After our first run of Bulldozer through the normal CPU gauntlet of tests, it's clear that at the moment the full potential of Bulldozer just can't be utilized. I think a large problem in regards to the Bulldozer architecture is we just haven't got the applications at the moment that can really make full use of the technology on offer.
Moving away from the "CPU" concentrated tests and instead into the world of gaming, we can see that another picture is painted. Sure, compared to the 2600k, the FX-8150 isn't this beaming light for AMD when we talk about performance. We do never really see the FX-8150 is able to win out.
What we do see is that those numbers which show the i7 2600k running 40% better in a synthetic test mean nothing when it comes to gaming. Sure, there are a few instances where we do see the Intel offering come out ahead in a major way, but 224 FPS against 183 FPS isn't exactly a game changer to anyone. Your gaming experience isn't going to be better on the Intel platform, because at this level, those extra 40 FPS mean nothing.
Before you move into the argument that we're going to see the same thing at the higher resolution, it's completely not true as we see under the same game; when we move to 2560 x 1600, the 2600k comes in at 149 FPS vs. the FX-8150 at 141 FPS.
Moving from a 2600k to a FX-8150 brings with it quite the nice little price reduction; that's money you can either save, or use to purchase a faster video card, more RAM or a larger hard drive. Then don't get us started again on the motherboard side of things which sees quite a large difference.
Bulldozer has got issues, but not all the blame can be put on AMD. There are areas outside of AMDs control that hasn't given them the ability to perform as well as it could. I think as the optimization of Bulldozer is sorted, we'll see more performance on this platform.
For now, though, the FX-8150 isn't a bad chip when you consider the price point. If you're focusing on gaming as well, you can see that we never see the 2600k offer us a playable setup and the FX-8150 offer an unplayable one. Instead, they both offer playable, or they're both unplayable.
Bulldozer as a platform looks to be quite strong, though, and I would've loved to have seen that FX-6100. No doubt we'll get one, but we should've had one at launch. Ultimately I feel the FX-8150 isn't bad, it's a good price and it's got some serious potential. If AMD let more than just one model do the talking for the Bulldozer platform at launch, I think its reception would've been quite different.
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