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
cadaveca
My name is Dave
Crap Daddy said:
OK you are starting to convince me about the utility of the FX but AMD has to retire quickly the Phenom II since its existence at a much better price and for daily use and one GPU setup gaming still good compared to Bulldozer.
You are right, 100%. And this will happen shortly, I'm sure.

Crap Daddy said:
But anyway nothing spectacular on behalf of the FX.
I agree. But then agian, I never expected it to be "spectacular". Only other sites and such and other users did, so this is all no big deal, IMHO, becuase AMD NEVER claimed it was the next coming of christ, like so many others would have had you beleive.

Stop buying into the hype that says it's bad...it's not...they just had unrealistic expectations, and really ,that reflects more on them and their know-how, rather than anything AMD did.
Posted on Reply
#2
TRWOV
cadaveca said:
Actually, they do, becuase most people will buy a complete system, not do "upgrades". Upgrading is nearly 100% an enthusiast thing, and mostly for enthusiasts with little cash. Most users will buy a complete system because they do not have time to do an upgrade, nor the required know-how. Those users won't be changing boards...they'll buy the whole thing new.
The statement was that people with AM2+ and AM3 boards that wanted to upgrade and not change boards could buy a Bulldozer processor.




Dent1 said:
I was under the impression Bulldozer was backward compatible with atleast AM3, with the bios update, and unofficially backward compatible with most AM3 boards without the flash. I guess I am wrong :confused: lol

/scarcasm
For AM3 boards your board has to have 8-series chipset (890FX, 890GX, 880G and 870), plus the board must keep up with the power requirements. And last but not least, you'll need a bios update which depends on whenever your manufacturer will release it or not.

With 9-series boards already out I don't think that many of them will release a bios update for 8-series boards. You could rely on bios hacking thought, since the 890FX and 990FX are pretty much the same chipset.
Posted on Reply
#3
cadaveca
My name is Dave
TRWOV said:
The statement was that people with AM2 and AM3 boards that wanted to upgrade and not change boards could buy a Bulldozer processor.
Ok, but you realize AMD officially said that they would NOT support this, right?


You're listening to other sites again, who are, in a large way, reporting inaccurate info. I'm sorry for the confusion, but I have asked reviewers that I know that have chips, and not one is able to get Bulldozer working in anything but 9-series boards, and even then, there is a BIOS update specfic to Bulldozer, in such a way that there is even a warning in the CPU box that you should update the BIOS. And that BIOS update applies to 9-series boards...

I do NOT expect any user with AM3 to actually get Bulldozer working properly. An AM3+ socket and 9-series chipset are required.


All retail listings of the CPUs should contain this disclaimer:
Note: AMD FX Processors require an AMD 9-Series motherboard with socket AM3+; these processors are not backward compatible with previous generation motherboards.
See here:

http://www.ncix.ca/products/?sku=64404
Posted on Reply
#4
Crap Daddy
Well, I personally didn't have high expectations but was sucked into this hype which was somehow similar to the build-up for the 6000 series GPUs... with the same outcome for those who thought that the Radeons will drive out of business the green monster after the succes of the 5000 series.

And you know what, for me personally, deep down I wanted the FX to turn out like this. I just put a lot of money for me into a new Intel build in March which is doing exactly what I was expecting from it and little bit more. It would have been pretty sad that after only six months something better at lower price should have hit the market. I'm going to sleep. Thanks.
Posted on Reply
#5
TRWOV
What are you talking about? Let's recap:

Crap Daddy posted:
Can you please tell me who will buy this chip?

Dent1 replied:
1.) people whom have AM2+ board and dont want to change boards
2.) people whom have a AM3 board and dont want to change boards
[...]


I replied:
1 and 2 don't apply. You need an AM3+ board.


Then you replied to me:
Actually, they do, becuase most people will buy a complete system, not do "upgrades". Upgrading is nearly 100% an enthusiast thing, and mostly for enthusiasts with little cash. Most users will buy a complete system because they do not have time to do an upgrade, nor the required know-how. Those users won't be changing boards...they'll buy the whole thing new.

To which I said:
The statement was that people with AM2+ and AM3 boards that wanted to upgrade and not change boards could buy a Bulldozer processor.


Then:
cadaveca said:
Ok, but you realize AMD officially said that they would NOT support this, right?


You're listening to other sites again, who are, in a large way, reporting inaccurate info. I'm sorry for the confusion, but I have asked reviewers that I know that have chips, and not one is able to get Bulldozer working in anything but 9-series boards, and even then, there is a BIOS update specfic to Bulldozer, in such a way that there is even a warning in the CPU box that you should update the BIOS. And that BIOS update applies to 9-series boards...

