Wednesday, October 12, 2011

AMD Bulldozer Benchmarks And Reviews

One of this seasons most hotly-anticipated CPU launches is AMD’s new Bulldozer architecture. Geeks everywhere have waited to see if company’s new FX processor line-up has what it takes to face off against Intel’s Sandy Bridge and put AMD back in the fight.

“Bulldozer” is considered AMD’s first true redesign of a chip since the original Athlon 64. AMD will initially launch four FX chips (two eight cores, one six core and a quad core) ranging from $115 to $245 with three more chips (an additional eight core and two quad cores) coming sometime down the road.
  • FX-8150: Eight cores, 3.6 GHz CPU base (3.9 GHz Turbo Core, 4.2 GHz Max Turbo), $245 suggested retail price (U.S.)
  • FX-8120: Eight cores, 3.1 GHz CPU base (3.4 GHz Turbo Core, 4.0 GHz Max Turbo), $205 suggested retail price (U.S.)
  • FX-6100: Six cores, 3.3 GHz CPU base (3.6 GHz Turbo Core, 3.9 GHz Max Turbo), $165 suggested retail price (U.S.)
  • FX-4100: Four cores, 3.6 GHz CPU base (3.7 GHz Turbo Core, 3.8 GHz Max Turbo), $115 suggested retail price (U.S.)

The company’s top end chip is the FX-8150 which is made up of four dual-core modules on a single die. Modules are a new tech term coined by AMD to explain the use of two monolithic “cores” each with its own set of integer schedulers, pipelines and L1 data cache. Each of the chips in the FX line will feature these new modules, 2 for quad cores, 3 for six core chips and 4 for the eight core chips. All of the chips in the FX line-up will also be unlocked meaning they should be highly overclockable, not a big deal to the masses but great news for you overclockers out there.

Motherboard Compatibility
This is one question I'm sure everyone will have. So here it is in a nut shell. AMD is certifying its FX processors for use on Socket-AM3+ motherboards only. Owners of standard AM3 motherboards will have to rely on the motherboard manufacturers to certify their boards for use with the new chips. This means that the socket AM3 boards may indeed work (they are physically the same) however you may need a bios update. From AMD's perspective only AM3+ motherboards with BIOS/UEFI support for Bulldozer are officially supported. This doesn't mean other boards won't work AMD is just saying they can't guarantee that they will. You'll want to check with your motherboard manufacture before buying a new FX chip!

So the reviews are in, what is the verdict?

Well the early reviews are in and I hate to say AMD has failed to impress most reviewers. In most of the test the high end AMD FX-8150 shows performance results that falls in between Intel's Core i5-2500K and Core i7-2600K —which isn't really what most of us would expect. Speaking as an AMD fan I'm sure most of us had hoped the chip would out perform the more expensive Core i7-2600K and totally spank the Core i5-2500K. In some tests it did, in most it was really a toss up.

AMD FX-8150 Benchmarks and Reviews

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