Though AMD began shipping Bulldozer-based sever CPUs last week, we're still waiting until Q4 for the new architecture to hit the desktop. In the meantime, however, pre-order pricing for the high-end FX-series CPUs (codenamed Zambezi) has been leaked, giving the AMD faithful an idea of how much the new processors will set them back.

AMD Bulldozer FX-series Processors
Name Cores CPU Clock L2 Cache L3 Cache TDP Price
FX-8150 8 3.6GHz (4.2GHz Turbo) 8MB 8MB 125W $266.28
FX-8120 8 3.1GHz (4GHz Turbo) 8MB 8MB 125W $221.73
FX-6100 6 3.3GHz (3.9GHz Turbo) 6MB 8MB 95W $188.32

If you think that these prices seem too low for eight and six-core chips, remember that Bulldozer's architecture is such that a "dual-core" CPU is actually one core with two copies of several hardware features - the CPU is visible to the OS as two cores, but physically each of AMD's cores is somewhere in between Intel's HyperThreading implementation and a "true" dual-core design - you can read Anand's original Bulldozer post for more information on this.

The Bulldozer-based FX-series processors are targeted at the high-end of the market, and therefore do not include an on-board GPU. The 32nm processors will be available in Q4 of this year for socket AM3+ motherboards (and some socket AM3 motherboards with an updated BIOS, though these motherboards may not be able to take advantage of all of Bulldozer's new features). 

Source: CPU World

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  • Ethaniel - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    ... 8 are actually 4, 6 are just 3, and 4 will be only 2? That's why the economy is so messed up...
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    Sort of. Without performance numbers (which we still know almost nothing about, though I expect AMD would have told us by now if the news was good), it's hard to say how one of AMD's Bulldozer cores compares to a more traditional dual-core CPU.
  • silverblue - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    That's just it though. John Freuhe, for all his protestations about being server inclined, has been very coy about that particular area as well, apparently all in the name of "good business sense".

    The longer this goes on, the less optimistic we're all going to get. I am expecting one thing though - there's very little chance of a Bulldozer 4-core, 2-module CPU matching a Sandy Bridge 4-core, 4-thread product clock for clock. Anand's own article seems to suggest that each integer core will be similar to a Stars core in performance and that's the one area that Phenom really lagged behind the competition. Bulldozer's effectiveness depends on that second core per module; I suppose it was either that or make a really beefy core that might be less efficient.
  • Belard - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    The performance and price will make or break the FX CPUs. It doesn't matter much if the cores don't match up with SB. Consider the i5 CPU that is dual core will out run a quad core AMD and core2 CPU. Or and old 2ghz Athlon will wipe the floor of a P4 at 3.6ghz. As long as the FX is competitive is what counts. For most people the A3600 is more than enough.

    It won't be until next year that AMD unifies the socket to FM2. So today's mobos won't handle the next Gen FX or A series chips. But its nice that AM3+ boards have been selling for a while.

    I'm waiting to upgrade my Q6600 to FX ... but it needs to be good.
  • BSMonitor - Tuesday, September 13, 2011 - link

    "Or and old 2ghz Athlon will wipe the floor of a P4 at 3.6ghz."

    This is how AMD fanboys and fanatics survive. They live off the mythology that the Athlon XPs wiped the floor with the Pentium 4. The original Athlon outperformed P3's.. The ONLY thing that was true from that time is that Athlon 64s and X2's with their integrated memory controller were 20-40% faster than the comparable P4's and Pentium D's.. That's it. That is the ONLY time AMD processors dominated Intel processors. A matter of about 1 1/2 - 2 years.. That's it!

    P3's and Athlons were trading blows performance wise, until you included SSE optimized code. XP's and P4's traded blows until Intel started ramping the clock speed.

    It is simply not true that AMD ever really wiped the floor with anything but wine and cheese. "Hey, but look at us"
  • Wolfpup - Tuesday, September 13, 2011 - link

    Yeah...hmm.... the first Athlons were the first chips that were neck and neck with Intel, right? But not BETTER, if I recall.

    The Athlon XP was similar-competitive, but not better, I don't think.

