Is AMD's Bulldozer a success?

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?

TOPICS: Processors

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 The middling performance may be related to what SemiAccurate suggests is an outdated architecture.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.

Topic: Processors

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Mehhhh

    Unless AMD can come up with something more competitive in the Gamer world Bulldozer will likely make me look at Intel for the first time in many years.
  • RE: Is AMD's Bulldozer a success?

    Multi-core processors are here to stay and given that computing is more than just gaming I think AMD will hold their own against Intel. As for the Bulldozer itself only time will tell, but I built my current computer on the AMD FX platform so I could take advantage of the next generation so I may be somewhat bias.
    • Server chip....

      Not arguing about that. AMD hammed up Bulldozer as the "latest/greatest" desktop chip when what they have delivered is an energy hungry server monster instead. Very disappointing.

      I've been a fan of AMD since the first Athlon chip and currently running a phenom. But for desktop right now I'll have to look at Intel for my next build. (Much as I hate to.)
      • AMD Bulldozer is a dissapointment

        @Tholian_53 <br>Me too. I have been waiting for this new processor from AMD so much. I could accept that Bulldozer performance is somewhere between Intel i5 2500 and i7 2600. But I could not expect such a result. And especially such a betray of their customers from the AMD. They just lied and spread rumors over internet.
        Just several days before 12-Oct AMD stock shares drop down. They knew they all knew that this new processor was a disaster.

        FX8150 has almost the same price as i7 2600 and it consumes much more power and it is slower and it is much slower in games. What a shame.

        I'm very sorry AMD.
        I have just built my PC with i7 2600 and it just flies without any excuses. There must be big changes in this company otherwise it will die.
      • Will AMD ever die?

        Well there is the possibility that they could sell off assets because of the irony that share holder profits hold over the,"Over Priced Executives Team". It has happened before with other semiconductor manufactures.
        Rob T.
  • Too little too late is more like it.

    They're playing catch up, but they're not catching up. By the time Piledriver comes out, fixing the threading problems in the current Bulldozer and making a CPU that competes with Sandy Bridge, Intel will have already rolled out IVY Bridge.

    My uninformed (but that's never stopped me before!) opinion on the philosophy behind bulldozer and it's longer pipeline with fewer operations per clock in return for higher frequencies, is: "You saw what this idea did for Pentium 4! Why would you want to follow down the same path yourself!" I can't help but think that they are going to run into the exact same heat and power problems as did the Pentium 4, even if their current pipeline isn't QUITE as deep as the P4 had.
    D. W. Bierbaum
    • Unless they are doing exactly what Intel did

      @D. W. Bierbaum

      The P4 was of course weak against similar AMD offerings of the time. A little search around here will show there was considerable debate around here about what Intel was going to have to do to survive if AMD just continued to hammer them. AMD has always had a great following and when the P4 was getting clobbered the AMD enthusiasts were literally merciless in their predictions of how bad things were going to get for Intel.

      Nothing is plainer, now today, then the clarity of fact that Intel wasn't just sitting around getting the crap kicked out of them. They were preparing and ramping up for Conroe, and once released they have never even had to look behind them again out of any fear AMD was catching up again.

      It was a priceless triple whammy. New CPU's that were faster then the AMD's and cheaper, and then there was all that old P4 stock still on many shelves. That old stock quickly went to bargain basement prices and AMD had a virtual marketing monster to tangle with. Even if AMD dropped prices to compete against the new Conroes, the real price conscious could still go cheaper by picking up something half decent out of the old P4 stock at a dirt cheap price.

      Credit to AMD as it didn't kill them, but boy, can this really go on forever? Or just maybe, AMD has a similar trick up their sleeve. For their sake, and ours I hope so because its not too good for us if Intel's strongest competition goes under eventually.
      • RE: Is AMD's Bulldozer a success?

        I'm sure glad someone else remembers all this, I was afraid I was the only one. Seems people are jumping the gun here calling AMD dead, gaming systems for high school kids and net machines grandmother to facebook on are not the backbone of the computing world, and although Intel finally stepped up to the plate in performance, they still lack what it takes in durability, reliability, and outright stability to control the market. Being able to hold the industrial and business sectors will always be the key to sink or swim, and AMD still has that. It would be nice if one day everyone would stop watching the headlines, and reading the flamers post in forums, and actually put some effort into researching their own opinions...
  • Always two steps behind

    The fact that their brand-new top-of-the-line CPU can't even beat mid-range Intel chips just shows AMD is so far behind the curve that they really have very little hope of being anything other than the budget low-end choice they have become. Only something radically different and demonstrably better would give them any hope of moving out of their current position. The likelihood that AMD engineers could produce a product like that is just short of impossible.
    • RE: Is AMD's Bulldozer a success?

