AMD Bulldozer series Quad core is actually a dual core?

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#1 Posted by funkyzoom (1426 posts) -

I recently bought an AMD Bulldozer series quad core processor, mainly because its price was about one third the price of an Intel quad core. But now I'm reading everywhere that in Bulldozer series, two cores are grouped into modules. Each core has a dedicated unit for integer calculation, but the two cores in each module share a commom unit for floating point calculations. Since games mainly utilize flaoting point calculations, a quad core Bulldozer only works as a dual core, because there are only two units for floating point calculations, one for each module, shared by two cores. Some reviews even say that AMD is misleading consumers with their specifed number of cores, because the Bulldozer series only performs like a processor consiting of half the cores to that specified (for example an 8 core processor performs similar to a quad core, and a quad core performs similar to a dual core). Is this true? Did I waste my money on a Bulldozer processor?

#2 Posted by hartsickdiscipl (14787 posts) -

Whether or not you wasted your money is up to you. A 3ghz+ Phenom II X4 beats the Bulldozer quads in a lot of games, hence the reason BD is often viewed as a flop and a poor gaming chip. However, I also see some BD users on this forum that seem very happy. How is it performing for you?

#3 Posted by funkyzoom (1426 posts) -

Whether or not you wasted your money is up to you. A 3ghz+ Phenom II X4 beats the Bulldozer quads in a lot of games, hence the reason BD is often viewed as a flop and a poor gaming chip. However, I also see some BD users on this forum that seem very happy. How is it performing for you?

hartsickdiscipl

I'm using the Bulldozer with a HD6950 2GB and 8GB RAM, and for the current games I'm having no performance issues. I'm able to run most games maxed out, except for anti aliasing. I'm only worried about future games, because I know very well the my CPU only performs as a dual core, and a dual core will hardly suffice for future games. I'm not in a postion to spend even a penny on any upgrade for the next 3 years.

#4 Posted by 04dcarraher (19171 posts) -

Because Bulldozer'8 core's have 4 modules with 2 integer cores in each module giving it a total of 8 integer cores, but some resources are shared within the module rather than having 8 full cpu cores.

#5 Posted by JohnF111 (14047 posts) -
They aren't strictly full cores in the traditional sense, no matter what AMD fanboys say they aren't "cores" as we know them which is why lots of websites are saying its a marketing term.
#6 Posted by jakes456 (1437 posts) -

what a mistake... You could have got a cheaper Intel CPU that crushes the Faildozer.

Don't listen to the trolls on this forum.

#7 Posted by djdarkforces (810 posts) -

It's not a simple answer. Yes, the FX 8120 does have 8 cores, but each of the cores shares resources with another core. Therefore, one core can be waiting while the other core is busy using those shared resources. The FX-8120 has 4 modules each of them contains two cores and the shared resources.

The shared resources includes the prefetching module, decoding units, a floating point unit and the L2 cache. This design approach is better than Hyper Threading because HT only "creates" virtual cores. Simply stated, the virtual cores shares resources with the physical core much like how every two physical cores shares resources in the FX-8120.

The problem with the FX-8120 is that they process less data/instructions per 1MHz than any processor in the Core i3/i5/i7 series. Therefore, an AMD FX series CPU has to be clocked higher in order to perform as well as their competition.

The real answer is a lot more complex than what I have stated, but I think what I've provided should suffice.

#8 Posted by GummiRaccoon (13593 posts) -

In the old days, processors didn't even have floating point units.


This is part of AMDs transition to HSA, as graphics processor units are significantly better at handing floating point than general purpose processors at handling floating point math.

#9 Posted by ronvalencia (15109 posts) -

I recently bought an AMD Bulldozer series quad core processor, mainly because its price was about one third the price of an Intel quad core. But now I'm reading everywhere that in Bulldozer series, two cores are grouped into modules. Each core has a dedicated unit for integer calculation, but the two cores in each module share a commom unit for floating point calculations. Since games mainly utilize flaoting point calculations, a quad core Bulldozer only works as a dual core, because there are only two units for floating point calculations, one for each module, shared by two cores. Some reviews even say that AMD is misleading consumers with their specifed number of cores, because the Bulldozer series only performs like a processor consiting of half the cores to that specified (for example an 8 core processor performs similar to a quad core, and a quad core performs similar to a dual core). Is this true? Did I waste my money on a Bulldozer processor?

funkyzoom

Both Intel i3 dual core and AMD BZ quad core has a total of 8 instruction issues per cycle i.e. we hit the front end limitations first before we hit the middle section.

