Damn! You can't help but almost feel disappointed with what's going on here today and while I can completely understand that the 2600k is more expensive, like we've already said here a number of times, you've ultimately got to compare the flagship product from Intel against the flagship product from AMD, and that's ultimately what we've done.
I think the problem isn't so much just the performance against the Intel i7 2600k, but also against the Phenom II X6 1100T. Sure, it's faster, for the most part; at times we see it dip a little below, but for the most part it's faster. The problem is, it should be faster every time!
The worst thing is, I don't think it's that the FX-8150 is a poor performing CPU, it's just that nothing is really able to make use of it and that's a problem for AMD. We do see in certain situations it shines, especially against the 1100T, but we never find ourselves going "WOW".
What does look positive for AMD is the gaming performance at the moment. We'll have to dive into that more soon, though. If performance in games is similar between the 2600k and FX-8150, then we could be onto something.
It's all going to come down to price, that's what's going to separate what people buy. For starters, if you're on an X4 or an X6 and you have an AM3+ compatible board, then you can get an upgrade really cheap. You can get into a top of the line FX processor for $245 US. That's so much cheaper than what a move to a Z68 platform will cost you for the simple fact all you need to do is buy a new CPU.
Then there's someone on a P55 board, or an older AMD system that doesn't support the new processor. In the CPU department you're looking at $245 US for the FX-8150 and $314.99 US for the i7 2600k. That's a good chunk of change, but the chances are if you're looking at an FX-8150, the other option you're looking at is the 2600k because they're both the Flagship product for both companies.
Then you move onto motherboard pricing. We could use the Crosshair V Formula as an example, but the problem is that there's no Maximus IV Formula-Z and the Extreme-Z is significantly more expensive. Instead, let's use GIGABYTE as an example. GIGABYTEs GA-Z68X-UD7-B3 is going to cost you $349.99 US. A lot of that is due to the fact the board supports x16 / x16 via the NF200 chip.
The GIGABYTE GA-990FXA-UD7 is going to set you back $249.99 US. With $100 US saved on the motherboard and $70 US saved on the CPU, you've got yourself a saving of $170 US. The difference between a GTX 570 and GTX 580 is $115 US. The difference between a GTX 560 TI and GTX 580 is $200 US and this gives us a really good idea of what we're able to do.
A FX-8150, GA-990FXA-UD7 and GTX 580 will set you back $894.98 US. A 2600k, GA-Z68X-UD7-B3 and GTX 560 Ti will set you back $864.97 US. Both are the flagship CPU from AMD and Intel, both are the flagship motherboard from GIGABYTE and while that 2600k system might win out in AIDA64 and HyperPi, when it comes down to gaming, it's not going to take an expert to figure out which one is going to come out ahead.
If you went with the GTX 580 in our 2600k system, the price would come in at $1064.97 US. Are you going to get an extra $169 US worth of performance out of the Intel one? Well, at the moment we can't fully confirm because we really need to give the 2600k and FX-8150 a head to head. It's for that reason we'll wrap up our final thoughts on not just the FX-8150, but the platform on a whole. So keep an eye out for that tomorrow.
One side of me is let down with a lot of the numbers we see here today; the other side of me sees the potential of what a system is able to be for $900 with a FX-8150 when compared to one with a 2600k. Let's give a full run down of what you're able to see when both systems go through our VGA testing gauntlet and really wrap everything up.