AMD FX-8150, FX Series Review - Bulldozer makes debut

By on October 11, 2011, 11:00 PM

AMD has continued to improve the Phenom II range to this day, with the Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition leading the charge for the quad-cores, and the six-core Phenom II X6 1100T Black Edition remaining as the flagship offering. The Phenom II has had to deal with the Intel Core i7 on multiple platforms, as well as the Core i5 and Core i3 processors, for almost 3 years now.

After all this time, is the pain finally coming to an end for AMD? A code-name has been tossed around for years now that is meant to do exactly that, that name is Bulldozer. Today AMD is launching its new FX processor lineup comprised of the flagship FX-8150 along with the FX-8120, FX-6100 and FX-4170 processors.

The fastest of the bunch, the FX-8150 will retail for $245, making it 20+% cheaper than the popular Sandy Bridge-based Core i7-2600K. Keep reading as we explore the inner details of AMD's new FX series and we benchmark all four new processors being launched today.

Read the complete review.




User Comments: 172

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Guest said:

AMD themselves were way too quiet. And then when the talk of Bulldozers successor came out recently, I EFFING KNEW AMD HAD NADDA!

*Pets his 2500K @ 4.5GHz, RipjawsX 1600MHz @ 1866MHz 1.6v, and his pair of 6950 2GB's!

Oh the fun we'll have with the AMD fanboys now!

Guest said:

It is over AMD. Intel would score a massive victory now if it dropped its prices to 5% below that of the FX lineup.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

All hail the new king............ of WinRAR

Pretty much expected, but still disappointing. Not too sure how many Phenom II X4/X6 owners will be taking this "upgrade" path, especially as the re-sell market could take a big hit if retail pricing drops substantially.

Guest said:

Trading blows with the 2500K, It's not AMD Crushing Chipzilla in every aspect, but it is still a good buy. And that 4170 is looking good for people tight on cash.

Chazz said:

The only thing that I find a failure here is absolutely no improvement to gaming performance. The other areas are around what I'd expect from AMD. I hear this clocks very well though, I'll be paying a lot of attention to this in the next few months.

I need to decide if I should stick with my 1055 for another year or two, I could squeeze a few mhz out of this one..maybe to 4.1

Guest said:

AMD FX4170 looks like it'll be a beast of a budget CPU.

Guest said:

It needs to be OC'd to match the 2500 and 2600K and use 440w?

AMD users are better off with their Phenoms.

klepto12 klepto12, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Well amd did improve in some areas but how can you not beat an architecture that's been out for over 2 years just disappointing. If i owned an amd phenom x6 i wouldn't even bother with this unless u like winrar idk was just expecting more now intel has nothing to worry about oh well ill just hold on to my i5 2500k its doing just fine

Guest said:

I would just like to point out for gaming on a 8150: you get those fps... and then you have 4 or more cores on the side doing -nothing- that you can use to encode, run vms, etc, without a major impact on your game.

Just food for thought since we already know games DON'T use 8 cores.

klepto12 klepto12, TechSpot Paladin, said:

technically they are not true cores per say more like a quad with 4 hyper threaded cores done the right way like 80% compared to like 25% for intel hyper threaded cores.

Guest said:

wah wahhh

Damn really wanted it something more.. but its still a good "Value".

would like too see benches in BFBC2 or BF3 ... that would use all 8 cores.

Guest said:

@dividebyzero

Paying $200-$245 just to compete with an i5-2500k? I doubt anyone with a Phenom II X4 965 to a X6 1100T who sees numbers like these will see it as worthy upgrade. Most likely if they really love AMD they will just wait for the performance numbers of whatever comes after this.

I have to agree with Chazz of it being disappointing there not being an improvement to game performance.

Also agree with the person who said if Intel droped prices it would be a massive blow to AMD, but they don't need to go as far as 5% under the FX line.

Adhmuz Adhmuz, TechSpot Paladin, said:

You know when your just disappointed not really upset, well this is one of those times. I already have an i7 and am glad I have no reason to change it. I'm just disappointed in the fact that AMD still can't compete properly against Intel, oh well still a slight improvement over their previous gen chips.

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Well, I kinda figured the results would turn out this way... Intel's quad core processors still stomp the dookie out of AMD's 8 core processors with "8x more L2 Cache". It's a sad day, but the fat lady has sung.

Guest said:

I'm glad AMD is failing. Keeps the prices low. ;p

Guest said:

This is really pathetic. I expected so much more from AMD to give Intel a run for its money.

