AMD FX-8150 8-Core CPU Review: Bulldozer Is Here

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Introduction and Specifications

When we sit down to arrange our thoughts and write an introduction for a new product launch, we typically want to put together some interesting and suspenseful prose that sets the stage for an exciting reveal of an as-yet undisclosed, eagerly anticipated product. No such luck this time around, as the product we’ll be discussing today has been one of the most talked about in tech circles for years—literally.

Today AMD is officially taking the wraps off its latest FX-Series of desktop processors, targeted at performance-minded PC enthusiasts and overclockers. The FX-Series is based on the processor core formerly codenamed Zambezi, which leverages AMD’s much anticipated Bulldozer microarchitecture. The flagship processor in the new FX-Series line-up is the FX-8150, an unlocked, 8-Core processor, with gobs of cache and peak Turbo frequencies that exceed the 4GHz mark. But there’s a lot more to the FX-Series than speeds and feeds. The Bulldozer microarchitecture is a completely new design, which was built from the ground up in an attempt to shed some weight and produce a modular, highly-efficient CPU.

We know many of you have been waiting for this day for quite some time, so we won’t delay any further with more pithy commentary. It’s time to get down to business and take the AMD FX-8150 for a spin though the lab, to see if Bulldozer’s real-world performance earns it a spot in your next system build...

AMD FX-8150 8-Core Processor, Top and Bottom

AMD FX-8150 "Zambezi" 8-Core Processor
Specifications & Features
Model Number & Frequency: FX-8150 / 3.6GHz (base), 3.9GHz (CPU Turbo), 4.2GHz (Max Turbo)
L1 Cache Sizes: 256K L1 instruction (64KB per module) / 128K L1 data cache (16K per module)
L2 Cache Sizes: 2MB of L2 data cache per module (8MB total L2 per processor)
L3 Cache Size: 8MB (shared)
Total Cache (L2+L3): 16MB
Memory Controller Type: Integrated 72-bit x 2 memory controller
Memory Controller Speed: Up to 2.2GHz with Dual Dynamic Power Management
Types of Memory Supported: Unregistered DIMMs up to PC3-14900 (DDR3-1866)
HyperTransport 3.0 Specification: One 16-bit/16-bit link @ up to 4.4GHz full duplex (2.2GHz x2)
Packaging: Socket AM3+ 938-pin organic micro pin grid array (micro-PGA)
Fab location: GLOBALFOUNDARIES Fab 1 module 1 in Dresden, Germany
Process Technology: 32-nanometer DSL SOI (silicon-on-insulator) technology
Approximate Die Size: ~315mm2
Approximate Transistor count: ~2 Billion
Max TDP: 125 Watts
AMD Codename: "Zambezi"

We have been reporting on AMD’s Bulldozer microarchitecture and Bulldozer-related topics for quite some time; years actually. As such, we have already posted a number of stories related to today’s launch that contain many pertinent details and complementary information. Below is a list of recent AMD Bulldozer and FX Series related articles we’d suggest perusing, but we’ve been talking about Bulldozer since 2007. If you want to see more, have some fun and hit the search box and news archive...

At the very least, we’d suggest perusing the articles titled, “AMD Lifts The Hood On Bulldozer At ISSCC” and “Next-Gen AMD Bobcat and Bulldozer CPU Deep Dive”. In those two articles, we cover many technical and architectural details that we won’t be repeating here. We’d also suggest checking out our AMD 990FX motherboard round-up, as it includes a number of motherboards (including the Asus CrossHair V Formula we used for testing) that are specifically designed to properly support AMD’s new FX series processors.

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