FX-8320 Quandry

I have a Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 1.1 mobo with a AMD Phenom II X4. I purchased the board as an upgrade option, and recently did attempt to upgrade to one of the top processors that it can handle, an FX-8320. I was going to install Win7 32-bit from scratch but I went with a basic backup image that didn't have any games. (I'm a computer tech and I experiment with software on a regular basis, so naturally I often f^@k up my os and have to go back to an image with just the basics installed.) I ran some benchmark apps, ran a burn-in app until the processor over-heated, you know, the usual things you do with a new processor. I could only marvel at how low the temp was on this supposedly 'hot' processor. On boot-up I got temps around 11C with air cooling! I also noticed that most of the regular utilities and apps were distributed across all 8 cores rather than the first two cores, as I'd seen on a friends i7. I was also trying the newest version of Avast!, version 9, which I now think is possibly too invasive compared to the version 8, and I believe it was causing installation issues. I started to get this notion after I tried to install a new version of CorelDRAW, version 6, which I've used for years with no problems. This version came up once or twice, and then crashed every time thereafter. I couldn't get it to uninstall either without locking up, so I went to the forums to see if this was a common problem. It looked a little too common to me, with no apparent solution, so I went back to CorelDRAW 5. When I installed this version, it reacted the same way. Hmmmm. I assumed it was a driver issue or the new Avast! 9, but a couple re-installations of Win7 with alternate drivers and no Avast! 9 didn't eliminate the issue. Finally, after a couple more re-installs of Windows 7 with nothing but the most basic utilities, CorelDRAW installed and ran successfully. I still have no idea why, but I was just happy that I'd solved the problem. I need CorelDRAW for vector graphics work. Next I went on to installing games, and one of the first games I installed was Crysis. I've installed this game over and over for years and never had an issue. This time however, it installed fine, but when I attempted to boot it, the screen went black and it crashed in the background, forcing me to use CTRL-ALT-DEL to get back to my desktop where I could click on the prompt to shut it down. Again I began wondering if it was Avast! or another driver issue. I went online to investigate the forums again, and this seemed to be a common problem, but mainly with Win7 64-bit. I tried a half-dozen of the suggested solutions and none of them worked. I couldn't get a lot of info about the success of running the old Crysis on 8-core processors because most people are running Crysis 3 now, but there was no general complaint about not being able to run Crysis, just that some people had a problem and there were several things that worked for some to get it to run right, but some people couldn't find any solution. Around this time I decided to try over-clocking the FX-8320, just a bit, so I used the included app to bump it up to 4.1 GHz, which it seemed to do with no issue. The temps were still very low. I didn't see the increase in performance for some reason and even a significant slowing down when running some apps. I should have run a benchmark, but I was still working on the other Crysis (hahaha). I decided to test the possibility of Crysis being sensitive to the number of cores by using the option in Win7 to run Windows on only 4 cores. I noticed at once that Windows and everything else seemed noticeably slower than even when I used my Phenom X4 (remember, it's still oc'd), and Crysis still wouldn't run. The only thing I hadn't tried was switching out the FX-8320 for my Phenom X4 to see if Crysis just didn't like the FX-8320 for some reason. So after a fresh install of Win7 with nothing other than Crysis, and of course, it refused to boot up with the still present FX-8320, I shut everything down and swapped processors. When I booted back up, Crysis ran like a charm. So I have a couple questions: do you think that the processor could be 'bad' in some way that is incredibly subtle, and in fact, may be too subtle for most people to notice that don't do lots and lots of testing? Someone mentioned the possibility that at least some of the FX-8320's may be FX-8350's that failed for some reason to meet that processors testing standards or whatever. Or would you blame Crysis? Are there games in your experience that don't like 8-core processors or merely the FX processors? Do you think the new 'shared-cache' design could somehow be an issue with any software, or is that a pretty isolated process from any software? And finally, have you heard of anyone else having issues with the new Avast! 9 preventing proper installations, etc.? I welcome your response. I like your show and find it thought provoking on occasion.

This seems a little odd.

Someone mentioned the possibility that at least some of the FX-8320's may be FX-8350's that failed for some reason

Yes, this is called processor binning and Intel have done this for many years. AMD also do it (with exception to the 81xx series, had an 8120 that out ran most 8150's) 

With a fresh install, try using the first two updates linked HERE. As I shall know quote peps1


Fixes the CPU scheduling techniques that are used by Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 that are not optimized for the AMD Bulldozer module architecture. This architecture is found on AMD FX series, AMD Opteron 4200/4300 Series, and AMD Opteron 6200/6300 Series processors. Therefore, multithreaded workloads may not be optimally distributed on computers that have one of these processors installed in a lightly-threaded environment. This may result in decreased system performance for some applications.


Fixes the CPU Power Policies that are used by Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 are not optimized for the dual core AMD Bulldozer module architecture. This architecture is found on AMD FX series, AMD Opteron 4200 Series, and AMD Opteron 6200 Series processors. This can result in decreased system performance with multithreaded workloads in lightly-threaded environments.When this update is installed, Bulldozer modules will be less likely to achieve the C6 power state. This potentially results in increased power consumption in more lightly-threaded environments.Important If you apply this update, you cannot revert the settings by uninstalling this update. This update should only be installed on computers that have KB2645594 installed.

See if these help.

As for Avast, I do not use it, although I have had numerous issues with it over the years and gave up with it when one year it decided to remove photoshop claiming it as a virus. (FFS)

Good Luck and post backs with your results.

Also little tip, consider paragraphing your post, will make it a little easier to read :)