AMD Bulldozer Review: FX-8150 Gets Tested

Hardware Setup And Benchmarks

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Test Hardware
ProcessorsAMD FX-8150 (Zambezi) 3.6 GHz (18 * 200 MHz), Socket AM3+, 8 MB Shared L3, Turbo Core enabled, Power-savings enabled
Row 1 - Cell 0 AMD Phenom II X4 980 BE (Deneb) 3.7 GHz (18.5 * 200 MHz), Socket AM3, 6 MB Shared L3, Power-savings enabled
Row 2 - Cell 0 AMD Phenom II X6 1100T (Thuban) 3.3 GHz (16.5 * 200 MHz), Socket AM3, 6 MB Shared L3, Turbo Core enabled, Power-savings enabled
Row 3 - Cell 0 Intel Core i7-2600K (Sandy Bridge) 3.4 GHz (34 * 100 MHz), LGA 1155, 8 MB Shared L3, Hyper-Threading enabled, Turbo Boost enabled, Power-savings enabled
Row 4 - Cell 0 Intel Core i5-2500K (Sandy Bridge) 3.3 GHz (33 * 100 MHz), LGA 1155, 6 MB Shared L3, Turbo Boost enabled, Power-savings enabled
Row 5 - Cell 0 Intel Core i7-920 (Bloomfield) 2.66 GHz (20 * 133 MHz), LGA 1366, 8 MB Shared L3, Hyper-Threading enabled, Turbo Boost enabled, Power-savings enabled
MotherboardAsus Crosshair V Formula (Socket AM3+) AMD 990FX/SB950 Chipset, BIOS 0813
Row 7 - Cell 0 Asus Rampage III Formula (LGA 1366) Intel X58 Express, BIOS 0505
Row 8 - Cell 0 Asus Maximus IV Extreme (LGA 1155) Intel P67 Express, BIOS 0901
MemoryCrucial 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR3-1333, MT16JTF1G64AZ-1G4D1 @ DDR3-1600 and -1333 at 1.65 V on Socket AM3+ and LGA 1155
Row 10 - Cell 0 Crucial 24 GB (3 x 8 GB) DDR3-1333, MT16JTF1G64AZ-1G4D1 @ DDR3-1066 at 1.65 V on LGA 1366
Hard DriveIntel SSD 510 250 GB, SATA 6 Gb/s
GraphicsNvidia GeForce GTX 580 1.5 GB
Power SupplyCooler Master UCP-1000 W
System Software And Drivers
Operating SystemWindows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
DirectXDirectX 11
Graphics DriverNvidia GeForce Release 280.26
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3D Game Benchmarks And Settings
Crysis 2Game Settings: Ultra Quality Settings, Anti-Aliasing: Disabled, V-sync: Disabled, High-Quality Textures: Enabled, DirectX 9 and DirectX 11, 1680x1050, 1920x1200, 2560x1600, Demo: Central Park
F1 2011Game Settings:  Ultra Quality Settings, Anti Aliasing: Disabled and 8x AA, Anisotropic Filtering: Disabled, Sync Every Frame: No, 1680x1050, 1920x1080, 2560x1600, Demo: Custom Tom's Hardware Demo
World of Warcraft: CataclysmGame Settings: Ultra Quality Settings, Anti Aliasing: 1x AA and 8x AA, Anisotropic Filtering: 16x, Vertical Sync: Disabled, 1680x1050, 1920x1080, 2560x1600, Demo: Crushblow to The Krazzworks, DirectX 11
Audio Benchmarks and Settings
iTunesVersion: 10.4.10, 64-bit Audio CD ("Terminator II" SE), 53 min., Convert to AAC audio format
Lame MP3Version 3.98.3 Audio CD "Terminator II SE", 53 min, convert WAV to MP3 audio format, Command: -b 160 --nores (160 Kb/s)
Video Benchmarks and Settings
HandBrake CLIVersion: 0.95Video: Big Buck Bunny (720x480, 23.972 frames) 5 Minutes, Audio: Dolby Digital, 48 000 Hz, Six-Channel, English, to Video: AVC Audio: AC3 Audio2: AAC (High Profile)
MainConcept Reference v2.2Version: MPEG-2 to H.264, MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec, 28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG-2), Audio: MPEG-2 (44.1 kHz, 2 Channel, 16-Bit, 224 Kb/s), Codec: H.264 Pro, Mode: PAL 50i (25 FPS), Profile: H.264 BD HDMV
x264 Software LibraryAMD-Supplied AVX- and XOP-Optimized builds, TechARP's x264 HD Benchmark 4.0, Modified to accommodate new versions of x264 and CPU-Z 1.58
Application Benchmarks and Settings
WinRARVersion 4.01 RAR, Syntax "winrar a -r -m3", Benchmark: 2010-THG-Workload
WinZip 14Version 14.0 Pro (8652) WinZip Commandline Version 3, ZIPX, Syntax "-a -ez -p -r", Benchmark: 2010-THG-Workload
7-ZipVersion 9.20 (x64)LZMA2, Syntax "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=5", Benchmark: 2010-THG-Workload
Adobe Premiere Pro CS 5.5Paladin Sequence to H.264 Blu-rayOutput 1920x1080, Maximum Quality, Mercury Playback Engine: Hardware Mode
Adobe After Effects CS 5.5Create Video which includes 3 StreamsFrames: 210, Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously: on
CinebenchVersion 11.5 Build CB25720DEMOCPU Test single and multi threaded
BlenderVersion: 2.59 Syntax blender -b thg.blend -f 1, Resolution: 1920x1080, Anti-Aliasing: 8x, Render: THG.blend frame 1
Adobe Photoshop CS 5.1 (64-Bit)Version: 11 Filtering a 16 MB TIF (15 000x7266), Filters:, Radial Blur (Amount: 10, Method: zoom, Quality: good) Shape Blur (Radius: 46 px; custom shape: Trademark sysmbol) Median (Radius: 1px) Polar Coordinates (Rectangular to Polar)
ABBYY FineReaderVersion: 10 Professional Build ( Read PDF save to Doc, Source: Political Economy (J. Broadhurst 1842) 111 Pages
3ds Max 2012Render Space Flyby, 1440x1080, from Y: RAM Drive
Adobe Acrobat X ProfessionalPDF Document Creation (Print) from Microsoft PowerPoint 2010
SolidWorks 2010PhotoView 360, 01-Lighter Explode.SLDASM Benchmark File, 1920x1080 Render, 1.44 Million Polygons, 256 AA Samples
Visual Studio 2010Miranda IM Compile, Scripted
Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
PCMark 7Version: 1.0.4
3DMark 11Version 1.0.2
SiSoftware Sandra 2011Version: 17.80 Processor Arithmetic, Multimedia, Cryptography, Memory Bandwidth, .NET Arithmetic, .NET Multimedia

