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2011-11 Review of FX-8150 Print
November 2011
amd_fx8150.jpgAMD has beaten Intel in releasing a desktop CPU model called FX-8150 with as many as 8 cores.  However, this new model will unlikely help AMD win market share from Intel for the reason that this model of CPU is not as appealing as its name suggests.  The 8 cores are not fully resource furnished as every 2 cores shares one floating point computing engine.  This arrangement is superior to Intel’s Hyper Threading arrangement which enables the resources of one physical core to be shared by 2 computational threads (used as 2 cores).  Therefore AMD would be superior when this 8C CPU is compared to Intel 4C8T CPU only.  Third party performance benchmark reports have confirmed that FX-8150 is not as powerful as Intel Core i7-2600K which has 6 cores only.  FX-8150 lags behind 2600K by 17% in overall performance benchmark scores according to a PC World article (November 2011 issue), although FX-8150 is only 7% cheaper in price.  This situation does not make FX-8150 look good at all.  The same PC World article has done a similar comparison between FX-8150 and Phenom II X6 1075T with 6 cores, and concluded that 1075T was 60% of the price of FX-8150 and 85% of the performance level of FX-8150.  

The above situation was more or less predicted in one of our CPD System Platform update sessions held earlier in the year.  At that time, which was well before the announcement of the final spec for FX-8150, we advised that Intel Core 2 processors have reached a new high level of performance as far as desktop computing is concerned and that AMD would be competitive at the mainstream range with its latest APU offering but not at the top end with its yet-to-be-released FX processors.  As such we decided to evolve Thunderbird to APU for many benefits but refrain from resuming Thunderbird Plus for FX.  

In the Intel stable, Compucon Superhawk Plus based on the 1366 pin version of Core i7 is still the performance leader and Superhawk based on 1155 pin version of the
2nd generation of Core i5 and i7 is not far behind.  Their positions will not be challenged by AMD in the medium term.  Owing to this situation, we believe that Intel is not in any hurry to introduce the 2011 pin version of the 3rd generation of Core i7 for Superhawk Plus.  We have presented the preliminary spec for X78 chipset for Superhawk Plus as early as June 2011 but the release of X78 is being deferred to the end of 2011 or beginning of 2012.  To make up this delay, Intel may upgrade the name of X78 to X79 to give customers some consolation for waiting.  

In summary for the scope of desktop computing, we will maintain Superhawk Plus (X58), Superhawk (P67), Diamond Plus (H61), and Diamond (G45) in our Intel camp; and Thunderbird (A75) and Jasper (760G) in our AMD camp as of November 2011.  In addition, we will maintain Onyx Multimedia (H61) and Onyx Basic (NM10) in Mini-ITX form factor, Black Pearl (NM10) in Extreme Small form factor, and Short 1U (NM10) in 1U form factor.

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