AMD FX-8150 “FX-Bulldozer” Processor Review Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD7 Motherboard

AMD FX-8150 “FX-Bulldozer” Processor Review Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD7 Motherboard

Introduction

When Intel released their Nehalem architecture
based on the 45nm process in 2008, AMD knew that they would once again
be left trailing behind Chipzilla in their race to secure x86 performance dominance. A year later, AMD went ahead to release their own 45nm Phenom II processors which came as a surprise with AMD offering triple and hexa core processors within affordable price ranges but it still sparked less interest for consumers.
AMD knew that their K10 architecture just wasn’t upto the job so the company went all out to prepare a new line of FX processors up from scratch that would feature improved IPC over the older K10 architecture and would also deliver for the first time
upto 8 cores to consumers. It should be noted that from 2009 till their
release in 2011, AMD released nothing other than refreshed Phenom II core processors so that their R&D team can research on the new Bulldozer architecture.
After four years of wait came the most hyped about CPU platform ever in the history of computing world. Fans around the world
were waiting for the moment when AMD would finally take the lead over
Intel and offer them a true enthusiast platform to driver their needs.
AMD’s Bulldozer is the first major architectural change in the company’s history since 2003 but did the new architecture live up to the hype or not?

AMD FX Makes a Comeback With Bulldozer Architecture

AMD made a comeback to the long forgotten FX brand with their new and improved Bulldozer architecture
that’s based around a 32nm SOI process by Global Foundries. It features
a die size of 315mm2, 1.2 Billion transistors and upto 8 core modules
which was an update over the Sandy Bridge’s 995 Million transistors but
located in a smaller die measuring 216mm2. The transistor count was
first reported to be 2 Billion but it was later revealed that the total
transistors available within the die were only 1.2 Million, the die size
remained the same.
So coming to the architecture, the FX Processors come with two cores
per modules with each CPU consisting of upto four modules that amounts
to eight cores. These are two extra cores over the Phenom II architecture
that featured 6 cores. Each module comes with 2 MB of L2 cache while a
FX Processor features 8 MB L3 cache. The Fetch and Decode Logic is
shared by both integer cores located within a single module, these fetch
and decode the x86 instructions into AMD’s internal format and send it
towards the scheduler for execution. Coming back to the L3 Cache, AMD
says that they won’t remove their FX processors from it though it is
only useful in server work loads. An APU such as Trinity is deprived
from the L3 cache since its a cost effective product which doesn’t need
to make use of the extra available cache on the Bulldozer-E “Piledriver” module.
The bulldozer core comes with its shared FPU “Floating Point Unit”
that consists of Dual 128-bit FMAC pipes, Dual 128-bit packed integer
pipes, PRF-based register renaming and a Unified scheduler for both
threads. Each core also comes with its own Integer Scheduler,
Instruction Retire, L1 Data Cache and L1 DTLB as detailed above. The
latest FX-Processors based on the Bulldozer core feature the latest
instruction set which include  SSE 4.1 and 4.2; 256-bit AVX, -256-bit
YMM registers, -Non-destructive source operand capability, -AES subset,
-FMAC subset (AMD 4-operand form); XSAVE state space management; XOP
Instructions. This is a huge update over Phenom II which lacked SSE4 and
AVX support.
Bulldozer Architecture
AMD released a few more slides that year which detailed the performance of their upcoming processor architecture
releases such as the Piledriver (2012), Steamroller (2013), Excavator
(2014). All of these bring 15-20% IPC improvement over their
predecessors. The FX-Zambezi which is the codename for the desktop
platform would later on go ahead and fused in the Interlagos and
Valencia based server processors within AMD’s Opteron 6300 series chips. The integral architecture of the new processors would be carried over from the desktop parts.