Each AMD BZ core has a 128bit FMA unit i.e. able to process either FADD or FMUL type SSE 128bit. On AVX mode, the two 128bit FMA unit combines to form 256bit wide unit.

Each Intel Core (Sandy) has a split FADD and FMUL units for it's SSE 128bit/AVX 256bit operations.

#10 Posted by godzillavskong (7891 posts) -

Whether or not you wasted your money is up to you. A 3ghz+ Phenom II X4 beats the Bulldozer quads in a lot of games, hence the reason BD is often viewed as a flop and a poor gaming chip. However, I also see some BD users on this forum that seem very happy. How is it performing for you?

hartsickdiscipl
Seems very confusing, with the technical terms for cores, modules, fpu's , etc.. I'm happy with my fx6100. It was my first build so I really didn't do a lot of research. It comes up as a hex core in windows, but I have seen it come up as a tri-core in some benchmark tests. Either way I'm happy with how it performs, no matter the true number of cores, and all my games run great. It could be a single core for all I care just as long as it does what I need it to do
#11 Posted by godzillavskong (7891 posts) -

Because Bulldozer'8 core's have 4 modules with 2 integer cores in each module giving it a total of 8 integer cores, but some resources are shared within the module rather than having 8 full cpu cores.

04dcarraher
Does that cause a hit in performance or does it really depend on the design of the software?
#12 Posted by godzillavskong (7891 posts) -
[QUOTE="04dcarraher"]

Because Bulldozer'8 core's have 4 modules with 2 integer cores in each module giving it a total of 8 integer cores, but some resources are shared within the module rather than having 8 full cpu cores.

godzillavskong
Does that cause a hit in performance or does it really depend on the design of the software?

When compared to a competitors same core design.
#13 Posted by GummiRaccoon (13593 posts) -

[QUOTE="godzillavskong"][QUOTE="04dcarraher"]

Because Bulldozer'8 core's have 4 modules with 2 integer cores in each module giving it a total of 8 integer cores, but some resources are shared within the module rather than having 8 full cpu cores.

godzillavskong

Does that cause a hit in performance or does it really depend on the design of the software?

When compared to a competitors same core design.

Some things absolutely fly with the AMD design.

#14 Posted by jhcho2 (4372 posts) -

Just forget about the semantics or technicalities of whether it's REALLY a quad core or dual core. Even if it really was a quad core, it doesn't mean than all four cores would be loaded equally. Most OS and gaming applications tend to use the first core a lot, while the other cores are exponentially off-loaded. It's technical and confusing at times. I prefer just comparing benchmarks. Your purchases should ideally be motivated by benchmark performances, not how many cores it physically has, or how many cores it effectively performs as, or even how it is said to be able to perform based on very specific circumstances.

#15 Posted by Majistrate (316 posts) -

I went from an AMD Phenom X4 955 BE to an AMD FX 4150 (I think, either that or another FX Quad core) and I've noticed no diffrence in performance whatsoever, only diffrence I've noticed is that this CPU stays a lot cooler (generally around 35-40 degrees, where the 955 would be 50) and my CPU fan whistles. Literally the only diffrences I've noticed, wouldn't concern yourself with the technicalities if I were you tbh.

#16 Posted by hartsickdiscipl (14787 posts) -

I went from an AMD Phenom X4 955 BE to an AMD FX 4150 (I think, either that or another FX Quad core) and I've noticed no diffrence in performance whatsoever, only diffrence I've noticed is that this CPU stays a lot cooler (generally around 35-40 degrees, where the 955 would be 50) and my CPU fan whistles. Literally the only diffrences I've noticed, wouldn't concern yourself with the technicalities if I were you tbh.

Majistrate

I think anybody here could have told you that an FX 4150 isn't an upgrade from an X4 955.

#17 Posted by GummiRaccoon (13593 posts) -

[QUOTE="Majistrate"]

I went from an AMD Phenom X4 955 BE to an AMD FX 4150 (I think, either that or another FX Quad core) and I've noticed no diffrence in performance whatsoever, only diffrence I've noticed is that this CPU stays a lot cooler (generally around 35-40 degrees, where the 955 would be 50) and my CPU fan whistles. Literally the only diffrences I've noticed, wouldn't concern yourself with the technicalities if I were you tbh.

hartsickdiscipl

I think anybody here could have told you that an FX 4150 isn't an upgrade from an X4 955.

yep, user error

#18 Posted by kungfool69 (2574 posts) -

pretty sure u would know what u were getting with the AMD system anyway as it would have ben A LOT cheaper then a more powerful Intel build ;)

dont people just buy AMD's coz they are cheaper, then OC the hell out of them?