I do NOT expect any user with AM3 to actually get Bulldozer working properly. An AM3+ socket and 9-series chipset are required.
Which is entirely the point I was making.
Posted on Reply
#6
cadaveca
My name is Dave
Yeah, I understand. And in leiu of those users being able to upgrade(which they may never be able to do), they must buy a full system.


I just skipped over the part where that wasn't possible...because those users, in many instances, will still buy AMD. AMD "fanboys" are some of the most loyal of all, that I have seen. And the users that bought into AM2/AM3 are very much, in most instances, fanboys, because back then, Intel was the performance leader too, and it didn't stop them from buying into the platforms they currently have, although there were faster options.
Posted on Reply
#7
devguy
Something interesting I thought you guys might like from an overclocking guide at XS. FX seems to prefer HTT overclocking to multiplier overclocking in a bunch of the benches there (1st and 3rd columns the most relevant). That's kinda neat, and has always been my preferred way to overclock. Multiplier overclocking is boring to me.
Posted on Reply
#8
CDdude55
Crazy 4 TPU!!!
cadaveca said:


You're listening to other sites again, who are, in a large way, reporting inaccurate info.
Not really, even Softpedia reported AM3+ only compatibility(and non-official AM3 support). It was all over the place.
Posted on Reply
#9
[H]@RD5TUFF
Dent1 said:
I was under the impression Bulldozer was backward compatible with atleast AM3, with the bios update, and unofficially backward compatible with most AM3 boards without the flash. I guess I am wrong :confused: lol

/scarcasm
As long as it has an AM3+ socket, it works, some AM3 boards have them the vast majority do not.
Posted on Reply
#10
cadaveca
My name is Dave
CDdude55 said:
Not really, even Softpedia reported AM3+ only compatibility. It was all over the place.
Yes, but there were claims and such way back that all you needed was teh black socket, before the 9-series boards came out. Many OEMs even said that their 8-series boards would work with Bulldozer, but this was months and months ago, and today, they do not work.


Like, I get what you're saying, but people beleive that this upgrade path is possible, because it was reported as possible, albeit wrongly reported, at this point.
Posted on Reply
#11
[H]@RD5TUFF
cadaveca said:

Stop buying into the hype that says it's bad...it's not...they just had unrealistic expectations, and really ,that reflects more on them and their know-how, rather than anything AMD did.
Wrong AMD hyped the hell out of it even making claims of beating a 980x, yet it doesn't come even close to that. AMD promised everything and delivered on nothing.:shadedshu
Posted on Reply
#12
cadaveca
My name is Dave
[H]@RD5TUFF said:
Wrong AMD hyped the hell out of it even making claims of beating a 980x, yet it doesn't come even close to that. AMD promised everything and delivered on nothing.:shadedshu
I said months ago, and now, that if you do not find it on the AMD website, then it is not true. I don't care what was reported, in private to reviewers, nor do I care that reviewers decided to leak the info. Maybe next time listen to me, instead of the hype.


Again, I will say this was intentional, and exposes the bias. These reviewers that leaked that wanted you to see those slides, so that their conclusion that BD sucked seemed to have merit. No slides or anything that claimed such were supposed to be released to the public.

it's not my fault you listened to the hype and rumour. Every time info like this came out, you can find my posts in the threads questioning it.

AMD hyped NOTHING...except that 8150 was the "World's Fastest CPU", and again, I have repeatedly complained about such things. Please go and check the sources.
Posted on Reply
#13
Dent1
It's a shame I can't find it now. But a couple of weeks back I saw on Ebuyer.com an AM2 nforce 630a chipset with AM3+ ready firmware support. Went on the manfucturers website and it was true. The board was only £30 because of its age, 6 years old?

[H]@RD5TUFF said:
Wrong AMD hyped the hell out of it even making claims of beating a 980x, yet it doesn't come even close to that. AMD promised everything and delivered on nothing.:shadedshu
To be fair, up until the marketing slide show. AMD was very quiet. You guys were actually saying yourself how Bulldozers launch is silent. The only noise AMD made was the OC'ing record.

When the slides came the community made noise about the performance not AMD.

[H]@RD5TUFF said:
claims of beating a 980x, yet it doesn't come even close to that. AMD promised everything and delivered on nothing.:shadedshu
It was close to the 980X in mutithreaded benchmarks. Didn't you read the reviews or did you skip straight to gaming?
Posted on Reply
#14
CDdude55
Crazy 4 TPU!!!
cadaveca said:
Yes, but there were claims and such way back that all you needed was teh black socket, before the 9-series boards came out. Many OEMs even said that their 8-series boards would work with Bulldozer, but this was months and months ago, and today, they do not work.


