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
mtosev
The only good thing that AMD ...err ATI knows how to make are their graphic cards. AMDs C50 and C30 are slower than Intel's Atom CPUs. fail again
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#2
techtard
Isn't their power draw total system in those charts?
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#3
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
TheMailMan78 said:
To close. No head room for a good GPU.


:confused:
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#4
HalfAHertz
mtosev said:
The only good thing that AMD ...err ATI knows are their graphic cards. AMD C50 and C30 are slower than Intel's Atom CPU. fail again
No, not really. At the same clockspeed Brazos eats it for breakfast. The problem is that the GPU sucks too much power and the CPU has to be clocked down to help keep the TDP under control for the form factor.

Edit: Damn I'd have preferred to see 16 core Brazos than this lol.
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#8
mtosev
HalfAHertz said:
No, not really. At the same clockspeed Brazos eats it for breakfast. The problem is that the GPU sucks too much power and the CPU has to be clocked down to help keep the TDP under control for the form factor.

Edit: Damn I'd have preferred to see 16 core Brazos than this lol.
this looks really sad http://www.notebookcheck.net/Mobile-Processors-Benchmarklist.2436.0.html
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#9
Jizzler
techtard said:
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.
Probably. Have nearly a whole system in my cart and even after BD is in stock and its added in, the total won't even top $1K.
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#12
EarthDog
HalfAHertz said:
The amazing win8 improvements... just enough t o put it on par with a Thuban :(
http://images.anandtech.com/reviews/cpu/amd/Bulldozer/Review/win8.jpg
Yeah from Anandtech...
AMD also shared with us that Windows 7 isn't really all that optimized for Bulldozer. Given AMD's unique multi-core module architecture, the OS scheduler needs to know when to place threads on a single module (with shared caches) vs. on separate modules with dedicated caches. Windows 7's scheduler isn't aware of Bulldozer's architecture and as a result sort of places threads wherever it sees fit, regardless of optimal placement. Windows 8 is expected to correct this, however given the short lead time on Bulldozer reviews we weren't able to do much experimenting with Windows 8 performance on the platform. There's also the fact that Windows 8 isn't expected out until the end of next year, at which point we'll likely see an upgraded successor to Bulldozer.
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#13
techtard
So the consensus is to wait for Piledriver and Win8?
I put off upgrading for so long, I feel kind of weird right now. It's gotten easier to just wait.
Maybe I'll just wait for SB-e and piledriver, run this dying rig right into the ground!
Posted on Reply
#14
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
techtard said:
So the consensus is to wait for Piledriver and Win8?
I put off upgrading for so long, I feel kind of weird right now. It's gotten easier to just wait.
Maybe I'll just wait for SB-e and piledriver, run this dying rig right into the ground!
Depending on what you do it's a good option. I know I do not need anything extra right now.
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#15
TheMailMan78
Big Member
EarthDog said:
Yeah from Anandtech...
I don't understand this logic. This is "cutting edge" tech that software is proven not to be on par with yet people expected AMD to developer for the current gen software and old tech?

Talking about that Anandtech comment.
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#16
EarthDog
I dont recall any other processor improving its clock for clock performance with a jump to a different OS? Does anyone?
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#17
Kantastic
TheMailMan78 said:
I don't understand this logic. This is "cutting edge" tech that software is proven not to be on par with yet people expected AMD to developer for the current gen software and old tech?

Talking about that Anandtech comment.
Cutting edge tech that's useless to me is, well, useless.
Posted on Reply
#18
CDdude55
Crazy 4 TPU!!!
EarthDog said:
I dont recall any other processor improving its clock for clock performance with a jump to a different OS? Does anyone?
It's sounds like BS excuse to be honest. They're saying Windows 7 isn't ''updated'' to handle the new architecture, yet it's been out since 2009, they had more then enough time. And yet by the time Windows 8 releases (2012) a new line of BD chips will be out anyways.

Ive decided im just going to upgrade my video card and since im already running a 990FX board, i'll just wait till Piledriver in hopes of better performance, but currently it doesn't look like my X6 1055T will be going anywhere soon.
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#19
TheMailMan78
Big Member
EarthDog said:
I dont recall any other processor improving its clock for clock performance with a jump to a different OS? Does anyone?
No but I do remember when Intel debuted hyper threading windows didn't know WTF to do and was later patched with great success. Now I'm not saying that will happen with BD. But its not far fetched ether.
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#20
EarthDog
Yeah, I just dont know. Im truly asking and not trying to start stuff. Im apprehensive of course, but...

I know this is different with their architecture...but its waaaaaaaaaaaaay over my head right now for that making sense. :)
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#22
mtosev
AMD just wants to pin the blame on someone else for their fail.nothing new in this world
Posted on Reply
#23
ensabrenoir
Kantastic said:
Cutting edge tech that's useless to me is, well, useless.
+1
So amd has acess to future software that beyound modern tech and isn't available to anyone......I didn't know they hired Michael Bay to design cpus. Totally possible
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#24
entropy13
I'll be basing this off Tech Report (since they have a scatter plot of perf/price)
http://techreport.com/articles.x/21813/19


FX-8150 at $245 is 355% ($0.69 per percentage point)
FX-8120 at $205 is 330% ($0.62 per percentage point)

Core i7 2600K at $317 is 425% ($0.74 per percentage point)
Core i5 2500K at $216 is 360% ($0.60 per percentage point)

Looking at them in terms of price per performance, they're not that bad.

However, the 8150 can by no means match the 2600K In pure overall performance (425% v. 355% = 70% difference), and is actually behind by 5% to the 2500K while being a bit more expensive ($0.69 v. $0.6).

The 8120 is even worse, just add $11 and you get 30% more performance (at $0.37 per percentage point) with the 2500K.


And there is still the power consumption to talk about. Core i7 2600K and i5 2500K both idles at 64W. Peak power consumption is 144W and 132W respectively. The FX-8150 has an idle power consumption at 76W and peaks at 209W. There is also a "task energy" graph for them; 8.5W and 9.9W respectively for the two Intel CPUs while it's 14.4W for the FX-8150. Comparing the 2600K with the 8150, $317:$245 means you save $72, but you end up using more power (12W more at idle, 65W more peak, 5.9W more task energy).


If the 8150 and 8120 is priced at $200 and $165 respectively, then it would be $0.56 per percentage point for the 8150 and $0.50 per percentage point for the 8120. This would offset, at least, the raw performance advantages of the 2600K and 2500K respectively.








Take note that those performance percentages are as "percentage points." Meaning, "behind by 5%" doesn't mean that it (8150) is 95% the performance of the 2500K (355/360 = 98.61%). And "30% more performance" is "30 percentage points more in terms of performance."
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#25
Imhoteps
OH CRAP (just finished reading some urgent reviews).
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