    Athlon 64 was largely better than the Pentium 4s, but not for the whole time, am I remembering that right? Like when Northwood (2nd gen P4) was introduced, I recall it being better than the Athlon 64...or was it the XP it was competing with? Well, anyway, I recall it being better than AMD's hardware for a while, but then AMD's next chip (maybe that was Athlon 64) was better again, and surprisingly, the third gen Pentium 4 was pretty much a total bust in terms of better performance. 3x the transistors, a smaller die process...and they performed pretty much the same as they Northwood chips they replaced. I know AMD was largely ahead for a couple years then, although it was kind of like it is now in reverse-AMD was better, but not to the point where Intel was a joke (ie. right now Intel was better, but AMD's no joke...Phenom II may compete clock for clock with a Penryn, but that's not unimpressive).

    So...yeah, AMD was better for a while with the P4, then worse, then better again, then with Conroe/Core 2 I think Intel's had a generation or two lead ever since, with AMD always still impressive in the grand scheme of things.
  • silverblue - Tuesday, September 13, 2011 - link

    Slot A Athlons were equal to P3. Socket A (full speed cache) gave AMD a slight lead. The other enhancements from that point onwards - FSB going to 133 with Thunderbird, 166 with Thoroughbred and 200 with Barton, plus the addition of SSE support and then Barton's 512KB cache - kept the Athlin family ahead per clock in most tasks, occasionally comfortably so (P4 was initially slower than P3 but benefitted from increases in FSB and cache significantly as well as the design allowing for high clocks to help offset the lower IPC). P4's main strength seemed to be in encoding. XP had very limited headroom at the top end meaning Athlon64 had to replace it in order for AMD to stay competitive.

    A64 initially started gently due to S754 only being single-channel, but it was still the strongest CPU out there. P4 did momentarily regain the lead with the D variant (dual core) but as soon as the X2 appeared, AMD were back on top again, at least until Core.

    I've not mentioned Prescott nor HyperThreading. Prescott was rather ill-conceived (Northwood was better in my honest opinion... Preshot indeed), and HT, whilst having the capability to speed up some workloads noticeably, could actually degrade performance (off the top of my head, didn't they add in some sort of replay cache to help combat the huge pipeline stalls they were getting?). HT is far more mature now.

    There's one point worth making; AMD did charge a lot for its upper models. Yes, they did outperform Intel's offerings and yes, they weren't P4EE "expensive", but they certainly weren't something I'd fork out for. If anything, the emergence of Core and particularly Core 2 actually helped to force CPU prices down in the main.

    So, to recap, for the majority of a 5-year period, AMD could quite easily boast the title of best IPC, but Intel stayed competitive (certain practices aside) thanks to much higher clock speeds. It was certainly common to see P4s heading a benchmark chart with or without HT, albeit having to use much higher clock speeds to do so. A64 was heavily based on K7 which was good but never a high clocker, so I suppose it's good for AMD that Intel never did carry out its threat of producing a 10GHz P4, aside of the terrifying amount of juice that might require or the cooling involved.

    We should thank Intel for something else - they have been behind the adoption of DDR2 and 3. AMD always lagged in these areas though platform prices would've been more expensive for little gain in AMD's case.
  • silverblue - Tuesday, September 13, 2011 - link

    Athlon, sorry (2nd sentence).

    Only the third time I've tried to submit this correction...
  • Wolfpup - Tuesday, September 13, 2011 - link

    I'm a bit worried, since weren't these supposed to launch like a year ago?

    Still...if they can be even a generation or so behind Intel, they're not too bad off, and technically for all we know they're better (though since they haven't said anything yet...)

    If nothing else, AMD isn't wasting hundreds of millions of transistors on worthless video like Intel now does, which should give them an advantage.

    Regarding the core thing...well...I don't know how I feel about it. I mean basically it's like every "2" cores is pretty much 2 cores worth of integer hardware, with 2 floating point units, like you might find on a single almost like 1.5 high end cores for every 2 "cores".

    Just remains to be seen how they compare clock for clock with Sandy and Ivy bridge, because this high level stuff doesn't tell us anything, and is fine.
  • flyck - Monday, September 12, 2011 - link

    Please explain to me and this goes for all the other posters with the same remark:

    What is the minimum performance that is needed to be called a core?

    Is that Sandy bridge? is that nehalem.? is that K8? is that bobcat or is that Atom??

    Can you see the error you are making? You core is a core no matter how it performs. It will always be called core. A bulldozer module will be a dual core with some shared resources. Just like any dual core and upwards was when they shared resources also...

    Just a remark: every core in a pc shares at least the main memory, the gpu and about every I/O.... so?
    in last years they also shared a cache levels.
    and now we get a cpu that shares cache, front end and fpu.

    But again: performance doesn't dictate a core!

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