors in China this week: the FX-8300 CPU and the Athlon X4 860K. The FX-8300 will be sold exclusively to OEMs in China, while the Athlon CPU will be available worldwide later this month.
The FX-8300 is based on the older Piledriver architecture, and slots in between the FX-8320 and FX-8350 despite its naming convention. The main focus with the FX-8300 is to enable multi-threaded performance at a lower price point. The TDP is still 95W, but the higher clocks at 3.2 GHz base/3.5 GHz turbo make the CPU an enticing option for OEMs, considering that it is priced between the FX-8320 and FX-8350.
The Athlon X4 860K CPU, which is currently exclusive to China, offers four Steamroller cores that are clocked at 3.7 GHz, 2 MB L2 cache, and is designed for the FM2+ socket. The CPU comes with an unlocked multiplier, which means that it is easily overclockable. The $84 retail price for an unlocked quad-core Steamroller CPU makes the X4 860K a viable alternative for system builders looking to build a budget gaming rig.
AMD’s decision to launch the processors in China ahead of other regions is indicative of the manufacturer’s growing interest in developing markets. Emerging countries like China and India are attracting significant attention from manufacturers as growth plateaus in developed markets like the US.
While the Chinese market has a lot of potential, the unofficial stance of favouring local brands over US-based technology companies is creating a lot of roadblocks for manufacturers looking to ply their wares in the country. Recently, Qualcomm and Microsoft have been hit with investigations, and while Intel has managed to stay away from official scrutiny in part due to its “contacts”, AMD has neither the clout nor the cash reserves to take on Chinese regulatory authorities.