#19 Posted by SolidPandaG (218 posts) -

pretty sure u would know what u were getting with the AMD system anyway as it would have ben A LOT cheaper then a more powerful Intel build ;)

dont people just buy AMD's coz they are cheaper, then OC the hell out of them?

kungfool69

The sad thing for AMD is that even that's not a strong selling point since most Intel processors OC even better (ie. Sandy's going to 4.5+) at a lower voltage. You've gotta pump higher voltage in Bulldozer to get the clocks high. For Intel, higher IPC + higher clock = total destruction.

#20 Posted by ferret-gamer (17310 posts) -

[QUOTE="kungfool69"]

pretty sure u would know what u were getting with the AMD system anyway as it would have ben A LOT cheaper then a more powerful Intel build ;)

dont people just buy AMD's coz they are cheaper, then OC the hell out of them?

SolidPandaG

The sad thing for AMD is that even that's not a strong selling point since most Intel processors OC even better (ie. Sandy's going to 4.5+) at a lower voltage. You've gotta pump higher voltage in Bulldozer to get the clocks high. For Intel, higher IPC + higher clock = total destruction.

The newer budget intel CPUs are fairly mediocre for overclocking. Non K CPUs like the i3s andy/ivy processors can get around 300-400mhz boost regardless of your cooling or set up. Most Bulldozer or Vishera CPUs can reach 4.5ghz on air without too much problem, and around 5ghz on water.

#21 Posted by SolidPandaG (218 posts) -

[QUOTE="SolidPandaG"]

[QUOTE="kungfool69"]

pretty sure u would know what u were getting with the AMD system anyway as it would have ben A LOT cheaper then a more powerful Intel build ;)

dont people just buy AMD's coz they are cheaper, then OC the hell out of them?

ferret-gamer

The sad thing for AMD is that even that's not a strong selling point since most Intel processors OC even better (ie. Sandy's going to 4.5+) at a lower voltage. You've gotta pump higher voltage in Bulldozer to get the clocks high. For Intel, higher IPC + higher clock = total destruction.

The newer budget intel CPUs are fairly mediocre for overclocking. Non K CPUs like the i3s andy/ivy processors can get around 300-400mhz boost regardless of your cooling or set up. Most Bulldozer or Vishera CPUs can reach 4.5ghz on air without too much problem, and around 5ghz on water.

Bulldozer needs higher voltage to reach 4.5+, unlike Intel CPU's, which naturally run cooler and are far more power efficient. Bulldozer is a fail architecture that never should've seen the light of day, that's why this turd and its successors are rumored to be killed off.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/bulldozer-efficiency-overclock-undervolt,3083-8.html

Let's compare the FX-8150 vs the i5 2500K in terms of efficiency:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fx-power-consumption-efficiency,3060-11.html

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fx-power-consumption-efficiency,3060-12.html

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fx-power-consumption-efficiency,3060-13.html

This is before OC too, where AMD is known to need more voltage to keep clocking higher as opposed to its Intel counterpart. This hardware forum is littered with disingenuity and homerism, which is fine if kept between tech savvy posters, but for those geniunely ignorant of computer parts when asking for advice, recommending a highly inferior product that's only about $30-50 cheaper than its counterpart is laughable.

But for the sake of keeping current, let's quickly look at Piledriver vs Ivy. Here's a comparison of a cheaperi5-3470 VS the FX-8350:

http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/FX-8350-vs-Core-i5-3470-CPU-Review/1657/18

conclusion, in the words of Hardware Secrets:

"While AMD has the lead on the USD 100 price segment, it is way behind Intel on the USD 200 price segment. Also, the company doesn't have any product to compete against the Core i7 at the high-end segment.

Costing the same and providing up to 30% performance advantage over the FX-8350, the core i5-3470 is a far better choice. We simply can't recommend the new FX-8350."

I bet those are harsh words the AMD homers don't like to hear. AMD needs to only look at itself and its inane business decisions to recognize why its CPU division is failing so hard. Charging an equivalent price to a processor that mops the floor with you in most benchmarks while running cooler and more efficiently? Pure idiocy.

#22 Posted by GummiRaccoon (13593 posts) -

[QUOTE="ferret-gamer"]

[QUOTE="SolidPandaG"]

The sad thing for AMD is that even that's not a strong selling point since most Intel processors OC even better (ie. Sandy's going to 4.5+) at a lower voltage. You've gotta pump higher voltage in Bulldozer to get the clocks high. For Intel, higher IPC + higher clock = total destruction.

