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AMD Phenom II vs Bulldozer

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  • CPUs
  • Bulldozer
  • Quad Core
  • Phenom
  • Product
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July 3, 2012 9:43:05 PM

Why do most people recommend the Phenom II over the Bulldozer for gaming?

Phenom II is not even produced anymore?

Phenom II sells for more in price than a Bulldozer that is clocked higher?

Example...

Phenom II X4 965 BE Quad Core 3.4GHZ 125W vs Bulldozer FX-4100 Quad Core Processor 3.6GHZ 95W

More about : amd phenom bulldozer

a c 79 à CPUs
July 3, 2012 9:50:14 PM

1. Because Bulldozers have a very Dr. Jeckel and Mr. Hyde nature to their performance, they're good at some things and so-so at others. Phenom IIs have much more consistent performance.

2. Higher clock speed =/= better performance. It depends on how efficiently the architecture can operate. For example, just because a truck has 300 horsepower doesn't mean its faster than a tiny car with only 180 horsepower.

3. Despite the fact that Phenom IIs are no longer produced they are still completely competent and capable of performing well in gaming. Most games are completely limited by the video card, not the processor. Yes under this logic FX CPUs are generally perfectly fine, however, see argument number 1.
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July 3, 2012 9:59:38 PM

Well I realize most games do not take use of 8 or 6 cores. Maybe some not even 4 cores.

But on your point #1 where exactly did Bulldozer architecture go wrong?

How did AMD do so good with the Phenom II... but a product that is released 2 years later is much worse?
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a c 79 à CPUs
July 3, 2012 10:21:48 PM

Where did Bulldozer architechture go wrong? That starts the beginning of a very large discussion with many points to make. I'm not sure I have the determination or knowledge to really get into the nitty gritty details.

I can say though that screwups such as this are not unprecedented. Intel has indeed as well made CPUs that performed WORSE than their previous generation. (Pentium 4 in the beginning was outperformed by Pentium IIIs, their first attempt at a Dual Core was a joke, Intel even admitted it was a hack job just to get a dual core CPU in the market against AMD) Not every Rolling Stones Album went Platinum, ya know? It just happens.

That being said, I don't think AMD really has a bad design in the FX CPU, its just a new architecture that really needs polished. AMD has stated their goal is to improve the CPUs performance 10% each year. From Tom's benches on the new Trinity, its looking like this year they'll actually get 15%.
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July 3, 2012 10:34:47 PM

so no Bulldozer is worth buying right now.

How significant of an upgrade is an AMD X2 6000+ to a Phenom II X4 945? Gaming we talking about here. I can use the Phenom on my AM2 board.
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a b à CPUs
July 3, 2012 10:35:25 PM

yeah, it's not really that Bulldozer is terrible because it isn't, however it wasn't overwhelmingly better than Phenom II and therefore everyone was in a uproar over it.

In reality the idea and architecture of the FX-series is pretty cool and in theory a great layout, but just like anything it takes time to perfect the chips. The original Phenoms took a couple generations to get them running well. Also just look at the Ivy Bridge numbers compared to Sandy Bridge, I wouldn't say that IB was a disappointment but it really hasn't proved itself beyond SB performance.

Also sometimes its good to remember that marketing plays a role in expectations of a given chip, if the product isn't a "intel Killer" as it was advertised then everyone starts yelling and screaming about how terrible the chip is despite the fact its not as bad as originally thought lol.
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a b à CPUs
July 3, 2012 10:40:09 PM

"Not every Rolling Stones Album went Platinum, ya know?"

Should of been though!
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a c 79 à CPUs
July 3, 2012 10:57:23 PM

Quote:
so no Bulldozer is worth buying right now.


I wouldn't say that necessarily. What Benchmarking sites (including this one) DON'T tell you, is that for gaming they're deliberately benching games that are known to be more CPU intensive. Which makes sense to some degree, the point is to test the CPU and see how well it performs. But again, most games on the market are limited by the video card as I said.

This is what you're typically going to see as far as performance in your typical computer game, there are a few exceptions of course like Skyrim and Starcraft II, but even those games the FX is good enough even if it isn't the best:
http://www.overclock.net/t/1210060/fx8120-vs-2500k-benc...

