Application Performance

AMD's flagship Bulldozer processor delivered roughly the same performance as the Core i5-2500K and Core i7-920 in Excel 2010, which is a giant leap forward compared to the Phenom II. AMD's chips rarely do well in Excel compared to Intel's. For example, the Phenom II X6 1100T was 30% slower than the FX-8150.

WinRAR's built-in benchmark pegged the FX-8150 as the fastest processor by far, but the results are quite different in our own custom WinRAR compression test. The FX-8150 took 118 seconds to complete the 700MB file compression test, which was on par with the dated Core i7-920, but 17% slower than the i5-2500K and 22% behind the i7-2600K.

Compared to AMD's last-gen hexa-core processor, the FX-8150 offers a hefty 26% boost in Adobe Photoshop CS5, placing it in the league of Intel's i5-2500K -- though the i7-2600K was still 32% faster.

The FX-8120 was only a fraction of a second slower than its snappier sibling, and although the FX-6100 saw a noticeable performance drop, it was still 8% faster than the Phenom II X6 1100T. Oddly. the FX-4170 was 4% slower than the Phenom II X4 980, which is surprising considering they're both quad-core processors and the FX-4170 has a significant clock advantage.

When testing with Fritz Chess 12's built-in benchmark, the FX-8150 delivered 11682 kilo nodes per second, which was only 1% faster than the Phenom II X6 1100T and 10% quicker than the i5-2500K, while being 12% slower than the i7-2600K.

Clock for clock, the FX processors are likely no faster than the Phenom II in this test, as the FX-8120 was 6% slower than the Phenom II X6 1100T. Moreover, the FX-4170 was 24% slower than the Phenom II X4 980 despite having a 14% higher frequency.