AMD Bulldozer Review: FX-8150 Gets Tested

Power Consumption

According to AMD, the decisions its architects made when they designed Bulldozer centered on maximizing efficiency. In a big multi-chip module like Interlagos, squeezing the most performance out of every core under a hard thermal limit just makes good sense. The question is whether the same scalable design is as efficient on the desktop as it promises to be in the server space.

Processor
System Idle Power
AMD FX-8150 (Zambezi) 8C/8T, 3.6 GHz Base
107 W
AMD Phenom II X6 1100T (Thuban) 6C/6T, 3.3 GHz Base
114 W
AMD Phenom II X4 980 BE (Deneb) 4C/4T, 3.7 GHz
100 W
Intel Core i7-2600K (Sandy Bridge) 4C/8T, 3.4 GHz Base
90 W
Intel Core i5-2500K (Sandy Bridge) 4C/4T, 3.3 GHz Base
90 W
Intel Core i7-920 (Bloomfield) 4C/8T, 2.66 GHz Base
130 W


At idle, the system armed with AMD’s 125 W FX-8150 sips 107 W—less than the Phenom II X6 1100T, but just slightly more than the Phenom II X4 980 (both of which are also 125 W parts). Only Intel’s Bloomfield-based Core i7-920 consumes more (130 W system power).

In contrast, though, the two systems armed with Sandy Bridge-based parts drop to just 90 W (their 95 W TDPs are already 30 W under Zambezi’s thermal ceiling).

I pulled the Phenom II X4, Core i7-920, and Core i5-2500K runs off of this graph because they cluttered it up way too much. The three chips left are, in my opinion, the most relevant.

The black line corresponds to Intel’s 95 W Core i7-2600K, which averages 155 W system power use throughout a complete run of PCMark 7. Before you mention that the Core i5-2500K is closer, price-wise, to the FX-8150, know that it averages just two watts less than the -2600K, at 153 W across the entire run. Imagine that its plot would look almost identical.

The FX-8150, in comparison, averages 191 W. That 34 W delta almost exactly correlates to the 30 W separating Intel’s 95 W rating and AMD’s 125 W TDP. Even more interestingly, the Phenom II X6 1100T hits the same 191 W system average across PCMark 7. Meanwhile, the Phenom II X4 980 averages 184 W.

Intel’s Core i7-920 stands out as the one model to use more power than AMD’s new flagship. A 193 W average consumption number is 2 W higher, which we’d consider reasonable given a 5 W-higher TDP.

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    Top Comments
  • Homeboy2
    killerclickAs I said before, it won't come close to beating Intel in performance or price. Now let's hear the fanboys whine.


    Everyone should cry, even the Intel fanboys, this is bad news for everyone, now Intel has absolutely no incentive to lower prices or accelerate Ivy Bridge.
    55
  • jdwii
    Been so long and i'm kinda sad.
    52
  • gmcizzle
    What I learned: the 2.5 year old i7-920 is still a beast.
    48
  • Other Comments
  • btto
    yeah finaly, now i'll read it
    -25
  • ghnader hsmithot
    nOT Bad AMd!
    -35
  • jdwii
    Been so long and i'm kinda sad.
    52
  • compton
    Not many surprises but I've been waiting for a long, long time for this. I hope this is just the first step to a more competitive AMD.
    43
  • ghnader hsmithot
    At least its almost as good as Nehalem.
    29
  • gamerk316
    Dissapointing. Predicted it ages ago though. PII X6 is a better value.
    40
  • Anonymous
    As I expected - failure.
    26
  • AbdullahG
    I see the guys from the BD Rumors are here. As many others are, I'm disappointed.
    25
  • iam2thecrowe
    for the gaming community this is a FLOP.
    33
  • phump
    FX-4100 looks like a good alternative to the 955BE. Same price, higher clock, and lower power profile.
    25
  • phatbuddha79
    Why bring back the FX brand for something like this?
    40
  • gmcizzle
    What I learned: the 2.5 year old i7-920 is still a beast.
    48
  • jdwii
    This is sad, I'm still getting it as its my only option i'm getting a 8120 Toms why did you only review a 8150 when they have all of them on other sites?
    -25
  • ern88
    What I've learned is...AMD=FAIL!!!!!
    -31
  • killerclick
    As I said before, it won't come close to beating Intel in performance or price. Now let's hear the fanboys whine.

    Buh-bye AMD, buh-bye!
    -35
  • Ragnar-Kon
    Looks like solid chips, but I'll admit that the price point isn't low enough to compete in the gaming world with Intel.

    I am rather curious how the FX-4100 will stack up against the current Phenom II X4 chips.

    And even though the FX is a slight disappointment, I am rather impressed by the Windows 8 benchmarks. Having said that, by the time Windows 8 is ready for release I'm sure Intel will have an even better solution.
    25
  • Tamz_msc
    So Bulldozer is AMD's version of NetBurst?
    24
  • Homeboy2
    killerclickAs I said before, it won't come close to beating Intel in performance or price. Now let's hear the fanboys whine.


    Everyone should cry, even the Intel fanboys, this is bad news for everyone, now Intel has absolutely no incentive to lower prices or accelerate Ivy Bridge.
    55
  • killerclick
    homeboy2Everyone should cry, even the Intel fanboys, this is bad news for everyone, now Intel has absolutely no incentive to lower prices or accelerate Ivy Bridge.


    Intel shouldn't lower prices, they should raise them. I'll gladly pay more to reward competent product development and nothing would please me more than AMD going down in flames for all their flops in the past 5 years. Intel doesn't need AMD to push them forward.
    -35
  • the associate
    killerclickAs I said before, it won't come close to beating Intel in performance or price. Now let's hear the fanboys whine.


    Waaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!

    Bah, well, been with AMD since my first pc like 8 years ago...Guess I'll be going intel for the first time ever especially since I can get an overkill cpu for just 300 bucks. Hell that's how much I payed for my phenom II 955...
    11