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Bulldozer Performance

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December 16, 2011 7:36:50 PM

Ok, so from what I've heard, an AMD FX-4100 performs at around the same level of the higher-end level Athlon processors (in certain benchmarks and tests, that is). From what it seems, this is mainly down to how Windows 7 and even 8 use the processing power of the FX series.

Windows 7 and 8 don't use the processors as they were designed to be used; using them in the sub-optimal way shown in the image below, as opposed to the optimal, intended way.
http://www.extremetech.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/F...

So, would this mean that by disabling 2 of the cores (or 1 of them, depending on if you see the modules as actual cores or not), the processor would gain performance on single threaded applications and tasks? It was just a thought that I had, and it seemed pretty logical to me, although I'm not sure how processors actually work, so I'd be interested to know about if any benefits would be gained with this.


It's just that I was going to be building my first computer soon, and I was originally going to get a 955/960T, but by the time that I come around to buying the parts, these will be almost impossible to get hold of. But, I'm not really going to benefit from the extra cores greatly, so I was wondering if I could have disabled the cores (lock it down, or whatever the correct term actually is), and then overclock the chip by a large amount (to around 5 GHz or so), so that it would still have good a performance, but at lower temps compared to having all 4 cores (or 2 cores / 2 modules) active.

Any thoughts on this would be great, thanks :) 

More about : bulldozer performance

December 16, 2011 7:47:05 PM

I know about the new 'fix', and I have seen some benchmarks where it gives around 5-10% performance increase in some applications, but 5-10% decrease in others.
And it's not like all multi-core, CPU intensive games gain 10%, and all single applications loose 10% (just as examples), the performance increase/decrease varies wildly, even with programs which use similar processing methods.
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December 16, 2011 7:47:30 PM

And this is why people have got to stop listening to "certain" people. The "I heard that this is due to Microsoft, Intel, Lack of FMA support, Flying Monkeys arguments have got to stop. Blaming everyone but AMD has got to end at some point. This constant claim of "victim-hood" is getting old.

Anyway This is what the fix gets you: http://ht4u.net/news/24857_patch_soll_bulldozer_unter_w...

Yeah... 40-70% performance boost?... umm... yeah... no.
December 16, 2011 8:03:32 PM

I agree that the problem shouldn't keep on getting blamed on Microsoft, or whoever else people want to pin the blame on. At the end of the day, it's AMD processor, and seeing as AMD can make some pretty good processors, such as the Phenom II series, there's not really any excuse which is going to stand up. But, sometimes the problems have to be resolved by others, and I doubt that AMD are going to fix it until the Piledriver series comes out, so we're just going to have to rely on Microsoft for this one.

I don't get why AMD couldn't have recognised Bulldozer as a failure, and just releases some more improved Phenom IIs instead, at least that would have been something which we already know will give good performance, as to what was expected.
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December 17, 2011 8:03:39 AM

The best option would just get a 2500k, and move past amd.....
December 17, 2011 1:47:32 PM

What, so pay around £170 / £180 for an i5-2500k, and then pay around £120 for a good motherboard on top of that, or buy an AMD FX-4100 for around £90, and then get a motherboard with that for around £85?

So, I'd be having to pay an extra £100 (at least)? And where did you get the i5 from? Everyone knows that Bulldozer isn't that good, and the FX-4100 only operates at around the same performance level as an i3-2100, so why the big jump from an i3 to i5, especially bearing in mind that the i3 will cost pretty much the same as the 4100?

Price for price, AMD can actually keep up with Intel (with the exception of the FX-8150, which is ridiculously overpriced, considering it is still meant to be available to those who are 'on a budget')

And also, if you read my first post, I said that I won't really be getting a benefit from the extra cores (for at least a year/two, at which point i would upgrade if required), so why on earth would you suggest the 2500K, when an i3-2120 performs almost identically against the i5 locked down to 2 cores.



So, small rant over, but no, I won't be going for an i5-2500k, or even an i5-2300. I said that it was my first build, and considering that I will be using one of the relatively cheapest AMD CPUs, I presumed that it would have been a bit of a give away that I will be making it on a budget.


