Windows 7 hotfix improves AMD Bulldozer performance

By on December 15, 2011, 5:00 PM

Still trying to cope with the disappointment of AMD's latest CPU architecture? A new hotfix from Microsoft might dull the pain. The software giant admits that its operating systems are hindering Bulldozer's performance and has released an update for Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 users that should improve the situation. Current versions of Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 are inefficient at handling Simultaneous Multithreading (SMT). Naturally, this update introduces the necessary optimizations.

The support page repeatedly notes that the hotfix will allow Bulldozer chips to unleash their full potential, but there's no indication on how much more performance you'll see. We wouldn't get too excited about it though. Windows 8 is more efficient at handling SMT scheduling and based on reports we've seen, Bulldozer performs about 10% quicker in the Windows 8 Developer Preview. Although we haven't run any tests yet (and there's probably no reason to), users are reporting a situational 1% to 10% boost.

Unfortunately, that's probably not enough to mend Bulldozer's tainted first impression, nor would we expect it to sway many purchasing decisions. Nonetheless, those already invested in the platform can enjoy a mild improvement. Installing the update sounds pretty straightforward. Make sure you're running the first service pack for the aforementioned Windows operating system and request the appropriate 32 or 64-bit version of the hotfix here. Feel free to share your performance results in the comments.

As a side note, we should mention that Microsoft has also unloaded a fresh round of Windows updates earlier this week. December's Patch Tuesday addresses 17 bugs via 13 security bulletins, three of which are deemed critical as they could allow remote code execution. One of the bulletins (MS11-087) resolves a publicly disclosed vulnerability in Windows's TrueType font-parsing engine. Windows Server 2003, Vista, 7, Server 2008, Server 2008 R2, Internet Explorer 6-9, and most versions of Office received fixes.




User Comments: 26

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lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

While I agree Bulldozer's performance was lackluster, you make it sound as if, because its not comparable to other high-end CPUs, it is suddenly irrelevant. I dare to say Bulldozer offers great performance for the price, remembering, of course, it comes with an above average integrated GPU inside. It is great for low-, mid-level PCs.

The big disappointment came from the fact that AMD hyped it up as some sort of i7 contender (even if they didn't directly, many AMD fans were hoping for something close), but it turned out not be the case. For what it is--an APU--I think it's great for budget-minded folks. I recently built a PC for my girlfriend, and I used an A6 quad-core. It is fast, cheap, and the GPU is not some crappy Intel Express Chipset, so she can watch 1080p movies all she wants (and leave me alone for a while ). You should consider doing an updated review.

Staff
Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

You put a whole lot of words in my mouth there, sir.

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Matthew said:

You put a whole lot of words in my mouth there, sir.

Well, you did say this:

Although we haven't run any tests yet (and there's probably no reason to), users are reporting a situational 1% to 10% boost.

And this:

Unfortunately, that's probably not enough to mend Bulldozer's tainted first impression, nor would we expect it to sway many purchasing decisions.

I didn't mean to imply that you meant Bulldozer was irrelevant in the tech world, I meant irrelevant, as in, unworthy of an updated review; hence my second paragraph.

Staff
Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

Gotcha, because I certainly don't think it's completely irrelevant. I believe it's a decent buy for certain budget solutions. However, I don't think it's worth spending a day or two rerunning benchmarks to see a slight performance increase. Fortunately for you, I don't make such decisions or perform such tests around here . Perhaps Julio and Steve will find more value in the update.

Guest said:

Uhmm Bulldozer is not an APU. You're thinking of Llano or Trinity (which is not out yet and runs on piledriver not bulldozer). Why there is a picture of an APU on this article I don't know same goes for the first series of comments.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Oooww Lawfer, how you live to rock the boat

Stupid iPhone auto txt! Why can't I put "Love" without it auto changing to "live"??

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

To the @Guest, you are correct. I think I mixed up subjects. That APU picture certainly didn't help. Not Techspot's fault, but mine for not noticing my context all along was APUs, and not the FX CPUs (ironic, because I <i>did</i> read the article).

Oooww Lawfer, how you live to rock the boat

Stupid iPhone auto txt! Why can't I put &quot;Love&quot; without it auto changing to &quot;live&quot;??

What did I do now...?! :P

Staff
Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

I've changed the pictures, thanks.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

You didn't do anything, I just notice your very good at getting your point across, &quot;rocking the boat&quot; as it were

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Dang it! Just noticed the smiley! Well I'm going to sleep now before I write any more stupid comments...

Guest said:

can we apply this hotfix to llano's in our notebook computers? Appreciate any help offered.

Guest said:

does this mean no more kick-backs to MS from Intel? Desktop CPU battles may get interesting again :) Here is to hoping! cheers!

Staff
Steve Steve said:

Guest said:

can we apply this hotfix to llano's in our notebook computers? Appreciate any help offered.

This has nothing to do with AMD Fusion microprocessors, its for AMD Bulldozer microprocessors.

lawfer said:

To the @Guest, you are correct. I think I mixed up subjects. That APU picture certainly didn't help. Not Techspot's fault, but mine for not noticing my context all along was APUs, and not the FX CPUs (ironic, because I <i>did</i> read the article).

Oooww Lawfer, how you live to rock the boat

Stupid iPhone auto txt! Why can't I put "Love" without it auto changing to "live"??

What did I do now...?! :P

The title does kind of say it all though

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Steve said:

Guest said:

can we apply this hotfix to llano's in our notebook computers? Appreciate any help offered.

