Since our colleague, Albrecht has already covered most of the technical details in the previous FX-8150 review, we will try to keep it shorter this time in this section. The AMD Bulldozer architecture was launched last year and to be more precise, in October; at that time, every man and dog was waiting for AMD to take the crown again from AMD but it was not the case as we have seen from the reviews at that time. The Bulldozer family had its price reduced in the end so it would be competitive with the quad core Sandy Bridge family of processors from Intel; because of this, we will take the FX-8150’s little brother, FX-8120 and see what it can do in both stock and overclocked states.
While the FX-8150 runs at 3.6GHz with Turbo Core at 3.9GHz (Max. at 4.2GHz), the FX-8120 has 3.1GHz base clock, with Turbo core at 3.4GHz (Max. at 4.0GHz); the FX-8120 also comes in two variants (95W and 125W).
The first digit in the processor name represents the number of integer cores; for example we have the FX-8150 and FX-8120 sporting 8 cores, the FX-6100 with 6 cores and FX-4100 with only 4 cores. The cores part is a little misleading if we do not get a little into details: the Bulldozer architecture integrates modules, each module containing two integer cores and one shared floating point core. Regarding the resources, we can say that each module has its own dedicated cache and each core in the module shares some resources from the module.
The FX-8120 which we will take a look at has 4x64kb L1, 8x16kb of extra L1 cache, 8MB of L2 cache (2MB for each module) and the same L3 cache.
AMD FX Series CPU Comparison
The FX processors work in AM3+ based boards (942pin with DDR3 only support) and the two main chipsets are the AMD 990FX, 990X and 970. All chipsets support AM3+ and AM3 processors, HyperTransport 3.0, SLI and CrossfireX ready, PCI-Express 2.0, SATA 6Gbit/s, up to 14 USB 2.0. Some of the features are different though:
PCI Express 2.0 (2x16 or 4x8 configurations)
Support for up to 4 graphics cards
19.6 Watt TDP
PCI Express 2.0 (1x16 or 2x8 configurations)
Support for up to 2 graphics cards
14 Watt TDP
PCI Express 2.0 (1x16 configuration)
13.6 Watt TDP
AMD has also announced a cashback program for buyers of their multi-core processors; the sales incentive sees users given a partial refund on their purchase of qualifying products according to the number of cores: quad-core – 10 Euros, six-core – 15 Euros, eight-core – 20 Euros. Not all chips qualify for the promotion however. From the FX Bulldozer series, the FX-8120 and FX-8150 qualify for the maximum cashback value and the quad-core models FX-4100 and FX-4170 for the bottom-end value. Also, two of the launched APUs also qualify, A8-3870K and A8-3670K, for 10 Euros value.
The announced promotion will last until 31st of August, includes a limit of two rebates per person, the CPUs must have been purchased from an authorised retailer and the deadline for final claim submissions will be 18th of September 2012.
The offer is valid in UK, Austria, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and Sweden.