AMD's FX-8150 After Two Windows 7 Hotfixes And UEFI Updates

Test Settings And Benchmarks

Test System Configuration
AMD CPUAMD FX-8150 (Zambezi): 3.60 GHz, 8 MB Shared L3 Cache, Socket AM3+
Intel CPUIntel Core i5-2500K (Sandy Bridge): 3.30 GHz, 6 MB Shared L3 Cache, LGA 1155
CPU CoolerSunbeamtech Core-Contact Freezer w/Zalman ZM-STG1 Paste
AMD MotherboardAsus Sabertooth 990FX, BIOS 0901 (12/13/2011)
Intel MotherboardAsus P8Z68-V Pro, BIOS 8801 Beta (04/28/2011)
RAMKingston KHX1600C9D3K2/8GX: 8 GB DDR3-1600 CAS 9-9-9-27
GraphicsAMD Radeon HD 6950 2 GB: 800 MHz GPU, GDDR5-5000
Hard DriveSamsung 470 Series MZ5PA256HMDR, 256 GB SSD 
SoundIntegrated HD Audio
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit Networking
PowerSeasonic X760 SS-760KM: ATX12V v2.3, EPS12V, 80 PLUS Gold
OSMicrosoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
GraphicsAMD Catalyst 11.12
ChipsetAMD Platform Driver 3.0.842.0

We tested AMD’s FX-8150 in three configurations to quantify its general evolution over the past several months, adding Intel’s closest-priced competing model to see if these improvements could help the firm finally overcome its rival in the targeted price segment.

Asus’ award-winning Sabertooth 990FX takes a starring role in this comparison, and its P8Z68-V Pro was chosen as the closest (feature-wise) Intel-based board we had on-hand.

While we've seen AMD recommend specific benchmarks to demonstrate the improvements enabled by Microsoft, we instead started with our most recent motherboard benchmark suite to evaluate performance without that bias. We did add one benchmark, Skyrim, to the set, since it is the one game we actually use where we thought AMD had the most room for improvement.

Benchmark Configuration
3D Games
DiRT 3V1.01, Run with -benchmark example_benchmark.xml
Test Set 1: High Quality Preset, No AA
Test Set 2: Ultra Quality Preset, 8x AA
Metro 2033Full Game, Built-In Benchmark, "Frontline" Scene
Test Set 1: DX11, High, AAA, 4x AF, No PhysX, No DoF
Test Set 2: DX11, Very High, 4x AA, 16x AF, No PhysX, DoF On
SkyrimPatch 1.4 Tom's Hardware save point (25s FRAPS)
Test 1: High preset, AA disabled, FXAA enabled (8x AF High default)
Test 2: Ultra preset, FXAA enabled (8x/16x Ultra defaults)
StarCraft IIPatch 1.4.2, Tom's Hardware custom map (60s FRAPS)
Test Set 1: Medium Details, No AA, 8x AF
Test Set 2: Highest Details, 8x AA, 16x AF
Audio/Video Encoding
iTunesVersion x64: Audio CD (Terminator II SE), 53 minutes, default AAC format 
Lame MP3Version 3.98.3: Audio CD "Terminator II SE", 53 min, convert WAV to MP3 audio format, Command: -b 160 --nores (160 Kb/s)
HandBrake CLIVersion 0.95: "Big Buck Bunny" (720x480, 23.972 FPS) 5 Minutes, Audio: Dolby Digital, 48 000 Hz, Six-Channel, English, to Video: AVC Audio: AC3 Audio2: AAC (High Profile)
MainConcept ReferenceVersion: MPEG-2 to H.264, MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec, 28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG-2), Audio: MPEG-2 (44.1 kHz, Two-Channel, 16-Bit, 224 Kb/s), Codec: H.264 Pro, Mode: PAL 50i (25 FPS), Profile: H.264 BD HDMV
Adobe Photoshop CS5Version 12.1 x64: Filter 15.7 MB TIF Image: Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Median, Polar Coordinates
Autodesk 3ds Max 2010Version 12.0 x64: Space Flyby Mentalray, 248 Frames, 1440x1080
WinZipVersion 15.5 Pro: THG-Workload (464 MB) to ZIP, command line switches "-a -ez -p -r"
WinRARVersion 4.01: THG-Workload (464 MB) to RAR, command line switches "winrar a -r -m3"
7-ZipVersion 9.22: THG-Workload (464 MB) to .7z, command line switches "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=5"
ABBYY FineReaderVersion Read PDF save to Doc, Source: Political Economy (J. Broadhurst 1842) 111 Pages
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  • sosofm
    FX- 8150 for those who work with threaded workloads can be a cheaper alternative.
  • jrtolson
    when it come to processor reviews, the reviews always seem biased towards games...

    the point im trying to make is that i have athlon64 3200+ (venice) 754, agp, 3gig ram, x1950pro 512, (soon to be hd4670, as i want to play swords of the stars 2).. its single core built in 2004 runs windows 7.. it plays games at pretty decent fps and i have little or no reason to upgrade it...

    if i did, it would require a rebuild, and i would probabily base it on a athlon//phenom 2 dual/tri core setup.. i think processors reached a threshold a few years back in that it makes little difference on having the latest multicore processors.. chips like bulldozer show their strength in render farm setups and other demanding application enviroments.. not games!!
  • joedastudd
    @jrtolson a majority of custom and high end systems are built/brought by gamers.
    User average user isn't going to go out and spend $/£/€250 on a the processor alone just for browsing the web and emails.
    The other market is power users which is what the productivity and media converting benchmarks are for.

    If your happy with your system thats fine, but most PC gamers want to be able to play modern games at decent resolutions with the eye candy turned on.
    As for none gaming applications you'd be surpized at the the difference a newer processor would make. Lets not even talk about trying to encode/transcode media on your system...
  • jrtolson
    @joedastudd for the most part u are right, but owning a athlon/phenom or even an older intel core 2 duo with a decent gfx card will allow most games at max or near max settings this is because the games are originally developed for consoles so any pc with similar or new setup than the 360/ps3 should be able to run games no problem.. u are right on the media thing tho, however the point i was making is that the review should concentrate on that more than fps in games.. i as a potential buyer would want to know for e.g how much does having an 8 core fx benefit me in rendering an animation in lightwave 3d (for e.g) against a similar priced 4 core intel product?

    the only way i can describe wot i mean, is like reviewing a new Supercomputer capable of trillions of operations per nano second (exagerating lol), then slating it because it runs skyrim 2 fps slower than a intel i7?

    for wot i understand the bulldozer has extended pipelines so that when using optimised threaded workloads ot runs faster, however bacause of the extended pipeline un optimised code will run per clock slower..

    so to me this means optimised batch processing should fly on these chips, so amd must have targeted the FX line at pro power user market and not gamers? imo
  • HEXiT
    i always said FX was not a gaming part, but rather a productivity 1. if you want to play games then amd fx just doesnt cut it at the price. but if you need highly threaded programs like photoshop then its worthy.
    but the forum is gonna be over run buy amd fanboys who ignore good advice and just buy phenom 2 for gaming, asking why there systems dont perform... even with a different o.s. its unlikely the fx will ever be a true gaming grade part. unless every game coming out needs 8 cores...