AMD's Bulldozer Architecture: Overclocking Efficiency Explored

Combined Efficiency Test Results

Looking at the overall picture of single-threaded and multi-threaded benchmarks, the result is very clear. Our test system runs most efficiently when it's undervolted, and it's slightly faster than the system at its factory settings.

If you care about energy efficiency at all, again, overclocking the FX processors is going to be disappointing.

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  • aznshinobi
    Reading conclusion paragraph, I'd have to agree. I think they probably would've been better of using the STARS arch and just die shrinking it to 32nm.
  • Darkerson
    I know I have been critical in my comments here and there, but I really do hope Bulldozer helps AMD learn and refine Piledriver and future CPUs so that they are all better as a result. I know I will be skipping BD, but that doesnt mean I dont ever want to use AMD again. I will always root for the underdog, in hopes that we have another Athlon 64 on our hands again.
  • hellfire24
    gulftown=expensive and useless.
    Sandybridges=king of the hill(price to performance)
    Sandybridge-E=expensive sandybridge.
    Bulldozer=budget cpu with multitasking capabilities.
  • deadon2
    Fehh... did my build on a 990fx platform with a 955be CPU. Runs plenty fast, and I can upgrade the AM3+ in a year when AMD gets it right.

    Although I appreciate the work done on this article...

    Nothing to see here folks, move along...
  • dontcrosthestreams
    im just fine with my 110$ 955be.... 29 deg idle at 3.7ghz
  • noob2222
    Is that a typo on page 7 and 8? "Clock Frequency: 4.5 GHz, Multiplier: 22.5x, CPU Voltage: 1.428 V" cpu-z shows 1.380? page 8 cpu z shows 1.44 and not 1.5.

    As for my own efficiency testing, I achieved 1.375V (cpu z), 4.4Ghz out of my 8120 with ease. I upped the NB to 1.115v (+.015V)wich added more stability and clocked the NB to 2600 to match HTT, wich brought another 1gb/s on sandra's memory test. All without disabling C1E or C3 states.

    Would be nice to see some followups with memory testing, BD responds to fast speeds. Hard to read since its in a different language but the graphs are easy enough to see
    http://www.planet3dnow.de/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=401023&garpg=13
  • Tom's Hardware finds that overclocking increases speed, power requirements. Film at 11.
  • de5_Roy
    yay! another efficiency article from toms. :love:
    sad to see amd's claims about efficiency turn out to be (much) less than accurate.
    some people are definitely gonna complain about the ram used (ddr3 1333) and windows 8 or lack of highly threaded benchmarks like truecrypt encryption or pov ray tracing (as if those are always used by regular users lol) and stuff.
    undervolting does look promising...but it doesn't seem to make any difference compared to sandy bridge systems. worse, bulldozer needs voltage increase to get more clockspeed.. i guess it will be more evident in fx 4100 and 6100 where substantial core voltage increase is necessary to get stock sandy bridge level performance out of them. that's just disappointing.
  • memadmax
    It seems to me that Bulldozer is either a AMD bastard child chip, or it's a first gen chip of which subsequent generations of the architecture will be playing "catch up" performance wise. Otherwise, it's typical AMD trying to be efficient rather than a heavy hitter.

    But if you ask me, this is a "defensive" chip in the processor wars. And no war has been won playing defense.
  • shinkueagle
    memadmaxIt seems to me that Bulldozer is either a AMD bastard child chip, or it's a first gen chip of which subsequent generations of the architecture will be playing "catch up" performance wise. Otherwise, it's typical AMD trying to be efficient rather than a heavy hitter.But if you ask me, this is a "defensive" chip in the processor wars. And no war has been won playing defense.


    Meaning this war is a TOTAL loss to AMD... SADLY... AMD - ABSURDLY MORONIC DEVICES.
  • de5_Roy
    in any war, the best defense is a good offense. and amd has managed to offend most of the people who liked their cpus (fanboys excluded, obviously).
  • murambi
    This article feels like when you are kicking a dog when its down. I really wanted AMD to challenge intel in the performance crown segment
  • salgado18
    pafnucyTom's Hardware finds that overclocking increases speed, power requirements. Film at 11.

