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Gaming Performance

AMD clearly states in its reviewer's guide that CPU bound gaming performance isn't going to be a strong point of the FX architecture, likely due to its poor single threaded performance. However it is useful to look at both CPU and GPU bound scenarios to paint an accurate picture of how well a CPU handles game workloads, as well as what sort of performance you can expect in present day titles.

Civilization V

Civ V's lateGameView benchmark presents us with two separate scores: average frame rate for the entire test as well as a no-render score that only looks at CPU performance.

Civilization V—1680 x 1050—DX11 High Quality

While we're GPU bound in the full render score, AMD's platform appears to have a bit of an advantage here. We've seen this in the past where one platform will hold an advantage over another in a GPU bound scenario and it's always tough to explain. Within each family however there is no advantage to a faster CPU, everything is just GPU bound.

Civilization V—1680 x 1050—DX11 High Quality

Looking at the no render score, the CPU standings are pretty much as we'd expect. The FX-8150 is thankfully a bit faster than its predecessors, but it still falls behind Sandy Bridge.

Crysis: Warhead

Crysis Warhead Assault Benchmark—1680 x 1050 Mainstream DX10 64-bit

In CPU bound environments in Crysis Warhead, the FX-8150 is actually slower than the old Phenom II. Sandy Bridge continues to be far ahead.

Dawn of War II

Dawn of War II—1680 x 1050—Ultra Settings

We see similar results under Dawn of War II. Lightly threaded performance is simply not a strength of AMD's FX series, and as a result even the old Phenom II X6 pulls ahead.

DiRT 3

We ran two DiRT 3 benchmarks to get an idea for CPU bound and GPU bound performance. First the CPU bound settings:

DiRT 3—Aspen Benchmark—1024 x 768 Low Quality

The FX-8150 doesn't do so well here, again falling behind the Phenom IIs. Under more real world GPU bound settings however, Bulldozer looks just fine:

DiRT 3—Aspen Benchmark—1920 x 1200 High Quality

Dragon Age

Dragon Age Origins—1680 x 1050—Max Settings (no AA/Vsync)

Dragon Age is another CPU bound title, here the FX-8150 falls behind once again.

Metro 2033

Metro 2033 is pretty rough even at lower resolutions, but with more of a GPU bottleneck the FX-8150 equals the performance of the 2500K:

Metro 2033 Frontline Benchmark—1024 x 768—DX11 High Quality

Metro 2033 Frontline Benchmark—1920 x 1200—DX11 High Quality

Rage vt_benchmark

While id's long awaited Rage title doesn't exactly have the best benchmarking abilities, there is one unique aspect of the game that we can test: Megatexture. Megatexture works by dynamically taking texture data from disk and constructing texture tiles for the engine to use, a major component for allowing id's developers to uniquely texture the game world. However because of the heavy use of unique textures (id says the original game assets are over 1TB), id needed to get creative on compressing the game's textures to make them fit within the roughly 20GB the game was allotted.

The result is that Rage doesn't store textures in a GPU-usable format such as DXTC/S3TC, instead storing them in an even more compressed format (JPEG XR) as S3TC maxes out at a 6:1 compression ratio. As a consequence whenever you load a texture, Rage needs to transcode the texture from its storage codec to S3TC on the fly. This is a constant process throughout the entire game and this transcoding is a significant burden on the CPU.

The Benchmark: vt_benchmark flushes the transcoded texture cache and then times how long it takes to transcode all the textures needed for the current scene, from 1 thread to X threads. Thus when you run vt_benchmark 8, for example, it will benchmark from 1 to 8 threads (the default appears to depend on the CPU you have). Since transcoding is done by the CPU this is a pure CPU benchmark. I present the best case transcode time at the maximum number of concurrent threads each CPU can handle:

Rage vt_benchmark—1920 x 1200

The FX-8150 does very well here, but so does the Phenom II X6 1100T. Both are faster than Intel's 2500K, but not quite as good as the 2600K. If you want to see how performance scales with thread count, check out the chart below:

Starcraft 2

Starcraft 2

Starcraft 2 has traditionally done very well on Intel architectures and Bulldozer is no exception to that rule.

