Here is a look at the AMD FX-8150 Bulldozer processor sitting at an idle state on the desktop of our Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit test system. Notice that the processor is only running at 1.4 GHz thanks to the AMD Power Manager that noticed the CPU was and an idle and put it in a low power state for power saving reasons. This is key as it will have lower idle power consumption and generate less heat. The base clock of the processor is 200MHz and our ASUS Crosshair V motherboard is running the base clock at 200.7MHz, which isn’t too far off from default.Each Core is equipped with a 16 KB Level 1 Data cache, a 32-entry fully associative DATA TLB, and a fully out of order load/store – capable of two 128-bit loads per cycle or one 128-bit store per cycle. Each dual Core module includes a 2 MB 16-way unified L2 cache with an L2 TLB capable of 124 entry, 8 way that services both instruction and data requests. Bulldozer supports up to 23 outstanding L2 cache misses for memory system concurrency.
Finally AMD has designed a shared 8 MB L3 cache with 64 way associativity for both cores in a Bulldozer module.
Next we want to look at the various power states as with AMD Turbo technology that can get very confusing if you don’t know what is going on. The AMD FX8150 that we have for benchmarking today has a base clock of 3.6GHz, a CPU Turbo Core clock of 3.9GHz and a CPU Max Turbo clock of 4.2GHz. Depending on the number of threads and the temperature state of the processor, the clock frequency will adjust to better handle the tasks you are asking it to do.
When running a single threaded application the AMD FX-8150 can jump up to the rated
clock frequency of 4.2GHz (as shown above) and it will not go any higher than this as this is the fastest the processor will do out of the box without manually overclocking it.
When running two threads the AMD FX-8150 was observed running at 3900MHz, which just happens to be the standard ‘Turbo Core’ clock speed.
When running all eight threads at 100% when using a application like handbrake the AMD FX-8150 was observed running at 3600MHz, which just happens to be the standard base clock speed for this processor.
The interesting thing about the Bulldozer architecture is that each of the cores can run at different clock speeds, so this is a truly dynamically clocked processor unlike one that we have ever seen before.
We get people asking about the Windows Experience Index Score all the time, so we thought we’d include it. According to Windows 7 the lowest performing component on the system was the processor, which would be the AMD FX-8150 CPU, as it had a subscore of 7.6 and that is the base score for the entire system.