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
TheMailMan78
Big Member
_JP_ said:
YautjaLord is fine reading the reviews and he is noticing that many of the reviews are either using ES chips, or B1/B2 chips. I still stand by my opinion, for now, but I'm going to wait for reviews using retail chips, to make my mind about this.
What? Whos using ES chips for review?
Posted on Reply
#2
_JP_
TheMailMan78 said:
What? Whos using ES chips for review?
Is your avatar related in any way with the emotion you had when you wrote that?
Just wondering...
...for my safety...

Anyway, it's here, just scrool down a little until you see his post.
Posted on Reply
#3
TRWOV
Currently AMD needs to:
- Get the 6100 and 4100 out and review the heck of them. I think they will do fine against the SB Pentiums and i3s plus they can be overclocked.
- Lower prices on the 8100s, specially the 8150.
- Work with MS on the kernel patch to get it out as soon as possible.

Not everything is lost but AMD has to react quickly and get the word out.
Posted on Reply
#4
repman244
TRWOV said:
Currently AMD needs to:
- Get the 6100 and 4100 out and review the heck of them. I think they will do fine against the SB Pentiums and i3s plus they can be overclocked.
- Lower prices on the 8100s, specially the 8150.
- Work with MS on the kernel patch to get it out as soon as possible.

Not everything is lost but AMD has to react quickly and get the word out.
It's probably better if they don't review the 4100 models:


http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-reviews/47155-amd-bulldozer-fx-8150-processor-review-3.html

I also don't believe any software "patch" could fix this, if it could It would already be used for reviews. Only way to get better performance is to wait for the process to mature and start squeezing out the clock speed.
And Piledriver could end up being delayed as well.
Posted on Reply
#5
xenocide
_JP_ said:
Anyway, it's here, just scrool down a little until you see his post.
And if you checked the reviews you'd see that some of the reviews allegedly using ES are similar results as those that aren't. AMD probably sent out a special batch to reviewers that shows up similar as ES' in CPU-Z.
Posted on Reply
#6
_JP_
Or both processors (ES and non-ES) preform about the same.
Posted on Reply
#7
xenocide
_JP_ said:
Or both processors (ES and non-ES) preform about the same.
Also a strong possibility.
Posted on Reply
#8
LordJummy
I am so disappointed, but I can't say I truly expected them to be much better than this. I did expect a bit more out of them, though.

However, I am remembering a particular guy on another forum who told me how BD was going to crush Intel's performance with SB.
Posted on Reply
#9
HalfAHertz
repman244 said:
It's probably better if they don't review the 4100 models:

http://images.hardwarecanucks.com/image/mac/reviews/AMD/Bulldozer/AMD_FX-8150-18.jpg
http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-reviews/47155-amd-bulldozer-fx-8150-processor-review-3.html

I also don't believe any software "patch" could fix this, if it could It would already be used for reviews. Only way to get better performance is to wait for the process to mature and start squeezing out the clock speed.
And Piledriver could end up being delayed as well.
Seems like 4100s should be able to compete with the dual and triple core AthlonII's quite nice. The only problem is that the 4100 has about 3 - 4 times more silicon, uses twice the power and costs twice as much :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: Even the first Phenom was faster than the A64's :(
Posted on Reply
#10
dirtyferret
TRWOV said:
Currently AMD needs to:
- Get the 6100 and 4100 out and review the heck of them. I think they will do fine against the SB Pentiums and i3s plus they can be overclocked.
- Lower prices on the 8100s, specially the 8150.
- Work with MS on the kernel patch to get it out as soon as possible.

Not everything is lost but AMD has to react quickly and get the word out.
techspot's review has the 4170 and it get's beat the 500mhz slower phenom II x4 980

http://www.techspot.com/review/452-amd-bulldozer-fx-cpus/page10.html
Posted on Reply
#11
xenocide
HalfAHertz said:
Seems like 4100s should be able to compete with the dual and triple core AthlonII's quite nice. The only problem is that the 4100 has about 3 - 4 times more silicon, uses twice the power and costs twice as much :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:
Yeaaaaaa... about that...
Posted on Reply
#12
v12dock
Clock speed up and power consumption down is a must with this chip
Posted on Reply
#13
naram-sin
Dammit, AMD...


