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AMD Hardware

AMD 'Bulldozer' FX CPU Reviews Arrive 271

I.M.O.G. writes "Today AMD lifted the embargo on their most recent desktop AMD FX architecture, code named Bulldozer, whose CPU frequency record Slashdot recently covered. The fruition of 6 years of AMD R&D, this new chip architecture is the most significant news out of AMD since the Phenom II made its debut. The chips are available now in all major retail outlets, and top tier hardware sites have published the first Bulldozer reviews already." Here are reviews from a few different sites — pick your favorite: Tom's Hardware, PC Perspective, Hot Hardware, [H]ardOCP, or TechSpot. They don't agree on everything, but the consensus seems to be that the new chips aren't blowing anyone's socks off, and that they struggle to compete with Intel's comparable offerings. The architecture shows promise, but performance gains will take time to materialize, making it difficult to leapfrog Intel to any significant degree.
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AMD 'Bulldozer' FX CPU Reviews Arrive

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  • by CajunArson ( 465943 ) on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @08:28AM (#37688790) Journal

    buy a 6 core Phenom II, overclock it, and pray that AMD can stay around long enough to fix this mess.

    Go check the techreport review and look at the price/performance chart: The 2500K has slightly higher performance, lower price, and *much* better energy efficiency.

    Go look at the LKML where you'll see Linus & Ingo Molnar calling out AMD for design flaws in Bulldozer's cache that AMD wants to paper-over with kludgy software workarounds in the kernel: []

    I feel bad for AMD's engineers. I *don't* feel bad for the marketing hype machine that has been relying on "geek-cred" from sites like Slashdot and the usual David vs. Goliath myth to get unearned praise. If Intel had come out with Bulldozer instead of AMD, we'd be calling this Prescott version 2.0.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @08:46AM (#37688930) Journal
    This is partially the motherboard makers' fault, since they can generally scuttle such features in the BIOS even if enabled on die(laptop makers, in particular, seem to revel in doing this); but Intel's "VT-x", for various values of x, is a pit of confusion, and some of those VT-x's make a significant difference for VM workloads.

    It's of interest to me because my next build/config to order is likely to be primarily for VM hosting, with routine desktop/workstation tasks taken care of by the fact that modern CPUs are fast as hell. Unfortunately, a lot of the enthusiast benchmarks generally focus on running Medal Of Warfare fast and cheap, and the virtualization benchmarks generally start from the assumption that you are looking to buy a palletload of 1Us...
  • by mollymoo ( 202721 ) on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @09:58AM (#37689618) Journal
    Plenty of people do work where a silent, undetected error could cost more than the extra couple of hundred bucks it costs to go ECC. Google's study found over 8% of DIMMs had memory errors each year. A hefty workstation with more RAM than a Google server (which are individually quite modest) could expect a proportionally higher rate of errors than a Google server.
  • by unity100 ( 970058 ) on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @10:33AM (#37690040) Homepage Journal
    - First, there is the huge delay intel caused by engaging in fraud by paying pc makers to not use amd chips, right at the time amd was at an advantage.

    - Then there is the fact that these synthetic benchmarks use intel's proprietary libraries, which were proven to work ineffectively when 'non genuine intel' architecture was detected.

    - Then there is the fact that this is a new platform, and its just out, and the main deal with this is being easily increasable in cores. so amd will just add more cores without any research being needed. expect 32 core cpus in a year or so. 16 cores already out.

    - As you can understand these cpus are geared more for server environment, and will take that environment over.

    - Amd is moving to trinity in one year or so. Trinity is the APU format that all amd cpus will take from then on. Llano apus have been quite successful in gaming fro example 50-80 fps in starcraft 2 (crossfired and not) -> you dont need to buy an external card anymore, and if you do you can crossfire it with the cpu contained one. [] [] intel is worlds behind in this one.

    and then there is the ultimate question of what the fuck i am going to do if i grab a powerful processor. really. i bought an overclockable board, and an unlocked cpu. and when i played games, i found out that it was mostly the video card i added that did most of the thing. the cpu i had was way, way over any potential requirements and needs of these games. i didnt need to buy a powerful one at all.

    i went about hardware/software forums asking what i could do with a powerful computer. answers have been 'video encoding', 'benchmark', 'seti'. as it seems, any daily usage for cpus are WAY behind the power of modern cpus. to utilize your cpu power at all, you need to do unorthodox, unnecessary shit, or be in a profession that works on these.

    so i think all this performance talk is bullshit. there is no way in hell you will use that performance, even in hardcore gaming with an eyefinity 3 monitor setup in 5000x resolution, with 2x antialiasing and full detial. (and i just have 2x 5670 cards).

    future is in the heterogeneous chips i think. llano already has been a success, and its possible to save 30% on the cost of cpu + mobo + graphics card if you go the llano way over anything intel, and gaming performance is incomparable. when trinity comes, i think there will be a big change in computing. especially when amd puts out a computing platform like cuda.
  • by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday October 12, 2011 @12:54PM (#37692132) Journal

    Well that would depend on your budget unlimited? Because frankly the bang for the buck has been in the AMD camp for quite some time IMHO, with Intel doing too much crippling on its lower end and when you add in the price of their boards (plus a decent GPU as Intel GPUs are shit) it just makes it that much sweeter. If you want all the features it is AMD or be ready to empty that wallet Fuzzy.

    That said although I won't be having ANY Intel chips in my shop (because I don't reward criminal behavior and the bribery and compiler rigging frankly made MSFT look like choirboys by comparison and I thought MSFT should have been broken up) I would wait probably 6 months to a year before switching to Bulldozer on the desktop. The bang for the buck on the AM3 chips is just too good right now. I have been seeing Thuban 6 cores on sale for less than $130 and have been building nice quad cores for my customers and still making a decent profit for $450. It always takes AMD awhile to ramp up the chips and right now the early adopters will keep the price higher than Thuban and Deneb, which are both nice chips. You can get a nice Deneb for less than $500 for the whole smash, upgrade to Thuban later, and by the time you decide you need more cores they'll have the 16 core FX chips out. Right now the extra premium for two cores just isn't worth it.

    The one place that the new chips ARE being brought into my shop, as well as my home, is the Brazos mobile chips. Man these babies are sweeeet! Truly kick ass battery life, dual core with Radeon GPU, extremely low heat, quiet as a churchmouse, I liked the ones I sold enough I retired my MSI Wind and got me an Asus EEE with Brazos. This baby holds 8Gb of RAM (which I got for $33, gotta love Newegg!) and that ExpressGate is the best thing since sliced bread IMHO. If I just wanna check my email, surf, or chat it is just 6 seconds from button push to full up and adds two hours to the already 6 hours on the battery! Its like getting TWO netbooks, a ChromeOS style AND a full Win 7 X64, all in one!

    So if you want the most bang for your money and want ALL the features including ECC and virtualization Fuzzy I'd go AMD but if you were my customer I'd suggest you stick to AM3 and get either one of the Deneb or Thuban chips, depending on your budget. I'm currently running Deneb (gonna wait until the after Xmas sales to score my Thuban) and with 8Gb of RAM to feed it she'll do anything I want frankly faster than I can think of more stuff for it to do. The 95w Denebs are quite nice and don't heat your house up like the 125 watters.

The other line moves faster.