Overclocking And Efficiency Are Like Oil And Water With Bulldozer
Overclocking does pay off when you're overclocking AMD's FX-series processors, but only when your goal is to achieve maximum performance. In our test, we can overclock fairly easily using liquid or aftermarket air cooling. If you just don’t care about power consumption, you can crank up the voltage and see clocks that exceed 4.5 GHz on across all four Bulldozer modules. But if energy is expensive where you live and you also care about efficiency, performance considerations are less important. The same overclocking exercise results in a very detrimental increase in power consumption.
When you use all of your self control and refrain from touching any of AMD's settings (clock rate, voltage, and so on), the FX-8150 runs more efficiently than any overclocked setting we tried, achieving an efficiency score of 288 points. When you drop the CPU voltage, there's a small performance increase, perhaps explained by a reduction in thermal output and more aggressive application of Turbo Core. The system consumes significantly less power at the same time, though, and thus is our efficiency champion, sporting an efficiency score of 319 points.
However, that's not going to be enough to impress someone with a Sandy Bridge-based platform. FX certainly can't surpass Intel's mainstream effort in that regard. As we've seen, the efficiency scores of Intel's processors begin at 320 and top out at more than 635 points, achieved by Core i5-2500K and Core i7-2600K. Thus, Sandy Bridge and Sandy Bridge-E offer significantly more performance per watt of electrical power than Bulldozer, which is caused primarily by the fact that the Intel processors do not require such extreme voltage increases to realize higher clocks.
During its press briefing, AMD's architects claimed that the decisions they made in putting Bulldozer together were driven by a desire to achieve better efficiency than its aging Stars design. Given the numbers presented today, we're pretty sure something went wrong along the way. At its stock settings, Bulldozer comes close to being competitive, but it's not clear how AMD plans to scale the performance of this design over the next year (before Piledriver is ready) without increasing voltage and actually hurting efficiency in the process.
Current page: Overclocking And Efficiency Are Like Oil And Water With BulldozerPrev Page Efficiency Score And Power Diagram
Stay on the Cutting Edge
Join the experts who read Tom's Hardware for the inside track on enthusiast PC tech news — and have for over 25 years. We'll send breaking news and in-depth reviews of CPUs, GPUs, AI, maker hardware and more straight to your inbox.
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.Reply
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.Reply
gulftown=expensive and useless.Reply
Sandybridges=king of the hill(price to performance)
Bulldozer=budget cpu with multitasking capabilities.
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.Reply
Although I appreciate the work done on this article...
Nothing to see here folks, move along...
im just fine with my 110$ 955be.... 29 deg idle at 3.7ghzReply
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.Reply
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
Tom's Hardware finds that overclocking increases speed, power requirements. Film at 11.Reply
yay! another efficiency article from toms. :love:Reply
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.
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.Reply
But if you ask me, this is a "defensive" chip in the processor wars. And no war has been won playing defense.
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.Reply
Meaning this war is a TOTAL loss to AMD... SADLY... AMD - ABSURDLY MORONIC DEVICES.