Wednesday, October 12th 2011

Review Consensus: AMD FX Processor 8150 Underwhelming

It's been in the works for over three years now. That's right, the first we heard of "Bulldozer" as a processor architecture under development was shortly after the launch of "Barcelona" K10 architecture. Granted, it wasn't possible to load close to 2 billion transistors on the silicon fab technology AMD had at the time, but AMD had a clear window over the last year to at least paper-launch the AMD FX. Delays and bad marketing may have cost AMD dearly in shaping up the product for the market.

After drawing a consensus from about 25 reviews (links in Today's Reviews on the front page), it emerges that:
  • AMD FX-8150 is missing its performance expectations by a fair margin. Not to mention performance gains in its own presentation, these expectations were built up by how AMD was shaping the product to be a full-fledged enthusiast product with significant performance gains over the previous generation
  • AMD ill-marketed the FX-8150. Hype is a double-edged sword, and should not be used if you're not confident your offering will live up to at least most of the hype. AMD marketed at least the top-tier FX-8000 series eight-core processors as the second coming of Athlon64 FX.


  • FX-8150 launch isn't backed up by launch of other AMD FX processors. This could go on to become a blunder. The presence of other FX series processors such as the FX-8120, six-core and four-core FX processors could have at least made the price performance charts look better, given that all FX processors are unlocked, buyers could see the value in buying them to overclock. TweakTown took a closer look into this.
  • There are no significant clock-for-clock improvements over even AMD's own previous generation. The FX-8150 drags its feet behind the Phenom II X6 1100T in single-threaded math benchmarks such as Super/HyperPi, the picture isn't any better with Cinebench single-threaded, either.
  • Multi-threaded data streaming applications such as data compression (WINRAR, 7-ZIP) reveal the FX-8150 to catch up with competition from even the Core i7-2600K. This trend keeps up with popular video encoding benchmarks such as Handbrake and x264 HD.
  • Load power draw is bad, by today's standards. It's not like AMD is lagging behind in silicon fabrication technologies, or the engineering potential that turned around AMD Radeon power consumption figures over generations.
  • Price could be a major saving grace. In the end, AMD FX 8150 has an acceptable price-performance figure. At just $25 over the Core i5-2500K, the FX-8150 offers a good performance lead.
  • Impressive overclocking potential. We weren't exactly in awe when AMD announced its Guinness Record-breaking overclocking feat, but reviewers across the board have noticed fairly good overclocking potential and performance scaling.
In all, AMD FX-8150 has almost become another example to cite at a marketing class, of how to effectively handle hype. It is sure to underwhelm some. If it's any compensation, Duke Nukem Forever is still the most underwhelming development this year for the gamer-overclocker community.
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450 Comments on Review Consensus: AMD FX Processor 8150 Underwhelming

#1
dieterd
damit you AMD, no Sandy price drop hopes for me now! and surely I can expect Sandy-E pricing like ing bad old, competition less, days!
this (Buldozzer) does not even deserve such a name like "Phenom III", because it (FX-8150) can not even beat 1100T and it costs lot more, I think AMD should EOL Bulldozer by the end of this year, rather than Phenom II!
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#2
Altered
I don't think it is horribly bad. However the power consumption is not what I would have thought. And to me the real kicker is the price I see on the egg. It is somewhat close to the 2500K performance but priced possibly as though Win8 and its hopeful 10-15% gains are already showing. Sort of like having automobiles before gasoline was being refined. :laugh: If possible AMD IMO should put the price equal to the 2500K. If Win8 gives it a gain worth mentioning and more software and games are optimized for heavy multi threading it should sell for quite a bit longer even as newer chips arrive. At least as long as the consumer isn't power conscious. :ohwell:

I really wanted to go back AMD but glad I didnt keep waiting as it appears. Hopefully next version will be more refined. It does appear they may be on to something if they have some good insight to what the developers and so forth are doing the trend may go in their favor.

