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
Horrux
Covert_Death said:
thanks, sorry i guess i should have included more info...

i run at 1920x1080 60Hz with two GTX460's in SLI OC'd quiet a bit...

i also do a LOT of CAD rendering (mechanical engineering major) and im pretty sure i would see quiet a large benefit in this area as well...
Yeah, CAD is usually heavily threaded, so it looks good for you, I think.
Posted on Reply
#2
Dent1
Covert_Death said:
i also do a LOT of CAD rendering (mechanical engineering major) and im pretty sure i would see quiet a large benefit in this area as well...
Single threaded 3D rendering performance is poor, but multithreaded 3D rendering in Cinebench the FX @ 4.6GHz seems on par with the 2500K @ 4.8GHz.
Not sure if POV Ray is multi threaded, but FX 8120 @ 4.6GHz seems on par with the i5/i7 series @ 4.8GHz.

http://www.hardocp.com/article/2011/10/11/amd_bulldozer_fx8150_desktop_performance_review/8
Posted on Reply
#3
Covert_Death
hmmm, looks very tastey... now to decide if i buy one now or wait for stepping revision or see if piledriver is AM3+....... decisions decisions
Posted on Reply
#4
theoneandonlymrk
the futures starting to look rosey then since single threadeds on the decline and multithreaded processings on the up, i might go with an upgrade this xmass after all, i think a lot has been made of early benches on un optimised software and hardware and that new soft and games as they arrive that do use more then 1 - 4 cores things will start leaning AMD's way
Posted on Reply
#5
Goodman
Covert_Death said:
hmmm, looks very tastey... now to decide if i buy one now or wait for stepping revision or see if piledriver is AM3+....... decisions decisions
Save your money & keep it as it is or buy an PIIx6 & don't ever look back ;)
Posted on Reply
#6
ensabrenoir
Covert_Death said:
because you design for the futuer... this is a stepping block for future CPU's from AMD
True yet you must also stay usable in the present or there won't be a future for you. We may all drive electric cars in the future. Hower there is not PRESENTly a large enough support infastructure for ford to only make electric cars . So the hybrid (gas & electric) exist until that future point.
Posted on Reply
#7
Covert_Death
And the fact that hybrids are more fuel efficient then electric ;) Electrics are still natural gas and oil vehicles in the long run, the engine is just no longer in the car but at a power plant.... hydrogen is the future as its only biproduct is water ;)

Anyway, I'm not buying another pII when I already have one,, I wannt great multithread use since that's all I do basically ... I THINK bd is the answer for me, again unless pd comes quickly and is am3+
Posted on Reply
#8
LordJummy
The future = magnets. Everyone knows this.
Posted on Reply
#9
Covert_Death
Once we can unravel a magnetic field yes haha
Posted on Reply
#10
MadClown
well guess im not building a new pc just yet
Posted on Reply
#11
HalfAHertz
Just do AMD a favor and don't buy Bulldozer CPUs. Let them fry for a bit and shave some fat ...
Posted on Reply
#12
Prima.Vera
LordJummy said:
mmm not really. now you're just getting into wishful thinking territory.

the 8150 as it turns out actually can perform quite well under the right circumstances. it is far better than your c2q overall.
Not in the games it isn't. Don't take my word. Just check the charts from some pages before...;)
Posted on Reply
#13
Horrux
HalfAHertz said:
Just do AMD a favor and don't buy Bulldozer CPUs. Let them fry for a bit and shave some fat ...
I thought they fried and shed the fat in the Phenom I days, and then some more lately? I'm thinking AMD looks thin and frail right now... They don't need to get on a diet, believe me.

