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AMD's FX-8150 AMD's FX-8150 "Zambezi" CPU
Mon Oct 17, 2011 | 8:09P| PermaLink
Sometimes it is hard to find a beginning for an article, and it has nothing to do with writer’s block. On the contrary, there are so many things you want to say, it is just that they seem to be inappropriate. Like rubbing salt into the wound before the wound has even been afflicted. Sometimes it is just disappointment that takes over especially if there were high hopes and anticipations – even if they were against “better knowledge”. That’s kind of where we are today. AMD’s Zambezi /Bulldozer architecture has been one of the most anticipated and novel approaches to the existing x86 concept. Building a modular CPU, streamlined towards where it counts, that is, emphasizing integer operations by doubling the number of “cores” and sharing a single floating point unit between the latter for optimal use of the available resources including footprint appears a valuable strategy. But paper is patient and theory is gray. As with all radical detours from the beaten path, there is an inherent risk that the well-planned strategy may not work and sometimes, it is as simple as an error of the transcription, like, on a scale of 1 to 5 where 1 is given as - - and 5 is given as a ++. And then, an engineer gets involved and does the math. And assumes the "--" has to be a “double-negative”. Let’s assume something like that must have happened. To be honest, it is not that Zambezi is really bad, it is more that, given the features and core count, one would have expected a monster of performance and that is just not what AMD came up with. Rather, by the end of the day, we are looking at performance somewhere between a PhenomII 970 and a 1075T, arguably not the slowest performers in the current CPU scene but, arguably as well, no match for Sandy Bridge or any Westmere processors from the “other” CPU manufacturer.

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