Like, I get what you're saying, but people beleive that this upgrade path is possible, because it was reported as possible, albeit wrongly reported, at this point.
That is true, though i remember there were some pics of 800/700 series boards with the black AM3+ sockets that were reported a few months ago:

http://www.techpowerup.com/143395/GIGABYTE-First-to-Market-with-AM3+-Black-Socket-Motherboards.html

I haven't seen that board hit retail though, it's rev 3.1.

But there is this board which is based on the 890FX chipset and have an AM3+ socket: ASRock 890FX DELUXE5 AM3+ AMD 890FX SATA 6Gb/s USB...

Doesn't that indicate that it's possible for the older 800/700 chips to support BD if they'd just switch sockets?
Posted on Reply
#15
cadaveca
My name is Dave
According to AMD, no, that does NOT mean it will support Bulldozer. There are various reasons why.
Posted on Reply
#16
CDdude55
Crazy 4 TPU!!!
cadaveca said:
According to AMD, no, that does NOT mean it will support Bulldozer. There are various reasons why.
I wonder why, they even share the same silicon.

If it doesn't work then that board shouldn't even exist with that socket.
Posted on Reply
#17
cadaveca
My name is Dave
CDdude55 said:
I wonder why, they even share the same silicon.

If it doesn't work then that board shouldn't even exist with that socket.
I do not have the answer to that question. All i know is that many stores have that claim in thier listings for the chips that state you need an AM3+ board with a 9-series chipset, and that JF-AMD said the same.

As I understand it, it's more about a P-State that the 8-series and earlier boards do not support, due to VRM design, so the actual silicon on the board is not important. This is also why a BIOS update is required for Bulldozer, and these BIOSes will not work well with Thuban, because of the different P-States.
Posted on Reply
#18
Horrux
Wow. I just don't know what to say. AMD dropped the ball big time. If I were to "upgrade" my Phenom II X6 1100t to the current top-end FX model, I would lose in performance in quite a few applications.

I think I echo a lot of AMD fans' sentiment with what I have been saying over the past few months: "If bulldozer provides competitive performance (relative to the i7 2600) or at least price-competitive performance compared to the 2500, I'll stay with AMD. Otherwise, I will be seriously tempted to switch over to Intel".

Anyone else?
Posted on Reply
#19
TRWOV
I don't know. Given its price point, the 8120 might be a good buy. Take that sucker home and OC the hell of it.

And if the rumored thread dispatcher patch increases the performance as much as AMD says, the 8120 looks even sweeter. I don't know if the cache trashing could be corrected with a patch too.

I was planning to upgrade in March so I can wait and see how things unfold.
Posted on Reply
#20
[H]@RD5TUFF
TRWOV said:
I don't know. Given its price point, the 8120 might be a good buy. Take that sucker home and OC the hell of it.
The problem with that theory is the crazy power draw at load.
Posted on Reply
#21
alexsubri
I'm still waiting for the FX 8170 review
Posted on Reply
#22
LordJummy
alexsubri said:
I'm still waiting for the FX 8170 review
There is no 8170 at this time I thought?



Side question: Has anyone here actually ordered a retail 8150/8120 for their rig?

I'm finding it hard not to order a mobo/8150 to play with it myself, despite all of the mixed reviews. It looks like it would still be a fun chip to play with...
Posted on Reply
#23
[H]@RD5TUFF
LordJummy said:
There is no 8170 at this time I thought?



Side question: Has anyone here actually ordered a retail 8150/8120 for their rig?

I'm finding it hard not to order a mobo/8150 to play with it myself, despite all of the mixed reviews. It looks like it would still be a fun chip to play with...
I ordered an 8150 it should be here by the weekend, it should make a decent chip for my file server, but that seems all the chip will be good for.
Posted on Reply
#24
erocker
LordJummy said:
I'm finding it hard not to order a mobo/8150 to play with it myself, despite all of the mixed reviews. It looks like it would still be a fun chip to play with...
Oh, it is fun! :D I'm doing some messing around right now. I have a few sets of RAM I want to play around with as well. Right now, I'm using Elpida Hypers.

Check it: http://www.techpowerup.com/forums/showthread.php?t=153443&page=3

:toast:
Posted on Reply
#25
LordJummy
erocker said:
Oh, it is fun! :D I'm doing some messing around right now. I have a few sets of RAM I want to play around with as well. Right now, I'm using Elpida Hypers.

Check it: http://www.techpowerup.com/forums/showthread.php?t=153443&page=3

:toast:
oooh sweet bro. I'm thinking I might grab an 8120 just for testing and overclocking the shit out of it. I will have to rig it in my custom water setup and have some fun....

Your screenies are really tempting me, and I only need a motherboard and the chip. I don't expect it to replace my 970, but I want a new toy that is different than what I've got you know?
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