AMD launches FX "Bulldozer" desktop chips: Eight cores for $245

Summary:The long-awaited day for AMD fanboys has arrived. The chip company has finally released its first Bulldozer desktop processors under the FX series name, including a flagship eight-core CPU that's priced at just $245.

The long-awaited day for AMD fanboys has arrived. The chip company has finally released its first Bulldozer desktop processors under the FX series name, including a flagship eight-core CPU that's priced at just $245.

Four FX processors are launching today, including a pair of eight-core chips, a six-core one, and a quad-core one. The octo-cores include the 3.6GHz FX-8150 for $245 and the 3.1GHz FX-8120 for $205, while the hexa-core chip is the 3.3GHz FX-6100 for $165. The quad-core FX-4100 runs at 3.6GHz and is priced at just $115. Each has a Turbo mode that lets it run even faster, and all are unlocked so overclockers can goose them to even higher clock speeds. In fact, the FX-8150 recently set a world record for the highest frequency for a CPU.

But how do the new chips compare to their Intel equivalents? According to Bulldozer reviews at AnandTech, HotHardware, and Tom's Hardware, it appears that the FX-8150 is no match for the Core i7-2600K on many benchmarks, though it performs more in line with i5-2500K, which runs around $220. While the Bulldozer chip handles multi-threaded benchmarks well, it suffers compared to Sandy Bridge processors on lightly threaded apps and even on power consumption, supposedly one of its strong suits.

So it seems that AMD hasn't delivered much of a knockout punch to Sandy Bridge, though enthusiasts will still be happy to have a more competitive alternative than the aging Phenom II processors. And real-world performance won't exactly mirror benchmark testing, so many buyers may still be happy with the FX series. However, Intel's Ivy Bridge chips are on the horizon, and they should reset the competitive landscape once again in a mere few months.

Are you planning to buy a new Bulldozer processor or a desktop with an FX CPU? Let us know your thoughts in the Talkback section.

Topics: Networking, Hardware, Processors

About

Sean Portnoy started his tech writing career at ZDNet nearly a decade ago. He then spent several years as an editor at Computer Shopper magazine, most recently serving as online executive editor. He received a B.A. from Brown University and an M.A. from the University of Southern California.

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