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
entropy13
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 ?
If you don't care for single threaded performance, it only means one thing.

You are using "software of the future" that is yet to be released, much less coded and compiled. :laugh:
Posted on Reply
#2
Covert_Death
entropy13 said:
If you don't care for single threaded performance, it only means one thing.

You are using "software of the future" that is yet to be released, much less coded and compiled. :laugh:
i would say 95% of the software i run is multi-threaded, and i'm certainly not from the future and the software is most certainly already released...

the two or three video games i play are all multi-threaded games, and i heavily use my machine for CAD rendering...

the only single threaded software i can think of iTunes.... and i really don't see BD coming to a crawl with iTunes haha

guys these CPU's may not be for you but they are still very good at what they are designed to do... multithreaded software apps, and there is plenty of software out there supporting multi core setups... if there weren't we would still be in the single-dual core era, but we aren't
Posted on Reply
#3
entropy13
Covert_Death said:
i would say 95% of the software i run is multi-threaded, and i'm certainly not from the future and the software is most certainly already released...

the two or three video games i play are all multi-threaded games, and i heavily use my machine for CAD rendering...

the only single threaded software i can think of iTunes.... and i really don't see BD coming to a crawl with iTunes haha

guys these CPU's may not be for you but they are still very good at what they are designed to do... multithreaded software apps, and there is plenty of software out there supporting multi core setups... if there weren't we would still be in the single-dual core era, but we aren't
A game that uses at least two threads is already "multi-threaded", you know. The FX-8150 only really shines when all 8 threads were being used...much like how the i7 2600K, with its 8 threads, only really outperforms significantly the i5 2500K which has 4 threads.



But I actually agree that BD is not much a fail "as is", but if you have read my previous posts, you would have seen that:
#1 - because of the price, it has an awful price/performance ratio
#2 - because of the power consumption AND worse performance, it uses up more power to finish a certain task AND takes longer as well
#3 - it only becomes a "good buy" IF you already have a compatible board and you have specific usage that would fully use its "advantages"; if power consumption is NOT an issue, it's a "good buy." In other words, there's a lot of if's to satisfy just for it to become a "good buy"
Posted on Reply
#4
Super XP
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.
Well that's the thing, they won't move to Socket FM2 yet, because they cannot. They need to FIX Bulldozer's issues first, then move the technology to a new platform. In my estimation, and according to recent rumours, they plan on prolonging Socket AM3+ with an new breed of 4-6-8 Piledriver cores for the remainder of 2012, then hopefully by then they would have ironed out performance issues which we've seen as of late and move everything over to Socket FM2.

Socket AM3+ is not tired, the original Bulldozer was already meant to work on it, it is only the 10-Core Piledriver that was suppose to switch to the FM2.

This IMO is a good idea, keeping Socket AM3+ alive and kicking for much longer than planned, then release Socket FM2.

Though mark my words, if Bulldozer was indead as fast as rumours suggested, 10-Core Piledriver would have gotten released in Q1 2012 under Socket FM2 Guaranteed :D
Posted on Reply
#5
Semi-Lobster
Did the release of Bulldozer lower the prices of the Phenom II series? I was going to get one but hell, might as well just use that money to get an upgrade for my existing AM3 setup to a Phenom II X6 1100T or X4 980 from my X3 720?
Posted on Reply
#6
cadaveca
My name is Dave
Wile E said:
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.
I gotta agree with this, for sure. I just simply never expected anything else. It's not underwhelming when you didn't expect anything else.

I mean, I could go back through the BD threads and find my posts expecting basically everything BD has been revealed to be. Although the "internet marketing" may have portrayed a different picture, the stuff that AMD had on their website seems to pretty accurately reflect the CPU that was released.

But it's not THAT underwhelming compared to the Intel chips...for nearly a year we've had the 1100T vs the 2600K, and AMD still managed to sell many chips, when the 1100T could never really approach the 2600K. Now, in multithreading, the 8150 excels over the 2600K, but because most apps aren't multithreaded, few benefits can be noticed, overall.
Posted on Reply
#7
Super XP
Some retailers jacked up the price of the Phenom II X6 1100T :eek: You can find the AMD FX 8120 for cheaper.
Posted on Reply
#8
Horrux
Super XP said:
Some retailers jacked up the price of the Phenom II X6 1100T :eek: You can find the AMD FX 8120 for cheaper.
Makes perfect sense.
Posted on Reply
#9
FreedomEclipse
~Technological Technocrat~
Super XP said:
Some retailers jacked up the price of the Phenom II X6 1100T :eek: You can find the AMD FX 8120 for cheaper.
probably to take advantage to those people who were holding off upgrading and waiting for BD.

