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Radeon HD 7970: Bulldozer vs. Sandy Bridge vs. Nehalem

Tatty_One

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He probably means that an overclocked Q9650 @ 4.5gig is near to an overcocked i7 920 @ 4.2 - 4.3gig, I went 920 from 9650 and found a decent increase in performance across the board and thats with my old 9650 @ 4.5gig.
 

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Cant read/see any of them lol..... maybe just me, old eyes and that!
 
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Great Review. Makes me happy to see my i7-930 is still a great performer at the resolution I run which is 2560x1600. Almost no difference at least not enough to force me to upgrade. Here's to holding out for i9. :toast:
 
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Thanks

Nice review thanks, but there is one thing i don't understand.
The FX matched the 2500K in the highest test, that's the FX bottlenecking the GPU more then the 2500K, ok fine..

But if you look here http://amdfx.blogspot.com/2012/02/dirt-3-revisited-again-by-request.html

They have set the AA to 8x where here it is 4x.

The FPS are about a continuation from what they are in the test here, and suddenly clock for clock the FX overtakes the 2500K by 20% (avr-FPS)

What is going on with that?
 

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Its Actually very good to see the i7 920 still holding up with the big guns. It deserves credit. How old is it now and what speed is it running at! Im going to thank w1zzard 4 this one. Very informative review.
 
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Nice review thanks, but there is one thing i don't understand.
The FX matched the 2500K in the highest test, that's the FX bottlenecking the GPU more then the 2500K, ok fine..

But if you look here http://amdfx.blogspot.com/2012/02/dirt-3-revisited-again-by-request.html

They have set the AA to 8x where here it is 4x.

The FPS are about a continuation from what they are in the test here, and suddenly clock for clock the FX overtakes the 2500K by 20% (avr-FPS)

What is going on with that?
And where were the i5-2500k numbers pulled from? Since they clearly weren't taken from this actual review which baselined using a 7970. Those appear to be from some TomsHardware review judging by the coloring scheme and graph setups, let's see how W1zzards latest review ranks an i7-920 @ 3.8GHz with a 6990;



If Nahalem won there, I assure you SB would have done even better. You cannot compare data from multiple data sets since everyone uses different setups. That post is clearly bias since it's from, you know, AMDFX.blogspot.
 

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Nice review thanks, but there is one thing i don't understand.
The FX matched the 2500K in the highest test, that's the FX bottlenecking the GPU more then the 2500K, ok fine..

But if you look here http://amdfx.blogspot.com/2012/02/dirt-3-revisited-again-by-request.html

They have set the AA to 8x where here it is 4x.

The FPS are about a continuation from what they are in the test here, and suddenly clock for clock the FX overtakes the 2500K by 20% (avr-FPS)

What is going on with that?
I'd like to see another person do this benchmark with an 8150. I find it hard to believe.
 

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Benchmark Scores Benchmarks aren't everything.
I'd like to see another person do this benchmark with an 8150. I find it hard to believe.
You're going to notice difference when you start adjusting image quality. When you start jacking up AA you're taxing the GPU more than the CPU... but if you have a nice video card, that might be exactly what you want. Once again I will reference Guru3d's CPU scaling review with the Radeon HD 7970, and for heavily multi-threaded games such as Crysis 2 and Battlefield 3, you will see minimal improvement by upgrading the CPU beyond Phenom II quad-core (modern that is, not an AM2+ like mine, not to say my 940 doesn't handle Crysis 2 fairly well at full graphics with a 6870.)

Seriously though, it's a review worth checking out if you haven't already.
http://www.guru3d.com/article/radeon-hd-7970-cpu-scaling-performance-review/

Bulldozer isn't bad, it's just not as good as Sandy Bridge. The sooner everyone realizes that, the less flaming there will be. Also you can only improve a processors IPC so much before you hit a top-end limit. As software develops for post anno-2012, you will notice a lot more software utilizing more threads, and for bulldozer, an architecture that scales almost linearly with the amount of cores (unlike Intel's HyperThreading,) you will see that in the future more cores will result in more speed. Similar to video encoding on the FX-8150, something that it keeps up with the 2600k very well.

Reference for video encoding: http://www.guru3d.com/article/amd-fx-8150-processor-review/14
(Yes, I know that the FX-8150 doesn't do as well on other benchmarks, but this is a practical application where the FX-8150 is more than adequate when all cores are being used.)
Also keep in mind that when you're playing a game that can't use all 8 cores, you have that extra power to do other things. Virtual machines? Folding? Video encoding? Yeah, it can do that. :|
 
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Benchmark Scores Benchmarks aren't everything.
Since no one really wants to make a comparison, I grabbed CPU benchmark numbers from Guru3d and plugged them into excel. I calculated Performance of FX-8150 vs i7 2600k and i5 2500k.

