AMD FX 8150 Revisited

CPU by leeghoofd @ 2011-11-01

After the hectic week of testing this brand new 8 core CPU from Advanced Micro Design, it's time to go a bit deeper. In this review we are gonna retest the Bulldozer CPU versus it's main rivals. Being AMD's own Thuban 1090T, Intels 2600K and the almighty Gulftown 990X CPU. Mainly because our test suite had to be slightly updated to give the new Zambezi architecture a shot to maybe show it's true potential. But most important to show some people the real deal. I've myself read through a few articles on AMD's latest flagship. To be honest some reviews made me wonder if they were really done or just a copy paste of the marketing slides. It was also kind of funny to see some renown websites include completely GPU bottlenecked game benchmarks. Kinda hard to tell the importance of the CPU part don't you think ? Even if they call it real world scenarios, it still made my eyebrows frown as they hardly used any game tests in older reviews. Why now include them ? So without boring you too much with my frustrations, let's get it on...

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Daily overclocks

In the first part of the FX-8150 review, we only pushed the FX 8150 CPU to new heights under the cooling authority of Corsairs Hydro 80. 4.8-4.9Ghz was doable during the entire test suite. Though for a daily overclock that all in one cooling solution will not be able to cut it at 4.9Ghz with my press CPU. Temperatures during Prime 95 8 thread test were rapidly breaking 92°C just after a few minutes. I hope for AMDs sake the retail silicon will be less of a hothead. And let's pray to the gods of hardware that they can bring both the heatouput and power consumption to more acceptable levels. But time for some daily OC settings in a quick comparative clash.

  • 1090T overclocked at 4Ghz at 1.4Vcore, NB speed of 2600Mhz
  • FX-8150 overclocked at 4.6Ghz at 1.42Vcore, NB speed 2400mhz
  • 2600K overclocked at 4.5Ghz at 1.35Vcore
  • i7 990X overclocked at 4.2Ghz at 1.35Vcore, 3200 uncore

Ram speeds were set at 1600mhz CL8-8-8-24 command rate 1T for all competitors. Only multiplier overclocking applied. We used the above speeds as they kept all of the CPUs in safe operating temperatures (sub 75°C) under Prime95 testing. Your mileage can vary ofcourse.



Once the CPUs are overclocked, the Cinebench scores scale accordingly. The gap between the the 6 core and FX "8" core CPU remains tiny. The 2600K@4.5Ghz enlarges the gap significantly. Chess action now. Deep Fritz 12 tells a similar tale then the Cinebench results. the FX CPU pulling away from the predecessor, even if not by a big amount.



Linear scaling with the added clockspeeds in POVRay. The gap between the AMD CPUs remains pretty constant, even at a 600Mhz CPU advantage for the FX CPU. The Gulftown CPU get's a decent boost over the stock setup, where the result was closer to the FX CPU.



Encoding a video into an HD version via the X264 encoder still shows strong pass 2 performance of the FX 8150. Intel being too strong in pass 1 of the 2.0 version.



Winrar is FX territory. Not even the 1100mhz higher clocks of the 2600K can bring it closer to AMDs latest offering. Weirdly enough the Gulftown hardly benefits from the extra speed.



Multithreaded Superpi at 2.42Gb test setting, shows the FX CPU gaining serious ground on the Intels. While at stock there was over half a minute gap, this has been reduced to half the time.



SLI gaming tests up next...





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Comment from Teemto @ 2011/11/02
Always been a fan of AMD, but Bulldozer can only be described as one thing:
Epic fail.
Comment from cesariuth @ 2011/11/02
Why you test only benchmark??
some space for test soft of the real world?
Comment from jmke @ 2011/11/02
yes why not test games or compression software or rendering performance ?

ow wait... you did
Comment from leeghoofd @ 2011/11/02
First up Cesariuth I don't have resources to real rendering software, secondly it is not my interest at all and I find it already very time consuming enough. The test suite in it's current state will highlight most of the performance issues or not from a CPU/platform.

Like said in the two conclusions, this CPU can be good with specially designed software. But in most apps, and for sure with older applications it will not be up to the task to handle even the competition in it's own ranks...

Let's hope for AMD Piledriver will get a bigger boost then the expected 20% ... Piledriver will probably be what Bulldozer should have been from the start...
Comment from Teemto @ 2011/11/02
I seriously doubt it. Optimizations can help but to bridge the gap with Intel (on Sandy Bridge - not even talking about Sandy Bridge-E) they'd have to have made serious design error in the initial design which somehow has crippled performance and which can then be fixed.

But how realistic is that?

But it's not just the performance, the power consumption of this thing is also not up to current standards.

So either they:

Scrap everything and start working on an FX2 with real cores instead of modules. But I doubt they have the funds to do it.


Try to add a GPU to it and make a higher end APU? But that would've only worked if the FX power consumption had been ok.


Stop with trying to make high end CPU's and focus entirely on their current APU products.

Maybe start looking into some ARM products?
Comment from cesariuth @ 2011/11/02
Thanks leeghoofd for your answer, but I think that BD have more performance in the real test vs SB , or benchmark don’t say much of the real performance of this chip...
Benchmark is always benchmark...but this is my opinion I don’t know if this is the opinion of all.

I hope that Pelidriver optimize more than 20% or close to this.

Comment from leeghoofd @ 2011/11/02
I know a benchmark is a benchmark, but one of the main reasons that the initial article had this follow up was due to the "rigorous" testing by some highly acclaimed websites... How to show a CPU works well : put the GPU on it's knees and see how they all score the same... that's ridiculous in my book... it was clearly in the reviewers guide shown how we should have done it it. But them proposed tests setups just looked to be more chosen to make a mainstream product look great...

Real rendering software doesn't cut my budget mate, I also have got no experience in that department. I know Flanker is doing some tests with BD at Though as always take everything with a grain of salt... I think you will find him in the AMD section
Comment from Massman @ 2011/11/03
It's funny how it's really hard to find these so-called "real-world" applications. No one is using those, but apparently only those hard-to-find apps are the only ones that are showing the "true power" of Bulldozer.

Fyi, you guys might want to read this:
Comment from Teemto @ 2011/11/03
Seems there's others which are not afraid to tell the truth
Comment from WebNavi @ 2011/11/29
After the hectic week of testing this brand new 8 core CPU from Advanced Micro Design, it's time to go a bit deeper. In this review we are gonna retest the Bulldozer CPU versus it's main rivals. Being AMD's own Thuban 1090T, Intels 2600K and the almighty Gulftown 990X CPU.