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AMD Bulldozer chip allegedly benchmarked

AMD Bulldozer chip allegedly benchmarked

Czech tech site PC Tuning says it's tested a nameless new AMD CPU in this SLI setup.

Czech tech site PC Tuning (Google Translation) claims to have tested a mystery new AMD processor while reviewing AMD's new 990FX chipset, which is very probably a new AMD FX (Bulldozer) chip.

According to the site, the Gigabyte 990FX motherboard was tested with both a Phenom II and a processor model 'without a name', which runs at 3.2GHz by default and at 3.7GHz with all the cores in Turbo Core mode.

The site claims it had just enough time to run some game tests on the system, and compare it directly to the performance of Intel’s current flagship LGA13366 Core i7-990X processor. Both chips were overclocked to 4GHz for the test, and both test platforms had a quad-SLI setup using GeForce GTX 580 cards.

As you can see from the performance results below, the Bulldozer system isn't far off the pace of the Intel system, but it's still notably lagging behind in every test. What's more, its performance in Dirt 2 and HAWX 2 was significantly behind the speed of the Intel system.

However, the site claims that the processor is an early engineering sample; a claim which is conceivably true given that we saw a working Bulldozer system last week. The publication also stresses the fact that it was using Beta SLI drivers for the motherboard, as WHQL drivers haven't been released yet. Of course, these high-res SLI games tests only measure one aspect of the processor's performance too, and we've yet to see how the architecture fares in other software tests.

Would you be tempted by an AMD FX system with this level of performance? Does the Bulldozer architecture have any hope of competing with Intel's Sandy Bridge and LGA2011 processors? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

AMD Bulldozer chip allegedly benchmarked Working sample of Bulldozer allegedly benchmarked

56 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Woollster00 6th July 2011, 11:58 Quote
Would you be tempted by an AMD FX system with this level of performance? Does the Bulldozer architecture have any hope of competing with Intel's Sandy Bridge and LGA2011 processors?

No and No.
stoff3r 6th July 2011, 12:05 Quote
This level of performance... Oh well, If it's cheap and cheerful then.

BTW when's LGA2011 coming out? In time for Battlefield 3?
MrJay 6th July 2011, 12:09 Quote
So what have we lernt from this article,
We have an unidentified chip, running on beta drivers from a Czech site whos credability is unknown.

Think im gonna get more info befor selling my AMD shares : )
confusis 6th July 2011, 12:10 Quote
Wow - not even 2% in it and people are writing off bulldozer on PRE-PRODUCTION parts? idiots, seriously. Wait until the retail parts hit the shelves before making a judgement folks.
GeorgeStorm 6th July 2011, 12:12 Quote
As above really, wait until more testing has been done.
And tbh, if it comes in at £200, then near 990x performance for that isn't DREADFUL now is it.
We know so few details, waaay too much speculation.
wuyanxu 6th July 2011, 12:15 Quote
as soon as i read quad-SLi, i have written off any credibility in these benchmarks.

use a single GPU to remove any unoptimised drivers. multi-GPU technology rely HEAVILY on drivers, and at end of the day, drivers are just lower level x86 code running on CPU. so optimised driver for CPU architecture can make quite a bit of difference.

also, 990x isn't exactly flagship when compared single-thread gaming performance of sandy bridges.
noizdaemon666 6th July 2011, 13:58 Quote
I'm interested to know how he got 4-way SLi to work, given that a slide earlier on in the article says the chipset only does 2 or 3 way SLi. Also, why no EFI BIOS? Surely this should be a must have on a top end chipset?
r3loaded 6th July 2011, 14:04 Quote
They're using SLI, their argument is invalid. You've got to wonder - are they testing CPUs or GPUs here?
TheUn4seen 6th July 2011, 14:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by article
current flagship LGA13366

Damn, that's one huge socket.

As for the article - I want Bulldozer to be earth-shattering, but I don't expect it to be. Actually, I think it will be like Phenoms, first gen will be a complete disappointment, second will be better but still poor. So, for the second time in many years I just bought an Intel CPU (2600k). Now, how about that Zotac Z68-ITX review you promised? I need a worthy replacement for my insane little H55N-USB3.
Technobod 6th July 2011, 14:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by confusis
Wow - not even 2% in it and people are writing off bulldozer on PRE-PRODUCTION parts? idiots, seriously. Wait until the retail parts hit the shelves before making a judgement folks.

