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
naoan
Yellow&Nerdy? said:
They might as well have called it Phenom III...
They couldn't as it struggle to win over lower clocked Phenom II.
Posted on Reply
#2
pantherx12
Hoping drivers do something lol

Dissapointing it I was expecting it to +20% performance per core vs phenom at-least.

Knew it wasn't going to be a single threaded monster due to the architechture but this is just odd.
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#3
entropy13
Frick said:
That is dissapointing aye, but on the other hand it's on par with 2500k and even 2600k in heavily threaded stuff. Some users will be happy.
That IS what is disappointing. Why didn't AMD at least have it on par in ALL of the stuff?
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#4
NC37
Figured 2500-2600k. Hopefully this will spur AMD to make Piledriver as good on paper as they originally previewed, and not like the recent info they released.

Either way, more interested in APU tech advancement. That is likely where AMD CPUs will start turning things around.
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#5
heky
Lets face it, its a fail. But even now some people are trying to blame it on Windows 7, not using the processor right. I mean come on, they have been developing the processor for 3 years, and noone thought about this erlier. Dream on. Then why would AMD even release a crippled chip, without the proper win 7 tweak, if they know win 8 is not out before late next year. People just have to find someone else to blame when AMD doesnt deliver. Its sad really.
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#8
noname00
Frick said:
That is dissapointing aye, but on the other hand it's on par with 2500k and even 2600k in heavily threaded stuff. Some users will be happy.
It may be on par with the 2600k in some tasks, but on the whole it compares with 2500k at best. Even if you are doing heavily threaded tasks, the higher power usage and the fact that on the whole is about 20% slower than the 2600k will make it a hard processor to sell. Maybe the 4100 at the $115 would be a good choice, since it competes with dual core SB.
I would like to know how the 8150 compares with the 990X in heavily threaded tasks. Oh well, I'm at work now and I have no time for "studying".
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#9
npp
All those fake screenshots and "faster than 990X" claims really made me believe that something big was coming from the green camp. I think they really rushed it out a bit, but on the other hand releasing a Thuban-class CPU alongside Ivy Bridge would have made it downright obsolete from day one. Something really strange has happened with the CPU division at AMD, I feel sorry for that.
Posted on Reply
#10
npp
heky said:
Lets face it, its a fail. But even now some people are trying to blame it on Windows 7, not using the processor right. I mean come on, they have been developing the processor for 3 years, and noone thought about this erlier. Dream on. Then why would AMD even release a crippled chip, without the proper win 7 tweak, if they know win 8 is not out before late next year. People just have to find someone else to blame when AMD doesnt deliver. Its sad really.
If someone remembers the Quad FX platform, it was supposed to work better with the then unreleased Windows Vista, which was supposed to handle NUMA better than XP. Both QFX and Vista faded into oblivion. The bottom line should be clear, don't rely on a OS to make your CPU shine. I thought AMD have learned that.
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#11
laszlo
is not a failure till are buyers in the end only the profit matter;if they sell cheap will be bought and performance is not so bad after all,not everybody can fully load all cores and from speed point is fast enough
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#12
Yellow&Nerdy?
Feel sorry for all the people, who bought a 990FX board because of the hype.
Posted on Reply
#13
Crap Daddy
btarunr said:
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.
Duke Nukem with Eight Cores! Hail to the King, baby! Forever...
Posted on Reply
#14
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
heky said:
Lets face it, its a fail. But even now some people are trying to blame it on Windows 7.
Lol. That Windows 7 "patch" speeds some some benches by a full 0.05%.
Posted on Reply
#16
dirtyferret
Yellow&Nerdy? said:
They might as well have called it Phenom III...
they may as well of called it a phenom II but clock for clock the phenom II is better in gaming. this is the phenom I part II and I don't see some key people at AMD keeping their jobs over this fiasco. The phenom II was launched in 2008 and in three years AMD has failed to produce a chip that is clock for clock faster?! :banghead:
Posted on Reply
#17
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
Oh man, what a disappointment. W1zz was hinting at low performance a month or two ago on here, yeah he knew. ;)

We so badly need that leapfrogging competition from both companies. Now, Intel can sit back and enjoy keeping its prices high, while the shiny new AMD offering goes straight to the bargain bin and the overall performance bar for PCs doesn't rise much. What a fiasco, indeed.

No wonder those executives were recently pushed out of AMD. :rolleyes:
Posted on Reply
#18
Live OR Die
Don't know why this is a shock to people AMD is know for there cheap budget hardware after 15 year i never aspected a change :rolleyes:.
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#19
Bjorn_Of_Iceland
I still wont shell out $245 for it even if I was 'on the cheap'
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#20
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
Just looked at prices and the 8120 comes in at around £165. It might be nice to build a system around that just to say I've got 8 cores and have them show up in Task Manager. :D This is the kind of thing us enthusiasts get off on, isn't it? ;)

However, for the heavy duty stuff, I'll stick to Intel.
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#21
Dj-ElectriC
i don't see why gamers need 8 cores, for half the price you get a FX4100 3.6Ghz quad core. The big difference between it and a I3 is that its OVERCLOCKABLE
Posted on Reply
#22
techtard
entropy13 said:
http://i47.tinypic.com/2vnhzra.gif
LOL nicely done.

Looks like AMD pulled another Phenom I. Too bad, I was looking for some stiff competition to lower prices.
I thought AMD would at least hit last gen i7, and i-5 (1156) IPC. The fact that they get outperformed by their own last gen is terrible.

Seems like they are banking too hard on multithreaded performance, and single threaded took a big hit.
That was a mistake, considering how few multithreaded apps there are.
Most software is still fully last gen, being barely multithreaded, and 32-bit.

@heky
I wouldn't be so quick to laugh at AMD, or blindly support Intel.
Some of us have been using computers for a long time, and we remember how bad Intel was when they had no competition.
They gouged the shit out of you for the smallest upgrades possible.
If AMD doesn't get their shit together, then we'll be back to the dark ages of no innovation and wallet rape.
Posted on Reply
#23
blibba
Dj-ElectriC said:
i don't see why gamers need 8 cores, for half the price you get a FX4100 3.6Ghz quad core. The big difference between it and a I3 is that its OVERCLOCKABLE
Trouble is, because so many resources are shared between cores, in a lot of applications it seems to behave and perform more like a quad already.
Posted on Reply
#24
Live OR Die
Dj-ElectriC said:
i don't see why gamers need 8 cores, for half the price you get a FX4100 3.6Ghz quad core. The big difference between it and a I3 is that its OVERCLOCKABLE
For some games more cores are better a lot of RTS games performance is a lot better woth more cores if the game engine support more than single core processing.
Posted on Reply
#25
CDdude55
Crazy 4 TPU!!!
HardOCPs short review of the chip is quite dissapointing, i was excepting more from the 8 cores. I already have a 990FX board so, i'll either get one anyways or wait for the second gen Bulldozer and hope for the best for those chips. I don't do much to any heavy work, so it's not a huge loss for me.

But AMD needs to get their shit together, they say new designs, and then deliver underperforming results across the board every time. Intel may have the higher prices, but you sure has hell get your moneys worth in performance.

So right now it's:

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