If you take a look at the attached document, you will see bulldozer (at stock speeds,) excels over the i7 2600k in the following applications:

FlyRender
Espresso Transcode
Video Transcoding (H.264 (DTS5.1) to x.264 AC3 5.1)
CPU Hash Bench using SHA1
Sandra Memory Index (matches i7,)

When you overclock Bulldozer to 4.6ghz, it takes the lead in the following applications:
SiSoft Sandra FPU GFLOPS
Zlib Compression
VP8 Video Compression

Notice a trend? All the heavily multi-threaded applications seem to chug right on through with a bulldozer. It only suffers on severely single-threaded applications, and even if it does it runs adequately fast for them anyways, but if you're getting a BD, it is not for single-threaded performance, that is for sure.

Also keep in mind the price of the 2600k and the FX-8150, so anything that is not less than 25% slower than the i7 2600k gives you what you paid for in 75% of all cases. Bulldozer delivers for the price that it is set at very well and for any instance where the 8150 overtakes the 2600k is simply a great value for what you're getting.

You can all bash Bulldozer as much as you want, but numbers don't lie. For a brand new, first revision platform, it does pretty damn well.

Information provided is courtesy of Guru3d.
http://www.guru3d.com/article/amd-fx-8150-processor-review/1

Edit: I would also like to add that all of these benchmarks use DDR3-1600, and not the FX-8150's native 1866. Guru3d also didn't try overclocking the 8150's FSB, which doesn't help the memory controller or cache latency.
 

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You're going to notice difference when you start adjusting image quality. When you start jacking up AA you're taxing the GPU more than the CPU... but if you have a nice video card, that might be exactly what you want. Once again I will reference Guru3d's CPU scaling review with the Radeon HD 7970, and for heavily multi-threaded games such as Crysis 2 and Battlefield 3, you will see minimal improvement by upgrading the CPU beyond Phenom II quad-core (modern that is, not an AM2+ like mine, not to say my 940 doesn't handle Crysis 2 fairly well at full graphics with a 6870.)

Seriously though, it's a review worth checking out if you haven't already.
http://www.guru3d.com/article/radeon-hd-7970-cpu-scaling-performance-review/

Bulldozer isn't bad, it's just not as good as Sandy Bridge. The sooner everyone realizes that, the less flaming there will be. Also you can only improve a processors IPC so much before you hit a top-end limit. As software develops for post anno-2012, you will notice a lot more software utilizing more threads, and for bulldozer, an architecture that scales almost linearly with the amount of cores (unlike Intel's HyperThreading,) you will see that in the future more cores will result in more speed. Similar to video encoding on the FX-8150, something that it keeps up with the 2600k very well.

Reference for video encoding: http://www.guru3d.com/article/amd-fx-8150-processor-review/14
(Yes, I know that the FX-8150 doesn't do as well on other benchmarks, but this is a practical application where the FX-8150 is more than adequate when all cores are being used.)
Also keep in mind that when you're playing a game that can't use all 8 cores, you have that extra power to do other things. Virtual machines? Folding? Video encoding? Yeah, it can do that. :|
Yes, and can i suggest the CPU's workload is not affected by screen resolution? so at a low resolution like 1024x768 is basically the maximum speed the CPU is capable of running that game at. Hence the consistent 120 FPS, the FX is simply topping out at the speed it can render the image at, like the refresh rate of your monitor.

Crank the resolution up, the GPU needs to do more, and more to keep up, enable sufficiently demanding anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering the GPU will no longer be able to keep up with the CPU, just because this test shows the 2500K running 200 FPS compared with 120 FPS with the FX is not to say the 2500K is the more powerful CPU for THIS game.

If you look at this test more closely you can see where the ceiling vs the ceiling of the FX meet, or not... as at the very least they match in the highest test, if not the FX starts to overtake,- it is computing more FPS in the last test (all be it very slight) the FX FPS has barely moved from where is was at low resolution, where the 2500K has dropped by about 50%.

If you look at another review sites (mentioning no names here) test of BF3 it shows an FX-4100 matching a 2500K and as near as makes no difference an FX-8150 and 2600K with an i3 2100 not far behind at high graphics settings / resolution.

I would not write the FX Blog off, had a higher test been published here we MIGHT be having a very different conversation.

@ Aquinus, i have a 6 core Thuban, clock for clock it beats a 2500K in multi-threaded benchmarks, an FX-8150 beats my Thuban in the same benchmarks, you compare them in a Linux OS where thread allocation is far more efficient than in Windows and AMD monster Intel.

