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

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LAME MT Audio Encoding and Cinebench R11.5

In our custom LAME MT MP3 encoding test, we convert a large WAV file to the MP3 format, which is a popular scenario that many end users work with on a day-to-day basis to provide portability and storage of their digital audio content. LAME is an open-source mid to high bit-rate and VBR (variable bit rate) MP3 audio encoder that is used widely around the world in a multitude of third party applications.

Audio Conversion and Encoding
In this test, we created our own 223MB WAV file (a hallucinogenic-induced Grateful Dead jam) and converted it to the MP3 format using the multi-thread capable LAME MT application in single and multi-thread modes. Processing times are recorded below, listed in seconds. Shorter times equate to better performance.

Audio encoding with LAME is not a strong point for AMD's architectures, as is evident by the Core i5's trouncing of the FX. What's interesting is that the FX-8150 trails the Phenom II X6 and X4 in the single-threaded test, where it should have an advantage due to higher peak Turbo frequencies. However, the opposite turns out to be true. It is in the MT test (which uses only two threads) that the FX puts up the fastest score of all of the AMD processors. Perhaps the ability to keep both threads running on a single core module helps the FX's performance here.

Cinebench R11.5
3D Rendering

Cinebench R11.5 is an OpenGL 3D rendering performance test based on Cinema 4D from Maxon. Cinema 4D is a 3D rendering and animation tool suite used by 3D animation houses and producers like Sony Animation and many others. It's very demanding of system processor resources and is an excellent gauge of pure computational throughput. This is a multi-threaded, multi-processor aware benchmark that renders and animates 3D scenes and tracks the length of the entire process. The rate at which each test system was able to render the entire scene is represented in the graph below.

Although the new AMD FX-8150 puts up the best score of all the AMD-built processors, and easily dominates the Core i5-2500K in the Cinebench R11.5 CPU test, its lead over the six-core Phenom II X6 1100T is relatively small. With more cache, higher clocks, and two additional cores (technically), it would seem that the FX-8150 would perform better here, but contention for shared resources within each core module and perhaps scheduling issues with Windows 7 come into play, reducing the FX's performance somewhat.

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