Your CPU is absolutely vital to the entire experience of operating a PC.
Forget about gaming for a second – just the act of pressing “return” wouldn’t be possible without the magical chip at the center of it all.
And with the proper CPU, you can be sure that your computer never falls under the weight of too little RAM or an inferior GPU.
While you might think that the CPU should be a hefty investment, you’ll be astounded when you find out how such a powerful core can come in a small, affordable package like the FX 6300 CPU.
Specs for the FX 6300
We know what you’re thinking – “This is a CPU that’s almost six years old. What could possibly be so amazing about this, and why is it still actively sold?”
The answer lies in the meat of the FX 6300 itself, a six-core processor that can withstand temperatures up to 70.5 Celsius. The base clock speed tops out at 3.5 GHz, an amazing feat in itself when you consider that this is a locked* CPU capable of an additional 300 MHz boost.
We don’t expect you to be attempting to overclock this– if you’re looking for a superpowered CPU, you wouldn’t be checking out an AMD that has one core for each year it’s been available.
The FX 6300 contains 1866 MHZ of DDR3 system memory to complement the RAM you already have in your system. Originating in 2012, this CPU will work all the way back to Windows 7 if you’re sticking with an older operating system.
The CPU draws a total of 95 watts, right around the expected output of a CPU operating at full capacity. It uses AM3+ sockets and supports the use of PCIe 3.0, so you won’t have to worry about compatibility issues if you’re using this CPU to budget for a high-end graphics card.
The 6300 model comes with a stock fan that will be fine for those sticking to basic performance, but anyone who attempts to overlock the FX 6300 should think about investing in a better cooling system, especially with temperatures that this CPU will produce. The FX-6300 can be adjusted through the operating system to change how you want it to utilize your computer’s resources, focusing on low noise, high performance, or balanced for energy efficiency. 3 caches give you access to 288 KB, 6 MB and 8MB respectively.
The entire CPU is built on 8th-generation x86 architecture, with the lack of 64-bit compatibility being the one noticeable drawback of this otherwise fantastic CPU option. With 64-bit programming options so readily available, you won’t be able to help the feeling of being a bit behind the times while running a dedicated 32-bit operations system with the FX 6300.
*AMD’s product description on their official website specifically states that the FX 6300 is not unlocked, along with several user reviews affirming this statement seen on different online vendors.
3.5 GHz, with a boost to 4.1 GHz possible through system software
Pricing the FX 6300
Let’s get this out of the way: if you need to skimp on any part of a potential middle-road gaming rig, or you need a computer for work that will give you everything you need for potential Google Hangouts with a dozen coworkers, you can’t go wrong with the FX 6300.
This CPU will cost you a few dollars more than a brand-new AAA video game, and possibly less than the motherboard you choose as its home when you have a design for a rig in mind.
The FX 6300 is readily available through Amazon, and typically runs for around $65. The price will increase as you approach retailers such as Best Buy and Wal-Mart. But the simple fact that bigger retailers even stock this CPU after such a long time in production tells you that there is still a demand for it.
If you’re okay with buying a used product, eBay is home to many vendors looking to unload this model in favor of an upgrade. Recent listings dipped as low as $50 to $40, but these might be missing the stock fan that comes with an unopened model straight from AMD.
How do you compare something so powerful at such a price to other CPU’s on the market? It’s a little complicated when you consider the capability of the FX 6300 for such an affordable price. To start, we looked at other members of the AMD family: the FX-4300, a four-core CPU, and the FX 8320, an eight-core.
The power of each CPU across the board is very similar – the FX-4300 tops out at 3.8, and oddly enough, the 8320 is equally as powerful as its six-core cousin at the center of this review. The 4300 and 6300 draw the exact same amount of power with 95 watts, while the 8320 understandably uses more energy with an average consumption of 125 watts.
The prices of each reflect their performance potential. The 4300 typically retails for the same price as the 6300, and the 8320 will command around $90. Although the age of the 6300 and the 8320 is the same, the 4300 has only been available since 2016.
A major area where they 6300 differs from its less and more powerful relatives is their processing potential. While the 4300 is capable of 3.5 GHz and the 8320 can perform at 4.0 GHz out of their boxes, they are also unlocked, unlike the 6300.
User reviews have noted the potential for the 8320 to reach as high as 5 GHZ when the system is pushed, but this likely was after pairing it with an additional cooler and a powerful graphics card.
As it stands, the 6300 is best for those who won’t plan to make any huge attempts at pushing their PC to the point of exhaustion. All three models come with a warranty period of 3 years.