Ok then, lets be really generous and say that a production part has 15% better performance than a pre-production sample.. fair? ok, that still makes this 'top of the range' and overclocked chip slower than an 1156 OC'd setup.

But agreeably and SLi setup is not the correct way to assess a chips performance.
Christopher N. Lew 6th July 2011, 14:22 Quote
Just games tested? Nothing to test the power of 8 cores over 6? Pre production model, and it still overclocks to 4GHz? I draw no conclusions at all, other than waiting for a proper review.
Jaybles 6th July 2011, 14:23 Quote
SLI is new on AMD CPUs and Boards is it not? This also seems an odd way of testing the system.

Both systems were overclocked to 4Ghz...
Maybe this chip can be overclocked above SandyB levels easily and thats where its true performance lies.
I think a better test would be to overclock each chip as far as possible and then run a proper set of CPU benchmarks.
Action_Parsnip 6th July 2011, 14:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woollster00
Would you be tempted by an AMD FX system with this level of performance? Does the Bulldozer architecture have any hope of competing with Intel's Sandy Bridge and LGA2011 processors?

No and No.

1) The chip is unreleased, as is its proper bios.

2) SLI is flaky and underperforming on 990fx boards

Does everest stil report the L2 and L3 caches as disabled on this sample? Like all the other benchmarked engineering samples we have seen?

HMMMM YES WELL I DUNNO MAYBE WE SHOULD RESERVE JUDGEMENT THEN EH
SlowMotionSuicide 6th July 2011, 14:55 Quote
Quote:
Would you be tempted by an AMD FX system with this level of performance? Does the Bulldozer architecture have any hope of competing with Intel's Sandy Bridge and LGA2011 processors?

So Bulldozer can almost match the performance of Intel's CPU architecture from 2008? Sounds great, where I can sign up?

I bet they're lolling their asses off at Intel.
Boogle 6th July 2011, 14:59 Quote
So the i7-990X has 6 cores and costs £800 on it's lonesome. The FX is likely to be a lot cheaper, and doesn't require a super-expensive motherboard, and has an additional 2 cores. Quite frankly if the FX CPU is as cheap as it should be, I can't see a problem at all.

OK AMD aren't beating Intel outright. However, the AMD Radeon series seem to be selling well despite not being faster than NV's fastest.
Hakuren 6th July 2011, 15:22 Quote
While I didn't expected Bulldozer to beat Intel X58 platform at all; Benchmarks of CPU with GPUs oriented/heavy setup is completely pointless. True power of CPU is tested when you using good old PCI VGA. Why do you think best OC board on the market (Gigabyte X58-OC) is equipped with 1 PCI slot? Because it is required when you want to see how CPU really performs (and with extreme OC - LN2 it is a must). All stuff which potentially clogs up PCI-Express has to go if you running serious benching session in search of true CPU performance. One of many reasons why good old PCI shouldn't die.
fingerbob69 6th July 2011, 15:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by confusis
Wow - not even 2% in it and people are writing off bulldozer on PRE-PRODUCTION parts? idiots, seriously. Wait until the retail parts hit the shelves before making a judgement folks.

Just to clarify: within 2% of the 990x performance for over £400 less. Wow.
SexyHyde 6th July 2011, 15:36 Quote
Well at least it ain't a proper turkey. Now we just have to wait for proper chips, proper tests and a price mark. I think with all the slating bulldozer is getting, a few people might be pleasantly surprised.
Paradigm Shifter 6th July 2011, 16:09 Quote
Float round enough tech enthusiast forums and you will have been seeing "Bulldozer" benchmarks for weeks. Whether they are real or not is debatable, but I want to see actual retail silicon in the field before I start saying Bulldozer is one thing or another.

Something AMD has been good at since they took over ATi has been keeping a lid on leaks about their new chips - if their CPU development department has also managed to lock down as tight, then much of this is guesswork anyway.

