In the conference call, it was mentioned more than once that this design is all about the quest for Mhz. Looking at the outcome of some tests on the previous page, only way the FX series can make up for the lacking efficiency is to up the CPU speed. Previous AMD CPUs were pretty limited in their overclock. The better ones reaching 4.2-4.3Ghz on air 24/7 stable. Let's have a look at what I deem stable for 24/7 usage. First we upped the clock speed to 4.5Ghz. Then slowly working our way up : 4.6 passed flawlessly, 4.7 next. Even 4.8 no problem, 4.9 passed with flying colours. At 5ghz I ran into issues passing the complete test suite. Adjusting voltages did not help. Maybe better cooling would have helped, though the Corsair H80 shouldn't have much issues keeping the CPU cool. ( As it's similar to what AMD will offer in some retail kits )
For 4.5Ghz with all cores enabled this review CPU required only 1.38Vcore.
4.9Ghz was rock stable in the test suite with just 1.45Vcore. Close to a 600Mhz improvement over the previous generation.
Now lets see how performance scales with the far higher clocks. The other CPUs are still running at stock clocks.
At 4.5Ghz we see a clear improvement in performance. Things are turning in advantage of the new FX CPUs. While you can say okay clock the Thuban up and see then. Correct but that architecture will not allow such high speeds for daily stability, unless you start adding chilled water or phase change cooling. At 4.9 is where the fun seems to start, the Bulldozer starts to close in on the competition, even coming very close to the mighty 6 cores of the Gulftown in WPrime 32.
The bandwith doesn't seem to scale that much with added CPU speed. Maybe the 1600mhz divider is holding these results back. In the X264HD encoding test we see that this CPU architecture is really held back by its low clock speeds. To be honest I feel that this CPU should have been released at at least 4.5Ghz and with a Turbo up to 5Ghz. This to clearly differentiate itself from previous AMD CPUs and to give the competition a run for its money. At 4.9Ghz you are well into Gulftown territory for not even a third of the cost.
I really hope the AMD boys will ever see these slides. Launching this CPU at the present clocks is a crime. If you want to make mince meat of the competition 500mhz extra is at least required. Noone will discuss about clock per clock when they know this thing can fly. Just give it some decent wings to do so. The Cinebench results scale so well with extra ram Mhz.
I think it will become to repetitive if I say how well this CPU could perform out of the box if they just would clock it up. Why AMD didn't take this decision from the start will remain a mystery to me. 3DMark01 has never ever been AMD territory, but the 06 scores are already okayish with the CPU at just 4.5Ghz.
Game performance scales too, but the extra Mhz don't allow the FX to come close to the competitors products. Take note these are only average results at 1280 x 1024 with High detail settings, no AA or such. Minimum FPS was not measured. As mentioned on the previous page a follow up will be done with newer game titles.