Manufacturer: AMD UK Price (as reviewed): £129.95 (inc VAT) US Price (as reviewed):$159.99 (ex TAX)
No one will disagree that the performance PC market has been tough for AMD in recent years. Having lost a foothold and continued to stumble since Intel released its Core 2 architecture all the way back in 2006, it's now six years on, and as we saw with the FX-8150 , there's still no end in sight to Intel's dominance. Bulldozer is a disappointment for desktop PC owners.
The leaves AMD with no choice but to cut prices to compete in the only area it can, and it's done just that. The FX-8150 now costs 25 per cent less than it did six months ago - a chop of over £50 on a £200 CPU. The FX-8120 retails for just £130 - about the same as a non K-edition Core i5 and about £30 more than the priciest Core i3. Intel on the other hand has had no reason to cut prices. In fact the Sandy Bridge Core i5-2500K still retails for over £160, while a dual-core Core i3-2100 will still set you back around £90.
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In terms of specification, the FX-8120 isn't far removed from its more expensive sibling. Both have eight physical cores built on a 32nm manufacturing process. Both have 4 x 2MB L2 and 4 x 2MB L3 cache while having a maximum TDP of 125W. The difference is the clock speed, both nominal frequency and Turbo frequency. The FX-8150 comes in at 3.6GHz compared to 3.1GHz for the FX-8120, while the latter 'turbos' to 4GHz - 200MHz slower than its big brother. If you'd like to know more about Bulldozer, see our in-depth review here.
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With Intel's recent launch of Ivy Bridge, thermal paste issues aside, it has increased its lead with even faster, more power-efficient CPUs. The question is, with all the price cuts, has AMD done enough to bring it back into contention, or is LGA1155 still the way to go? Eight cores for £130 sounds appealing, but just as more megapixels don't make for a better camera, the war as it has been for a while is not about the MHz but in performance in everyday applications and games. Let's find out how things are going...
AMD FX-8150 Specifications
Turbo Frequency up to 4GHz
Manufacturing process 32nm
Number of cores Eight physical
Memory controller Dual-channel DDR3
Cache 8 x 16KB L1 data, 4 x 64KB L1 instruction, 4 x 2MB L2, 4 x 2MB L3