What I'd want to see are how it copes with fluid dynamics simulations, rendering, encoding... things that might actually make use of that octocore chip. Benchmarks of games which are going to be a) less than capable of utilising an octocore chip and b) also heavily dependent on the GPUs don't really interest me. I'd say exactly the same if it were Intel's latest and greatest that was the subject of all this wild speculation, fearmongering and fanboyism.
Arghnews 6th July 2011, 16:43 Quote
Wow, didn't know the i7-990x used a LGA 13366 Socket ;D

And as long as Bulldozer is released soon and is cheaper/better than Sandy Bridge, I'll buy it. However, that is alot easier said than done :)
Snips 6th July 2011, 16:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowMotionSuicide
Quote:
Would you be tempted by an AMD FX system with this level of performance? Does the Bulldozer architecture have any hope of competing with Intel's Sandy Bridge and LGA2011 processors?

So Bulldozer can almost match the performance of Intel's CPU architecture from 2008? Sounds great, where I can sign up?

I bet they're lolling their asses off at Intel.

+1
HourBeforeDawn 6th July 2011, 18:12 Quote
wow there is a lot of Bias going on here on Bit-Tech against AMD, come on they have a chip that nearly performs as well as the high end offer from Intel at 1/3 of the cost. That to me is a major win and it will only get better with proper bios and driver updates.
GuilleAcoustic 6th July 2011, 18:33 Quote
Gaming perf is one thing .... I'm looking for 3D rendering and multi-threaded test.
play_boy_2000 6th July 2011, 18:48 Quote
Engineering sample or not, 10-20% performance gains don't magically appear with a minor die respin. Unless AMD has deliberately crippled the performance on engineering samples in order to give intel a false sense of security, then bulldozer is going to have a tough time matching penryn clock for clock, never mind sandy bridge.
Kingsley813 6th July 2011, 18:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by HourBeforeDawn
wow there is a lot of Bias going on here on Bit-Tech against AMD, come on they have a chip that nearly performs as well as the high end offer from Intel at 1/3 of the cost. That to me is a major win and it will only get better with proper bios and driver updates.

Come on, don't start THAT topic again.
benji2412 6th July 2011, 18:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeStorm
As above really, wait until more testing has been done.
And tbh, if it comes in at £200, then near 990x performance for that isn't DREADFUL now is it.
We know so few details, waaay too much speculation.

Exactly this.
GuilleAcoustic 6th July 2011, 18:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by benji2412
Exactly this.

Nothing to add
OCJunkie 6th July 2011, 19:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrJay
So what have we lernt from this article, We have an unidentified chip, running on beta drivers from a Czech site whos credability is unknown.
Lol this whole engineering sample testing is killing me... I'm not going to look at this crap anymore until a retail model is released. Either way, as was said, assuming AMD launches with competitive pricing this is still very attractive.
javaman 6th July 2011, 19:22 Quote
Looks like another budget release from AMD coming up. Since Gaming still doesnt need the greatest in terms of processor it will come down to pricing when recommending gaming builds to people.
law99 6th July 2011, 19:26 Quote
with 4 more cores probably not in use! still, not expecting miracles from retail silicon, but, if the price is right then could be a winner.

SLI was a stupid decision
Spreadie 6th July 2011, 20:48 Quote
Meh, I'll wait for prices and a proper review of retail parts.
lewchenko 6th July 2011, 21:00 Quote
Without pricing, this article is useless.
The 990 is Intels top of the line.. At unaffordable prices.

Where is this chip in AMD's line up ?
Think bit tech should have caveated this article a little better.
dicobalt 6th July 2011, 22:09 Quote
Flawed tests. Maxing out graphics in a game is how you test the graphics cards **not the CPU**. If you want to test the CPU then you set the game graphics to absolute minimum. You want the CPU sending triangle data to the GPU for rendering instead of the CPU waiting for the GPU to render a pretty scene.