Maximum Performance

More cores, the power you crave, at virtually every price point
  • The industry’s only competitively priced 8-core consumer processor
  • Designed for more speed and overall performance
  • Maximum power available from virtually every core configuration
  • Maximum multitasking
  • Aggressive performance for intensive applications like video editing
  • and 3D modeling

Innovative Architecture

All-new architecture for maximum flexibility and efficiency
  • Delivers advanced performance with lower power requirements
  • Super-fast, unrestrained data flow

Outstanding Price Per Performance

All AMD FX processors are unlocked to allow the maximum tunable performance
  • All AMD FX Processors are unlocked, allowing you to overclock your processor

PRODUCT FEATURES

  • World’s first native 8-core desktop processor.
  • Overclocking capabilities — Unlocked for a big boost in performance and speed.
  • “Bulldozer” architecture — Designed to increase core communication for unparalleled multitasking and pure core performance; also available with 6- and 4-core processors.
  • AMD Turbo CORE Technology — A burst of speed for the task at hand. Delivers dynamic core performance boosts depending on users’ workload at frequencies of up to 900MHz faster.
  • AMD OverDrive software — Tuning controls to push performance to the limits and monitors system stability when overclocking.
  • 32nm die shrink — Stable and smooth performance with impressive energy efficiency.
  • Advanced Instruction Support — accelerates a new generation of applications: SSE3, SSE4.1/4.2, AVX, AES, XOP, FMA4
  • Larger Caches — increase everyday performance with support up to 8MB L2 Cache and 8MB L3 Cache
AMD FX

AMD Turbo Core and Power Management Technologies

AMD has also focused on power efficiency with the Bulldozer architecture
by minimizing the silicon area through sharing various functions and
components between two cores on a single module. Each module will have
its own set of functions cross-shared between two cores hence saving
space and power. Bulldozer also under goes an extensive flip-flop clock
gating throughout design and the circuits are power gated dynamically to
ensure less leakage within the new processors.
Various other power-saving features are added to the design through
software/firmware which includes C6 and Low power C1E state that
dynamically reduces clock speed when the processor is not being used.
Application power management and DRAM power management is also include
with the new processors.
AMD Power Management
A new feature introduced with AMD’s FX-Bulldozer processors is the
addition of Turbo Core technology that allows the processor to
dynamically boost up the turbo core speed for faster clock
functionality. The Tech is already available on Intel’s processors starting with Nehalem generation of processors. AMD now brings the same yet improved Turbo Core tech to their processors and it allows them to run beyond 4 GHz clock speed.
The Turbo Core technology on AMD’s Bulldozer processors has improved
dramatically since its first yet un-impressive introduction of Phenom II
CPUs. With a more robust approach, AMD has now set various points which
are configurable by the processor itself to adjust the Turbo Core
limit. At base clock, a certain amount of TDP would be available which
can be turned into extra clock speed when needed on all eight cores. Now
suppose we have an application that doesn’t utilize all eight cores on
the processor but instead makes use of four. The CPU would dynamically
disable the four extra cores and configure the remaining four cores with
the max available turbo core speed which would result in excess amount
of performance improvement under demand.
AMD Turbo Core

AMD FX-Bulldozer CPU Lineup

AMD’s Bulldozer lineup consists of four FX processors all of which
fall in three separate tiers. The high-end FX 8 Core series are labelled
as “Black Edition” which feature 8 native CPU cores, enhanced gaming
and faster task achieving. Next up are the FX 6 core processors followed
by the entry level FX 4 core offerings. All of AMD FX-Processors come
with an unlocked design allowing for unprecedented overclocking. The
complete lineup is listed below:
Model

FX-8150

FX-8120

FX-6100

FX-4100

CPU Base 3.6 GHz 3.1 GHz 3.3 GHz 3.6 GHz
CPU Turbo Core 3.9 GHz 3.4 GHz 3.6 GHz 3.7 GHz
CPU Turbo MAX 4.2 GHz 4.0 GHz 3.9 GHz 3.8 GHz
Cores 8 Cores 8 Cores 6 Cores 4 Cores
TDP 125 W 125 W 95 W 95W
L3 Cache 8 MB L3 8 MB L3 8 MB L3 8 MB L3
Launch Price $245 $205 $165 $115
You can note that AMD didn’t only went with the “more cores are
better” scheme but also bumped up the clock speeds to new heights. AMD’s
CPUs easily reach the 4 GHz mark with turbo core technology although
this means higher TDP of 125 W on the 8 core parts compared to 95 W on
Sandy Bridge Core i7 processors.