So, if I could go back to my original idea; would locking down the cores on the AMD FX-4100 stop the sub-optimal task scheduling? And if not, how much of a higher over-clock do you think I could achieve with only half the active cores (prefrebly without changing voltages, and with using an Antec Kuhler H20 620)?
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December 17, 2011 1:56:42 PM

get yourself a cheap athlon II x3 to hold yourself over until piledriver. the FX-4100 does not have the same performance as an intel i3-2100, it is far worse even in games that utilize multi cores. the FX-4100 has the exact same performance as a high clocked athlon II x4 in gaming (like the 645 or phenom II x4 840)

all these games are 3+ core optimized







December 17, 2011 2:14:07 PM

Alright, the FX-4100 does not even have the same performance out of the box, but after overclocking it can surpass the i3, and be close(ish) to the i5-2300. I admit, Intel is better on this one, and I have been thinking about getting an i3-2120, which can still be overclocked marginally (to just about 3.5 GHz), but I'm hoping that Piledriver will be the way forward for AMD, and still be on a budget, whereas Intel chips show no chance of lowering the prices.

Still, things would just be that much easier if AMD had kept on producing and retailing their 955 (or 960T) chips, and the 1090T chips. At least then we could still stick with something that is known to be good, and have little room to debate on the matter.

Oh, and before anyone says, I'm not an AMD fanboy, and it anything I am an Intel fanboy, personally preferring Intel on most accounts, but sometimes you have to go with the worse option (Bulldozer) in the hope of getting something better (Piledriver / massively good windows patch for Bulldozer).
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December 17, 2011 2:19:46 PM

axle995 said:
Alright, the FX-4100 does not even have the same performance out of the box, but after overclocking it can surpass the i3, and be close(ish) to the i5-2300..


look you obviously want the FX-4 and that's fine and I'm not here to start an AMD bashing war but that line is pure crap and here is the evidence to prove it. Even with a high OC (1GHZ) the FX-4 fails to beat an i3 and does not even compete with an i5. Get the CPU if you like but don't pretend it can compete with other CPUs when every benchmarks states it can't.



December 17, 2011 2:33:12 PM

Well, it depends on what reviews you are looking at. If you look at the one below, it shows that, yes, the i3 is better in some tasks, whereas the AMD is better in others. And seeing that the difference isn't ground-shattering in most tasks, I seem to think that a 1 GHz increase of the AMD would make the odds in the AMDs favour, making its performance more closer to a low i5, rather than an i3.

Oh, and ' when every benchmarks states it can't ' - well, obviously not every, the more that you find in favour of AMD, the more that you'll find in favour on Intel.

http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=amd_...
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December 17, 2011 2:35:06 PM

look get the CPU its not my PC

but you are full of crap, you linked a no-name review with no gaming benchmarks and the FX-4 still got its butt handed to it in every benchmark that was optimized past one core by the i3-2100
December 17, 2011 2:37:12 PM

I would go with the I5, Amd has already said its getting out of the cpu for desktop market, so why wait for the last and probably most unsupported processor from them ?
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December 17, 2011 4:28:43 PM

blacksci said:
I would go with the I5, Amd has already said its getting out of the cpu for desktop market, so why wait for the last and probably most unsupported processor from them ?


Where did you hear that AMD is going to stop making desktop CPUs? Must have seen something I missed...
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December 17, 2011 5:14:08 PM

dirtyferret said:
look get the CPU its not my PC

but you are full of crap, you linked a no-name review with no gaming benchmarks and the FX-4 still got its butt handed to it in every benchmark that was optimized past one core by the i3-2100


He's obviously an AMD fan boy hell bent on getting a Bulldozer. There's no reasoning with people like him. He's blinded by AMD's hype and won't accept the truth that the Bulldozer is junk. If he really wanted advice he would look at the I5 and take people's advice openly. I don't see why people come on forums asking for advice then ignore the logical advice people give them.
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December 17, 2011 5:36:18 PM

axle995 said:
Alright, the FX-4100 does not even have the same performance out of the box, but after overclocking it can surpass the i3, and be close(ish) to the i5-2300. I admit, Intel is better on this one, and I have been thinking about getting an i3-2120, which can still be overclocked marginally (to just about 3.5 GHz), but I'm hoping that Piledriver will be the way forward for AMD, and still be on a budget, whereas Intel chips show no chance of lowering the prices.

