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AMD Bulldozer FX-8150 Processor Review

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MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
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System Benchmarks: LFE / Photoshop CS4 / x264 HD

System Benchmarks: LFE / Photoshop CS4 / x264 HD



Lame Front End


Lame Front End v1.0 is a single-threaded application, which means that it only utilizes a single processor core. This will obviously limit performance but it will allow us to gauge a processor's single-threaded performance as well as test any turbo feature that it might have. We will be encoding a WAV rip of Santana’s Supernatural album and converting it to MP3 using the highest fidelity VBR 0 quality preset.

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Photoshop CS4 64-bit


For the image editing portion of this review, we will use Photoshop CS4 in coordination with Driver Heaven’s Photoshop Benchmark V3, which is an excellent test of CPU power and memory bandwidth. This is a scripted benchmark that individually applies 15 different filters to a 109MB JPEG, and uses Photoshop’s built-in timing feature to provide a result at each test stage. Then it’s simply a matter of adding up the 15 results to reach the final figure.

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x264 HD Benchmark v2.0


x264 HD Benchmark v2.0
Test: MPEG-2 HD 720P Video Clip Conversion to x264
DVD Video Length: 30 Seconds
Comparison: FPS of Second Pass

x264 is quickly becoming the new codec of choice for encoding a growing number of H.264/MPEG-4 AVC videos. Think of it as the new Divx of HD and you can understand why we felt it critical to include. Tech Arp's recent development of the x264 HD Benchmark takes a 30 second HD video clip and encodes it into the x264 codec with the intention of little to no quality loss. The test is measured using the average frames per second achieved during encoding, which scales with processor speed and efficiency. The benchmark also allows the use of multi-core processors so it gives a very accurate depiction of what to expect when using encoding application on a typical full length video.


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x264 HD Benchmark v4.0 x264


x264 HD Benchmark v4.0 x264
Test: MPEG-2 HD 720P Video Clip Conversion to x264
DVD Video Length: 30 Seconds
Comparison: FPS of Second Pass

x264 is quickly becoming the new codec of choice for encoding a growing number of H.264/MPEG-4 AVC videos. Think of it as the new Divx of HD and you can understand why we felt it critical to include. Tech Arp's recent development of the x264 HD Benchmark takes a 30 second HD video clip and encodes it into the x264 codec with the intention of little to no quality loss. The test is measured using the average frames per second achieved during encoding, which scales with processor speed and efficiency. The benchmark also allows the use of multi-core processors so it gives a very accurate depiction of what to expect when using encoding application on a typical full length video.


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SKYMTL

HardwareCanuck Review Editor
Staff member
Joined
Feb 26, 2007
Messages
12,840
Location
Montreal
System Benchmarks: TrueCrypt / LuxMark / SPECviewperf

System Benchmarks: TrueCrypt / LuxMark / SPECviewperf



TrueCrypt 7.1



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LuxMark v1.0



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SPECviewperf 11



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MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
1,086
Location
Montreal
System Benchmarks: PCMark 7 / WinRAR / 7-Zip

System Benchmarks: PCMark 7 / WinRAR / 7-Zip



PCMark 7



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WinRAR


WinRAR 4.0.1 x64
Test: Compression of 1GB of Assorted Files
Comparison: Time to Finish

One of the most popular file compression/decompresion tools, we use WinRAR to compress a 1GB batch of files and archive them, timing the task until completion.


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7-Zip


7-Zip 9.22 x64
Test: Compression/Extraction of 1GB of Assorted Files, with AES-256 encryption
Comparison: Time to Finish


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MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
1,086
Location
Montreal
Gaming Benchmarks: 3DMark06 / 3DMark Vantage / 3DMark 11

Gaming Benchmarks: 3DMark06 / 3DMark Vantage / 3DMark 11




Futuremark 3DMark06


3DMark06 v1.2.0
Graphic Settings: Default
Resolution: 1280X1024

Test: Specific CPU Score and Full Run 3DMarks
Comparison: Generated Score

The Futuremark 3DMark series has been a part of the backbone in computer and hardware reviews since its conception. The trend continues today as 3DMark06 provides consumers with a solid synthetic benchmark geared for performance and comparison in the 3D gaming realm. This remains one of the most sought after statistics, as well as an excellent tool for accurate CPU comparison, and it will undoubtedly be used for years to come.


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Futuremark 3DMark Vantage


3DMark Vantage v1.1.0
Graphic Settings: Performance Preset
Resolution: 1280X1024

Test: Specific CPU Score and Full Run 3DMarks
Comparison: Generated Score

3DMark Vantage is the follow-up to the highly successful 3DMark06. It uses DirectX 10 exclusively so if you are running Windows XP, you can forget about this benchmark. Along with being a very capable graphics card testing application, it also has very heavily multi-threaded CPU tests, such Physics Simulation and Artificial Intelligence (AI), which makes it a good all-around gaming benchmark.