Also, was this an 8 core AMD chip or a 6 core?
thetrashcanman 6th July 2011, 22:19 Quote
I'm sorry but I do believe that at least someone in the bit tech office is an intel fan boy, what a ridiculous sub title to put, your comparing what will probably be £200 processor, to one that cost 5 times as much, by saying 'lags behind lga 1366' people would assume who perhaps don't have time to read the article that bulldozer will fall flat on its face behind even i7 940/950's etc, but its been compared to, in this test at least a 990X, well I bet it beats most of them into submission, as long as bulldozer is better than my 940, I will be completely switching away from the blue team, to the red's
Evildead666 6th July 2011, 23:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeStorm
As above really, wait until more testing has been done.
And tbh, if it comes in at £200, then near 990x performance for that isn't DREADFUL now is it.
We know so few details, waaay too much speculation.

Well put.
+1
play_boy_2000 6th July 2011, 23:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by thetrashcanman
I'm sorry but I do believe that at least someone in the bit tech office is an intel fan boy, what a ridiculous sub title to put, your comparing what will probably be £200 processor, to one that cost 5 times as much, by saying 'lags behind lga 1366' people would assume who perhaps don't have time to read the article that bulldozer will fall flat on its face behind even i7 940/950's etc, but its been compared to, in this test at least a 990X, well I bet it beats most of them into submission, as long as bulldozer is better than my 940, I will be completely switching away from the blue team, to the red's

The 2500k ($220) is >= the 990x ($999) in all but video encoding (or other multithreaded equivilent), so feel free to email the reviewer and ask him to redo the tests.

I'm not an intel fanboy, I just like having the best hardware for the least amount of $, and at the moment, intel foots the bill.
thetrashcanman 6th July 2011, 23:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by play_boy_2000
The 2500k ($220) is >= the 990x ($999) in all but video encoding (or other multithreaded equivilent), so feel free to email the reviewer and ask him to redo the tests.

I'm not an intel fanboy, I just like having the best hardware for the least amount of $, and at the moment, intel foots the bill.

indeed the 2500k is a brilliant cheap and for the majority of tasks just as good as the 990x I have no trouble with the reviewer comparing the 990x to the AMD chip, I only really have a problem with the sub title, which seems to suggest that ES samples of Bulldozer chips lag behind all 1366 processors, which it obviously does not.
Bede 7th July 2011, 00:44 Quote
Who cares really? It's not available here and now, it is an unidentified chip, it was not properly tested. Let's stop getting worked up over nothing ;)
GaMEChld 7th July 2011, 04:40 Quote
Quad SLI to benchmark a CPU.... moronic.
slothy89 7th July 2011, 04:54 Quote
Wats the point of posting this? As everyone has already pointed out, there is numerous things wrong with their testing methodology, or lack there of. But that said, for gaming the i5 2500k is king, not the 990x. At least until games start to use more than 2-4 threads. So bad choice of comparison. More $$ or ££ does not equal better!

Retail benches or nothing pl0x!
Bindibadgi 7th July 2011, 05:19 Quote
Just to clarify our perspective - we will still furiously work on UEFI updates until retail release of Bulldozer, so performance and stability will undoubtedly improve on the C5F. It's also an engineering sample part, not retail - remember there's another silicon spin on the way for retail parts.
wafflesomd 7th July 2011, 06:16 Quote
Gaming benchmarks are fine I guess but there aren't really a whole lot of games stressing out systems these days. I think we kinda swapped roles in the sense of building hardware to run the software, now we need to code software to really take advantage of the ridiculous hardware we have.

I'm more interested in applications that will actually use all the cores.
Chebob 7th July 2011, 07:21 Quote
Isnt this what AMD has always done? As in, producing good chips that hit the sweet spot between price and performance for most people?
veato 7th July 2011, 08:45 Quote
Hang on.... am I right in saying it's not THAT far behind an Intel chip costing £750? So how much will the RRP be on this (if true) AMD FX chip? If it costs a lot less then by those benchmarks it's a bargain.