Still, things would just be that much easier if AMD had kept on producing and retailing their 955 (or 960T) chips, and the 1090T chips. At least then we could still stick with something that is known to be good, and have little room to debate on the matter.

Oh, and before anyone says, I'm not an AMD fanboy, and it anything I am an Intel fanboy, personally preferring Intel on most accounts, but sometimes you have to go with the worse option (Bulldozer) in the hope of getting something better (Piledriver / massively good windows patch for Bulldozer).

although its a bit more in price, the 970 BE seems to be a bit more available than the 955. you could opt for finding a used one on ebay.

As for your question on disabling cores, that depends on what motherboard you are getting. A lot of them decided to remove the core control options in the bios. You won't see single threaded performance increase with disabling cores tho. the only increase with disabling would be disabling odd numbered cores (essentially turn off CMT) and thats only in certain situations, just like Intel with HT on or off, its very situational.
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December 17, 2011 7:27:44 PM

blacksci said:
The article about amd is here http://www.tomshardware.com/news/AMD-APU-Z-Series-ARM-T...

oh yeah, I read that. Doesn't seem indicate that they will stop making desktop cpus, just that they aren't going to try to directly compete with Intel in terms of performance. Probably getting a little off topic though.
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December 17, 2011 9:05:39 PM

I wouldn't say that Bulldozer is 'junk', I would just say that AMD took a chance on a crazy architecture and it proved not to be as efficient as Intel's current lineup.

It is really disappointing because of the hype that was generated from the AMD fans and partially because of its name - bulldozer. I mean come on.... only thing it bulldozed was AMD's ability to compete with top tier Intel processors.

That being said - I am waiting for Ivy Bridge.
December 18, 2011 12:53:10 AM

.....axle there is no point in buying an FX processor, crippling it in the hope you might hit the same benches as a i5/7. The FX won't be the diff between playable and unplayable frame rates. If you save price on the cpu then invest in the gpu and you will be a winner as the gpu has far more say in system performance than the gpu. That's why AMD is not that concerned with matching the i series numbers.

Things could change dramatically soon if I am reading current trends correctly. It's increasingly likely that with Win 8, new catalyst drivers, and 7000 series graphics cards optomised for Buldozer/Llano that AMD's GPU's will no longer provide the same level of performance boost on Intel platforms.

You will all ready have noticed that the comparisons between the two setups is mostly confined to the usage of Nvidia hardware, the difference using AMD graphics gards is far less marked.

This is primarily in that the AMD GPU off loads a lot of work from the CPU where as the Nvidia cards need a massive data stream from the CPU so by loading up this aspect in multi-gpu set ups the testers can exploit and highlight that one strength that the i series has over the Bulldozer.

The main thing in Buldozers favor is that it performs adequately well on todays software. You certainly wouldn't swap out Deneb or Thurban for it in a Win 7 build, but for an X2 it would be a noticeable step up.

If you want the fastest Win 7 machine today you just need to buy Intel i5 and Nvidia and you are set. But it's clear that AMD is taking X86 in a new direction and can no longer be satisfactorily compared against Intel.

AMD is a wholy integrated high performance solution and Intel is not, at least for the moment, until they get their woeful graphics hardware up to speed. So let's just hope that sliding their road map back a bit they (intel) are finally going to address what I think is the biggest black hole in the it industry today.

We need a really solid Direct X high performance GPU from Intel, not just for the top models, but right through the cpu range. It doesn't have to blitz AMD & Nvidia, just get somewhere near them.
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December 18, 2011 2:28:48 AM

werxen said:
I wouldn't say that Bulldozer is 'junk', I would just say that AMD took a chance on a crazy architecture and it proved not to be as efficient as Intel's current lineup.



they designed a CPU architecture to serve both desktop and server while at the same time being cheaper to produce then the phenom II. it's not so much taking a chance as it is cutting cost (and cutting your nose to spite your face).
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