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Futuremark 3DMark 11


3DMark 11 v1.0.2
Graphic Settings: Performance Preset
Resolution: 1280X720
Test: Specific Physics Score and Full Run 3DMarks
Comparison: Generated Score


3DMark 11 is Futuremark's very latest benchmark, designed to tests all of the new features in DirectX 11 including tessellation, compute shaders and multi-threading. At the moment, it is lot more GPU-bound than past versions are now, but it does contain a terrific physics test which really taxes modern multi-core processors.



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MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
1,086
Location
Montreal
Gaming Benchmarks: Crysis / Crysis 2 / Civilization V

Gaming Benchmarks: Crysis / Crysis 2 / Civilization V




Crysis


Crysis v1.21
Resolution: 1680x1050
Anti Aliasing: 0
Quality Settings: High
Global Settings: DX10 / 64-Bit

Test 1: Ice benchmark_CPU2 demo
Comparison: FPS (Frames per Second)

Still one of the most hardware intensive game on the market today, Crysis has been chosen for its obvious ability to be able to showcase the differences between platforms and to showcase just how far one will need to go in the quest for maximum performance. The game also features the renowned CryEngine, the power behind the incredible graphics, which is expected to be foundation of future titles.


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Crysis 2


Crysis 2 v1.9 + DirectX 11 Ultra Upgrade Patch
Quality: Very High
Resolution: 1680x1050
Anti-Aliasing: 0X
Map: Downtown
Runs: 3
API: DirectX 11
Edge AA: Edge Blur
Hi-res Texture: On


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Civilization V


Civilization V - LateGameView Benchmark
DirectX 11
1680x1050 @ 59Hz
4X MSAA
All quality settings on high.



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MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
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Location
Montreal
Gaming Benchmarks: DiRT 3 / Far Cry 2 / X3

Gaming Benchmarks: DiRT 3 / Far Cry 2 / X3




DiRT 3


DiRT 3
DirectX 11
1680x1050@60Hz
Graphics Quality: High
4X MSAA
Skidmarks: On
Track: finland_rally


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Far Cry 2


Far Cry 2 1.02
Resolution: 1680x1050
Anti Aliasing: 0
Quality Settings: Very High
Performance: Very High
Global Settings: DX10 Enabled

Test 1: Ranch Long Demo
Comparison: FPS (Frames per Second)

Far Cry 2 is the hot new new first-person shooter from Ubisoft's Montreal studio, and the first game to utilize the new visually stunning Dunia Engine, which will undoubtedly be used by numerous future games. Using the included Benchmarking Tool, we ran the Long Ranch demo in DX10 mode at 1680x1050 with all settings set to very high.


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X3: Terran Conflict


X3: Terran Conflict 1.2.0.0
Resolution: 1680x1050
Texture Quality: High
Shader Quality: High
Antialiasing 4X
Anisotropic Mode: 8X
Glow Enabled

Game Benchmark
Comparison: FPS (Frames per Second)


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MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
1,086
Location
Montreal
Gaming Benchmarks: Left 4 Dead 2 / Team Fortress 2

Gaming Benchmarks: Left 4 Dead 2 / Team Fortress 2



Left 4 Dead 2


Left 4 Dead 2 (Latest Update)
Map: Realism Game - Dark Carnival
Resolution: 1680x1050
Anti-Aliasing Mode: 4X MSAA
Filtering Mode: Anisotropic 8X
Shader Detail: Very High
Effect/Model/Texture Detail: High
Test 1: HWC L4D2 Custom Timedemo
Comparison: FPS (Frames per Second)

Left 4 Dead 2 is sequel to the disorienting, fast-paced zombie apocalypse mega-hit from Valve. L4D uses the latest version of the Source engine with enhancements such as multi-core processor support and physics-based animation. We test here at 1680x1050 with in-game details set to their highest levels, with MSAA 4X and AA 8X. For benching, we used a pre-recorded 20 minute timedemo taken on the Realism Game - Dark Carnival.


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Team Fortress 2


Team Fortress 2 (Latest Update)
Map: Dustbowl
Resolution: 1680x1050
Anti-Aliasing Mode: 4X MSAA
Filtering Mode: Anisotropic 8X
Graphic Settings: High
Texture Detail: Very High
Water Detail: Reflect All
Motion Blur: Enabled
High Dynamic Range: Full
Test 1: HWC TF2 Custom Timedemo
Comparison: FPS (Frames per Second)


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MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
1,086
Location
Montreal
Gaming Benchmarks: Street Fighter 4 / World in Conflict

Gaming Benchmarks: Street Fighter 4 / World in Conflict



Street Fighter 4


Street Fighter 4 Demo
Resolution: 1680x1050
Anti-Aliasing: 4X
Texture Filter: 8X
Graphic Settings: High
Test 1: Built-in Timedemo
Comparison: FPS (Frames per Second)

Street Fighter IV is a 2008 arcade game produced by famous developer Capcom, that has finally been released on the PC platform. This game has not been 'ported' since the Street Fighter IV arcade machines actually have PC internals, with circa 2005 components. As a result, the version of the game released on the PC is considered the definitive version. With fully multi-threaded engine and an astounding hybrid 2D/3D graphics style, this game is sure to please all fans of the Street Fighter series.