Honestly, if you can play a game at or over 40FPS average, only the most anal videophiles are going to have a reason to complain about quality.

Quote:
How significant of an upgrade is an AMD X2 6000+ to a Phenom II X4 945? Gaming we talking about here. I can use the Phenom on my AM2 board.


What board brand and model are we talking about here? Have you checked the CPU support list on the website to make sure it indeed does work? Really I'd need more information about your system, the whole specs, what games you're playing to give you a reasonable answer on whether or not its worthwhile.
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a c 79 à CPUs
July 3, 2012 10:58:10 PM

Uther39 said:
"Not every Rolling Stones Album went Platinum, ya know?"

Should of been though!

LOL, depends, I don't know what Mick Jagger was thinking with his "God Gave Me Everything I Wanted". :lol: 
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July 3, 2012 11:03:35 PM

nekulturny said:
Quote:
so no Bulldozer is worth buying right now.


I wouldn't say that necessarily. What Benchmarking sites (including this one) DON'T tell you, is that for gaming they're deliberately benching games that are known to be more CPU intensive. Which makes sense to some degree, the point is to test the CPU and see how well it performs. But again, most games on the market are limited by the video card as I said.

This is what you're typically going to see as far as performance in your typical computer game, there are a few exceptions of course like Skyrim and Starcraft II, but even those games the FX is good enough even if it isn't the best:
http://www.overclock.net/t/1210060/fx8120-vs-2500k-benc...

Honestly, if you can play a game at or over 40FPS average, only the most anal videophiles are going to have a reason to complain about quality.

Quote:
How significant of an upgrade is an AMD X2 6000+ to a Phenom II X4 945? Gaming we talking about here. I can use the Phenom on my AM2 board.


What board brand and model are we talking about here? Have you checked the CPU support list on the website to make sure it indeed does work? Really I'd need more information about your system, the whole specs, what games you're playing to give you a reasonable answer on whether or not its worthwhile.

AMD 64 X2 6000+ 3.0ghz no oc.
4GB DDR2
asus m2npv-vm
geforce gts 250

oh and I am game most of the new Total War games, Skyrim, CS GO, Max Payne 3, etc.
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a c 79 à CPUs
July 3, 2012 11:09:18 PM

Okay, no I don't think its going to be worth putting any money into that system, for best results you're going to want to rebuild the thing. The only decent Phenom IIs worth considering for gaming by 2012 standards would be the Deneb 955/965/970/975/980s with C3 stepping and those aren't going to work on that mobo. Of course so are 1090T/1100T Thuban 6 cores, but good luck finding those, and they wont work on that mobo either unfortunately.

The video card is also 4 generations old. Its honestly would make a great HTPC computer, office and browsing, but not much else.
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July 3, 2012 11:13:52 PM

Yeah I was going to do a full Ivy Bridge upgrade in February or April but I changed my mind. I don't mind holding out a bit longer.

I wouldn't mind spending $100 if a cpu was a significant upgrade. But if it's not worth I will save the money for later.

Probably going to wait for Haswell.
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July 3, 2012 11:31:55 PM

To be honest, bulldozer is a better choice because it's more "future oriented". Games nowadays are starting to move towards multithreading and offloading applicable floating point work to the GPU. This is what bulldozer was designed for.
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a c 198 à CPUs
July 3, 2012 11:35:01 PM

Bulldozer is AMD's attempt at merging a RISC architecture used briefly in the mid 1990s with the x86 instruction set and all of its various extensions. The result is less an incremental improvement over the Phenom II processors and more a step sideways into something new.

While this "something new" offers some encouraging results for integer and thread heavy applications such as transactional databases, data encoding, HTTP services, and parallel compilation it leaves a lot to be desired from the most vocal market, gamers. AMD has a fairly small market share on the Desktop to begin with but their server market share is even smaller so it's somewhat beguiling as to why they decided to spearhead that performs somewhat mediocre in both departments.

Where this modular architecture does stand to impress is in the entry level consumer products division. AMD is one of the few companies that has significant IP in all relevant computing areas including processing, memory IO, storage IO, graphics, networking, etc... Intel's IGP is still generations behind anything AMD can produce. AMD's plan is to tackle the entry level market which is also the largest.
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