AMD Bulldozer B3 Stepping Due

Written by Clive Webster

October 24, 2011 // 1:53 p.m.

Tags: #amd #amd-bulldozer-b3-stepping-due #bug #bulldozer #c3-stepping #fix #fx-8150 #release-date #update #what-is

AnandTech has found ‘an AMD BIOS and kernel document’ mentioning a B3 revision of the AMD FX-8150 CPU, which is based on the Bulldozer architecture.

Some AMD fans maybe be hoping that the update – from the current B2 to B3 – will bring fixes, upgrades and improvements that will change the resounding opinion that Bulldozer hasn’t got enough single-threaded performance to be considered a decent consumer-level CPU.

However, ‘While B3 stepping may help Bulldozer a little bit, it's very unlikely that a stepping update would provide huge benefits and thus make Bulldozer significantly better than Intel's equivalent CPUs - so waiting for this update is not exactly a good idea.

However, AMD introduced features such as C1E support to its Phenom range under the guise of a number increment rather than a letter. Usually number increases in the stepping version only indicate small, relatively insignificant updates.

The document, and AnandTech itself, doesn’t give any timeframe for the C3 stepping, but the latter opines that it won’t be released any time soon based on the Phenom II X4 switching from C2 to C3 stepping over nine months. That’s not the best reasoning, as the situation is vastly different between the Phenom II and the FX-8105.

For example, we’ve heard that FX-series CPUs are in short supply (especially the 8-core versions) and perhaps the C3 stepping fixes some bugs that will increase yields, in which case the B3 stepping will be with us pretty quickly. Who knows?

Hopeful that AMD will release a major update under a number stepping, or do you think Bulldozer will need more than a stepping to compete with Intel? Let us know in the forum.

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