One question though. Has anyone seen a bench with Bad Company 2 runs? I know BC2 uses multiple cores so it should perform well but would be interested in how it stacked up vs the 2500K.
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#3
pr0n Inspector
Lesson: don't upgrade to a new board when you don't even know the performance of that new processor you're waiting for.
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#4
Damn_Smooth
pr0n Inspector said:
Lesson: don't upgrade to a new board when you don't even know the performance of that new processor you're waiting for.
But I don't regret the board at all. It's the best board for a Phenom II there is. Vishera still has a chance at being decent too, so I still have an upgrade path with it.
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#6
seronx
I would love to get 8 Sempron Cores in my system but for $280 no thanks
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#7
laszlo
maybe were better for amd to improve the 6 core line instead of launching a 8 core desktop cpu

we have many examples of console game ports to pc , bad ports and seems the analogy can be applied in this case from server to desktop;they should focus on quad or six cores and improved them step by step to get closer to intel perf. now they'll loose a lot of money if people due the reviews won't buy.

a home user don't really need 8 cores is like hawing a race car in garage and just running the engine daily inside but never go on track
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#8
mtosev
seronx said:
I would love to get 8 Sempron Cores in my system but for $280 no thanks
For the same price you get an i7 2600K:D
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#9
LifeOnMars
Oh dear, oh dear....looks like I'm going Intel for the big build at the start of the year. It's a shame, healthy competition always sparks great pricing.
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#10
Paulieg
The Mad Moderator
Ugh. I keep waiting for a reason to go back to AMD. Looks like now is not the time. Power. Consumption. Fail. They had way to long to design this chip to put out a subpar product. I really hope they get their act together. If they don't, we all lose, AMD and Intel fanboys alike.
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#11
KainXS
We can only pray that intel dosen't pull its old game and try to ram up their cpu's prices if piledriver is fail too. :(
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#12
xenocide
Super XP said:

http://hardocp.com/article/2011/10/11/amd_bulldozer_fx8150_gameplay_performance_review/1
Take a look at this page;
http://hardocp.com/article/2011/10/11/amd_bulldozer_fx8150_gameplay_performance_review/5

If you can't spot the problem, god save you. I refuse to believe ~30% OC causes an 8% decrease in Average FPS. Clearly something is funky with their testing.

KainXS said:
We can only pray that intel dosen't pull its old game and try to ram up their cpu's prices if piledriver is fail too. :(
When have they ever done that? Intel always starts their CPU's out at higher price points because they offer better performance. Sandy Bridge at this point was still a wiser upgrade choice than BD is\was.
Posted on Reply
#13
sunweb
Ok, i only want processor for rendering, using Blender with internal, Cycles and LuxRender on Linux.

Where are linux tests anyway ? And some real renders, not that c-bench(why even bother with it, it lies so much).

Where i live i7 2600k is 305$ without cooler(though maybe i'll buy without oc feature). Is it worth to pay about 100$(proc+mb) more for i7 ?

The reason i want some real tests(no benchmarks) on both linux and windows is the real difference most of times is pretty big:



Posted on Reply
#14
techtard
Most of these enthusiast sites are Windows only.
You may need to wait for Phoronix or someone else to put the FX chip through its paces in a Linux environment. Looks like they didn't get a review sample, though.

But they did link back to this thread for their members to see what Bulldozer is like on Windows.
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#15
sunweb
Ok, thanks. Will stick with Phoronix.
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#16
W1zzard
tilldeath said:
Am I missing something here? Don't you think a million dollar company and the only competing company for intel would have ran some tests and seen the performance? I think so too! So either AMD is F***ing retarted or they had a plan.
amd's plan is to release what they released now. this will make intel engineers fall asleep, cash in on their stock options or go for early retirement. once intel is at its weakest, amd will unleash the real bulldozer cores (via software update) and catch intel with a netburst-athlon64 left-right combo. intel stock price drops to negative values so amd can buy intel and gets money for saving humanity.

now the secret is out and amd secret service will come and kill me for revealing their plan for world domination
Posted on Reply
#18
Dent1
Hardware Heaven shows Bulldozer in a positive light. They give it 9/10 overall.

In particular it shows Bulldozer beating the i7 2600k in games. How can this be?