AMD FX-8150 – 8 Cores and 4 GHz Achieved

Today, we will be testing the flagship FX-8150 processor that comes
with an Octa-core design and features impressive clock speeds of 3.6 GHz
base and 4.2 GHz Turbo. The chip is compatible with the latest AM3+
socket motherboards which will be detailed later on. The CPU comes with 8
MB of L3 cache and has a 125 W TDP. The AMD FX-8150 had a launch price
of $245 (Current is $179.99) which made it a direct competition against
the Sandy Bridge based Core i7-2500K.
FX-8150
AMD FX-8150
At launch, AMD showed slides which advertised that with the FX-8150
users can save upto $800 on a PC compared to the one which uses Intel’s
top dog at that time “Core i7 980X”. The slides they showed also
compared the FX-8150 against the 980X in which both CPUs were equivalent
of each other however FX-8150 came at a much lower price range.
FX-8150 (Custom)
AMD was for the first time not only aiming towards high-end
performance users but also targeting gamers with their FX processors
since a huge market for their discrete GPU solutions lied there and now
they wanted to revisit it with their FX platform. Alot such slides were
revealed which AMD thought would spark consumer interest and can be seen
in the gallery below:

AMD 990FX Chipset and AM3+ Socket

With the launch of the new FX-Bulldozer platform, AMD released a new
socket and chipset. While the previous generation processors have been
socket compatible with each other, for instance an AM2 processor can be
used on AM2+ and AM3 boards but the AM3+ socket is only compatible with
the latest generation of FX processors.
AM3+ Socket (Custom)
AM3+ boards still come with a southbridge (SB950) and northbridge
(990FX). The AMD 990FX chipset is the latest in the stack replacing the
890FX chipset though is alot similar to it. Both chips are directly
connected to the AM3+ socket processor that offers a DDR3 Dual channel
memory controller supporting memory with speeds of upto 1866 MHz. The
chipset adopts the PCI-e 2.0 interface (3.0 isn’t available on 990FX
chipset). The SB950 offers up to 14 USB 2.0 ports (USB 3.0 ports are
offered through an separate chip), 6 SATA 6 GB/s ports, HD audio,
Gigabit LAN and PCI interface.
The AMD 990FX chipset also features SLI multi-gpu functionality on AM3+ motherboards which wasn’t available on 890FX chipset.
AM3+
  • Ready to take AMD FX processors beyond all expectation
    • Full socket compatibility for AM3+ and AM3 processors with
      Hypertransport 3.0 interconnects means you can upgrade your components
      when you’re ready to, and help ensure you get the most performance.
  • Support for up to 4 AMD Radeon HD Graphics boards with AMD CrossFireX technology
    • PCI Express 2.0 technologies enable 2×16 or 4×8 configurations to
      enable higher levels of performance on your graphics applications. The
      AMD 990FX enables our best scalable platform for game-dominating
      performance with support for 2,3, or 4 graphics cards.
  • Get ready to take control of your PC with the next generation AMD OverDrive software for full FX control
    • Customize your PC by getting full control of your different AMD components.
  • Take advantage of advanced technology like SATA 6Gb/s to help accelerate your connectivity
    • Enjoy the latest in performance benefits on your multiple RAID
      configuration support and enhanced SSD configurations with motherboards
      built around AMD 990FX.
Graphics Not IncludedUp to 4 slots for Graphics Upgrade
CPU Compatibility AMD Athlon II, AMD Phenom II, AMD FX
Memory Support AM3+ socket motherboards support DDR3
PCI Express PCI Express 2.0
USB Up to 14 USB 2.0
SATA Supports SATA 6Gb/s devices

Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD7 – Flagship AM3+ Motherboard

