FX Models and Specifications
The new Bulldozer platform helps round out the new line-up of processors for the main retail market. You can see below we started with the E-Series APU which brings with it a focus mainly on office work. You can see we then have the A-Series APU and that brought with it the A55 and A75 chipset. At this point we start to get into a platform that's able to do editing and transcoding HD media while also offering us CrossFireX support, which is best seen when a HD 6600 series GPU is combined with the onboard GPU built into the APU.
Today, we round it all off with the AMD FX line of CPUs. This brings with it a focus on overclocking, high resolution gaming and AMD Eyefinity support. Having the focus on it is one thing, though. But can AMD deliver in the area? Well, that's exactly what we intend to find out. Let's first dive a little deeper into what's going on with the new line-up here today.
At the moment we know that the new FX line-up will consist of seven parts ranging from four core options all the way to eight core ones which is what AMD have mainly been promoting prior to the launch. Above we're able to get a good idea on the clocks these processors will come in at. The few things that we want to pay attention to here are the fact that we've got two versions of the CPU, a 95w and 125w TDP option depending on what model you go for.
You can also see that the L2 Cache scales with the amount of cores that are present on the CPU. The only other thing we see that differs between some models is the NB speed. You can see some come in at 2.2GHz while others come in at a slightly lower 2GHz. The numbers that are identical between all seven processors included the 8MB of L3 Cache, support for 1866MHz DDR memory and the fact they're all on the AM3+ packaging.
Out of the seven processors, though, only three of them will be available at launch. They include the FX-8150, FX-8120 and FX-6100. As you can see from the below, that's two eight core CPUs and a six core one. At launch there's not going to be any of the four core models.
We won't go into all the details of the three models here, as you can see a larger break down of what's on offer two images up. Instead we'll extract the information here that's really important. The pricing; first we start with the FX-8150. At $245 US this is priced between the i5 2500k and i7 2600k. AMD have always been about the value of their products, so you'd mainly be looking at the FX-8150 against the 2600k. These are the two flagship products from both companies when it comes to this mainstream market. We say mainstream market because we understand the 990X / X58 configuration and the soon to be SB-E platform.
The FX-8150 pricing isn't what impresses me, though; instead it's more the FX-8120 and FX-6100 that comes in at $205 US and $175 US* respectively. While Intel have of course got models that compete with these CPUs in terms of price, something that we always try to remind people of is that the only Sandy Bridge based CPUs that can offer any real overclock include the two K series CPUs; the 2500k and 2600k. Those two CPUs come in at $219.99 US and $314.99 US respectively.
At the $205 US price point we've got the i5 2400S at $200.99 and the i5 2500 at $209.99 and you can see above the advantages of the new eight core AMD processors against the i5 line-up. The stand outs would have to be more cores, x16 / x16 CrossFireX support, and the fact it's fully unlocked.
Move to the $175 US price point seen on the FX-6100 which also is fully unlocked and the situation begins to look really good for AMD. At this price point the closest Intel CPU is the i5-2300 Quad Core processor at 3.1GHz after turbo boost. This comes in at $179.99 US, so just ever so slightly more expensive.
The FX-6100 has on it, though, two more cores +800MHz after Turbo, 8MB of L3 Cache verses 6MB on the i5-2300 and is of course fully unlocked which means that our speed isn't limited to maybe one or two MHz more when overclocking comes into play.
* After this was written, the price for the FX-6100 was updated to $165 US by AMD. It just makes our point even stronger.