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AMD FX: Energy Efficiency Compared To Eight Other CPUs

Test Setup And Benchmarks

Socket AM3 Platform
Socket AM3+ PlatformAsus Crosshair Formula V (Rev. 1.0), Chipset: AMD 990FX, BIOS: 9905 (2011-10-03)
Socket AM3 ProcessorsAMD Phenom II X4 980 (45 nm, Deneb, C3), 4C/4T, 3.7 GHz, 4 x 512 KB L2 Cache, 6 MB L3 Cache, 125 W TDPAMD Phenom II X6 1100T (45 nm, Thuban, E0), 6C/6T, 3.3 GHz, 6 x 512 KB L2 Cache, 6 MB L3 Cache, 125 W TDP, max. Turbo Core freq.: 3.7 GHz
AM3+ ProcessorsAMD FX-8150 (32 nm, Bulldozer) 8C/8T, 3.6 GHz, 8 MB L2 Cache, 8 MB L3 Cache, 125 W TDP, max. Turbo Core freq.: 4.2 GHz
LGA 1156 Platform
LGA 1156 PlatformGigabyte P55A-UD7, Chipset: Intel P55, BIOS: F8b
LGA 1156 ProcessorsIntel Core i7-870 (45 nm, Lynnfield, B1), 4C/8T, 2.93 GHz, 4 x 256 KB L2 Cache, 8 MB L3 Cache, 95 W TDP, 3.6 GHz max. Turbo Boost freq.Intel Core i5-750 (45 nm, Lynnfield, B1), 4C/4T, 2.66 GHz, 4 x 256 KB L2 Cache, 8 MB L3 Cache, 95 W TDP, 3.2 GHz max. Turbo Boost freq.
LGA 1155 Platform
LGA 1155 PlatformIntel DP67BG, Chipset: Intel P67, BIOS: 2040
LGA1155 ProcessorsIntel Core i7-2600K (32 nm, Sandy Bridge, D2), 4C/8T, 3.4 GHz, 4 x 256 KB L2 Cache, 8 MB L3 Cache, w/ HD Graphics 3000, 95 W TDP, 3.8 GHz max. Turbo Boost freq.Intel Core i5-2500K (32 nm, Sandy Bridge, D2), 4C/4T, 3.3 GHz, 4 x 256 KB L2 Cache, 6 MB L3 Cache, w/ HD Graphics 3000, 95 W TDP, 3.7 GHz max. Turbo Boost freq.
LGA 1366 Platform
LGA 1366 PlatformMSI BigBang-XPower, Chipset: Intel X58, BIOS: 1.2
LGA 1366 ProcessorsIntel Core i7-975 Extreme Edition (45 nm, Bloomfield, D0), 4C/8T, 3.33 GHz, 4 x 256 KB L2 Cache, 8 MB L3 Cache, 130 W TDP, 3.6 GHz max. Turbo Boost freq.Intel Core i7-980X Extreme Edition (32 nm, Gulftown, B1), 6C/12T, 3.33 GHz, 4 x 256 KB L2 Cache, 8 MB L3 Cache, 130 W TDP, 3.6 GHz max. Turbo Boost freq.
Common Platform Components
DDR3 Memory2/3 x 4 GB DDR3-1333, Kingston KHX1600C9D3K2/8GX
Discrete GraphicsAMD Radeon HD 6850, GPU: Cypress (775 MHz), Graphics RAM: 1024 MB GDDR5 (2000 MT/s), Stream Processors: 960
System DriveSamsung PM810 256 GB, SATA 3Gb/s
Power SupplySeasonic X-760, SS-760KM
System Software & Drivers
Operating SystemWindows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
Drivers and Settings
AMD Radeon DriversATI Catalyst 11.8 Suite for Windows 7
Intel Chipset DriversChipset Installation Utility Ver. 9.2.0.1030
Intel Rapid StorageVer: 10.6.0.1002
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Audio Benchmarks and Settings
BenchmarkDetails
iTunesVersion: 10.4.1.10, 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
BenchmarkDetails
HandBrake CLIVersion: 0.95, Video: Big Buck Bunny (720x480, 23.972 frames) 5 Minutes, Audio: Dolby Digital, 48 000 Hz, Six-Channel, English to Video: AVC, Audio1: AC3 Audio2: AAC (High Profile)
MainConcept Reference v2.2Version: 2.2.0.5440, MPEG-2 to H.264, MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec, 28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG-2), Audio: MPEG-2 (44.1 kHz, Two-Channel, 16 Bit, 224 kb/s), Codec: H.264 Pro, Mode: PAL 50i (25 FPS), Profile: H.264 BD HDMV
Application Benchmarks and Settings
BenchmarkDetails
7-ZipVersion 9.22 beta, LZMA2, Syntax "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=5", Benchmark: 2010-THG-Workload
WinRARVersion 4.01, RAR, Syntax "winrar a -r -m3", Benchmark: 2010-THG-Workload
WinZip 15.5 ProVersion 14.0 Pro (8652), WinZIP Commandline Version 3, ZIPX, Syntax "-a -ez -p -r", Benchmark: 2010-THG-Workload
Autodesk 3ds Max 2012Version: 10 x64, Rendering Space Flyby Mentalray (SPECapc_3dsmax9), Frame: 248, Resolution: 1440x1080
Adobe After Effects CS5.5Create Video, which includes 3 Streams, Frames: 210, Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously: on
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 symbol), Median (Radius: 1px), Polar Coordinates (Rectangular to Polar)
Adobe Acrobat X ProfessionalVersion: 10.0.0, == Printing Preferenced Menu ==, Default Settings: Standard, == Adobe PDF Security - Edit Menu ==, Encrypt all documents (128-bit RC4), Open Password: 123, Permissions Password: 321
Microsoft PowerPoint 2010Version: 2007 SP2, PPT to PDF, PowerPoint Document (115 Pages), Adobe PDF-Printer
BlenderVersion: 2.59 beta, Syntax blender -b thg.blend -f 1, Resolution: 1920x1080, Anti-Aliasing: 8x, Render: THG.blend frame 1
MatlabR2011a, Internal Benchmark: 10 runs