For testing, we used the Gigabyte GA-990FX-UD7 motherboard which we
received as a sample for our test bed by AMD. The GA-990FX-UD7
motherboard is pure high-end and after two years of service has offered
support for all Bulldozer and Piledriver processors including the
recently launch 5 GHz FX-CPUs. This section of the review serves as a
mini-article for the review of Gigabyte’s GA-990FXA-UD7 motherboard.
Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD7
The Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD7 motherboard is the flagship part in the
company’s AM3+ product stack and it incorporates the southbridge SB950
and northbridge 990FX chipsets. The AM3+ socket is powered by an ultra
durable 3 design phase that provides unprecedented power to the FX
series processors for stability and over-clocking. Let’s take a closer
look at the board and learn more about the features it boasts.

GIGABYTE 990FXA-UD7 Specifications and Features

CPU AM3+ Socket:
Support for AMD AM3+ FX processors
Support for AMD AM3 Phenom II processors / AMD Athlon II processors
Hyper Transport Bus 5200 MT/s
Chipset North Bridge: AMD 990FX
South Bridge: AMD SB950
Memory 4 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 32 GB of system memory
Dual channel memory architecture
Support for DDR3 2000(O.C.)/1866/1600/1333/1066 MHz memory modules
Audio Realtek ALC889 codec
High Definition Audio
2/4/5.1/7.1-channel
Support for Dolby Home Theater
Support for S/PDIF Out
LAN 1 x Realtek RTL8111E chip (10/100/1000 Mbit)
Expansion Slots 2 x PCI Express x16 slots, running at x16 (PCIEX16_1, PCIEX16_2)
2 x PCI Express x16 slots, running at x8 (PCIEX8_1, PCIEX8_2)
2 x PCI Express x16 slots, running at x4 (PCIEX4_1, PCIEX4_2)
(All PCI Express slots conform to the PCI Express 2.0 standard.)
1 x PCI slot
Multi-Graphics Technology Support for 2-Way/3-Way/4-Way AMD CrossFireX and NVIDIA SLI technology
Storage Interface South Bridge:

  • 6 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (SATA3_0~SATA3_5) supporting up to 6 SATA
    6Gb/s devices Support for SATA RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID5, RAID 10 and JBOD

2 x Marvell 88SE9172 chips:

  • 2 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (GSATA3_6, GSATA3_7) supporting up to 2 SATA 6Gb/s devices
  • 2 x eSATA 6Gb/s connectors (including 1 eSATA/USB Combo connector) on the back panel supporting up to 2 SATA 6Gb/s devices
  • Support for RAID 0 and RAID 1
USB South Bridge:

  • Up to 14 USB 2.0/1.1 ports (8 ports on the back panel, including 1
    eSATA/USB Combo connector, 6 ports available through the internal USB
    headers)

2 x Etron EJ168 chips:

  • Up to 4 USB 3.0/2.0 ports (2 ports on the back panel, 2 ports available through the internal USB header)
IEEE 1394 VIA VT6308 chip:
Up to 2 IEEE 1394a ports (1 port on the back panel, 1 port available through the internal IEEE 1394a header)
Internal I/O Connectors 1 x 24-pin ATX main power connector
1 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connector
1 x PCIe power connector
8 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors
1 x CPU fan header
2 x system fan headers
1 x power fan header
1 x front panel header
1 x front panel audio header
1 x S/PDIF Out header
3 x USB 2.0/1.1 headers
1 x USB 3.0/2.0 header
1 x IEEE 1394a header
1 x Trusted Platform Module (TPM) header
1 x clearing CMOS jumper
1 x clearing CMOS button
1 x power button
1 x reset button
Back Panel Connectors 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse port
1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector
1 x coaxial S/PDIF Out connector
1 x IEEE 1394a port
7 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
2 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports
1 x eSATA/USB Combo connector
1 x eSATA 6Gb/s connector
1 x RJ-45 port
6 x audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out/Rear Speaker Out/Side Speaker Out/Line In/Line Out/Microphone)
I/O Controller ITE IT8720 chip
H/W Monitoring System voltage detection
CPU/System temperature detection
CPU/System/Power fan speed detection
CPU overheating warning
CPU/System/Power fan fail warning
CPU/System fan speed control
BIOS 2 x 32 Mbit flash
Use of licensed AWARD BIOS
Support for DualBIOS
PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.0, SM BIOS 2.4, ACPI 1.0b
Unique Features Support for @BIOS
Support for Q-Flash
Support for Xpress BIOS Rescue
Support for Download Center
Support for Xpress Install
Support for Xpress Recovery2
Support for EasyTune (Note 6)
Support for Easy Energy Saver
Support for Smart Recovery
Support for Auto Green
Support for ON/OFF Charge
Support for Cloud OC
Support for 3TB+ Unlock
Support for Q-Share
Bundle Software Norton Internet Security (OEM version)
Operating System Support for Microsoft Windows 7/ Vista/ XP
Form Factor E-ATX Form Factor; 30.5cm x 26.3cm

