Is AMD's Bulldozer a success?

Summary:As usual when it comes to things like AMD vs Intel, there's been mixed reaction to the launch of AMD's Bulldozer, or FX series, desktop processors. Has it been a successful debut of the company's new platform, or further proof that AMD has a lot of work to do to catch up to Intel?

As usual when it comes to things like AMD vs Intel, there's been mixed reaction to the launch of AMD's Bulldozer, or FX series, desktop processors. Has it been a successful debut of the company's new platform, or further proof that AMD has a lot of work to do to catch up to Intel?

Benchmark reviews have shown that the top Bulldozer processor, the eight-core FX-8150, is all over the place: not able to top even the older Phenom II in some tests, but quite competitive with the Sandy Bridge Core i5-2500K in others. Perhaps most surprising is that the chip isn't particularly power efficient, something AMD usually can hang its hat on. The middling performance may be related to what SemiAccurate suggests is an outdated architecture.

On the other hand, there are signs that the mediocre reviews aren't a death knell for the Bulldozer platform. According to Bright Side of News, major online retailers are currently sold out of the FX-8150, and PC World points out that the standard slate of benchmarks used in performance testing are single-core CPU intensive and don't factor in the FX series multiple cores and improved graphics performance.

Ultimately, Bulldozer's success will hinge on how buyers feel about the processors' performance in their everyday computing -- and how that perception travels across the general PC population. So if you already have a desktop using a Bulldozer chip (whether a DIY build or pre-built), speak up about how well it's been working out for you. Let us know in the Talkback section if you recommend your new processor to others.

Topics: 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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