SolidPandaG

The newer budget intel CPUs are fairly mediocre for overclocking. Non K CPUs like the i3s andy/ivy processors can get around 300-400mhz boost regardless of your cooling or set up. Most Bulldozer or Vishera CPUs can reach 4.5ghz on air without too much problem, and around 5ghz on water.

Bulldozer needs higher voltage to reach 4.5+, unlike Intel CPU's, which naturally run cooler and are far more power efficient. Bulldozer is a fail architecture that never should've seen the light of day, that's why this turd and its successors are rumored to be killed off.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/bulldozer-efficiency-overclock-undervolt,3083-8.html

Let's compare the FX-8150 vs the i5 2500K in terms of efficiency:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fx-power-consumption-efficiency,3060-11.html

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fx-power-consumption-efficiency,3060-12.html

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fx-power-consumption-efficiency,3060-13.html

This is before OC too, where AMD is known to need more voltage to keep clocking higher as opposed to its Intel counterpart. This hardware forum is littered with disingenuity and homerism, which is fine if kept between tech savvy posters, but for those geniunely ignorant of computer parts when asking for advice, recommending a highly inferior product that's only about $30-50 cheaper than its counterpart is laughable.

But for the sake of keeping current, let's quickly look at Piledriver vs Ivy. Here's a comparison of a cheaperi5-3470 VS the FX-8350:

http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/FX-8350-vs-Core-i5-3470-CPU-Review/1657/18

conclusion, in the words of Hardware Secrets:

"While AMD has the lead on the USD 100 price segment, it is way behind Intel on the USD 200 price segment. Also, the company doesn't have any product to compete against the Core i7 at the high-end segment.

Costing the same and providing up to 30% performance advantage over the FX-8350, the core i5-3470 is a far better choice. We simply can't recommend the new FX-8350."

I bet those are harsh words the AMD homers don't like to hear. AMD needs to only look at itself and its inane business decisions to recognize why its CPU division is failing so hard. Charging an equivalent price to a processor that mops the floor with you in most benchmarks while running cooler and more efficiently? Pure idiocy.

buying a 3470

ever

#23 Posted by kraken2109 (12978 posts) -

[QUOTE="ferret-gamer"]

[QUOTE="SolidPandaG"]

The sad thing for AMD is that even that's not a strong selling point since most Intel processors OC even better (ie. Sandy's going to 4.5+) at a lower voltage. You've gotta pump higher voltage in Bulldozer to get the clocks high. For Intel, higher IPC + higher clock = total destruction.

SolidPandaG

The newer budget intel CPUs are fairly mediocre for overclocking. Non K CPUs like the i3s andy/ivy processors can get around 300-400mhz boost regardless of your cooling or set up. Most Bulldozer or Vishera CPUs can reach 4.5ghz on air without too much problem, and around 5ghz on water.

Bulldozer needs higher voltage to reach 4.5+, unlike Intel CPU's, which naturally run cooler and are far more power efficient. Bulldozer is a fail architecture that never should've seen the light of day, that's why this turd and its successors are rumored to be killed off.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/bulldozer-efficiency-overclock-undervolt,3083-8.html

Let's compare the FX-8150 vs the i5 2500K in terms of efficiency:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fx-power-consumption-efficiency,3060-11.html

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fx-power-consumption-efficiency,3060-12.html

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fx-power-consumption-efficiency,3060-13.html

This is before OC too, where AMD is known to need more voltage to keep clocking higher as opposed to its Intel counterpart. This hardware forum is littered with disingenuity and homerism, which is fine if kept between tech savvy posters, but for those geniunely ignorant of computer parts when asking for advice, recommending a highly inferior product that's only about $30-50 cheaper than its counterpart is laughable.

But for the sake of keeping current, let's quickly look at Piledriver vs Ivy. Here's a comparison of a cheaperi5-3470 VS the FX-8350:

http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/FX-8350-vs-Core-i5-3470-CPU-Review/1657/18

conclusion, in the words of Hardware Secrets:

"While AMD has the lead on the USD 100 price segment, it is way behind Intel on the USD 200 price segment. Also, the company doesn't have any product to compete against the Core i7 at the high-end segment.

Costing the same and providing up to 30% performance advantage over the FX-8350, the core i5-3470 is a far better choice. We simply can't recommend the new FX-8350."