We ran the applications for the efficiency test in the following order:

Single-Threaded:

Adobe Acrobat
Winzip
iTunes
Lame
3ds Max

Multi-Threaded:

Blender
HandBrake
MainConcept
After Effects
Photoshop
Premiere
Matlab
7-Zip

  • compton
    The low idle and load power consumption numbers of the SB K series are why I love them so much. Less power = less heat and noise, and SB is certainly worth it for me. BD, on the other hand, is just a strange bird. Someone out there could probably find a way to leverage it successfully, and that one person is going to be very happy. Maybe Bulldozer makes a lot more sense in its server configurations -- but I really wish AMD had just given the Phenom II a slight dust-off and die shrink. Everyone was pulling for AMD to do something great with BD, and the efficiency results are just abysmal. If you got great performance, but dis-proportionally high power consumption, that would be okay as well. With BD, you get the worst of both world, and not much of a saving grace. Perhaps Trinity will do something with this albatross that is BD and make it respectable, because the efficiency comparison is embarrasing.
    Reply
  • de5_Roy
    thank you tom's. this kind of article (performance-efficiency analysis) is one of my favorites. i've been waiting eagerly for an article like this from reviewer sites, tom's beat everyone else. :D
    the benchmarks with real world softwares(and not some specialized highly threaded synthetic benchmark that gives biased results) are the ones that matter to me. i use some of the softwares occassionally (blender), some more frequently (winrar, 7zip, lame encoder) and this article helped me a lot when i choose my next pc.
    did you guys see the ridiculous tdp number on cpu-z screenshot of fx8150? 223 w what the !@#$. i wonder which one got it wrong, amd or cpu-z.
    amd-fans-in-denial can argue as much as they want, but the reality didn't change. the efficiency numbers pretty much mirrored the bd review - bd isnt power efficient. even the ph ii 980 - the most power hungry of phenoms is more power efficient than fx 8150. and people who don't care about power consumption should care about the cooling and maintenance bd would need along with a power hungry high performance gfx card. imagine running an air-cooled fx 8150 @ 4.7 ghz with nvidia gtx 580 or radeon hd 6990.
    i can use any kind of acronyms like 'lol' or 'lmao' on bd's laughable power efficiency(even lynnfield beat it!) and performance but i am really sad and disappointed.
    if amd can't compete with intel, intel will keep selling their cpu at a high(and higher) price - avg users like me will be the loser.
    Reply
  • tacoslave
    everytime i read a BD article i die a little inside. Plus what we all knew would happen already started Intel already raised the K series prices a couple bucks.
    Reply
  • compton
    Geez, the 2700K is creeping up on $400. Thanks a lot AMD. You're off my Christmas list.
    Reply
  • dragonsqrrl
    comptonGeez, the 2700K is creeping up on $400. Thanks a lot AMD. You're off my Christmas list.Ya, the MSRP is $332, but the price on newegg is $370. Even for a brand new processor that's a huge premium over MSRP. It'll stabilize to the $330 price range eventually, but this initial price hike is no doubt related to the Bulldozer launch.
    Reply
  • de5_Roy
    @compton: phenom might get a die shrink with the llano upgrade. according to the latest trinity leak, llano's new 'husky' core will feature a phenom ii class cpu with amd 6xxx class gpu. this is just a rumor though.
    Reply
  • soccerdocks
    Thank you very much for including Matlab in the benchmarks. Its a really informative benchmark for those in engineering.
    Reply
  • "Everyone was pulling for AMD to do something great with BD, and the efficiency results are just abysmal."

    Not really, for the most time everyone was aware that BD was not going to be a SB killer, AMD themselves had hinted at it, then their PR department (propaganda office I would say) started pumping up the hype.

    Reply
  • amk-aka-Phantom
    And this is exactly why AMD fanboys should STFU about Bulldozer being an "excellent server CPU". You don't want high power consumption on a server.
    Reply
  • amk-aka-Phantom
    dragonsqrrlYa, the MSRP is $332, but the price on newegg is $370. Even for a brand new processor that's a huge premium over MSRP. It'll stabilize to the $330 price range eventually, but this initial price hike is no doubt related to the Bulldozer launch.
    2700K is BS... 100MHz extra is definitely not worth it. 2600K and 2500K remain best bang for buck right now.
    Reply