Unless you've got a big fat furry, super fast, gonna-kill-the-turtle-now rabbit in your ginormous hat, I'll be forced to skip this bull-crap of yours during next couple of years....
Posted on Reply
#14
HalfAHertz
The only good news today for AMD is that they'll be in the next fastest super computer. The catch is that it won't be the fastest thanks to the 6200 opertons but the Nvidia Tesla GPUs that'll be accompanying them.

http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/99413-titan-supercomputer-38400-processor-20-petaflop-successor-to-jaguar
Consider what AMD is and what AMD isn't and where computing is headed and this chip is really beginning to make sense. While these benches seem frustrating to those of us on a desktop today I think a slightly deeper dive shows that there is a whole world of hope here...with these chips, not something later.

I dug into the deal with Cray and Oak Ridge, and Cray is selling ORNL massively powerful computers (think petaflops) using Bulldozer CPUs controlling Nvidia Tesla GPUs which perform the bulk of the processing. The GPUs do vastly more and faster FPU calculations and the CPU is vastly better at dishing out the grunt work and processing the results for use by humans or software or other hardware. This is the future of High Performance Computing, today, but on a government scale. OK, so what? I'm a client user.

Here's what: AMD is actually best at making GPUs...no question. They have been in the GPGPU space as long as Nvidia...except the AMD engineers can collaborate on both CPU and GPU projects simultaneously without a bunch of awkward NDAs and antitrust BS getting in the way. That means that while they obviously can turn humble server chips into supercomputers by harnessing the many cores on a graphics card, how much more than we've seen is possible on our lowly desktops when this rebranded server chip enslaves the Ferraris on the PCI bus next door...the GPUs.

I get it...it makes perfect sense now. Don't waste real estate on FPU dies when the one's next door are hundreds or thousands of times better and faster too. This is not the beginning of the end of AMD, but the end of the beginning (to shamlessely quote Churchill). Now all that cryptic talk about a supercomputer in your tablet makes sense...think Llano with a so-so CPU and a big GPU on the same die with some code tweaks to schedule the GPU as a massive FPU and the picture starts taking shape.

Now imagine a full blown server chip (BD) harnessing full blown GPUs...Radeon 6XXX or 7XXX and we are talking about performance improvements in the orders of magnitude, not percentage points. Is AMD crazy? I'm thinking crazy like a fox.
Posted on Reply
#15
johnnyfiive
dirtyferret said:
interesting review by bit-tech

AMD FX-8150 – why so bad?
Apart from the idle power draw of the FX-8150 – which we’ll point once again is an excellent achievement by AMD considering that the FX-8150 is a high-performance desktop part and its rival Core i5-2500K and Core i7-2600K are both essentially power-efficient laptop processors that have been beefed up a little for desktop PCs – the results show AMD’s latest CPU to be awful at everyday, consumer applications.

It’s a lack of single-threaded performance that holds the FX-8150 back – its efforts in our single-threaded image editing test were dire compared to every other processor on test. Even worse, this supposedly 8-core CPU running at 3.6GHz was hardly much faster than a six-core Phenom II X6 1100T running at 3.3GHz in heavily multi-threaded applications that saturate all available execution cores. In Cinebench R11.5 and WPrime – applications where a 8-core CPU should dominate a 6-core (let alone a quad-core) – we saw a lack of performance.