A Closer Look At Gigabyte GA-990FX-UD7

Gigabyte ships the motherboard in a large boxed package that’s well
featured with marketing logos and details. Both the front and back ends
are engulfed with a wide variety of feature logos and details. A front
cover can be opened up which reveals the motherboard itself through a
clear plastic cut, we can also note the black and grey heatsink theme
used on the motherboard.
GA-990FX-UD7_25 (Custom)
Inside the cover is a large cardbox package which contains yet
another box through which the motherboard can be seen at. Removing the
motherboard box reveals another hidden package beneath it which consists
of the bundled accessories and manuals.
GA-990FX-UD7_27 (Custom)GA-990FX-UD7_26 (Custom)
There are a wide variety of accessories bundled with the motherboard
which include an installation guide, User manual, Driver installation
disc, 2-Way Crossfire cable, 4-Way SLI connector, 3-Way SLI connector, 2
Way SLI cable, backpanel shield, 2 SATA cables and a Gigabyte logo
sticker.
GA-990FX-UD7_4 (Custom)
Finally, the motherboard itself is taken out from the box and it may
look bigger than a normal ATX sized board due to the E-ATX form factor.
The socket AM3+ is colored black since it supports the black edition FX
processors. The motherboard should have no problem equipping high-end
coolers such as the NH-D14 or the Phantek’s PH-TC14 PE on it. Although
liquid coolers are a must if you wish to overclock the 8 Core
processors.
GA-990FX-UD7_18 (Custom)
A large aluminum heatsink array which makes use of copper heatpipe to
dissipate heat runs from the southbridge, all the way up to the 990FX
northbridge and ends up at the top most VRM. The VRM and nortbridge sit
beneath the larger section of the heatsink while the southbridge is also
located underneath a separate heat-sink block.
GA-990FX-UD7_6 (Custom)
By removing the heatsink, we can note that the motherboard features a
8+2 Phase power supply featuring Ultra Durable 3 design that offers 2x
Copper PCB, Japanese solid state capacitors with 50,000 hours of
lifetime, Low rds (ON) MOSFETs and Ferrite core chokes.
GA-990FX-UD7_11 (Custom)
These are the features that allow for improved overclocking and
stability on the GA-990FXA-UD7 motherboard. The CPU socket is powered
through an 8-Pin connector.
GA-990FX-UD7_19 (Custom)
There are four DDR3 DIMM slots on the board that support a max
capacity of 32 GB of ram in dual channel mode with speeds of upto 2000
MHz O.C+. Right next to the DIMMs, we can spot the 24 Pin ATX connector
along with the Power On/Off, Reset and Clear CMOS switches which come
handy for overclockers.
GA-990FX-UD7_17 (Custom)
For storage, the GA-990FXA-UD7 motherboard includes 8 SATA III 6Gbps
ports. Six of the SATA ports are powered by the SB950 chipset while the
rest of the two grey colored ports are powered by a Marvell 88SE9172
controller. Right next to the grey colored ports, a SATA power connector
is spotted which provides additional power to the PCI-e slots for
better stability while using upto 3 or 4 GPUs in either SLI or Crossfire
modes. Beneath the black color ports, we can spot a DEBUG LED, fan
port, CMOS Battery and the front panel connector along with TPM and USB
3.0 front panel connectors.
GA-990FX-UD7_21 (Custom)
Expansion slots include a mighty 6 PCI-e x16 slots and a single PCI
legacy slot. Although only two of the PCI-e slots offer x16
functionality while two offer x8 and the remaining two offer x4
functionality. The motherboard offers 4-Way CrossFireX and 4-Way SLI
compatibility. As mentioned earlier, the motherboard can be provided
extra juice through the SATA power connector when using multiple GPUs.
GA-990FX-UD7_16 (Custom)
The I/O is also equipped with various ports that include upto 9 USB
ports (2 USB 3.0, 7 USB 2.0), SPDIF out (optical and coaxial), Firewere
(Ieee1394a), RJ-45 LAN, 6 Channel audio jack and two eSATA ports powered
by the Marvell 88SE9172 controller. The Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD7 is truly
a high end motherboard which is equipped with a wide variety of
features and is available for $204.99.