I seriously expected an 8 core chip to crush 2500/2600k cpus in encoding benchmarks. Boy I'm dissapointed and that power consumption is huge. Bad for an encoding rig. I guess I'll wait some more before upgrading my E6600 :)

Guest said:

Very disappointing AMD, my q9650@4ghz is still better.

Guest said:

I must say that as many other people here I'm quite disappointed, just think ahead: we heard so many "great" things before Bulldozer's launch that make you expect at least it would easily surpass Sandy Bridge by now after so many time, and yet it just gets close but Ivy Bridge is just around the corner (AMD come on, what are you thinking!!!).

I expected so much of Bulldozer because of the "clear" theorical improvements like the higher DDR3 speed native support, a bigger L2 caché and more cores; really, is not much to ask. I don't consider myself an AMD fanboy [I deal with them a lot at college] but neither an Intel's fanboy. It is more like a "SB fanboy" [I haven't got the chance to ever use a SB on desktop yet but I've tryed i3, i5 and own an i7 on laptops and let me tell you i3 overcomed my expectations]. I won't write details on my experience 'cause it would be like publicity.

But really, it will be the same usual stupid debate with my colleagues about what AMD says and what they actually can do [they won't ever read or listen to reviews 'cause to them they're all bought by Intel -"the monopoly conspiracy"] so why argue, let's just let AMD fans have fun for a while, I won't change my mind anyway.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

The Derp is strong in this one...

@dividebyzero

Paying $200-$245 just to compete with an i5-2500k? I doubt anyone with a Phenom II X4 965 to a X6 1100T who sees numbers like these will see it as worthy upgrade.

Which is precisely what I said.

But really, it will be the same usual stupid debate with my colleagues about what AMD says and what they actually can do [they won't ever read or listen to reviews 'cause to them they're all bought by Intel -"the monopoly conspiracy"

If they think Intel can't be trusted then ask them where the rest of Bulldozers performance went to that AMD has been lauding - a 50% increase in performance over the 1100T to be exact:

Guest said:

The architecture looked like it had some serious potential, but this is disappointing. Glad I decided to go for a 2500k a while ago, great processor.

I want AMD to succeed, competition is good, but this is disappointing.

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Well at least they made some headway...but ya definitely disappointed overall, I didn't really expect something mind blowing here, but this seems more like a sidegrade especially in regards to gaming. Looks like I'll be holding on to my 955 for a while longer, which is fine since I still love it.

Guest said:

Damn really wanted it something more.. but its still A good "Value".

would like too see benches in BFBC2 or BF3 ... that would use all 8 cores.

HardOCP did some runs on the BF3 beta this past week and the 8150 came out slightly ahead. However the average results pretty much lined up with the 2500/2600 and I doubt anyone could tell the difference game play wise. Guess we'll see at the end of the month what's best for retail, but I'd say any would work and gamers should focus more on their video cards if they have a decent quadcore.

Guest said:

aw man, i was waiting for AMD to make intel worried, but it seems, now intel will increase their prices, the 2600k in my country is already rising to more than 330$, i should have bought 2600k when they were at 300$, but i was waiting for Bulldozer to came throught, but i guess this waiting has been for nothing, since the FX performance sucks.

but why does techspot didn't test it performance on games that uses more CPU cores, rather than using dirt 3. since i can even run Dirt 3 on max settings on my current rig (average 30 FPS), i was waiting to upgrade to bulldozer from my athlon x2 3800+.

but what makes me had to go to 2600k is the power consumption, because my electric bill is one of my main concern.

really are disapointed with AMD right now, i've been more of an AMD user than intel,

my 1st rig is AMD 486

2nd rig is Intel Pentium 2

3rd rig is AMD Athlon x2 3800+

i was hoping that FX would be my 4rd rig, but it is really disappointing almost on all ground.

AMD should have compensate us for waiting too long and to only be disapointed a lot.

AMD for your next batch, remember to drop the power consumption, it's crazy that when overclocked a bit, it uses more than 400w, it's really crazy.

i think i'll wait for ivy bridge, and then make my decision, hope that intel wont raise it's price a lot, since intel has a habit of raising the price a lot, or making the product suddenly disappear.

well AMD is also very expensive when they launched their x2 before intel launched core duo (because my 3800+ at that time is priced at 380$, and AMD top of the line at that time costs more than 1000$).

DM7 said:

since it's been 10 min, and my comment still not appearing, i decided to join techspot to make it easy to comment, but the main point on the content of my previous comment is only that i'm disappointed that AMD launched FX the way they are, and since power consumption is my main concern, since electricity in my country is very expensive, i guess my wait has gone to waste, and should i go with 2600k or wait for ivy bridge ?

i'm currently on the old Athlon 64 x2 3800+, so it's kinda obvious that i wanted to upgrade.