The answer, we think, comes from Bulldozer’s history. We started this review with a brief history lesson for a reason: we really believe that Bulldozer was intended for servers and workstations, not desktop PC running consumer applications. The lack of grunt-per-core doesn’t matter too much in a server or workstation, as most professional applications are n-threaded and balance that load evenly to saturate every core available. Furthermore, it’s widely assumed that there will be an Opteron based on the Bulldozer design that incorporates eight modules, for 16 execution cores. Bulldozer, we believe, is built for massive parallelism.


http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cpus/2011/10/12/amd-fx-8150-review/13

so AMD decided to cut cost and develop a server CPU and pass it off as a PC CPU...:shadedshu
I believe this to be 100% true. This was my claim/belief all along. It makes sense, no doubt.
Posted on Reply
#16
CDdude55
Crazy 4 TPU!!!
Meanwhile at Intel:

Posted on Reply
#17
D4S4
all of this looks like an epic fail on amd's behalf but the truly multithreaded performance seems up to par - from my point of view, amd went ahead of its time with this architecture, it's focused on multithreading performance and hence sucks @ anything running <= threads than modules. if this doesn't kill amd (very doubtful), they could be delivering some royal ass kicking in the future (when some 16 - 32 cores are considered mainstream).

nevertheless, all of this kinda sucks for everyone not using heavily multithreaded software.

ps i didn't read any of the posts since i saw there were some 200 so if somebody stated this before me, this post is kinda redundant.

edit - well, not quite up to par, i didn't read the review carefully... anyhow, for a such radical architecture change it could have gone worse. that part that johnnyfive underlined there is what i was trying to say, amd just went a bit ahead of themselves with bulldozer. :ohwell:
Posted on Reply
#18
techtard
It isn't really Epic level fail. More like crushed under a mountain of hype. You can blame the fanbois for that.
I and other users have pointed out that desktop software is still too old school. We're being held back by Microsoft, and other vendors still using legacy code and not optimizing for multithreading.

I doubt a software patch will help much. Sounds like Microsoft would have to do some heavy duty hacking to get the scheduler sorted.

What with Windows 8 being on the horizon, they might just say to hell with FX performance on Windows 7.
Posted on Reply
#19
jmcslob
MicroCenter Has listed

For $279 FUCK YOU AMD

My AMD Fanboism is dead.
Posted on Reply
#20
CDdude55
Crazy 4 TPU!!!
jmcslob said:
For $279 FUCK YOU AMD

My AMD Fanboism is dead.
Launch prices are always much more then the actual price just wait a bit and they will go down.

And good to hear your fanboyism is dead.;)
Posted on Reply
#21
GAR
alexsubri said:
It amazes me how many Intel Fanboy's are glamoring themselves over AMD's performance. A good example is when nVidia's 4xx line up came along and ATI 6xxx series were pounding them. Heck, even some 5xxx were pounding them. Yet, the tide changed when the 5xx series came out!

I personally think that the next line up from AMD (Piledriver) will refute my statement. However time will tell. As for me, I am disappointed with FX-8150. Where is the damn press release from AMD?!
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Ox0Uwwd1f8s/TZwAQplkQRI/AAAAAAAAByc/aUTX1xqsTBc/s1600/Tissue-Box-Cry-Baby.jpg
LOL, wtf? the gtx 480 came out in March 2010, the 5870 came out in september of 2009, the gtx 480 was faster than the 5870, the gtx 570 came out about the same time, and again, the gtx 500 series is faster than the 6900, not by much, but it is.
Posted on Reply
#24
ShiBDiB
techtard said:
It isn't really Epic level fail. More like crushed under a mountain of hype. You can blame the fanbois for that.
I and other users have pointed out that desktop software is still too old school. We're being held back by Microsoft, and other vendors still using legacy code and not optimizing for multithreading.

I doubt a software patch will help much. Sounds like Microsoft would have to do some heavy duty hacking to get the scheduler sorted.

What with Windows 8 being on the horizon, they might just say to hell with FX performance on Windows 7.
jmcslob said:
For $279 FUCK YOU AMD

My AMD Fanboism is dead.
If only techtard's will die....

How does it performing badly when compared to older chips on the same software make it the softwares fault.. AMD went all in with a 7-2 off suit and their paying for it with awful performance.
Posted on Reply
#25
LAN_deRf_HA
If you change the multi and voltage on a 8120 to match a 8150 will it consume the same amount of power?
Posted on Reply
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