back to article AMD 'unleashes' unlocked FX processor family

AMD has released its long-expected AMD FX processor line, and – as also expected – they're shipping them unlocked, thus warming the cockles of overclockers' hearts. Early testing, however, reveals others' cockles to be somewhat chilly. "AMD FX CPUs are back with a vengeance," AMD client group headman Chris Cloran promised in a …

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I'm sure reality will set in

Some folks are disappointed that the FX series isn't an Intel i7 killer but it was never advertised to be. For all practical purposes almost any CPU will more than meet the demands of mainstream PC users. The overclocking potential of Zambezi based CPUs seems to be 4.5 GHz. on air which is pretty cool considering the price.

I have no doubt AMD will sell a bunch of Zambezi chips even if some folks are disappointed that they don't out perform Intel's i7s.

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Outperforming i7 isn't the problem

They don't even seem to match it with i5s on a performance/dollar basis at those launch prices, much less on a performance/watt basis.

Still, historically AMD has taken a little while to sort out power issues on a new process or architecture, so the next revision will probably be a different story.

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"I have no doubt AMD will sell a bunch of Zambezi chips even if some folks are disappointed that they don't out perform Intel's i7s"

The problem is that on the large majority of games/benchmarks/normal desktop usage scenarios, they don't even outperform the i5s (500K), despite costing more. AMD needs to be cheaper than Intel, that's how it's survived as the second-choice CPU manufacturer since the long-gone days when it actually had the biggest guns.

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Underclocked

The problem is believed to lie with the 32nm manufacturing process, it's not good enough to produce the chip as designed.

It was apparently designed to be a 4Ghz and up chip, but current models can't make anywhere near that.

If/When the manufacturing process is sorted the bulldozer core should be much better.

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Sly
Facepalm

not exactly clearing the way

as the name would imply.

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FAIL

Massive disappointment

I was really hoping for an excuse to upgrade my BigBox from a Core2Quad to one of these monsters.

It seems the only monstrous thing about them is the stonking amount of power they use under load to equal the i5. Not even the i7 in most cases it seems.

I suppose I'll have to lay off the upgrade path till next year when Piledriver comes out. By which time the next gen Core-i3/5/7 will be out, having tick-tocked ahead of AMD....again.

That said, I still really fancy a Brazos netbook/subnotebook - AMD seem to be doing the low end stuff pretty well. Shame their big kickers haven't been up to much since the Socket 939 days.

Steven R

(long time AMD fan - still am, just annoyed at the constant relegation to 'also ran' status)

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you can put a hailea ultra titan aquarium water chiller into the loop, for some proper overclocking, and can be brought from most pc part shops for overclocking

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Windows

But the FX moniker always disappointed

In my memory, the FX51 and FX53 where dual socket 3GHz ish Athlon X2s which were competing against the first core 2 and the Intel "two-chips in a box mashup" quad cores (a technique finally taken onboard in Magny Cours). And they lost.

My favourite review was XBitLabs who compared the IPC of Bulldozer with Thuban and Sandy Bridge where it only had 1/2 and 2/3 respectively. I wonder how well it would have fared against an E350.

Bulldozer is a core designed for server loads not as a desktop where software is poorly threaded. It would be a gross mistake to replace the Llano core with a bulldozer core. If AMD wants to compete on the desktop it needs to throw as many transistors into its core as it can: double the FPU and get a 5% speed increase, double the integer units and get another 5% etc. Bulldozer takes intelligent transistors out of the core and replaces them with dumb cache transistors. Going from 65nm to 32nm, AMD could fit 4 original Phenoms onto their die with 16 cores and 8Mb L3 cache, and it would probably be faster.

Over the last decade I've bought about 20 AMD CPUs and 2 Intel CPUs.

Icon - AMD CEO.

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FAIL

It already has a ridiculous transistor count, over 2B, which parly explains the powerconsumption. and its already at 32N.

If it's designed for server loads why does it have only 4 FPUs to 8 cores?

It's also a year late, they've had plenty of time to tweak it..

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L.B

"If it's designed for server loads why does it have only 4 FPUs to 8 cores?"

Because in a typical server environment about 99% of the work is integer.

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Processors for a personal HPC. Hmm... not bad but it sounds like it could still use some tweaks.

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Boffin

Could be of use to me though

I write some heavily multi-threaded stuff at work, and could test these when working at home before running it on the 24-core Opteron beasts we have here. We should be getting a 48-core one shortly, but maybe I will delay the purchase until the 64-core versions with Bulldozer cores come out. For our research purposes, testing for scalability over many cores is more important than absolute speed. For production machines, that changes, of course.

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Stop

wait theres still time ..

ok there are some test going on that really seem to improve the fx ..

there boosting mem speed and NB overclock ..!!

and seem to be getting some very good results ..

if you can do that with the 8120 @125w then it will be a killer chip when it comes out in the 95w flavour

never write off a company thats been kicked in it's teeth everyday and still sticks 2 fingers up at intel ...

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the overlockers choise would be the FX-B4150, its lower wattage and cheaper and doesnt matter as much when you kill it, after the first few months, the price will drop to £55

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Trollface

i think AMD is a pretty cool guy

eh sticks two fingers up at intel and doesn't afraid of anything

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Anonymous Coward

Time to look more carefully

The more comprehensive Bulldozer reviews show Zambezi has some strengths and depending on what you use your PC for Zambezi may be just fine for your use. While these CPUs are not chart toppers they do well enough in most applications at default speeds to be competitive on price and performance. If they OC well then they most definitely will sell well also.

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