BD gets some extremely bad press and all the fan boys who were holding out decide to go with the next best option available....X6 1100T.

any retailer that jacks up prices of older chips to take advantage of the situations like these deserves to be shutdown.
Posted on Reply
#10
ensabrenoir
Even after launch....we still don't know bull dozer.
Posted on Reply
#11
Altered
FreedomEclipse said:


any retailer that jacks up prices of older chips to take advantage of the situations like these deserves to be shutdown.
Ill go even further on that. Any business that jacks up prices to take advantage of situations is pretty low in my book. But on the other hand a business in not there to be your friend, no matter what they advertise, they are there to make as much $ as they can. It happens every day look at gas prices or plywood in hurricane situations etc etc etc. :ohwell:
Posted on Reply
#12
nt300
Covert_Death said:
i would say 95% of the software i run is multi-threaded, and i'm certainly not from the future and the software is most certainly already released...

the two or three video games i play are all multi-threaded games, and i heavily use my machine for CAD rendering...

the only single threaded software i can think of iTunes.... and i really don't see BD coming to a crawl with iTunes haha

guys these CPU's may not be for you but they are still very good at what they are designed to do... multithreaded software apps, and there is plenty of software out there supporting multi core setups... if there weren't we would still be in the single-dual core era, but we aren't
Agree, and hoping Piledriver performs better in single threaded apps.
Posted on Reply
#13
techtard
FreedomEclipse said:
probably to take advantage to those people who were holding off upgrading and waiting for BD.

BD gets some extremely bad press and all the fan boys who were holding out decide to go with the next best option available....X6 1100T.

any retailer that jacks up prices of older chips to take advantage of the situations like these deserves to be shutdown.
Supply and demand. Basic market principle.
Posted on Reply
#14
LordJummy
techtard said:
Supply and demand. Basic market principle.
Are Phenom II's suddenly low in supply? Aren't they still producing them?

I don't think it's as simple as supply vs. demand in this case. Has AMD made any kind of announcements to halt P2 x6 production? I thought that was just a rumor.
Posted on Reply
#15
erocker
ensabrenoir said:
Even after launch....we still don't know bull dozer.
Sure we do and it's quite simple. The chip is aptly named. It's big and powerful like a Bulldozer, just not very fast.
Posted on Reply
#16
Covert_Death
Doesn't have to be lower supply, I bet they are in greater demand then they were a month ago. Nobody was buying them a month ago because everyone was waiting for bd, now everyone is buying them and demand has drastically gone up from a month ago.

I am being dramatic but this is what's happening and why prices have risen
Posted on Reply
#17
cadaveca
My name is Dave
erocker said:
Sure we do and it's quite simple. The chip is aptly named. It's big and powerful like a Bulldozer, just not very fast.
:roll:


:banghead:

You'd think people would get it by now...


:laugh:


:rockout:
Posted on Reply
#18
LordJummy
Covert_Death said:
Doesn't have to be lower supply, I bet they are in greater demand then they were a month ago. Nobody was buying them a month ago because everyone was waiting for bd, now everyone is buying them and demand has drastically gone up from a month ago.

I am being dramatic but this is what's happening and why prices have risen
How do you know that Phenom II X6 sales have gone up? I mean how do you know, personally?

Do you have the AMD sales figures?

Also, people who have BD compatible motherboards and are buying phenom II chips are making poor decisions, IMHO.
Posted on Reply
#19
Super XP
AMD FX 8150 Underwhelming? I think NOT

Here is a QUOTE from another site.
Something is going on with the Motherboards and the Bulldozer CPU.
This quote seem to make a load of sense. Also no reason to buy a PII when Bulldozer is out.
If the chip flops in 2 board brands, and beats Intel in 2 others, then yes, it is the boards that flop the chip.
Hardocp
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2011/10/11/amd_bulldozer_fx8150_gameplay_performance_review/2
HardwareHeaven
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
Rage3D
http://www.rage3d.com/reviews/cpu/amd_fx_8150/index.php?p=9

On these boards, Bulldozer came up equal or better in most respects with the Intel chips. In Gaming, it had a wide margin as it should have.

Bulldozer delivered on some boards, and had not, that tells us that there is an issue with some boards, period.