Test Setup

Processor
  • AMD FX-8150
  • Intel Core i7-3570K
  • Intel Core i7-3770K
  • Intel Core i7-2600K
  • AMD Phenom X6 1100T
Motherboard:
  • Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD7
Power Supply: Xigmatek NRP-MC1002 1000 Watt
Hard Disk: Intel SSD 520 Series 256 GB (OS)Seagate Barracuda 500GB 7200.12
Memory: 4 x 4 GB Kingston HyperX 2133 MHz10th Anniversary Edition Memory Kit
Case: Cooler Master HAF 932
Video Cards: ASUS GeForce GTX 680
Cooling Solutions: Phantek PH-TC14PE Triple Fan
OS: Windows 8 Ultimate 64-bit

Overclocking the FX-8150

Overclocking the FX-8150 was a fairly easy job, we just had to raise
the multiplier from 21x to 23x (200 MHz BCLK) with a voltage adjustment
of 1.48V and turbo core disabled across all cores so the CPU reaches 4.6
GHz clock speed. This is a good improvement over the base speed of 3.6
GHz. The FX-8150 can easily reach around 4.7 – 5 GHz overclocked
frequencies with better coolers. AMD shipped review samples of their
FX-8150 processor with their latest liquid cooler, we didn’t get it with
our review kit but our air cooler matches any high tier liquid cooler.
We have included the overclock scores in the charts which are provided in the performance section.

AMD FX-8150 4.6 GHz Overclock:

FX-8150 OC

CPU Performance

X264 HD Encode Benchmark

This benchmark measures the encoding performance of the processor. It
offers a standardized benchmark as the clip as well as the encoder used
is uniform.
FX-8150 x264 HD

Cinebench R11.5

Cinebench is based on Maxon’s Cinema 4D. It is used to compare
graphics as well as processor performance. We are using the CPU
performance numbers for our comparison.
FX-8150 CineBench R11.5

PCMark 7

PCMark 7 is a complete PC benchmarking solution for Windows 7 and
Windows 8. It includes 7 tests combining more than 25 individual
workloads covering storage, computation, image and video manipulation,
web browsing and gaming. Specifically designed for the full range of PC
hardware from netbooks and tablets to notebooks and desktops, PCMark 7
offers complete Windows PC performance testing for home and business
use.
FX-8150 PCMark7

POV-Ray

FX-8150 POVRay

3DMark Vantage CPU Performance

3DMark Vantage is a DirectX 10 video card benchmark test for Windows
that is designed to measure your PC’s gaming performance. While the
overall benchmark is great, the utility also provides a good indication
of the CPU performance.