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World in Conflict


World in Conflict v1.0.0
Resolution: 1680x1050
Anti-Aliasing: 4X
Anisotropic Filtering: 4X
Graphic Settings: Very High
Test 1: Built-in Benchmark
Comparison: FPS (Frames per Second)

One of the most visually stunning real-time strategy games in recent history, World in Conflict can really push systems to the brink, which is what we attempt by running the game in DirectX 10 mode at 1680x1050 with all settings maxed out. For this test we used the in-game benchmarking tool.


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MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
1,086
Location
Montreal
Power Consumption / Temperature Testing

Power Consumption / Temperature Testing



Power Consumption



For this section, every energy saving feature was enabled in the respective BIOSes and the Windows 7 power plan was changed from High Performance to Balanced.

For our idle test, we let the system idle for 15 minutes and measured the peak wattage through our UPM EM100 power meter.

For our CPU load test, we ran Prime95 v26.6 64-bit In-place large FFTs on all available threads for 15 minutes, measuring the peak wattage via the UPM EM100 power meter.

For our overall system load test, we ran Prime95 v26.6 64-bit In-place large FFTs on all available threads for 15 minutes, while simultaneously loading the GPU with OCCT v3.1.0 GPU:OCCT stress test at 1680x1050@60Hz in full screen mode.

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Considering all the talk that we heard from AMD about how power efficiency was one of the main goals that they were striving for with Bulldozer, we can't help but feel a little underwhelmed. Yes, this processor does have 1.2 billion transistors, by far the most of any consumer-oriented processor, but considering that it is manufactured on the new 32nm process and that it was built from the ground to be power efficient, the load numbers aren't that impressive. When Intel released the 32nm Core i7-2600K they karate chopped power consumption by 50% over 45nm Bloomfield LGA1366 chips, we were honestly hoping for something similar from this new generation of AMD chips.

Performance-per-watt is roughly equivalent to Bloomfield, so they caught up to a processor series that Intel launched in 2008. But when compared to Sandy Bridge, the situation looks abysmal. 50% higher CPU load power consumption numbers? That's pretty bad when you consider that the i7-2600K generally wipes the floor with FX-8150. Idle performance is fairly impressive though, so that at least is something to build upon.

Now to be fair, let's restate that the Sandy Bridge chips in this graph have an almost unfair advantage in the form of the Intel DP67BG motherboard. This Intel-manufactured motherboard has unmatched power consumption, easily 10-20W less than comparable motherboards from the big three motherboard manufacturers. However, it doesn't change the above comparison.

Temperature Testing


For the temperature testing, since we were not given a default cooler from AMD, we used a Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme with a Thermalright TR-FDB-1600 fan. The ambient temperature was 24°C/75.2°F. The application used to monitor temperatures was AIDA64 v1.85.1653 beta Keep in mind that the thermal sensors in most modern processors are not really accurate at measuring idle temperatures, hence the very small delta between the room temp and the idle results.

Idle: The system was left to idle for 15 minutes.
Load: Prime 95 In-place large FFTs was run for 15 minutes.

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As we have said in the past, AMD are known for making cool-running processors, and our FX-8150 sample was no different. Despite its eight highly-clocked cores with a total of 1.2 billion transistors, we couldn't even get the processor to hit 50°C. For comparison sake, it runs about 5C hotter than our Phenom II X4 980.
 

MAC

Associate Review Editor
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
1,086
Location
Montreal
Overclocking Results

Overclocking Results



As was recently demonstrated by AMD themselves, Zambezi has overclocking headroom, a lot of it. However, their world record run was achieved using liquid helium, which is pinnacle of cooling technology at the moment. What can the Average Joe hope to achieve with a half-decent CPU cooler? Let's find out:


Now to be fair, we haven't had the opportunity to spend much time overclocking the FX-8150. As a result, there is undoutedly another 100-200Mhz to be extracted, but for now we are quite pleased. A one gigahertz overclocking over the stock 3.6GHz, and across all eight cores is no small feat. We are sure that 5.0-5.2Ghz will be within reach of those with particularly good chips or a solid water-cooling setup. In order to hit 4.6Ghz, we set the vCore to 1.50V with some light Load-Line Calibration (LLC). At this voltage, the processor heated up considerably, reaching well over 77°C when stress tested by Prime95 In-place large FFTs.

At these settings, the system is idling at around 195W, but when running the aforementioned Prime95 stress test, it pulls an immense 550W from the socket. If we also add a fully loaded GeForce GTX 460 1GB to the mix, that number spikes up to almost 800W. Obviously, no one runs a CPU and GPU stress tests at the same time, but this does illustrate what the worst case scenario could be when it comes to power consumption.

In the coming days, we will see what kind of headroom our chip has with regard to the northbridge, and whether it can hit the same impressive memory frequencies that we saw with our A6-3650 APU.
 
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