Evident Conclusion of Empirical Data Surpasses Anything Else.
Posted on Reply
#20
Ahhzz
erocker said:
Sure we do and it's quite simple. The chip is aptly named. It's big and powerful like a Bulldozer, just not very fast.
Oh that's just WRONG hahahahah:roll::banghead::roll::banghead: so when you gonna get us a solid FX review, 'Rocker?
Posted on Reply
#21
Super XP
AMD FX 8150 Underwhelming? I think NOT

Funny
Posted on Reply
#22
CDdude55
Crazy 4 TPU!!!
Super XP said:
Here is a QUOTE from another site.
Something is going on with the Motherboards and the Bulldozer CPU.
This quote seem to make a load of sense. Also no reason to buy a PII when Bulldozer is out.
I really don't see what you're saying, those benchmarks are just again proving that if you have a 6 core Phenom II chip you might as well stick with it.

The BF3 benchmark was the only game that really showed BD in a good light considering it's multithreaded, it also only showed that the peak framerate was better but the average framerate was still only about 3.8% better then Sandy Bridge.

Again, i think it's just people trying to make up excuses again to justify the chips existence/performance.
Posted on Reply
#23
erocker
Ahhzz said:
Oh that's just WRONG hahahahah:roll::banghead::roll::banghead: so when you gonna get us a solid FX review, 'Rocker?
I'm not. I'll just post stuff in the AMD FX clubhouse. I think I have got my issues worked out now I had to do some tweaks in Win 7 to resolve some things but all looks good now. I'm also going to be trying out Windows 8 shortly. :(


Super XP said:
Funny
I suppose I can chuckle a bit that it is ineed underwhelming. It consumes an awful lot of power, sure multicore performance can be good but the cores that make up the multicores are slow. Things can be spun anyway you want, this chip is underwhelming. That being said, it's a blast to overclock and test out other than some of the issues that Windows was giving me with this thing. Multiple installs, even used different versions of Windows 7 and there were always issues in the Event Log. Get the chip and play with it, until then you're kinda just blowing smoke. This chip = underwhelming. I don't see any kind of magical bios or O/S updates that is going to raise this CPU past the status of "underwhelming" either. But.. whatever. This CPU is servicable, it works and you can do things with it for a decent price. I've said my piece here. :toast:
Posted on Reply
#24
LordJummy
CDdude55 said:
I really don't see what you're saying, those benchmarks are just again proving that if you have a 6 core Phenom II chip you might as well stick with it.

The BF3 benchmark was the only game that really showed BD in a good light considering it's multithreaded, it also only showed that the peak framerate was better but the average framerate was still only about 3.8% better then Sandy Bridge.

Again, i think it's just people trying to make up excuses again to justify the chips existence/performance.
Your opinion is a bit extremist. There are quite a few benchmarks and games that put it in a favorable light. I think you've made your thoughts on it clear throughout the threads.

I think that a lot of benchmarks and game results simply showed that a lot of games and benchmarks are old and poorly made. The CPU is doing exactly what it was designed for, and I believe it will continue to improve over the next several months and following years.

The chip has strengths and weaknesses. It's not a total failure. It is actually a really neat CPU. It just has a ton of negative hype all around it, and if people aren't intelligent enough to cut through the crap and see the chip for what it is then that's their problem.

I have one on back order myself. I didn't read too many reviews because I want to try it for myself.
Posted on Reply
#25
CDdude55
Crazy 4 TPU!!!
LordJummy said:
Your opinion is a bit extremist. There are quite a few benchmarks and games that put it in a favorable light. I think you've made your thoughts on it clear throughout the threads.

I think that a lot of benchmarks and game results simply showed that a lot of games and benchmarks are old and poorly made. The CPU is doing exactly what it was designed for, and I believe it will continue to improve over the next several months and following years.

The chip has strengths and weaknesses. It's not a total failure. It is actually a really neat CPU. It just has a ton of negative hype all around it, and if people aren't intelligent enough to cut through the crap and see the chip for what it is then that's their problem.

I have one on back order myself. I didn't read too many reviews because I want to try it for myself.
I have seen a few benchmarks and games where Bulldozer does pull ahead, but not enough to make a difference for me to switch CPUs and that's really my only grief, but overall it's not completely terrible. It has been shown over and over again that these chips aren't very good in single threaded applications and that it doesn't get better until the workload gets spread across the cores. You could argue that BD will get better as software starts getting designed with multiple cores/threads in mind, but im still not sure if BD is strong enough to matter by then.

AMD took a brave risk with the new design, i just think it was executed poorly.

With that said as ive said in the past, i too am planning to go Bulldozer at some point, either with the second iteration or if the current line gets better in the future. I'm already running a 990FX board, so im ready when AMD is ready to do better then their current gen Phenom II chips.
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