World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft

Windows 7 Application Performance Power Consumption
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  • Elric42 - Thursday, December 01, 2011 - link

    I wanted to say one thing i dont have one but a friend of mine does and he showed me somthing my i5 cant do he was playing a game called crissis if thats how u spell it and running a video editting program at he same time well i cant do that with my i5 if i did the game would start to lag crissis takes alot out of your cpu bad programing even video cards have trouble with the game but bd seems to muti task better then what my i5 can do just wondering if its more for peeps who do alot of stuff at one time. Reply
  • ZyferXY - Monday, January 02, 2012 - link

    Thanks for pointing that out because not so long ago i saw a video on amd's web site where they were showing of a amd Llano notebook vs a intel sandy bridge core i7 notebook they started the same benchmark on both notebooks and the intel was quite fast but as they open more and more programs at the same time the intel starts to drop in performance where the amd is running stable. So my suggestion would be to run all benchmark on the bulldozer and i7 2600k again but this time open about 10 or 20 other programs a the same time then u will truly see the bulldozer shine. I am not a amd fanboy my current build a intel Pentium G860 and i am very dissapointed in myself i shouldve gone with the amd q640 it was around the same price when i bought it. My next build will be a Amd FX4100. HA Reply
  • makaira - Thursday, December 08, 2011 - link

    Well I very excitedly bought a 8150 based system for number crunching as the performance/$ looked very good. I could buy a "quiet" system for Aus $ 1130 with SSD and only 8Gb RAM.
    I had previously purchased a Intel i7 2600K, but could never get it to overclock and run 64 bit Java app (Napoleon Spike from DUG) 24/7, it fell over after 6 hrs or 12 or 23 or 47, it always fell over despite water cooling.
    Now the bulk of my work is done by Xeons in the rack, with a couple of dual 5680's systems doing the heavy lifting (2 x 6 core + hyperthreading looks like 24 CPU's to OS). These are good stable systems with 96Gb RAM, but high overall system cost.
    I wanted a few cheap and moveable fast CPU's. Boy did the Bulldozer fail to deliver
    More is Better measure in Bytes inversion throughput/minute
    BD 8150 115-123k in 8/8 threads i.e. flat out
    i7 2600 237-268k in 8/8 threads i.e. flat out
    Xeon dual 5680 333-356k in 12/24 threads i.e.half loaded
    i7-870 166k in 8/8 threads i.e flat out
    Xeon Dual E5520 190k 12/16 threads
    Xeon Dual 5430 132k 8/8 threads

    The Bulldozer is the slowest and the newest....very poor performance. Eclipsed by Intel at similiar price point. I might as well replace the MB and CPU and go with i73960 or 3930...
    Reply
  • wepexpert117 - Thursday, December 08, 2011 - link

    I dunno if anyone noticed, but if u study the architectures carefully, then what AMD calls as a 'module' is comparable to a 'core' of Intels. Intels Hyperthreading allows two logical thread executions per core. But AMD's TruCore theory, only allows one thread per core. The Intel i5-2500K has 4 physical cores and 8 logical threads. Compared to that the most powerful of the AMD, the FX-8170, contains 4 modules which can execute 8 threads, with 2 cores per module, each core executing 1 thread. On the other hand the i7-2600K contains 6 physical cores and 12 logical threads. Hence by no chance, can the FX-8150, can match the capability of the 2600K, as the latter as 2 more cores to add to the power. As for the results of the benchmarking, it also agrees with the fact that the FX-8150 is comparable albeit a little less powerful than the i5-2500K, because of the architecture difference between Intels core and AMD's Bulldozer.If AMD ever brings out (according to them) a 12 core FX processor (Prob. FX-12XXX), then it would be really interesting to see how that matches with the i7-2600K. Altough the shared L2 cache architecture, is what may be detrimental to the performance of these processors. Reply
  • Jondenmark - Saturday, December 24, 2011 - link