Just go look at their financials... :cry:
Posted on Reply
#14
Jack Doph
I'm pretty sure this thread has outlived its longevity...
Posted on Reply
#15
Super XP
Covert_Death said:
And the fact that hybrids are more fuel efficient then electric ;) Electrics are still natural gas and oil vehicles in the long run, the engine is just no longer in the car but at a power plant.... hydrogen is the future as its only biproduct is water ;)

Anyway, I'm not buying another pII when I already have one,, I wannt great multithread use since that's all I do basically ... I THINK bd is the answer for me, again unless pd comes quickly and is am3+
I believe it's been already established that Piledriver is indead going to sit on Socket AM3+. The future Piledriver II based on a 10 core design is said to be on Socket FM2 in around Q1 2013. But in reality, AMD can change there minds if they wanted.
MadClown said:
well guess im not building a new pc just yet
You got what I have a Phenom II x4 940 with a max OC of 3.60 GHz. Can't go over this number no matter what I do. I am due for an upgrade, but will hold off alittle longer for now.
Horrux said:
I thought they fried and shed the fat in the Phenom I days, and then some more lately? I'm thinking AMD looks thin and frail right now... They don't need to get on a diet, believe me.

Just go look at their financials... :cry:
I believe Barcelona and it's launch was worst than Bulldozer. But AMD quickly resolved most of it's issues with Phenom II. Hopefully they can do the same with Bulldozer, such as a AMD FXII or something. But they would need a much wider performance gap between say original Bulldozer vs Bulldozer II. The PI and PII gap was good, just not as good, but not great. PII had the ability to clock higher.
Posted on Reply
#16
techtard
They should ditch AM3+ for piledriver, and move on to the next socket. Break compatibility, and hopefully INNOVATE.

Sometimes you have to break some eggs to make an omlette.
I personally think that all this backwards compatibility limited their options. They had to design a brand new architecture, but force it to work with some old and tired components.

Look at all the tinkering the motherboard makers are having to do to try to get this chip to run properly.
Posted on Reply
#17
DigitalUK
you always break all the eggs when making an omlette?
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#18
techtard
LOL. Never been called out on that saying before. +1 for you.
Posted on Reply
#19
Wile E
Power User
cadaveca said:
Like I said, you are an enthusiast, just by having an account here, so your view is not important.

Like i know that might sound like me just bieng a jerk, but the fact of the matter is that it is 100% true. CPU cost has no bearing when buying a full system. Final system cost does. If a 2500K system is even $50 more than an 8150 system is, guess which one is going to sell more often than not?


If you are an enthusiast, AMD expects you to overclock, at which point, cost and stock performance is not important, because your costs are much more than the chip anyway, with extra cooling and such figured in. retail cost of the chip according to AMD is $245, and retailers are currently gouging prices hard, by $45 in some instances. That $245 includes markup for the retailer to make money, while OEMs that build systems pay far less because they buy in far larger quantities, and do nto have such large markups. At this point, retail pricing is very much a moot point.
Since when does the number of units they sell, and how, make any difference on the performance level of a chip? The reviews are about the performance. The way they are sold is irrelevant in that context.

Defending the performance of a product based on where the majority of it's sales are based, does not make it a well performing product.

BD = underperforming, period.

Dent1 said:
I guess you are wrong. lol

http://www.techpowerup.com/153573/ASRock-Announces-Wide-Ranged-Support-for-AMD-FX-Processors.html

ASRock have prioritized AM3+ motherboard implementation and is the first to produce the most sophisticated AM3+ CPU-capable motherboards. The entire range of AM3+ mobo includes AMD's 9-Series, 8-Series, 7-Series and Nvidia's GeForce 7025 chipset series. Importantly, ASRock have a complete motherboard products line (from high-end, performance to budget-level) supporting AM3+ Bulldozer processors. Users are able to enjoy the exciting AM3+ performance with the latest BIOS update. ASRock is confident to say that they are the only motherboard maker that can offer so many AM3+ mobo choices based on difference chipsets. And this is what other mobo makers cannot do.


PS. isnt the 7025 chipset like 6 years old. Anyone with a crappy AM2/AM2+ board should be able to drop in a AMD FX without breaking the bank.
Wrong. BD does not support DDR2. SO unless those boards sprouted DDR3 slots, AM2/AM2+ is out, period. Those chipsets can be made compatible if built on the AM3/AM3+ socket, not on current AM2/AM2+ boards.

techtard said:
They should ditch AM3+ for piledriver, and move on to the next socket. Break compatibility, and hopefully INNOVATE.

