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Review: AMD Bulldozer FX-8150

by Tarinder Sandhu on 12 October 2011, 05:00 3.0

Tags: AMD (NYSE:AMD)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qa7lo

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How we test

 

CPU comparisons

CPU Approx.
pricing
Clock speed Cores threads Motherboard Chipset Memory Memory timings
AMD FX-8150 £190 3.6GHz 8/8 ASUS Crosshair V Formula 990FX DDR3 1,600 9-9-9-24-2T
AMD Phenom II X6 1100T £140 3.3GHz 6/6 ASUS Crosshair V Formula 990FX DDR3 1,600 9-9-9-24-2T
AMD Phenom II X6 1055T £120 2.8GHz 6/6 ASUS Crosshair IV Formula 890FX DDR3 1,600 9-9-9-24-2T
AMD Phenom II X4 980BE £130 3.7GHz 4/4 ASUS Crosshair IV Formula 890FX DDR3 1,600 9-9-9-24-2T
AMD Phenom II X4 975BE £120 3.6GHz 4/4 ASUS Crosshair IV Formula 890FX DDR3 1,600 9-9-9-24-2T
AMD Athlon II X4 645 £80 3.1GHz 4/4 ASUS Crosshair IV Formula 890FX DDR3 1,600 9-9-9-24-2T
Intel Core i7 2600K £230 3.4GHz 4/8 ASUS P8P67 PRO P67 DDR3 1,600 9-9-9-24-2T
Intel Core i5 2500K £160 3.3GHz 4/4 ASUS P8P67 PRO P67 DDR3 1,600 9-9-9-24-2T
Intel Core i5 650 £120 3.0GHz 2/4 Gigabyte H55M H55 DDR3 1,333 9-9-9-24-2T
Intel Core i7 870 £150 3.6GHz 4/8 ASUS P7P55D P55 DDR3 1,333 9-9-9-24-2T
Intel Core i5 750 £120 2.67GHz 4/4 ASUS P7P55D P55 DDR3 1,333 9-9-9-24-2T
Intel Core i7 990X EE £770 3.46GHz 6/12 ASUS P6X58D-E X58 DDR3 1,333 9-9-9-24-2T
Intel Core i7 980X EE £430 3.33GHz 6/12 ASUS P6X58D-E X58 DDR3 1,333 9-9-9-24-2T
Intel Core i7 970 £350? 3.2GHz 6/12 ASUS P6X58D-E X58 DDR3 1,333 9-9-9-24-2T
Intel Core i7 950 £180 3.06GHz 4/8 ASUS P6X58D-E X58 DDR3 1,333 9-9-9-24-2T
*Suggested retail price. Some parts may be unavailable now.

Common components

Discrete GPU AMD Radeon HD 6950 2GB (Cat 11.5)
Power Supply Corsair HX1000W
Monitor Dell 30in 3007WFP
Disk drive(s) Corsair V128 SSD
Chassis Corsair Obsidian Series 700D
Operating system Windows 7 Ultimate, SP1, 64-bit

Benchmarks

CPU  
AIDA64 Useful application to test memory bandwidth
HEXUS.PiFast Using CPU power to crunch to constant to 10m places - light load
iTunes MP3 Encodes WAV files into 192kb/s MP3 - light load
CINEBENCH R11.5 Multi-CPU render - heavy load
TrueCrypt 7.0a Encryption benchmark - heavy load
wPrime 2.0.4 Calculate 1024M prime numbers - heavy load
GPU  
3Mark Vantage DX10 benchmark that stresses the GPU and CPU
COD: BO 30-second FRAPS through a frenetic section, 768p
StarCraft II 90-second FRAPS through a typical battle, 720p
Power-draw Run at idle and wPrime load (2D)

Notes

Giving you as comprehensive an overview as we can, the FX-8150's results have been added to numbers obtained on a bunch of other chips. A fresh installation of Windows 7 64-bit includes the latest drivers mandated by AMD, and we've made sure there's architecture-to-architecture consistency by benchmarking a Phenom II X6 1100T on the very same board as the FX-8150.

We've been very careful to ensure that, as much as possible, this is an apples-to-apples comparison. This means the graphics driver for the Radeon HD 6950 2GB is Catalyst 11.5. Further, all benchmark builds have been kept consistent from when we last ran the numbers on multiple CPUs, though the one exception is AIDA64, which had to be updated to the latest version in order for it to work with the FX.

The following graphs have the AMD FX-8150, Phenom II X6 1100T and Intel Core i5 2500K highlighted. Understanding that a chip is usually introduced at a premium and then is price-reduced in the subsequent weeks, the focus seems reasonably fair. Of course, feel free to compare the FX's numbers to anything in the graph, especially the 2600K.