DM7 said:

and also, why is Dirt 3 used on CPU benchmark ?

Dirt 3 is a GPU heavy game, and not CPU heavy game.

Techspot should have used more games, and focus on games that uses more CPU rather than GPU heavy games.

i want to see benchmark for games like Civilization V and the likes of it that relies more on the CPU.

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

i decided to join techspot to make it easy to comment.

Welcome to TechSpot

i want to see benchmark for games like Civilization V and the likes of it that relies more on the CPU.

HardOCP & Anandtech tackled Civ V if you're interested in the results, but ya I would've liked to see some other games too.

Guest said:

WARNING

Many reviews contain common error to make a conclusion about the speed of video encoding.

it's two-pass video encoding. That's why the total speed should be:

(1/fps1)+(1/fps2) = (1/fps_total).

The correct results for x264 4.0 Benchmark for this review (Summary two passes):

i7 2600K - 29.4 fps

FX 8150 - 28.4 fps

i5 2500 - 27.1 fps

T1100 x6 - 25.7 fps

DM7 said:

Relic said:

Welcome to TechSpot :)

Thank you

HardOCP & Anandtech tackled Civ V if you're interested in the results, but ya I would've liked to see some other games too.

seems like the difference is not enough to justify FX power consumption.

@Relic : so what do you think, should i wait for ivy bridge or just go with 2600k ?

DM7 said:

seems like the difference is not enough to justify FX power consumption.

what i meant is after i saw those benchmark on other site, and seems like on Arma, it only had 1fps lead over 1100T, very disappointing.

maybe AMD should have scrapped BD, and try to make a new architecture, cos it seems like AMD is pulling a case similar to Intel with Pentium 4, and look at what Intel achieved when they scrapped the Pentium architecture.

i guess piledriver will be disappointing also, if AMD used BD as a base for it.

DM7 said:

[link]

Note: an issue with the Steam version of Shogun 2 and the FX-8150 caused the system to crash when it tried to load the level. AMD is looking into the situation.

seems like the issues with FX is piling up.

2226 said:

I have to admit I have always like how AMD have designed integrated core solutions (compare Intel's quad core = 2x dual core when AMD was real quad core or AMD innovating with first on-die memory controllers), but even as smart and cool as this new AMD architecture is it just wound up being such a let down after reading the test reviews. I don't care for "the road ahead". When Intel popped out Sandy Bridge it was a performer from day one. Bulldozer, with all the hype for so long, should have come in guns blazing ... but it feels like they're using a .22.

I've been an underdog supporter for many years now, but my future computing will need be Intel in order to get performance.

What's it going to take to bring back AMD's glory days?

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

When did AMD become a year or more behind Intel? This is shocking to me.

Guest said:

i wonder if these cores/modules can be unlocked like with phenoms and athlons..

Guest said:

The writing has been on the wall for some time. With all the people leaving AMD I was not expecting a great chip. But I was hoping for more. I just upgraded my motherboard to am3+ for this? To use a sports metaphor...This is like Greg Norman on the back 9 of the Masters.

Ritwik7 Ritwik7, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

The FX 4170 not being able to beat the X4 980 is very shocking. A lot of people here are calling it a beast of a budget processor, but why?

LinkedKube LinkedKube, TechSpot Project Baby, said:

Such a great looking board this one too Looks like something red would buy.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

When did AMD become a year or more behind Intel? This is shocking to me.

AMD went from performance leader to second place (even if you count AMD's performance FX chips) when Intel introduced Conroe in 2006. AMD were officially more than a generation behind when Intel launched Yorkfield (QX9650) in November 2007.

AMD (or Globalfoundries) are a lot more than a year behind Intel. AMD are just introducing 32nm - Intel are six months away from retiring it and have had working silicon on the next process (22nm) for some time.

Such a great looking board this one too Looks like something red would buy.

Seraphim401 Seraphim401 said:

I'm so bummed out right now,was hoping for BD to pressure Intel into lowering the price of the i7 970.

Seraphim401 Seraphim401 said:

Sorry for double posting,but I have to get this of my chest:

I'm so glad that bastard Dirk Meyer got booted out of AMD!

Guest said:

The real loser here is the consumer (gamer's perspective). Intel can ride this gap for another 1-2 years and by then AMD will be bankrupt or stuck in the GPU market, unless they can pull off a Bulldozer type APU by year's end, which I doubt. Intel will have the APU gap closed by early 2012 most likely.