Sometimes you have to break some eggs to make an omlette.
I personally think that all this backwards compatibility limited their options. They had to design a brand new architecture, but force it to work with some old and tired components.

Look at all the tinkering the motherboard makers are having to do to try to get this chip to run properly.
I have to agree. I really think it's time for them to move to a newer platform.
DigitalUK said:
you always break all the eggs when making an omlette?
Not if you buy carton eggs. :D
Posted on Reply
#20
Steevo
I'm buying a 1100T for my system today so I get the good chips before they are gone.


I will send my 940 to my parents and get their X2 back for a cheapo build for a friend.


Edit....I ordered it. $189.00 with free shipping....
Posted on Reply
#21
cadaveca
My name is Dave
Wile E said:
BD = underperforming, period.
It's not like the offered performance prevents BD from completing any tasks, nor does it lack compatibility to run software, nor does it break anything. If it doesn't meet YOUR expectations, that's fine. Not everyone needs to have the fastest chip possible.

When 90% of the chips sold aren't intended for users like you, you bet it's a viable excuse. You're just disappointed because AMD didn't have the capability of meeting the needs of both markets, but the market where the real numbers of chips sell do not have the same expectations that enthusiast do. Catering to those with the big bucks ensures they can have the funds to further reiterate on the product, as they have done countless times in the past.

Don't forget, the Athlon/Phenom core design stuck around for like 8 years. BD will most likely last just as long as well.

I mean really now, if AMD really had enthusiasts in mind, would enthusiasts be presented with a very limited supply of chips? I wouldn't be surprised to see AMD barely release any to retail as PileDriver is expected very soon. Where are teh BD chips AMD has been making, after all? Who got shipped chips first as a customer? Definitely not the retail space!!
Posted on Reply
#22
Steevo
Most of BD went to server chips. Plus AMD is making craploads more APU units than BD.
Posted on Reply
#23
Wile E
Power User
cadaveca said:
It's not like the offered performance prevents BD from completing any tasks, nor does it lack compatibility to run software, nor does it break anything. If it doesn't meet YOUR expectations, that's fine. Not everyone needs to have the fastest chip possible.

When 90% of the chips sold aren't intended for users like you, you bet it's a viable excuse. You're just disappointed because AMD didn't have the capability of meeting the needs of both markets, but the market where the real numbers of chips sell do not have the same expectations that enthusiast do. Catering to those with the big bucks ensures they can have the funds to further reiterate on the product, as they have done countless times in the past.

Don't forget, the Athlon/Phenom core design stuck around for like 8 years. BD will most likely last just as long as well.

I mean really now, if AMD really had enthusiasts in mind, would enthusiasts be presented with a very limited supply of chips? I wouldn't be surprised to see AMD barely release any to retail as PileDriver is expected very soon. Where are teh BD chips AMD has been making, after all? Who got shipped chips first as a customer? Definitely not the retail space!!
None of that changes the fact that it doesn't even outperform the previous generation in some tests. It's a poor performer, and it got the reviews it deserved. No amount of "intended market" spin you throw on it changes that.
Posted on Reply
#24
Covert_Death
Wile E said:
None of that changes the fact that it doesn't even outperform the previous generation in some tests. It's a poor performer, and it got the reviews it deserved. No amount of "intended market" spin you throw on it changes that.
your words "in some tests"

sooooo based on what your saying, if it excels in test that you would use on a daily basis then it is good for you. most of the test where PII did better was single threaded... and if you don't care for single threaded performance then why would you not buy it based on tests that don't pertain to your usage ?
Posted on Reply
#25
Wile E
Power User
Covert_Death said:
your words "in some tests"

sooooo based on what your saying, if it excels in test that you would use on a daily basis then it is good for you. most of the test where PII did better was single threaded... and if you don't care for single threaded performance then why would you not buy it based on tests that don't pertain to your usage ?
Because it still consumes more power and costs more to do it compared to Thuban.

It's just especially underwhelming when compared to the Intel offerings.
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