Windows Hotfix Improves AMD Bulldozer Performance

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News Posted: Thu, Dec 15 2011 4:01 PM
Attention AMD fans, if you're running one of those newfangled Bulldozer processors in your system, how would you like a free performance boost? You can have one, so long as you're rocking a copy of Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2. Microsoft this week rolled out a hotfix that's supposed to make things run better automagically.

"Currently, the performance of AMD Bulldozer CPUs is slower than expected. This behavior occurs because the threading logic in Windows 7 and in Windows Server 2008 R2 is not optimized to use the Simultaneous Multithreading (SMT) scheduling feature. This feature was introduced in the Bulldozer family of AMD CPUs," Microsoft explained in a support article."

After applying the hotfix, your Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 system will fully support AMD Bulldozer processors, which will then "operate at the expected performance level." Having things run as they should is, you know, always a good thing, even if it takes a hotfix to get there.

Before you go and grab the patch, be sure to install Service Pack 1 first, as it's a prerequisite. Once SP1 is in place, you're golden, Ponyboy. You can download the hotfix from here.
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DDeveaux replied on Thu, Dec 15 2011 4:02 PM

It will be interesting to see if this helps Bulldozer much. I know it won't allow it to match the Core i5 Intel processors, but if it offers a noticeable increase from before, then those who did buy a Bulldozer CPU will be happy. Hopefully we start seeing benchmarks soon.

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KWalsh replied on Thu, Dec 15 2011 4:16 PM

sweet i would love to use this amazing cpu but at this time i am STILL waiting for my bulldozer to ring my door bell

ordered it 11/8/11 and its STILL NOT HERE!!!

i talk to D.I.T. Computers they are waiting on back order, NewEgg still is out of stock 95% of the time.



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CDeeter replied on Thu, Dec 15 2011 5:33 PM

Hope this does help, and it's nice to see Microsoft is working with AMD more closely and not just with Intel.

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CDeeter replied on Thu, Dec 15 2011 5:35 PM

Wow they must still be having problems with yields at Global Foundries. Not good.

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"This is great. Eagerly awaiting the re-testing and see the improvements."

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I wonder how much of a performance gain will be seen. I still find it interesting that a hotfix is needed to get the chips to work correctly. Its not like either OS is super new. 

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This KB was not intended to go live yet, and is missing a key component to enable the performance boost. Microsoft will be disabling the download link on the KB until the second part of this hotfix is ready.

There is a QFE in the works that will give a performance boost on AMD Bulldozer processors.

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AKwyn replied on Thu, Dec 15 2011 7:00 PM

So does this mean we'll finally see the performance that Bulldozer promised us; only time will tell.


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Joel H replied on Thu, Dec 15 2011 7:47 PM


You won't. You can't. Bulldozer's problems are architectural, not software, as you can see if you check the chip's performance in Linux.

The biggest problem is the easiest to understand--the caches are too slow. It takes too long to get data in and out of the chip. As a result, everything else bogs down.

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Thanks for the info Joel. Well I guess any improvement especially in the form of free fixes are welcome :)

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Like Joel said, the "Bulldozer"s problems are with the architecture.

A new scheduler may help with how windows recognizes cores, but it won't fix the real problems: deep pipeline AND the large, unwieldy, slow caches.

Intel did something similar (long pipelines) with Pentium 4 and it was a disaster. I don't know how/why AMD thought they could do the same and be better. It does not even perform well in servers. Sigh, AMD. Please come back.

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LLeCompte replied on Thu, Dec 15 2011 8:32 PM

Hopefully this fix helps some; something is better than nothing. Amd needs to fix that issue if they want to stay alive.

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rapid1 replied on Thu, Dec 15 2011 9:31 PM

Hmm; I would think that is what happens, well at least when of course as a chip design firm you "misplace" one of your head engineers on a still unreleased chip!

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ajm135 replied on Thu, Dec 15 2011 10:03 PM

Good job microsoft

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AMD is a disappointment in my eye's, to me there not even in the game, They need a 100% new drive development team to catch up with every one else cause lets face it AMD has *** drivers.

Well at least that my opinion, i mean There requirements to install a Driver sometimes Are horrible, EX. If i want to update my AMD motherboard's bio's i got to install WINDOWS XP and use a program Made in 2003 to load it, COMN AMD BE A LITTLE COMPATIBLE! It's your Job to keep your own *** working.

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Free performance is always good.

Squeeze all you can from this chip. Unlocked cores to hotfixes whatever it takes.

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Great news for AMD fans! I wonder if this means reviewers will have to redo tests and revise their reviews in order to paint a more accurate picture of Bulldozer's performance.

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AKnudson replied on Fri, Dec 16 2011 1:43 AM

no way, did you just reference Artemis fowl? dude folly is so pro. you just got at least 70 points in my book.


This is cool i just bought the new fx 4 core 3.6 ghz bull dozer so its the best news to know that they are getting some attention and some new firmware. Thank you windows 7

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grayhoose replied on Fri, Dec 16 2011 2:16 AM

@Ryan H Cowley, can you explain a little more...Athlon XP cpu's took 2 drivers to get them to run better in Win-XP until Vista arrived.

what OS are you running that you can't flash the the BIOS?

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rrplay replied on Fri, Dec 16 2011 1:48 PM

looks like we may have to wait a bit longer to see about  the patch apparently Microsoft released it a bit early and it's been pulled

Microsoft Pulls Down the AMD Bulldozer Multi-Threaded Patch


***might have to wait to piece the patch together and see.



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