I really hope that the ARM64 architecture will bring some form of competition to the market when Windows 8 comes along; or potentially a shift in game developers' approach to support Android on the PC as well, whenever that comes along.

R.I.P. AMD (CPU Division)

May your best engineers be drafted by Nvidia and ARM and your project managers shot.

Leeky Leeky said:

Its a shame looking at these results (excellent review btw!) but I also think most of us come to expect this was going to happen due to the continual delays in its release, and the rumours circulating.

Seeing these results just re-enforces to me that I made the right decision in deciding to go the Sandybridge route for my next gaming build. At least my AM3+ board won't go to waste now, as can couple it with the 1055T when it comes back from RMA at AMD and use it for my everyday computer build. Given the results of even the fastest FX 8 core, its just absolutely pointless upgrading in my opinion.

Going back to AMD, I really don't know how they can recover from this. They're too far behind and Intel are showing no signs of slowing down with advancements enough for AMD to catch up. It almost feels like AMD has thrown in the towel and made the conscience decision to offer products second to Intel's in the hope the lower price will win over customers.

Seraphim401 Seraphim401 said:

Guest said:

The real loser here is the consumer (gamer's perspective). Intel can ride this gap for another 1-2 years and by then AMD will be bankrupt or stuck in the GPU market, unless they can pull off a Bulldozer type APU by year's end, which I doubt. Intel will have the APU gap closed by early 2012 most likely.

I really hope that the ARM64 architecture will bring some form of competition to the market when Windows 8 comes along; or potentially a shift in game developers' approach to support Android on the PC as well, whenever that comes along.

R.I.P. AMD (CPU Division)

May your best engineers be drafted by Nvidia and ARM and your project managers shot.

Dude (don't care if your are a woman/girl), Intel will never let AMD go bankrupt!

They will have to prop them up some how to avoid antitrust lawsuits.

Guest said:

a quad core FX @ 4.2ghz has less gaming performance then a phenom II x4 @ 3.7ghz...AMD knows you makes the chip smaller not the benchmark result, right?

anyone want to buy my 970 mobo??

cmbjive said:

I was really hoping that the Bulldozer series would at least be competitive with the i7, let alone the i5. However, it seems that at that price point I would be better off investing in one of the Intel chips. I completely prefer AMD to Intel, but I also want solid performance for my games. Intel it is.

Guest said:

Bulldozer performance is good overall but gaming performance is it's weak point. And most of the enthusiasts are gamers so thats a big problem for AMD. I am sure programmers ,designers & people who encode videos alot will be pleased with the bulldozer performance.

ViPeRMiMiS said:

Disapointing...... very disappointing. Core i5 2500K- Core i7 2600K still better, actually lets say only i5 2500K which is MUCH CHEAPER than FX 8150, and still performs better. Let's say that FX 8150 wins i5 2500K (benchmarks say other things but let's just say). intel will release its Ivy Bridge. 22nm! They will replace i5 2500k-2600k with better products. SO now AMD released their High end cpus, and cannot beat the high end cpus of intel previous generation cpus (when Ivy bridge comes), so ivy bridge will DOMINATE AMD in my opinion. There is just no need to buy a lower-end AMD CPU. Buy the BEST and that's still inadequate. So Intel is just better for me

Guest said:

For what it cost I would think it would make for a nice VM host.

DanUK DanUK said:

I would say I'm disappointed but that would be a lie. I've always used intel processors.. and this is precistly why.

AMD still haven't "got it".

Guest said:

You hoping for AMD to fail don't understand how a successful marketplace works. If AMD fails & we are left with a monoply things will only get worse.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Well at this this ends, what, two years of hype?

Guest said:

It's disapointing but i think people go a little bit too far when sugesting that AMD will go bankrupt because of that.

It's sad people already forgot the days AMD decided to name their CPU 2000+ and such (poor marketing i'll agree on that) because those CPUs was capable of doing as good as an Intel CPU while clocked 15-20% lower (and back then clock speed was the only thing people cared about) ?

Pentium D was lagging behind Athlon X2 in gaming. Pentium 4 had hard time beating Athlon XP CPU with 15-20% lower clock speed.

Since Conroe AMD is definately lagging behind and Intel clearly without any doubt took back the performance lead. It's disapointing to see AMD 1 or 2 gen behind Intel. Amd needs to go back to drawing board and do what Intel did with Conroe arch in 2006.

Of course AMD will never please haters who buy Intel and nVidia all the time even when there's better deal elsewhere (and there's lot of them) but i think they can definately rise back from this epic fail.

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