|AMD FX-8150 Bulldozer Processor|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Processors|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Tuesday, 11 October 2011|
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AMD FX-8150 Bulldozer CPU Review
The days when AMD processors ruled the performance roost are long gone, and most enthusiasts have forgotten they ever existed. But less than a decade ago, the Athlon X2 dual-core processor thoroughly spanked Intel's first crude dual-core efforts, which were simply two separate processor dies on one chip, communicating through the front-side bus, as opposed to AMD's much more advanced true dual-core CPUs. But AMD's been playing catch-up since then, and has been forced to compete on price rather than performance in desktop processors. Now Benchmark Reviews tests the high end of the new Bulldozer desktop CPU line, the multiplier-unlocked 8-core FX-8150 CPU.
Enthusiasts have been slow to adopt multi-core CPUs beyond dual cores. Few software used them (especially games), and while extra cores could help a system running multiple applications, only a few individual applications could really leverage the extra power provided by multiple cores. But multi-core processor penetration in the market is increasing: while the largest percentage of users in the Steam hardware survey use only dual-core processors (47.6% as of August, 2011), four-core CPUs are close behind at 43.5%.
Beyond four cores, the numbers drop off dramatically. Only 1.45% are using six-core processors, and 0.07% have 8 cores (and most of these are probably dual four-core processors). So the FX-8150 has an open market...
I've been a fan of AMD processors for some time, unbothered by their performance deficit relative to Intel since we've long since passed the point where almost any processor is more than fast enough for anything most people would want to do, and AMD simply offered better bang for the buck. But AMD's got a tougher challenge this time in Intel's new Sandy Bridge processors, not to mention the upcoming Sandy Bridge E series and Ivy Bridge. AMD already cedes the high end to Intel when they say the FX-8150 is designed to compete against the Core i7 2500K CPU rather than the top-end 2600K, but even that will be a strong competitor: it's even less expensive, at $219.99 at Newegg compared to the FX-8150's MSRP of $245.00.
Manufacturer: Advanced Micro Devices
Full Disclosure: The product sample used in this article has been provided by AMD.