      @BillDem <br><br>AMD reported solid third quarter results in new CEO Rory Read???s first financial report. The company reported third quarter earnings of $97 million, or 13 cents a share, on revenue of $1.69 billion, up 7 percent from a year ago. Non-GAAP earnings were 15 cents a share.
      Wall Street was expecting AMD to report third quarter earnings of 10 cents a share on revenue of $1.65 billion.
      ???We saw double digit revenue and unit shipment growth in emerging markets like China and India as well as overall notebook share gains in retail at mainstream price points,??? said Read. As for the outlook, AMD said that its fourth quarter revenue will be up 3 percent???give or take 2 percent???from the third quarter. By the numbers:
      Computing solutions revenue was up 5 percent from a year ago. Server and mobile revenue offset weak desktop revenue.
      Graphics chip revenue was up 4 percent in the third quarter compared to a year ago.

      why would they want to move out of their current position? they produce, and sell the most stable, durable, reliable products on the market to more large corporations than anyone else, or did you just mean they needed to raise the speed ratings and overclock an outdated platform so people who play games and post on forums all day will think they are better? You can use a pen to raise the ratings on the box, You need some updated quality software, or at least realize that 2 year old free to download, and probably portable benchmarking software will not be able to accurately measure or depict the processes of state of the art technology.
  • RE: Is AMD's Bulldozer a success?

    Intel is the undisputed king of the desktop now but in the future that might not mean so much. The ball Intel needs to watch isn't AMD it is ARM. Billions and billions shipped!
    • RE: Is AMD's Bulldozer a success?

  • Hmmmm...

    Intel Core i7 980X @ 3.33GHz sells for $1021.43 with a benchmark of 10,601.

    The FX-8150 Eight-core is selling for $269.99 with a benchmark of 8,635.

    So that's 81% of the same performance for 26% of the price. I can invest what I save on the CPU, buy a kick butt video card to go with the AMD and still have money left over.
    • Keep up with the current release

      i7 980X is not the current Sandy Bridge release and even an intel afficionado would buy the i5 2500K or i7 2600K which is in the same pricing range as the new Bulldozer. Also by choosing a single benchmark is not going to give you a good result. Read the article and it states that the new Bulldozer doesn't even keep pace with earlier AMD processors in various standard tests. Check the Toms Hardware test and you might learn the first release Bulldozers are a mixed bag that use plenty of power.
      • RE: Is AMD's Bulldozer a success?

        It also goes on to state that those tests do not accurately give info on multi-core cpu's, were not intended too. So those tests are meaningless.
    • RE: Is AMD's Bulldozer a success?

      @Chaddley Then why don't you go buy it then? Maybe because even a mid range Intel icore i5 2500K is as fast as the fastest bulldozer in most apps, runs cooler, has less energy consumption and costs no more than bulldozer. <br><br>Are AMD fanboys really so stupid as you to go out and buy an inferior product just because it's not made by Intel?
    • RE: Is AMD's Bulldozer a success?

      @Chaddley But Sandy Bridge is better than bulldozer and costs about the same. So you would be making a bad choice.
    • RE: Is AMD's Bulldozer a success?

      Very well put.
  • RE: Is AMD's Bulldozer a success?

    No matter what, I will never sway towards the dark side. I am an AMD devotee and will forever be. The 10 plus percent difference you say that are there can't be seen by the average computer user. Fortunately, there are not compatiblility issues as it was several years ago. We all know that Intel uses software to get the performance that they are getting. AMD needs to get smart and do the same thing. At least balance the playing field. Reduce the gap is all I'm saying. Price vs performance AMD holds it's own. Graphically, AMD is tops. Nvidia is pretty good but I'm staying with AMD. As I said the 10% or plus doesn't pull me over to the dark side.
    • In some of the benchmarks it was 50%

      @PonMan You should look at the comparisons. AMD did very well in highly threaded apps but did quite poorly in single threaded loads. It wasn't just a measely 10% it was a significant performance penalty. And keep in mind they utilize real world tests not just benchmarks. Even on the price\performance metric AMD lost with the FX though generally it might be true. That said, I personally don't have and will never buy the fastest thing out there. If you like AMD go for it. I have both processors. I tend to favor Intel right now.