AMD FX-8150 Bulldozer CPU Review

CPU by leeghoofd @ 2011-10-12

It has been a while since AMD has revamped their CPU lineup. New Graphics Cards are introduced on a regular basis, though mostly their silicon motherboard processor variants are not. Mostly a brand new breed of CPUs goes hand in hand with the launch of a new CPU socket. And if the end user is really unlucky the RAM and CPU cooler need a swap too. It has been over 18 months since AMD introduced their hexacore Thuban CPU. So it was about time to give an answer to Intels SandyBridge lineup. Or why not even aim for Intels high end socket 1366 Gulftown lineup. With every new CPU release, speculations rule the various forums. How the design is gonna be, performance expectations, die size, TDP,.. you name it and has been dealt with on the tech sites. On the 12th of October AMDs new born CPU core baptized Zambezi, for the desktop PCs and for the servers Interlagos and Valencia will see the daylight. Let's open the press kit.

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Ram divider test

So conclusion of the OC'ed test : to get good peformance you need at least to clock it up at 4.5Ghz to be competitive with other CPUs. The tests on the previous page were run with 4Gb of Corsair Dominator GT rams running at 1600hz CL8.  Interesting as always when a new platform arises, is to see what it needs to achieve best performance. Let's take a closer look at the RAM dividers. We selected the following dividers :

  • 1333Mhz  CL8-8-8-24 1T
  • 1600Mhz  CL8-8-8-24 1T
  • 2133Mhz  CL8-8-8-24 1T

This to get an idea if there's an absolute minimum ram speed required to get good performance. And to check whether high speed rams or even overclocking your kit is really beneficial. CPu is run at stock speeds , just the different ram divider selected.



Our SuperPI 32M test shows how it's done. The more ram speed the merrier. The gain at 1866Mhz is really big. Going from 1866 to 2133 still scales but on a lesser scale. 1133Mhz ram to be avoided at all cost.




AIDA tells the 32M tale. A big bandwith increase going from 1333 to 1600Mhz. Selecting 1866Mhz will jield a similar or slightly better bandwith improvement. Upping to 2133Mhz will only benefit in the Read department.



The X264HD encoding test scales so nicely with extra ram speed. Gaining close to 3 FPS is nothing to be overlooked and could save an encoder some precious time.



Repetiveness in full action. Futuremarks 3D tests and the two tested games below ( selected as they are known to scale with extra ram speed ) benefit nicely from the Mhz. Similar as with Intels SandyBridge platform, this is as easy as selecting a divider in the bios, save and reboot and you are done...





As you can see the 2400Mhz divider is missing. One as our Corsair GTX2s don't do 2400mhz at CL8, secondly I hardly think anyone will run 2400mhz daily. We quickly tested it with G.Skill RipjawsX dimms and got 2400Mhz stable at CL8-11-8-27 1T at 1.675Vdimm. Yet the gain over 2133Mhz with the Hyperkit wasn't that big. At first we had tried CL9-11-9-27 at 1.65Vdimm. Passed with no problems. then tightened the timings and the gain was close to zero. So either the architecture is completely saturated at 2400mhz, or the early bios is not up to scratch.




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Comment from petervandamned @ 2011/10/12
Nice one

U did a great job bro !
Comment from Teemto @ 2011/10/12
Nice review. But still I feel FX is a dissapointment as I was hoping for it being at least on par with the 2600K.

Now the question arrizes:

What do I choose as next shrimp bench setup :

1. Keep current Asus Z68 Gene-Z with
a) better 2600K (should ask for a Tones binning day )
b) new 2700K (and hope for the best)

2. Wait for Sandy Bridge-E (most costly upgrade -> wife factor comes into play )

3. Formula V + FX-8150 (hoping that with my new cascade I can manage a stable 5.5+GHz system). It'll look nice but will it be an improvement over my current 5.3 sandy bridge? I have my doubts...
Comment from leeghoofd @ 2011/10/12
I sold your CPU btw today... so something better is on the way if you are game...

For benching sorry but this CPU is only good at CPU-Z... it's a nice game platform or encoding machine as long as the apps support it. for benching plz look elsewhere...
Comment from larkin @ 2011/10/14
Nice NB overclocking test but you should really have high speed memory in there to see a bigger difference. I'm pretty sure PC1280 is a bottleneck at that OC.
Comment from leeghoofd @ 2011/10/14
thanks ir.

Yes i just wanted to have a reference. Sin at XS has tested NB scaling with 1866Mhz Link here : ... His results were not scaling to much.

Too bad we need to go subzero to go over 2800Mhz... I hope retail silicon will be a better as steppings progress...
Comment from leeghoofd @ 2011/10/14
thanks sir.

Yes I just wanted to have a reference. Sin at XS has tested NB scaling with 1866Mhz Link here : ... His results were not scaling to much.

Too bad we need to go subzero to go over 2800Mhz... I hope retail silicon will be a better as steppings progress...