Deus EX
http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews/1285/pg10/amd-fx-8150-black-edition-8-core-processor-vs-core-i7-2600k-review-deus-ex-human-revolution.html

F1 2011
http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews/1285/pg11/amd-fx-8150-black-edition-8-core-processor-vs-core-i7-2600k-review-f1-2011.html

Shogun Total War 2
http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews/1285/pg12/amd-fx-8150-black-edition-8-core-processor-vs-core-i7-2600k-review-total-war-shogun-2.html
Posted on Reply
#19
nINJAkECIL
W1zzard said:
amd's plan is to release what they released now. this will make intel engineers fall asleep, cash in on their stock options or go for early retirement. once intel is at its weakest, amd will unleash the real bulldozer cores (via software update) and catch intel with a netburst-athlon64 left-right combo. intel stock price drops to negative values so amd can buy intel and gets money for saving humanity.

now the secret is out and amd secret service will come and kill me for revealing their plan for world domination
I don't even wanna imagined when AMD dominate the world of cpu.

Seriously, I can tolerate the performance of BD compared to SB. I already sense that AMD can't deliver, judging from the over-hype marketing. But, that power consumption is what I can't tolerate.

Oh, I see now why the RED color on AMD FX cpus are for.

They should also change the color of their logo, from green to red.
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#20
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
Wrigleyvillain said:
If only this were true.
If it were, I'd be helping w1z setup his hideout/cottage in the Himalayas.
Posted on Reply
#21
W1zzard
btarunr said:
If it were, I'd be helping w1z setup his hideout/cottage in the Himalayas.
but mr. witness protection ... i want sun, beach and bikinis :(
Posted on Reply
#22
Crap Daddy
W1zzard said:
amd's plan is to release what they released now. this will make intel engineers fall asleep, cash in on their stock options or go for early retirement. once intel is at its weakest, amd will unleash the real bulldozer cores (via software update) and catch intel with a netburst-athlon64 left-right combo. intel stock price drops to negative values so amd can buy intel and gets money for saving humanity.

now the secret is out and amd secret service will come and kill me for revealing their plan for world domination
As we speak right now half of the Intel engineers that are not sent in a paid vacation to Hawaii, so the ones that still have to be at work but are bored to death, have found a new occupation while pretending to work on Ivy Bridge. From their fat wages and bonuses they managed to put some money aside and bought some FX 8150 (that's why there's no availability) and while at work they compete in overclocking these new beasts.
Posted on Reply
#23
TRWOV
Dent1 said:
Hardware Heaven shows Bulldozer in a positive light. They give it 9/10 overall.

In particular it shows Bulldozer beating the i7 2600k in games. How can this be?

Deus EX
http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews/1285/pg10/amd-fx-8150-black-edition-8-core-processor-vs-core-i7-2600k-review-deus-ex-human-revolution.html

F1 2011
http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews/1285/pg11/amd-fx-8150-black-edition-8-core-processor-vs-core-i7-2600k-review-f1-2011.html

Shogun Total War 2
http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews/1285/pg12/amd-fx-8150-black-edition-8-core-processor-vs-core-i7-2600k-review-total-war-shogun-2.html
The FX-8150 is faster in some and slower in others. That is to be expected given the number of threads. What people didn't expect was that even the older Phenom II manages to beat it in lot of benchmarks.

If the 8150 had beaten the old Phenom II X6 consistently and traded blows with the 2500K/2600K I'm sure that people would be pleased, but its erratic performance prevents people from making a full recommendation. Whenever you'd want to get an FX will depend on what you want to do with it.

Not to mention the power consumption but with so much cache I think it was unavoidable.
Posted on Reply
#24
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
Crap Daddy said:
As we speak right now half of the Intel engineers that are not sent in a paid vacation to Hawaii, so the ones that still have to be at work but are bored to death, have found a new occupation while pretending to work on Ivy Bridge. From their fat wages and bonuses they managed to put some money aside and bought some FX 8150 (that's why there's no availability) and while at work they compete in overclocking these new beasts.
Ah, so deeply, deeply cynical. Brilliant. :D

Yeah, I'm pretty pissed off too that BD isn't what it should be. Giving the product such a hard-nut codename makes it all the more embarrassing, too.
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#25
suraswami
W1zzard said:
but mr. witness protection ... i want sun, beach and bikinis :(
we can setup a virtual one for you powered by FX processors, it will be so slow and unreal you will already giveup, retire and join the Monks/Saints over there.
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