A few notes about testing:

First, you'll notice we did our benchmarking with high-density modules. Memory is so inexpensive right now that we decided to grab a quartet of 8 GB modules, allowing us to run a pair of test beds simultaneously in order to cycle through new versions of each benchmark in time for this story. On X58, that means we used Bloomfield's highest supported data rate (1066 MT/s). For Z68, we stuck to Sandy Bridge's maximum DDR3-1333 setting. The same went for Thuban and Deneb on 990FX. The same kit managed DDR3-1600 without a problem, but wouldn't do -1866. So, Zambezi testing employed memory settings a step down from the maximum. As you'll see toward the end of this piece, we also pulled the high-density kit in favor of a smaller, more scalable 4 GB pair of modules able to hit DDR3-2133, if only to show that memory performance wasn't hurting the results of our suite.

We're also using a GeForce GTX 580, the fastest single-GPU graphics card currently available. Although AMD recommends using its own GPUs for testing (naturally), we wanted to stave off any potential bottleneck in our gaming tests. A constant in our suite, this shouldn't negatively impact the results in any way. To the contrary, the GeForce card is expected to let these CPUs stretch their proverbial legs as much as possible.

All power-saving features are enabled throughout testing, except when specified otherwise (in per-cycle comparisons, for example).

Chris Angelini
Chris Angelini is an Editor Emeritus at Tom's Hardware US. He edits hardware reviews and covers high-profile CPU and GPU launches.
  • btto
    yeah finaly, now i'll read it
  • ghnader hsmithot
    nOT Bad AMd!
  • jdwii
    Been so long and i'm kinda sad.
  • 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.
  • ghnader hsmithot
    At least its almost as good as Nehalem.
  • gamerk316
    Dissapointing. Predicted it ages ago though. PII X6 is a better value.
  • As I expected - failure.
  • AbdullahG
    I see the guys from the BD Rumors are here. As many others are, I'm disappointed.
  • iam2thecrowe
    for the gaming community this is a FLOP.
  • phump
    FX-4100 looks like a good alternative to the 955BE. Same price, higher clock, and lower power profile.