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
ensabrenoir
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
Fx vs i3..... no that would be cruel on my part.
Posted on Reply
#2
Jizzler
So it's finally out now? Sweet.
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#3
zsolt_93
One thing would save this. If the lower end ones are unlockable like the previous generations then AMD will still win as you could get an x8 for the price of an x4 or x6. They claimed it's impossible, but noone really tried it yet as no other products are currently available than the 8150 so it might happen in a few months if mobo manufacturers happen to find a way around.
Posted on Reply
#4
DannibusX
Ah. The perfect excuse not to upgrade. Thanks for the extra savings, AMD.

This is why I didn't buy into the hype.
Posted on Reply
#5
Completely Bonkers
There is still hope for AMD, just like in the K6-2 days... in the bargain bin ;)

Poor performance isnt fail. High prices for poor performance is fail. Cheap bargain bin prices is win. And the third world needs cheap processors ;)

ROFL
Posted on Reply
#6
shb-
I wish best to AMD, bet there is also a shiny side of this - i will be able to take nice warm fanboy (aka "bulldozer will crush SB, mybe even SB-E" guys) tear filled bath this evening.
Posted on Reply
#7
EarthDog
caleb said:
Such summaries should be done at the end of product review done here on TPU. I don't see any value added by that kind of product summary. Specially before even a review here is done.
Agreed. This is editorializing a bit.

Where is TPU's review? Why editorialize when there are many other reviews to link to (which I sent our sites to BT via PM actually)...?


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.
The Linux Kernel item we have been hearing about will not improve things over on the windows side. There are too many inherient differences with how the scheduler works between the two to translate it in to any better performance.

Maybe if AMD actually called it a quad w/HT instead of a (neutered) Octo core, people's expectations would have been tempered?
Posted on Reply
#8
TheMailMan78
Big Member
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.
Just to let you know it runs a better in windows 8. But hey lets not facts get in the way of your gloating. ;)
Posted on Reply
#9
Gjohnst4
I was so close to buying the 990FX! So, who wants to sell me their PII 1100T? WHAT? NO ONE?!?
Posted on Reply
#10
Crap Daddy
TheMailMan78 said:
Just to let you know it runs a better in windows 8. But hey lets not facts get in the way of your gloating. ;)
When is win 8 out? Next year? Let's not kid ourselves. For now, it's over. Next year? We don't know.
Posted on Reply
#11
FreedomEclipse
~Technological Technocrat~
man, I just got out of bed and all im seeing are review sites just bashing the new AMD CPU. LOL.

Kinda reminds me of the phenom release event where AMD rep said "its PHENOMINAL!"

Ive read the bit-tech reviews and a FX-8150 clocked at 4.8Ghz hasnt got shit on a 2500k clocked at 5Ghz - its like 300mhz difference but the 2500k just pulls ahead.

Its like if BD was some cheap family car and its racing against a Intel v8 or v10 turbo charged 1000bhp musclecar... Neck and neck off the start line but once the muscle looses the turbo lag and the turbo kicks in. you couldnt spell 'gone in 60 seconds' fast enough. It would just be a small spec in the distance by the time you look up.


Utterly dissapointing. but I was kinda expecting this when they showed early cherry picked benches Vs an old Intel Gulftown. Everyone knows that SB is better then gulftown in everyway untill it comes to extremely heavy multi-tasking where the Gulftown's extra cores come into play.

They knew it was going to hurt. why else would they try so hard to keep such a tight lid on any information?

Over hype the CPU. and keep up with the story with a fake smile that they are 'winning'.

Benchmarks dont lie unfortunately.....(unless they are photoshopped)


Phenom I was bad, Phenom II was big improvement over phenom I but no where near Intels performance.

Now theyve had time to take everything back to the drawing board, start from square one and they come out with something that performs worse then Phenom II in single threaded tasks. and is generally less power efficient then Intel SBs and doesnt perform as well clock for clock.

there are no excuses out there that AMD can use to cover for what went utterly wrong other then the fact that their whole design team must of been smoking something all day, everyday while they were making this CPU because everyone aprently fails to see whats so great about it.

------

I think its time for AMD to get rid of the old design team and hire some fresh blood that will take the fight to intels doorstep and not cower behind cherry picked benchmarks vs OLDER PROCESSORS like a bitch.