    Conclusion is stupid, but the tests are relevant. Nice article.
  • technoholic
    My latest decision about BD is that it is not a matured product YET. No, the war isnt lost, only 1 or 2 fronts are lost and that doesnt mean the war is lost. The ultimate problem of this chip is that it needs much power to operate. I am not a tech geek or a pro in CPU architecture but i think that AMD needs to do some improvements in the architecture, too (also in software side)

    Maybe some people will criticize me for this but i always like the most updated/newest approaches in tech; not the older and faster. But newer approaches mostly suffer from immature designs. However, i believe we will see some excellent CPUs from AMD in the near future. Because at least the idea behind this architecture is not worse than that of phenoms. Let's not forget, giant firms like Intel also had many failures in their history (remember pentium 3 was a mediocre design and 4 was much worse), but they managed to advance further with their new ideas. I am sure in this moment AMD guys are working hard on their next big step.
  • g4114rd0
    Start and end each attack and defence pattern with a poise pattern,
    such as Single Scorpius emerges from Cave,
    which can also be use for attack or defence.
  • theuniquegamer
    Its true that amd's stock coolers are not efficient as the intel's . Because i have both intel i5 760k and amd 955be system , the amd system runs so loud at 40c on stock settings (idle) and the intel runs at above 57c on stock (idle). It makes noise after 70c.(I am not comparing intel with amd because intel i5 is 32nm amd 955 is 45nm). So i think amd should provide good quality stock coolers in the black edition cpus. I
  • zooted
    ^Amd's stock coolers are better.
  • Did AMD specifically ask Tom's and Anand to show their CPUs on the front page covered with thermal paste and generally looking dirty and unattractive, or did Intel specifically request it? I have a hard time believing that both of you came up with the same stupid idea.

    In other news, your desktop PC has relatively low power requirements compared to every other appliance in you house, if you think you need to worry about a lousy few watts, you'd probably be better off switching to more efficient light bulbs and finding a lower wattage coffee pot first.
  • elbert
    I stopped reading when I seen 1333 memory. If you don't show Overclocked memory past 1866 I don't want to waste my time.
  • Yuka
    200.7Mhz HT Link?

    I almost stopped reading there, but I remembered it was an efficiency run.

    It's nice too see they suffer from the same problem the Phenoms do. AMD over estimates voltage with their CPUs, so at default-everything it's going to be more power hungry. With a nice tunning, they can run as cool as their Intel counterparts (cool, but not as fast, sadly).

    Good to see they also over estimated stock voltages for the FX line; gives me hope for low power CPUs.

    Cheers!
  • CaedenV
    no offence Toms, but this is an absolutely useless article. Who buys a BD chip for efficiency? It seems to me that most people buy them because they 1) are AMD fanboys and dont know better or find it immoral to fund the larger company (though how moral is it to offer a crappier product for more money?), or 2) people who need lots of threads for hard core 24/7 production work where BD shines a bit brighter than Intel chips.

    What would be really interesting would be to see the efficiency rating on the supposedly 'energy efficient' S and T chips put out by Intel. They cost a lot more money, and I wonder if they would pay themselves off over time for office and other light use applications, or if they are a complete waste like they seem to be.
  • mayankleoboy1
    ^ +1
    would like to see same tests for S and T version of SB chips.
  • husker
    caedenvno offence Toms, but this is an absolutely useless article. Who buys a BD chip for efficiency? It seems to me that most people buy them because they 1) are AMD fanboys and dont know better or find it immoral to fund the larger company (though how moral is it to offer a crappier product for more money?), or 2) people who need lots of threads for hard core 24/7 production work where BD shines a bit brighter than Intel chips.What would be really interesting would be to see the efficiency rating on the supposedly 'energy efficient' S and T chips put out by Intel. They cost a lot more money, and I wonder if they would pay themselves off over time for office and other light use applications, or if they are a complete waste like they seem to be.

    On the other hand, Tom's didn't just pull the idea for this article out of thin air; it is AMD that claims the Bulldozer architecture is designed with efficiency in mind. If it were not for articles like this we wouldn't know for sure if such claims were accurate. Furthermore, they did a thorough investigation to get a reliable answer.