AMD Bulldozer FX-8150
AMD has been buzzing along as of late with the release of Zacate and Llano. The new direction of the company has really been a breath of fresh air especially with the introduction of “Fusion” technology. The on-die GPU’s that support DX11 are simply groundbreaking territory and has Intel on guard. Bulldozer is the final step in what we call the AMD Trifecta bringing an excellent market strategy. AMD fans were disappointed in the Bulldozer delay but today, we see what AMD has developed.
The buzz throughout the community, at least from what we’ve seen, was Bulldozer trouncing Intel. AMD never advertised beating Intel’s new flagship platform called Sandy Bridge but speculation showed AMD was knocking on the door with the world’s first eight-core processor. The new FX lineup packs eight cores through four cores, pricing out from $245 to a mere $115. The FX processors will have the option of a base package with AMD’s stock air heatsink but is first at the plate with an all-in-one sealed watercooling solution for performance seekers. AMD has coupled the Antec 920 as a option with pricing to be determined. The All In One provided adequate cooling as a 120mm radiator has a tough time dissipating 125W of power but is much better than today’s air cooling solutions.
Bulldozer has been designed from the ground up to bring a more efficient and better performing CPU. However, looking at the performance we can firmly say the FX-8150 (AMD’s flagship processor) does not beat Intel’s 2600K but we really did not expect it to. We benchmarked the FX processor with a wide range of synthetic and real world benchmarks and Bulldozer shows a mix of results. In older “primitive” benchmarks, the FX-8150 did not shine, but AMD did not engineer Bulldozer for old applications. However, using eight cores will obviously benefit muti-threaded applications and multitasking in today’s world.
Overall, pure performance goes to Intel in this round, clock for clock. Overclocking the FX chip was rather good, but value has always been AMD’s mainstay in the market. At $245, the FX-8150 isn’t the best value. We’d opt for the 8120, for example, which is cheaper, is unlocked (all FX chips are), and can easily attain the 8150 speeds on the cheap. We’d consider that a much better value. Bulldzozer is good, but we were hoping for a bit more, though the silver lining here is the mid-range chips, coupled with pricing tweaks as things move forward, could put strong value in the hands of consumers. Enthusiasts, however, will probably see things a bit differently.