AMD FX 6300
AMD FX 4300
AMD FX 8320
Ease of Use
The Good and Bad of the FX-6300
Now that you’ve taken a look at similar CPU models, you’ll want to know about the actual performance of the AMD FX-6300. How does it handle tasks involving gaming, and can it stand up to its bigger, pricier competitors and other CPU’s in the AMD family?
As we have already mentioned, don’t expect to be able to do a lot of customization with this CPU. Six cores or not, you are limited to what AMD has allowed you to do with this CPU. That means you won’t be launching any rockets outside of those trying to take out your base inside your gaming session. This isn’t a negative, far from it!
The appeal of a CPU that costs about the same as a Blu-Ray drive, and handles tasks that some Intel processors twice its price could not accomplish, is enough to give this a recommendation on its own. The stock cooler gets the job done, as long as you ensure that the paste came properly applied and you keep the tower vented as usual.
Even without overclocking capabilities, you can still use the built-in AMD OverDrive software to push the FX-6300 into 4.0+ GHz areas. AMD’s experience working with Sony and Microsoft on their respective PlayStation and Xbox platforms – plus decades of building hardware for PC platforms – speaks to the reliability of their brand.
Of course, keeping yourself relegated to a six-core CPU puts you in an awkward position: what exactly are you trying to accomplish with this CPU?
If you’re a serious gamer, this might restrict you for future releases, especially if you’ve been contemplating a VR headset, or want to stay at the forefront of 4K gaming and spread your display across multiple monitors.
While a graphics card is the primary focus of a gaming-heavy experience, a capable CPU is needed to back up the GPU any time you’re getting into an intense session taking up hours of your time.
You might also wonder about the cooling capabilities of the stock fan included with the FX-6300. While the included fan should be sufficient for everyday tasks, there is some concern about the potential for this reaching its maximum temperature of 70.5.
If you find yourself in marathon gaming sessions pushing your CPU performance to the limit, you may want to consider finding an additional cooler for the rest of your rig.
There’s also the simple fact that this is a six-year-old processor built on X86 architecture. As more developers focus on 64-bit as the standard, the amount of time you’ll be capable of fully utilizing a CPU based on 32-bit programming decreases every day.
Investing in the FX-6300 in 2018 isn’t going to cause too many problems for simply browsing websites and messaging coworkers. But if your interest in a CPU extends beyond sending email and replying to memos, you’ll need to think about a potential upgrade in the very near future.
Making a Decision on the AMD RX-6300
Buying the RX-6300 for your PC comes down to the kind of operations you expect to perform while using your system.
The RX-6300 is more the efficient if you’re looking for a replacement for your business computer, or something to keep installed in a spare setup that isn’t your focus of operations. It’s still a capable gaming CPU as well, as long as you don’t plan to run anything brand new on maximum settings.
Having access to a six-core CPU like the RX-6300 for less than $75 will make even the most hardcore gamer sit up and take notice. This is true especially when similar CPU’s in the AMD family are priced the same or even higher, as we saw in the case of the FX-8320.
If you’re on the fence, you could easily buy the RX-6300 as a temporary stopgap and get yourself an upgrade when the opportunity presents itself.
The advantage of AMD processors is their reliability and consistent compatibility with all major brands of motherboards and GPU setups, ensuring that you can upgrade when you feel the time is right. Even after six years, the 6300 model is more than capable of holding you over on your current gaming. It allows you to communicate with the outside world while you think about choosing a newer CPU, or possibly an entirely new PC.
For those who aren’t serious about gaming with the nicest possible graphics running at the fastest possible framerate, we recommend purchasing the RX-6300. It’s a solution for those who might want to put more of their budget into other portions of a gaming rig: a larger monitor, an additional chunk of memory, or a deluxe gaming mouse-and-keyboard combination.
If, however, you want to perform complex operations that involve streaming your games for others to watch, hosting a multiplayer server of your own, or plan to program lines of code, you’ll need to at least keep an eye out for potential deals on an upgrade.
The AMD FX-6300 is a fine choice for an entry-level PC that you can use to book appointments, correspond with professionals, and browse just about any website with no issue.
As the standard for programming continues to shift into 64-bit, you won’t be able to escape the feeling that your CPU is living on the same borrowed time as it has spent on the shelf.
Anyone looking for a temporary safe choice that won’t result in overspending and leaves some wiggle room for the rest of a PC setup will not be disappointed with the FX-6300.
4 out of 5 stars