This has nothing to do with AMD Fusion microprocessors, its for AMD Bulldozer microprocessors.

lawfer said:

To the @Guest, you are correct. I think I mixed up subjects. That APU picture certainly didn't help. Not Techspot's fault, but mine for not noticing my context all along was APUs, and not the FX CPUs (ironic, because I <i>did</i> read the article).

Oooww Lawfer, how you live to rock the boat

Stupid iPhone auto txt! Why can't I put "Love" without it auto changing to "live"??

What did I do now...?! :P

The title does kind of say it all though

Well, it is connoted from what I said that, if I read the <i>whole</i> thing and still thought APUs were the main topic (partly due to the picture), then reading a mere sentence wouldn't have made much of a difference.

I probably wrote all that either during a temporary loss of consciousness or a short-term fugue state. :p

Guest said:

I think the platform will mature and provide value for the sector(s) AMD is targeting.

It is definitely not the train wreck the press makes it out to be. Money is better spent on a capable display card than "wasting" it on some CPU that shines in Cinebench or whatever - from a gaming perspective anyway.

Guest said:

1. bulldozer dont have integrated video

2. bulldozer is more expensive that i5 2500k which is better

3. bulldozer need 1866 mhz memory which is 2x the price of 1333 for intel

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

Guest said:

I think the platform will mature and provide value for the sector(s) AMD is targeting.

It is definitely not the train wreck the press makes it out to be. Money is better spent on a capable display card than "wasting" it on some CPU that shines in Cinebench or whatever - from a gaming perspective anyway.

Obviously you haven't seen Bulldozer tested in gaming benchmarks.

[link]

http://techreport.com/articles.x/21813/8

[link]

A lot of games the FX does well, but if I'm buying a CPU for gaming, I'm not going to risk losing ~20fps in some cases just to save a couple bucks. And certainly not if the chip costs more than a higher performing part from its competitor.

Guest said:

I would like to see updated benchmarks with the new AMD SMP patch enabled and/or with Windows 8. As with any new hardware, it takes time for the platform to mature and manufacturing cost efficiencies to scale. Obviously AMD does not have the huge resources or engineering as Intel, but I still want AMD to succeed (even if it means giving up the CPU "crown") in order to keep a second CPU option. It would not push Intel to develop as fast (or sell at reasonable cost) if they were the only player in town.

That being said, IIRC, AMD fate is similar as Intel years back; It looks like Fusion will continue the future trend (similar when Intel chose Pentium M/Core over netburst technology).

darkzelda said:

I almost sure that new versions of Bulldozers are going to make it a very good processor. I was waiting for these processors and already had the new AM3+ motherboards. After seeing the regular results I upgrade my Athlon II to a Phenom II X6 and I couldn't be happier. I paired this processor with a Radeon 6970 and I can play all games at max settings at 60 fps. After seeing this results I wouldn't even consider to buy any Intel processor. In a future when there is a real need to get a better processor for gaming Bulldozer will probably be a really good processor. For now I'm staying with AMD and call me fanboy if you want!

Guest said:

Excuse me, but no fix for Windows can make a CPU run faster. This fix for Windows might make the operating system (and dependent applications) run faster in computers with a Bulldozer CPU. Saying that a CPU performs better with a new Windows fix is as technically incorrect as saying that the motor performs better after 5 tons of junk was taken out from the car's trunk. The car drives faster, yes, but the motor hasn't changed. In my humble opinion, the article's title should be "Windows 7 hotfix improves performance with AMD Bulldozer".

Staff
Rick Rick, TechSpot Staff, said:

I don't know about you guys, but my bulldozer has been running fine since I got the fuel injection pump cleaned. I've using been D2 diesel.. runs like a champ.

Guest said:

The article name is correct...CPU performance is dependent on the OS, and since Windows 7 isn't designed for Bulldozer, It obviously WILL have a huge hit on the CPU's performance...so thereby releasing a hotfix or official patch for it, the OS is better able to take advantage of the CPU's architecture and thereby increasing performance for the CPU.

Guest said:

The Patch has been pulled due to it not being the complete patch according to AMD it's supposed to a two part patch and one peice without the other is useless and MS should never have put it up ..... It's due out in Q1 2012

princeton princeton said:

darkzelda said:

I almost sure that new versions of Bulldozers are going to make it a very good processor. I was waiting for these processors and already had the new AM3+ motherboards. After seeing the regular results I upgrade my Athlon II to a Phenom II X6 and I couldn't be happier. I paired this processor with a Radeon 6970 and I can play all games at max settings at 60 fps. After seeing this results I wouldn't even consider to buy any Intel processor. In a future when there is a real need to get a better processor for gaming Bulldozer will probably be a really good processor. For now I'm staying with AMD and call me fanboy if you want!

Lol it's not like you buying crappy CPUs affects any of us in a negative way. It just means more Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge chips available for us.

Guest said:

I would like to see updated benchmarks with the new AMD SMP patch enabled and/or with Windows 8. As with any new hardware, it takes time for the platform to mature and manufacturing cost efficiencies to scale.

Well it didn't with the Core 2 series, or the Nehalem's, or the Sandy Bridge chips. CPUs aren't really alike to GPUs, they don't need drivers to mature to increase performance substantially, it should just be there.

Guest said:

I take this to mean that you believe Win7 is somewhat retarded.

Hmm Well it is after all a Microsoft product.

Guest said:

Ivy bridge will still eat pile driver for breakfast

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