First of all, I would like to thank AMD for providing the review kit (CPU, Asus motherboard and liquid cooling) G.Skill for providing a RipjawsX DDR3 memory kit, and Links for their continuous support.
The very codename for this architecture, Bulldozer, pretentious in its every way, indicated something big is coming from AMD. Something with overwhelming power, bulldozing its way to the top of the chain. The first processor architecture developed from ground up, after the Kx series, starting with K7 back in the 1999, to not so distant past and the latest successor, K10.5 and Thuban hexa core processor. In original plans, the first processor based on Bulldozer architecture was due to come out by the end of 2009, but numerous delays in development set the plan back by a year, to end of 2010. And we all know how that went, we were just introduced with upcoming Istanbul and its desktop derivate Thuban hexa core processors, still based on the same K10.5 architecture used with Deneb cores. If it were to come out a year ago, it would have made a noticeable impact, and maybe it would have justified its architecture codename – Bulldozer.
But AMD missed its train, again, and Bulldozer is thrown into the market, in a very undesirable time frame, between Intel's latest LGA1155 platform and Sandy Bridge processors, up until now a very dominating and widespread platform among all group of users, and on the other side, a Sandy Bridge-E heavy duty performance platform which will even in its weakest SKU outperform AMD's top offering. I'm sure many, if not all of you already read some of reviews of AMD's FX-8150 processor and are aware of the disappointment it left with reviewers and general public.
There's a double edge situation in late reviewing the product, after reading everyone else's work, and opinions. On one side, it's harder to approach the product reviewed with objective state of mind, and on the other hand, there's a certain motivation to find something everyone else missed, or at least round up all of the testing methods and aspects on one table, and come to an undeniable conclusion. But before we go and bench the hell out of the fastest FX comebacker we have to go through the architecture so we can get a better grasp of the performance numbers later on and what they mean.
Packaging and Contents
A standard review set was delivered by AMD for review, consisting of ASUS Crosshair V Formula motherboard (AMD 990FX chipset), AMD FX-8150 processor in retail packaging and as a separate part an AMD liquid cooler solution was delivered for better overclocking experience.
The FX-8150 retail package includes a short installation manual, FX-8150 case-badge, AMD-certified aluminum heatsink with optional liquid cooler package also available, and of course the processor itself. AMD offers a 3-year warranty for all retail processors, including this one.