FX-8150 3DMarkvantageCPU

WinRar

FX-8150 Winrar

SuperPI

Super PI is used by many overclockers to test the performance and
stability of their computers. In the overclocking community, the
standard program provides a benchmark for enthusiasts to compare “world
record” pi calculation times and demonstrate their overclocking
abilities. The program can also be used to test the stability of a
certain overclock speed.
FX-8150 SuperPU

Gaming Performance

FX-8150 – Battlefield 3 Performance

Battlefield 3 is the award winning mutliplayer shooter from EA’s
studio DICE. The game features an enhanced Frostbite 2.0 engine that
implements DirectX 11 features such as tessellation, dynamic lightning
and sub-surface scattering with per particle motion blur. Battlefield 3
relies heavily on graphics performance which is the reason we are
looking at minimal differences in performance from each processor in the
chart below:
FX-8150 Battlefield 3

FX-8150 – Elder Scroll Skyrim Performance

Bethesda released their Elder Scrolls Skyrim in 2011 and the hype
level shattered the roofs. The game was met with wide success and is
built with the latest Creation engine which meant a farewell to the much
older game bryo engine from Bethesda. The game has one of the most
biggest and well crafted world ever created. The game requires a good
CPU for stable performance, most GPUs can handle the game well. It
wasn’t until users started pouring in their custom content and mods for
the PC version such as high-resolution textures and more which required
GPUs with higher VRAM for adequate performance. Skyrim is known as one
of the reasons by PC gamers for GPUs with higher VRAM.
FX-8150 Skyrim

FX-8150 – CRYSIS 3 Performance

Crysis franchise is the crown jewel for the PC gamers. Even after
going multi-plat, the game is considered to be the most brilliant and
gorgeous game ever brilliant, a visual marvel in short. The third and
most probably the last title in the Crysis trilogy blends in the most
deepest story line of the franchise with graphics that would make any
other game cry in shame. Powering the game is the beastly and much user
friendly CryEngine 3 that adopts all the features of DirectX 11 API.
Simply speaking, the game demands a high performance graphics card than a
high performance CPU to play well on higher settings.
FX--8150 Crysis 3

Power Consumption

The FX-8150 is built on a 32nm process and comes in a 125W TDP
package which is higher than the mainstream processors from Intel. This
means higher temperatures and more power consumption which is a major
down side for the Bulldozer processors.
FX-8150 Power Consumption

Conclusion

You may wonder why it took us so long to review the FX-8150? We
received the processor last month and had to cover the Haswell Core
i7-4770K first along with Computex 2013 which had put alot of load on
me. But here we finally have the Bulldozer review and we thank AMD for
giving us the chance to review the FX-8150 with a fantastic motherboard
such as the Gigabyte GA-990FX-UD7.
So let’s get to the point, AMD released their FX-8150 two years ago
and it was one of the most hyped up chip ever released. The hype went
down after people noticed the lackluster performance it featured against
Intel’s Sandy Bridge processors at the time and we can see that from
the benchmarks posted above. The FX-8150 has given AMD a roadmap to
follow but they are still years behind Intel in performance. The power
consumption is high and the performance fails to attract the audience.
But there are some good parts about Bulldozer too, the chip proven to be
a overclockers dream, it overclocked for me easily to 4.6 GHz. The chip
can even do 5 GHz with decent cooling and the current world record for
the chip sits at 8.8 GHz which is with a doubt impressive.
The chip was priced at $220 at launch but went down to the sub-$200
price range shortly after launch which is good for budget users. It has
eight cores which are well for multi-threaded applications although we
didn’t see any actual benefit of those cores compared to Intel’s four
core offerings. In the end, the FX-8150 Bulldozer was a missed
opportunity one which could have been much more than what the end
product was. Most of the issues and problems faced with Bulldozer were
fixed with the revision of Bulldozer codenamed Piledriver. The review
for Piledriver FX-8350 would be published shortly.
Here’s a tilt of hat to the good folks at AMD Middle East, who were kind enough to share a ‘AMD FX-8150 Bulldozer’ and ‘Gigabyte GA-990FX-UD7″ with us and made the review possible.

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