I feel sorry for the people who built AM3 rigs and were waiting for BD to come.
Posted on Reply
#12
Grings
So is this AMD's netburst moment?
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#13
HalfAHertz
I'm sorry to say this but Bulldozer is a waste of silicon. The die has 2 TWO! billion transistors. Compare that to the 0,9B of Ph x6. So theoretically let's say that AMD just stuck two x6's together on the same die and did some memory magic to be able to feed all the cores and released that instead. It'd still be in the same 2 billion transistor ballpark and would be a true multi-threaded behemoth.

Once again an amazingly good idea with an amazingly terrible implementation ... :( AMD deserves a Goro facepalm.

Posted on Reply
#14
noname00
Grings said:
So is this AMD's netburst moment?
Unfortunately netburst v2 (if you count Phenom I as the first netburst moment).
Posted on Reply
#15
TheMailMan78
Big Member
Crap Daddy said:
When is win 8 out? Next year? Let's not kid ourselves. For now, it's over. Next year? We don't know.
Ya know the benches are about where I thought they would be. I didn't buy into the hype as some did here. Performance wise its on par given all circumstances.

What I am SHOCKED about is the power consumption. That to me is not acceptable. Its like the Fermi but a CPU. Complete BS.
Posted on Reply
#16
HalfAHertz
TheMailMan78 said:
Ya know the benches are about where I thought they would be. I didn't buy into the hype as some did here. Performance wise its on par given all circumstances.

What I am SHOCKED about is the power consumption. That to me is not acceptable. Its like the Fermi but a CPU. Complete BS.
Exactly. I want to know what happened to the first Bulldozer cores we heard about which were supposed to be half the size of K10.5 and perform similarly. Somewhere in the design process someone decided to throw everything away and start from scratch methinks...
The current bulldozer cores are huge and perfrom like sh!t.

Anandtech
AMD believes that 80%+ of all normal server workloads are purely integer operations. AMD has come back to us with a clarification: the 5% figure was incorrect. AMD is now stating that the additional core in Bulldozer requires approximately an additional 50% die area. That's less than a complete doubling of die size for two cores, but still much more than something like Hyper Threading.
Taken from here
Posted on Reply
#17
EarthDog
Just to let you know it runs a better in windows 8.
Can you link that up please? I havent seen a H2H against the OS's...
Posted on Reply
#19
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
qubit said:

However, for the heavy duty stuff, I'll stick to Intel.
Isn't the heavy duty (if heavily multithreaded) stuff when BD actually competes with SB?
Posted on Reply
#20
Live OR Die
HalfAHertz said:
Exactly. I want to know what happened to the first Bulldozer cores we heard about which were supposed to be half the size of K10.5 and perform similarly. Somewhere in the design process someone decided to throw everything away and start from scratch methinks...
The current bulldozer cores are huge and perfrom like sh!t.
What happen was some fan boy for AMD created up some fake AMD performance charts.
Posted on Reply
#21
TheMailMan78
Big Member
HalfAHertz said:
Exactly. I want to know what happened to the first Bulldozer cores we heard about which were supposed to be half the size of K10.5 and perform similarly. Somewhere in the design process someone decided to throw everything away and start from scratch methinks...
The current bulldozer cores are huge and perfrom like sh!t.
Pretty much. Now I know this is just the stepping stone to a new route. Thats why I'm not surprised at the bench results. Win 8 will give this new architecture new light I feel. But the g-d damn power draw is insane. WTF was AMD thinking on that. Hell I have a 750w PSU and even if I WANTED to upgrade to a 8150 I couldn't safely. WOW.

I sure hope this is fixed for Pile driver.
Posted on Reply
#22
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
TheMailMan78 said:
Pretty much. Now I know this is just the stepping stone to a new route. Thats why I'm not surprised at the bench results. Win 8 will give this new architecture new light I feel. But the g-d damn power draw is insane. WTF was AMD thinking on that. Hell I have a 750w PSU and even if I WANTED to upgrade to a 8150 I couldn't safely. WOW.
Stay at clock speeds and it'll be ok. ;)
Posted on Reply
#23
techtard
So is anyone still going through with their 990FX+BD upgrades? And if so, can you run some game benches that are CPU limited, like WoW and SC2? I know WoW is a bad game by today's standards bench-wise, but it is a really CPU dependant game. Lot's of people still play it, so it wouldn't be a completely worthless benchmark.
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#24
TheMailMan78
Big Member
Frick said:
Stay at clock speeds and it'll be ok. ;)
To close. No head room for a good GPU.
Posted on Reply
#25
HalfAHertz
The amazing win8 improvements... just enough t o put it on par with a Thuban :(
Posted on Reply
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