It's all speculation really. We'll have to wait and see.
rollo 7th July 2011, 09:59 Quote
Depends on Price of fx chips fx branded chips have never been cheap they were priced around the old intel ES in old p4 days

2600k is faster than the 990x in all but the most highly threaded test and is 1/3rd cost and we are not talking about a top end part in 2600k as ivy bridge is due and is sure to increase performance again

A die respin before release is unlikely to yield 20% if anything it's stability fixes

Id like to see amd blow away intel for competition sake we may see better pricing
PQuiff 7th July 2011, 10:51 Quote
AMD need to end this and just release the dam chips. Its getting silly.

Oh noes! its gone all duke nukem.
Action_Parsnip 7th July 2011, 14:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
Just to clarify our perspective - we will still furiously work on UEFI updates until retail release of Bulldozer, so performance and stability will undoubtedly improve on the C5F. It's also an engineering sample part, not retail - remember there's another silicon spin on the way for retail parts.

Why has noone spotted this post??!?

Bindi: does this mean you're playing with 900fx boards for Bulldozer launch? Do you have any samples? Do you have experience of bulldozer samples and publicly available motherboard BIOSs?

Cheers
Capt_Spaulding 7th July 2011, 23:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snips
+1


So what if its from 2008? Its not like the car industry and rolling out new models every year.


The bottom line is a $300 AMD can run with a $999 Intel cpu, in gaming at least. Heck why is intel charging $999 for that cpu if something from 2008 is that bad.
Obelix0903 8th July 2011, 06:05 Quote
Hi.

Be careful. Zdenek Obermaier, author of the original article on the PC Tuning is known as a NVIDIA and Intel fan, and his long term work on the PCTunig.cz is based on the creating flames between AMD and Intel, or AMD and nVidia. Every of the arcticles he wrote shoud be not trusted and claimed as a relevant source. PCTuning has an income from Nvidia and Intel for creating tests proposely showing both firms in the bright spotlight, and AMD as a slow, bad, alternative on both CPU and GPU market.
DrTiCool 8th July 2011, 10:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Obelix0903
Hi.

Be careful. Zdenek Obermaier, author of the original article on the PC Tuning is known as a NVIDIA and Intel fan, and his long term work on the PCTunig.cz is based on the creating flames between AMD and Intel, or AMD and nVidia. Every of the arcticles he wrote shoud be not trusted and claimed as a relevant source. PCTuning has an income from Nvidia and Intel for creating tests proposely showing both firms in the bright spotlight, and AMD as a slow, bad, alternative on both CPU and GPU market.

nice, I just checked on that guy and found some facts you stated above, he's known as Green-Blue homeboy in czech IT community

have a nice day
Jipa 10th July 2011, 17:11 Quote
I've only followed PC-tech for a decade, so can someone confirm if this before-launch rumor- and hype bullshit have ever actually had anything to do with the actual numbers? After these two latest comments I wonder even more how anyone can really be bothered to say anything about the graphs or guess the possible performance (or lack of) based on this bs.

Have a nice day indeed.
sjatin68 10th July 2011, 17:37 Quote
this is all crap...
the benchmarked chip is probably a phm II
though....this is amd's last chance to cover lost ground in the enthusiast segment bcoz after Snb-e and ivy bridge intel will be out of amd's reach
Paulg1971 10th July 2011, 19:02 Quote
What A crock of shite!
chrismarkham1982 11th July 2011, 10:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by sjatin68
this is all crap...
the benchmarked chip is probably a phm II
though....this is amd's last chance to cover lost ground in the enthusiast segment bcoz after Snb-e and ivy bridge intel will be out of amd's reach

this...

intel pulled way ahead with 1366 and then s'bidge blew the air out of amd's armbands but i dont know -even if they release very soon- wether amd will be able to keep up, as said above ivybridge isnt far away and lga 2011 as-well
Bindibadgi 11th July 2011, 11:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Action_Parsnip
Why has noone spotted this post??!?

Bindi: does this mean you're playing with 900fx boards for Bulldozer launch? Do you have any samples? Do you have experience of bulldozer samples and publicly available motherboard BIOSs?

Cheers

I don't understand the question sorry?

All I'm saying is that despite 900-series boards already being on the market our engineers are still working on optimising them for Bulldozer ahead of the CPUs official launch. :) Extra time = less bugs and more performance tweaks :D
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