CRAY are using 16 thread Bulldozer CPU's on a Linux based OS for there new supper computer.
 
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Guys, erocker has a FX8150 chip and a 7970 gfx card. He has a good idea of what he's talking about.
 

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Benchmark Scores Benchmarks aren't everything.
Yes, and can i suggest the CPU's workload is not affected by screen resolution? so at a low resolution like 1024x768 is basically the maximum speed the CPU is capable of running that game at. Hence the consistent 120 FPS, the FX is simply topping out at the speed it can render the image at, like the refresh rate of your monitor.

Crank the resolution up, the GPU needs to do more, and more to keep up, enable sufficiently demanding anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering the GPU will no longer be able to keep up with the CPU, just because this test shows the 2500K running 200 FPS compared with 120 FPS with the FX is not to say the 2500K is the more powerful CPU for THIS game.

If you look at this test more closely you can see where the ceiling vs the ceiling of the FX meet, or not... as at the very least they match in the highest test, if not the FX starts to overtake,- it is computing more FPS in the last test (all be it very slight) the FX FPS has barely moved from where is was at low resolution, where the 2500K has dropped by about 50%.

If you look at another review sites (mentioning no names here) test of BF3 it shows an FX-4100 matching a 2500K and as near as makes no difference an FX-8150 and 2600K with an i3 2100 not far behind at high graphics settings / resolution.

I would not write the FX Blog off, had a higher test been published here we MIGHT be having a very different conversation.

@ Aquinus, i have a 6 core Thuban, clock for clock it beats a 2500K in multi-threaded benchmarks, an FX-8150 beats my Thuban in the same benchmarks, you compare them in a Linux OS where thread allocation is far more efficient than in Windows and AMD monster Intel.

CRAY are using 16 thread Bulldozer CPU's on a Linux based OS for there new supper computer.
BF3 is very cpu efficient in general, even an Athlon x4 handles BF3 reasonably at higher resolutions. :)

(For those of you who don't know, at higher resolutions there is more stress on the GPU, not the CPU.)

You can't compare the Linux kernel and Windows NT (yes, ever since Windows NT, all versions of Windows has been based on the NT kernel,) because they're completely different animals with different goals in mind... also the average user won't care about *nix performance on their platform... unlike us. :)

Guys, erocker has a FX8150 chip and a 7970 gfx card. He has a good idea of what he's talking about.
Then lets see some numbers! :)
Edit: If you have time, I don't want to be pushy because I know how valuable time is and how long benchmarks can take.
 
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Yes i know, as i said in my post an i3 doesn't do to badly either... :) although it is the one where its ability to keep up has faltered, an i3 2100 is an i5 2500 with half as many cores... and a 45nm Athlon is basically a Phenom without L3. (what do you make of that)

For me, in this test we simply don't know whats better for this game, there comes a point where the CPU can no longer keep up, or we could run these games on Pentium II's, this test does not show where the 2500K vs the FX gives up first. it shows they are both as capable as eachother at setting and REZ this game will be played at, the 2500K is not the winner in this Dirt3 or BF3... test as it stands, more data is needed.
 
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cadaveca

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test as it stands, more data is needed.
I'm not sure why though? I mean, it's a given that the 8 threads of the 8150, in some instances, will beat out the four threads of the 2500k.

But the 2500K costs less than the 8150, and in gaming, the actual number of titles that benefit from the extra threads are few and far between.

the FX chips aren't bad..they are just badly priced in order to compete. When most people are concerned about cost, that completely kills the FX's chance of success on a wide scale. That doesn't mean it's a failure...it's just not going to be the popular choice.

A few benchmarks isn't going to change that.
 
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I'm not sure why though? I mean, it's a given that the 8 threads of the 8150, in some instances, will beat out the four threads of the 2500k.

But the 2500K costs less than the 8150, and in gaming, the actual number of titles that benefit from the extra threads are few and far between.

the FX chips aren't bad..they are just badly priced in order to compete. When most people are concerned about cost, that completely kills the FX's chance of success on a wide scale. That doesn't mean it's a failure...it's just not going to be the popular choice.

A few benchmarks isn't going to change that.
Um... well, the FX-8120 costs the same as the 2500K and is the same CPU with a lesser clock speed, the FX-8120 is a down clocked FX-8150. i would not buy an FX-8150 i would get the 8120 and then boost the multiplier to the same level as the 8150 and there you have it... an 8150 ;)
 

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Um... well, the FX-8120 costs the same as the 2500K and is the same CPU with a lesser clock speed, the FX-8120 is a down clocked FX-8150. i would not buy an FX-8150 i would get the 8120 and then boost the multiplier to the same level as the 8150 and there you have it... an 8150 ;)
Great, unfortunately, overclocking voids your warranty, and that's enough for people, average people, to not bother. That makes that point a bit invalid.

