|AMD FX-8150 Bulldozer Processor|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Processors|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Wednesday, 12 October 2011|
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Processor Testing Methodology
For this test Benchmark Reviews is fortunate to have two high-end 990FX motherboards: AMD supplied an ASUS Crosshair V Formula with a pre-installed FX-8150, and MSI supplied their new 990FXA-GD80. Benchmark Reviews examined the ASUS Crosshair V Formula motherboard here, and a detailed review of the MSI 990FXA-GD80 will follow shortly. Although I tested the AMD FX-8150 in both motherboards, all the overclocking and performance measurements for this article were done on the ASUS motherboard. For comparison purposes I also used an AMD Phenom II X6-1100T six core CPU, AMD's previous top of the line part.
Representing the Intel camp is what AMD considers the FX-8150's competition: a Core i5 2500K CPU, in this case installed in an ASUS P8Z68V Pro motherboard. Although I used the same memory for both Intel and AMD tests (a G. Skill 4GB kit rated at up to 2133MHz), I set the memory speed to the maximum officially supported by each CPU/chipset: 1333MHz in the case of the Intel system and the 1100T, and 1866MHz for the AMD FX-8150 systems. The memory timings were 9-9-9-24 in all cases.
Different overclockers have different techniques. For example, AMD's recent 8.4gHz world record overclock of the FX 8150 represented the maximum speed at which they could successfully boot into Windows and run CPU-Z. Other overclockers go for the maximum single-core overclock. I prefer to aim for the highest speed at which I can run all cores under load. The FX 8150, like the Intel Sandy Bridge CPUs, uses a 32nm fabrication process, and reaped similar overclocking benefits: on the ASUS Crosshair V Formula motherboard, I was able to hit 4.8gHz on all cores at 1.4V and complete all my benchmarks. This helped performance significantly, but the Core i5 2500K can be overclocked, too...and coincidentally my test 2500K hit its highest stable overclock at the same 4.8GHz frequency as the FX-8150! The overclocked results for both processors are included in all the benchmark tests.
Intel Z68 Test Platform
AMD 990FX Test Platforms