AMD FX-8150 Processor Review – Bulldozer Arrives

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Final Thoughts and Conclusions

AMD FX-8150 Bulldozer Processor Idle

The AMD FX-8150 processor is certainly one of the most anticipated processors and AMD fans should be excited for what AMD has been able to do with the new architecture. Many were expecting Bulldozer to beat all of Intel’s offerings, but we were told many months ago that it would mainly be competing with the Intel Core i5 ‘Sandy Bridge’ processors. This might be a major let down to some, but at the end of the day AMD has managed to stay alive and bring out a processor that is still competitive with what Intel has to offer. In this economy and state of the computer industry that is must. To be fair if AMD was able to release Bulldozer when the originally planned it would be much more impressive than what we see today, but we all know that Bulldozer suffered from delays for a wide variety of reasons. AMD doesn’t have to worry about that anymore as the processor is officially out and in mass production. AMD says that they have figured out the 32nm manufacturing process and that they don’t expect any more hiccups.

AMD FX Bulldozer Processor Lineup

AMD FX CPU Pricing and Availability:

  • AMD FX-8150 – $245 ($345 w/ water cooler)
  • AMD FX-8120 – $205
  • AMD FX-6100 – $165
  • AMD FX-4100 – $115

The AMD FX-8150 is going to be facing some tough competition when it comes to pricing. The Intel Core i5-2500K can be found for under $220 on or for $179.99 in-store at Micro Center. That makes the Intel Core i5-2500K ~$65 less expensive. The Intel Core i7-2600K is priced at under $315 on or $249.99 in-store at Micro Center, which makes it $5 more.

When it comes to performance the AMD FX-8150 was able to perform and beat the Intel Core i5-2500K and Core i7-2600K in more benchmarks than we actually expected it to. The changes that AMD made for this processor appear to be paying off. The FX-8150 is the flagship processor of the FX CPU series, so it will be interesting to see how the others perform with lower clock speed and fewer cores. Since we’ve never had an FX-6100 or FX-4100 processor in our possession we also don’t know if you’ll be able to ‘unlock’ hidden cores or how well they will overclock.

AMD FX-8150 Bulldozer Processor Idle

Our FX-8150 processor was able to overclock fairly easily as we were able to take it all the way up to 4900 MHz with all the cores being enabled. That is a 1300 MHz clock speed improvement from the base clock and we were seeing performance improvements of over 30% in Cinebench R11.5 and x264 HD. You can’t complain with overclocks like that from the state. One of the reasons overclocking is so easy is that the AMD Bulldozer FX processors work with existing 990FX, 990X and 970 chipset powered motherboards. Our ASUS Crosshair V Formula motherboard with the 990FX chipset was more than up to the task of handling the FX-8150 processor.

When it comes to power use the AMD FX-8150 was pretty power friendly at an idle, but under load it did consume more power than most of the other processors that we compared it against. That said, the FX-8150 is a 125W part and has the highest TDP rating of all the FX series processors.

At the end of the day the AMD FX-8150 looks to be an interesting processor.  It isn’t a home run that puts AMD back on top, but the bones of processor look to be pretty solid. AMD is headed in the right direction, but they haven’t managed to ‘Bulldoze’ Intel by any means.

Legit Bottom Line:  The AMD FX-8150 offers solid performance and is competitive with the Intel ‘Sandy Bridge’ series of processors.

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