    Something is wrong. If I look at a die shot of Llano then the core is about 1½ times the size of the 1 MB L2 cache. If I look at a Bulldozer module, it is about 1½ times the 2 MB L2 cache. To me this indicates, that a Buldozer module is about 100% larger than a phenom II core which is far from the 12% more core size, which AMD has previously indicated was the cost of adding another core to form a module. The 12% was expected to allow AMD to add nearly double the core count on a given process node to convince the server market and give plenty of die space for the GPU on the Llano APU. Where am I wrong and what is right? Reply
  • 8 core cpu - Friday, January 06, 2012 - link

    This <a herf="http://8corecpu.com/">8 Core Cpu</a> is high spreed CPU. It is best than other CPU Reply
  • 8 core cpu - Friday, January 06, 2012 - link

    This 8 Core Cpu is high spreed CPU. It is best than other CPU. For more info please ....
    http://8corecpu.com/
    Reply
  • Raven0628 - Saturday, January 14, 2012 - link

    I beleive amd realy missed it shoot badly, but it is still the right social choice caus what will happen if intel get x86 monopol and they are still resonably priced and whene you have to live with it in every day life will you realy notice the diferance in perfomance. Unless you realy to go for all the top of the line in every part of your system you will got for the top of intel i7.
    But i'v never did and alway ended up with reliable good perfomance amd sys for less than 800$ counting with the power supply i had to replace. this year. my point unless you want a death machine go for amd and you will feel better with your self ;).
    PS. sry for the terible english.
    Reply
  • Ernst0 - Sunday, February 05, 2012 - link

    Hey guys.

    There is no doubt that whatever critiques have been posted are valid but I skimmed a few pages and saw no "Consumer" comments.

    I have purchased an 8150 with a AMD3+ motherboard and will be putting the unit together.

    In my days since the Z80 and 48k this represents the nicest cpu ever for me.
    That it was affordable and that I will have 8 cores to task with my hobby programming such as trying to factor RSA-numbers or the ilk the AMD 8=core is a dream system for the price.

    I picked up case, mother board power supply, 1.5 TB drive DVD, 1 gb video, 16 gb ram, 28 inch monitor, wall mount for monitor so I can have two 28's with one the long way for source code and perhaps something else.. Anyway $1200 is the cost.
    Now this is my first bare-bones experience too so all in all it is exciting to get such a dream machine and I am happy to step forward and support AMD

    I don't know what awaits when the memory arrives and I boot up but it feels like Starship already and I have vowed to learn OpenMP under GCC to advance into multi-core programming.

    So perhaps there will be issues. perhaps this is not all that nor is it wat will come but from where I am at I am still on the AMD home team and my money is flowing in the economy.

    I went from trs 80 to Amiga then to twin AMD single core chips on one Motherboard, Moved to the early quad cores dreaming of dual quad cores when a system with 8 cores of that day would have cost $4900 and now picked up a system that as a boy in 1973 I would have considered Alien-ufo technology for about what I paid for dual single core chips just a few years ago.

    So BullDozer can't be all that bad. The price is good! I will see how she runs. I often peg cores at 100% for days when searching for RSA factors.. Looks like I get more bang for the same bucks this time and I am all for that.

    Thank you AMD for such a wonderful cpu. I plan to make use and thanks to the motherboard I can watch out for heat issues much easier than ever,

    Not to mention it looks like the sound system is way advanced over the last computer as well.

    So from a consumer / hobby programmer point of view this is very cool indeed.

    Ernst
    Reply
  • mumbles - Sunday, February 12, 2012 - link

    Thank you for being the first to actually contribute some real world response to this architecture. So many trolls on this thread that are intel fanboys.

    Also, if your using xen with this thing, I would be interested in seeing some feedback on how multiple guests(like more than 4) act when trying to fight for floating point processor time. Be interesting also to see if 4 floating point threads and 4 integer threads can all run at the same time with no waiting. That might be asking too much for now tho.
    Reply

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