When electronic retailers sell "upgrade" warranties for considerable value, consumers on a whole put real monetary value on their warranties, and having made just one successful RMA, really bolsters that value.

Enthusiasts know the real story already. However, stock performance of an 8150 isn't what enthusiasts are after. They are after overclocked performance, and on Intel, you can purchase a warranty to cover your OC, nevermind that cost of cooling that OC'ed system is much less, thanks to Intel's lower power consumption, so the average consumer and enthusiast alike is more likely to OC with Intel, provided sales people do their jobs properly.


Either way, you can go with either camp and have a fairly decent system, each with it's own strength and weaknesses. With ALL things considered, to me, Intel is better with current generation stuff. For the same power on the high-end, you get x79, not a 2500k, so for me, that's where the real comparison is, and at that, Intel to me still offers more.

After all, A75 is AMD's entry platform right now, while 1155 is Intel's entry. Both come with onboard GPUs. AMD is mroe cost-effective, but lacks Intel's CPU processing grunt. X79 and FX...well, you get the picture.
 
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Oh no argument from me, the FX is a disappointment to me but i don't think its as bad as some like to portray it, as you say in a round about way.

AMD have taken a big gamble here designing a completely new architecture, its not paying diffident yet, but it is new and may pay off in the longer term, Intel had the same problems with P4, you may remember?

A more interesting discussion is the future Piledriver chips which will use a resonant clock mesh based on that new architecture.

That's exiting stuff, but perhaps not for this thread.
 

Aquinus

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Benchmark Scores Benchmarks aren't everything.
Great, unfortunately, overclocking voids your warranty, and that's enough for people, average people, to not bother. That makes that point a bit invalid.
You of all people should know that you can't detect if a chip has been overclocked when it gets returned. It's an empty threat the CPU vendors can't enforce. It's a scare tactic to prevent people from returning fried CPUs.

As for resident clock mesh, I don't think it will be enough to lower power consumption as much as Intel's 3d (3 sources, 3 drains per transistor,) transistor. Like I said before, it is a new architecture and for the amount of die space per module, you can cram more cores on the same die area. The future is multi-threading.

This really has been running on but I will say this. Intel has the CPU market figured out for now. AMD has the CPU market figured out for down the road. It really is as simple as that.

(Bulldozer makes a very nice server chip, and for workstations, dual 8-core Valencias at 3.3ghz is just plain sexy and cost effective.)
 
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As for resident clock mesh, I don't think it will be enough to lower power consumption as much as Intel's 3d (3 sources, 3 drains per transistor,) transistor. Like I said before, it is a new architecture and for the amount of die space per module, you can cram more cores on the same die area. The future is multi-threading.

This really has been running on but I will say this. Intel has the CPU market figured out for now. AMD has the CPU market figured out for down the road. It really is as simple as that.

(Bulldozer makes a very nice server chip, and for workstations, dual 8-core Valencias at 3.3ghz is just plain sexy and cost effective.)
I'm not talking about any sort of comparisons, not everything needs to compare with Intel :)

PD's will start with a clock speed of around 4Ghz and moving up from there with 8 or maybe 10 cores with better power consumption and less heat. it might not be as efficient as Ivy but a whole lot more cores and better OC potential than BD..... that's something worth an interest in.
 
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Your argument falls flat on its face when you consider that, who cares how threaded the CPU's of today are when the future is in multi-threading? Intel scales their Core Count with what the average consumer uses, they could probably release 6 and 8 core iterations if they wanted, but why release a product only 0.1% of your userbase could benefit from? By the time 8 threads is the norm for all applications, BD will be long gone. People have been praising multi-threaded apps since like 2005, but software to accomedate that is just too slow.
 

trickson

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Looks like Sandy E Bridge is killing every thing! Man Intel is still on top and looks like it will be there for some time to come! Intel FTW!!!
 
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Looks like Sandy E Bridge is killing every thing! Man Intel is still on top and looks like it will be there for some time to come! Intel FTW!!!
Yes and if it kills AMD watch the Price of Intel go waaaaaaay up, that would be nice for all of us, right?
 

trickson

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Yes and if it kills AMD watch the Price of Intel go waaaaaaay up, that would be nice for all of us, right?
Who cares as long as you get the best! AMD has only AMD to blame! If they want to do better then they better step it up! :cry: