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Bulldozer Disappointment

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October 14, 2011 3:36:34 PM

I starting building computers back in '04. When I started building AMD was the clear choice as they provided the best chips for performance/price and overall performance in many cases. However, since then their performance has slipped and they seemed to market CPU's for the performance/price standpoint. Then starting at Phenom I the performance compared to Intel was so poor that they were really having to work at even making the performance/price standpoint work for them. I was hopeful, as many others I am sure, that the Bulldozer would rekindle the old AMD flame and give enthusiast a competitive CPU against Intel. This is, after all, the first completely redesigned chip from the ground up from AMD since back in the good old days when AMD was king of the hill. However, as some of the first benchmarks come out it is plane to see that this is not the case. Not only does the chip barely compete with current (10-mo old) Sandy Bridge chips but in many benchmarks it is SLOWER then its predecessor, the Phenom II. Now don't get me wrong I would love to see AMD come back just from the point of competition between the two giants but at this point I do not see me using AMD for a while baring a miracle.

Theses are the CPU's I have used to for builds in the past: Athlon XP3000+, Athlon XP3200+, Athlon 64 3400+, Athlon 64 3200+, Athlon 64 FX-57, Athlon X2 5200+, Athlon X2 6000+, Athlon X2 6400+, Phenom X3 8450, Phenom X4 9650, Phenom II X4 840T, Phenom II X4 960T, & Phenom II X6 1090T. So yeah, thousands of dollars in CPU's AMD in the past 6yr so please stop blowing my money and make a good chip :fou: 

Anyway, if you feel that the Bulldozer chip has really let the AMD fan's down please comment. I know AMD has lost my business for the time being.
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October 14, 2011 3:52:19 PM

1. AMD has never had the best overall performance, especially in "many cases". Intel has always had the top of the market.

2. 1st generation chips, especially from AMD, tend to suck, at least for desktop/gaming use.

3. I ranted and stomped launch day too, but fact of the matter is, they aren't even using intel's HT technology. It's their own, new age technology that has a lot of flaws.

4. Give it time, as AMD has always had good 2nd generation chips. e.g. Phenoms compared to Phenom IIs.

5. I love AMD, but they have always favored server cpu's over consumer desktops and gaming chips.

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October 14, 2011 4:25:34 PM

casualbuilder said:
1. AMD has never had the best overall performance, especially in "many cases". Intel has always had the top of the market.

2. 1st generation chips, especially from AMD, tend to suck, at least for desktop/gaming use.

3. I ranted and stomped launch day too, but fact of the matter is, they aren't even using intel's HT technology. It's their own, new age technology that has a lot of flaws.

4. Give it time, as AMD has always had good 2nd generation chips. e.g. Phenoms compared to Phenom IIs.

5. I love AMD, but they have always favored server cpu's over consumer desktops and gaming chips.

1. Athlon 64 v. Pentium 4

2. Just phenom and now BD

3. It's not the technology that's flawed. It's the way they designed it.

4. We can only hope...

5. Server is where the money is, then mainstream, then workstation, then a few in between, then us.

It seems AMD is again trying to beat Intel at it's own game. The engineers want to push for faster releases against Intel's tick-tock strategy, and all BD did was fall flat on its face.

It's decent in multithreading situations, but no where near good enough to justify a purchase when it loses in all other situations that aren't that well threaded.

They built Bulldozer's pedestal up too high...sure it's to keep the stockholders happy, but now that the benchmarks are out, it's not even competitive. The 2600k matches it or beats it for a slightly higher price, and the 2500k is win/lose depending on application threading.

Some say the OS isn't handling the threads well enough; I say bologna...No software is going to suddenly make Bulldozer a fantastic processor. If there was, wouldn't AMD have that software and show off Bulldozer's capabilities? They're the ones that designed the thing; they should know how it works.

Stock price is falling... Almost back to before the launch.
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October 14, 2011 4:49:47 PM

There's several threads going already on this but...

For those too young to know, yes AMD had the upper hand in CPU performance over Intel for about two years. That's right AMD was first to 1 GHz. CPU frequency and kicked Intel's butt in most applications for ~ 2 years with Athlon.

While Bulldozer/Zambezi may be a disappointment to some, it is still an excellent CPU design but in fact more optimized - at the moment - for enterprise use than for desktop. It's a brand new architecture that has gone thru many issues but it is a step forward over Phenom II. New information is being discovered daily that shows Zambezi has potential depending on what you use your PC for.

If you don't like Zambezi then buy something else that better meets your need. Cray bought the first 10,000 Bulldozer/Opteron CPUs for their Supercomputers.
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October 14, 2011 5:01:28 PM

>0(

Sorry beenthere, very young, at least in tech-e age. Intel and i are like oil and water. Good to know AMD did have some super chips. And they do hold the OC world record. Thanks for the knowledge!
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October 14, 2011 5:46:27 PM

I think the problem is that current applications don't see the modules as two cores and it confuses the app., not making an excuse for it's poor performance in single threaded apps but something doesn't make sense. We have seen that in certain workloads, the 8150 CAN hang with the fastest Sandy Bridge...but in others.....it falls way short.

They already said 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.

I think it was a mistake to release such a weird design when software (not even Windows 7) is capable of recognizing the architecture and optimizing it. I would rather they cancelled the first BD's and chalked it up as a learning experience.

I also think it should have been marketed as a quad core with hyperthreading, just like Intel markets their 2600K as a quad core with hyperthreading. Instead of claiming each "module" is 2 "cores". I think their marketing approach led us to believe it was going to perform like a 3.6ghz octocore which is why we are all so dissapointed.

I think where this will really shine is in the multi-threaded server department where this architecture belongs.
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October 16, 2011 1:05:56 PM

Haserath said:
1. Athlon 64 v. Pentium 4

2. Just phenom and now BD

3. It's not the technology that's flawed. It's the way they designed it.

4. We can only hope...

5. Server is where the money is, then mainstream, then workstation, then a few in between, then us.

It seems AMD is again trying to beat Intel at it's own game. The engineers want to push for faster releases against Intel's tick-tock strategy, and all BD did was fall flat on its face.

It's decent in multithreading situations, but no where near good enough to justify a purchase when it loses in all other situations that aren't that well threaded.

They built Bulldozer's pedestal up too high...sure it's to keep the stockholders happy, but now that the benchmarks are out, it's not even competitive. The 2600k matches it or beats it for a slightly higher price, and the 2500k is win/lose depending on application threading.

Some say the OS isn't handling the threads well enough; I say bologna...No software is going to suddenly make Bulldozer a fantastic processor. If there was, wouldn't AMD have that software and show off Bulldozer's capabilities? They're the ones that designed the thing; they should know how it works.

Stock price is falling... Almost back to before the launch.


I really think that #5 is the reason behind AMD lackluster performance in desktop chips the past few years. They seem to be putting more R&D into server and low-watt solutions as they feel that is the future cash-cow. This may be the truth but I would really like to see a chip manufacture other then Intel providing desktop CPU's mainly from a competition standpoint. Also, I figure that most OS's do have issues optimally using the BD modules however I don't see fixes to this problem giving significant enough gains in performance to outperform the current Intel lineup. Although I like AMD I really feel that this was too little too late in a race where they are already 1yr behind. :pfff: 
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October 16, 2011 4:45:03 PM

I remember AMDs history and for years they made good stuff. I watched AMD for years before building an amd system. I built my first pentium 2 350 in highschool and eventually built a katamai 700mhz system. I always watched AMD and even tried to talk my parents into giving me cash to buy stock in AMD and Nvidia. I had I would be quite rich right now. Anyway, I started building AMD only systems with the phenoms. I currently roll with a Phenom x4 3.4 with SLI geforce 460 2gig. I was waiting for bulldozer as well. Recently I have found out that the update would require a new mobo work right. The release came out on the 12th (my birthday) and the reviews tanked. About a year ago I posted on the AMD forums that I would never buy their graphics cards again after their update tanked the performance on one of my systems. Their response was that flash needed to make an update. How arogent, you broke something that used to work and your answer is that the software maker needs to fix your problem. I waited for bulldozer as my last hope. Well it sucks and again they are blaming windows and other software makers for it not working right.

I took the cash I was holding for the AMD Fx chip and did guess what? I ordered a I7 2600k. I mean I would have to buy another motherboard anyway. I did find a nice open box MSI board which made the whole package cost less than the Bulldozer top of the line chip! I can also update the chip to a ivybridge chip later without having to get a new amd chipset AGAIN.

I wish AMD luck if they can reevaluate their practices.
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October 16, 2011 4:56:48 PM

No but at the performace and price point + the need for a new mobo there is no reason not to buy a I7. You can easily save the extra cash for the better chip on the mobo.
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October 17, 2011 3:55:48 PM

kogashuko said:
I remember AMDs history and for years they made good stuff. I watched AMD for years before building an amd system. I built my first pentium 2 350 in highschool and eventually built a katamai 700mhz system. I always watched AMD and even tried to talk my parents into giving me cash to buy stock in AMD and Nvidia. I had I would be quite rich right now. Anyway, I started building AMD only systems with the phenoms. I currently roll with a Phenom x4 3.4 with SLI geforce 460 2gig. I was waiting for bulldozer as well. Recently I have found out that the update would require a new mobo work right. The release came out on the 12th (my birthday) and the reviews tanked. About a year ago I posted on the AMD forums that I would never buy their graphics cards again after their update tanked the performance on one of my systems. Their response was that flash needed to make an update. How arogent, you broke something that used to work and your answer is that the software maker needs to fix your problem. I waited for bulldozer as my last hope. Well it sucks and again they are blaming windows and other software makers for it not working right.

I took the cash I was holding for the AMD Fx chip and did guess what? I ordered a I7 2600k. I mean I would have to buy another motherboard anyway. I did find a nice open box MSI board which made the whole package cost less than the Bulldozer top of the line chip! I can also update the chip to a ivybridge chip later without having to get a new amd chipset AGAIN.

I wish AMD luck if they can reevaluate their practices.


This pretty much sums up my feelings on AMD too at this point. I'll be building a new system for myself in the coming months and will not be using AMD for the first time. Probably get an i7 2600K or maybe an Ivy Bridge depending on how long b4 I build. R.I.P. AMD :cry: 
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