I bet those are harsh words the AMD homers don't like to hear. AMD needs to only look at itself and its inane business decisions to recognize why its CPU division is failing so hard. Charging an equivalent price to a processor that mops the floor with you in most benchmarks while running cooler and more efficiently? Pure idiocy.

From your own link:

The FX processors have their clock multiplier unlocked, allowing you to overclock them by changing this parameter. With the FX-8350, which runs internally at 4 GHz multiplying a base clock of 200 MHz by 20, we could increase the clock multiplier to 22 and the base clock to 212 MHz, resulting in an internal clock rate of 4,664 MHz, a 16.6% increase over the CPU default clock rate. Then we replaced the stock cooler with AMDs liquid cooling solution, and we were able to increase the CPU multiplier to 22.5 and the base clock to 213 MHz, resulting in an internal clock rate of 4,792 MHz, a 19.8% increase over the CPU default clock rate. Hardware Secrets

They got 4.8 ghz.

Now for their game benchmarks, (They won't let me post their images here). Colours are to make reading easier, they mean nothing.

Starcraft 2: 3470: 185, FX8350: 178

Far Cry 2: 3470: 133, FX8350: 131

Dirt 3: 3470: 100, FX8350: 96

BF3 (assuming single player): 3470: 86, FX8350: 87

Borderlands 2: 3470: 85, FX8350: 85

So we can safely say there is no noticeable difference in gaming, since these benchmarks were on low settings to ensure a CPU bottleneck.

Looking at cinebench which fully uses all cores, FX8350 beats 3470 by 22%

#24 Posted by ferret-gamer (17310 posts) -

[QUOTE="ferret-gamer"]

[QUOTE="SolidPandaG"]

The sad thing for AMD is that even that's not a strong selling point since most Intel processors OC even better (ie. Sandy's going to 4.5+) at a lower voltage. You've gotta pump higher voltage in Bulldozer to get the clocks high. For Intel, higher IPC + higher clock = total destruction.

SolidPandaG

The newer budget intel CPUs are fairly mediocre for overclocking. Non K CPUs like the i3s andy/ivy processors can get around 300-400mhz boost regardless of your cooling or set up. Most Bulldozer or Vishera CPUs can reach 4.5ghz on air without too much problem, and around 5ghz on water.

Bulldozer needs higher voltage to reach 4.5+, unlike Intel CPU's, which naturally run cooler and are far more power efficient. Bulldozer is a fail architecture that never should've seen the light of day, that's why this turd and its successors are rumored to be killed off.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/bulldozer-efficiency-overclock-undervolt,3083-8.html

Let's compare the FX-8150 vs the i5 2500K in terms of efficiency:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fx-power-consumption-efficiency,3060-11.html

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fx-power-consumption-efficiency,3060-12.html

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fx-power-consumption-efficiency,3060-13.html

This is before OC too, where AMD is known to need more voltage to keep clocking higher as opposed to its Intel counterpart. This hardware forum is littered with disingenuity and homerism, which is fine if kept between tech savvy posters, but for those geniunely ignorant of computer parts when asking for advice, recommending a highly inferior product that's only about $30-50 cheaper than its counterpart is laughable.

But for the sake of keeping current, let's quickly look at Piledriver vs Ivy. Here's a comparison of a cheaperi5-3470 VS the FX-8350:

http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/FX-8350-vs-Core-i5-3470-CPU-Review/1657/18

conclusion, in the words of Hardware Secrets:

"While AMD has the lead on the USD 100 price segment, it is way behind Intel on the USD 200 price segment. Also, the company doesn't have any product to compete against the Core i7 at the high-end segment.

Costing the same and providing up to 30% performance advantage over the FX-8350, the core i5-3470 is a far better choice. We simply can't recommend the new FX-8350."

I bet those are harsh words the AMD homers don't like to hear. AMD needs to only look at itself and its inane business decisions to recognize why its CPU division is failing so hard. Charging an equivalent price to a processor that mops the floor with you in most benchmarks while running cooler and more efficiently? Pure idiocy.

Did you notice in the first sentence where i said budget? I know damn well an i5 2500k can beat a bulldozer in overclocking easily, but that is an unlocked CPU that costs $220 when you can get something like an fx 8120 for $150 Compare an FX-6100 to an i3 CPU. Same price, dual core vs hex core. The 6100 will already beat the i3 in multithreaded tasks, it performs perfectly fine in games. And it will overclock to 4.5ghz+. The can get the i3 to what, 3.5ghz if you have a really lucky chip?