Follow Us

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message

AMD Bulldozer might be the right fit for small business

FX CPU may be lacking in performance, but price could make it a winner

Article comments

AMD's latest-and-greatest chip may lag slightly behind Intel's competing Core i5, as initial performance testing indicates. But these disappointing results hide benefits that AMD's "Bulldozer" FX CPU will likely offer, especially for cost-conscious small businesses.

The issue is that most CPU performance tests don't reflect the potential computational power offered by FX, which has up to eight cores depending on the version.

Sure, computationally-wise, preliminary synthetic tests, such as PCMark 7 and Cinebench, reflect real world computing performance and indicate that the FX lags in comparison with Intel's Core i5.

Why can't the FX's multi-core design crank past Intel's Core i5 in these tests? Most of these tests are largely geared for CPUs with two or fewer cores. Software makers also have yet to bring to market applications that will take advantage of FX multi-core design for multi-threading tasks.

The server equivalent of the FX, codenamed "Interlagos", already takes advantage of the eight cores to a greater extent than the desktop equivalent of the FX does, AMD says.

"AMD FX and Bulldozer CPU technology was optimised for multi-processing and multi-threaded applications," according to Dina McKinney, corporate vice president of design engineering for AMD.

The eight cores also benefit from AMD's Turbo Core feature, which automatically boosts the clock speed of different cores when others are not in use above and beyond their normal speeds. When Turbo Core kicks in, the standard clock speed of the FX-8150, the highest-end version of the FX, can speed from 3.6GHz to 3.6GHz.

Turbo Core also does this while monitoring power consumption and will lower the processing speed if overheating occurs (Intel's Turbo Boost has a similar functionality).

So in the future, look out for potential video editing, engineering and other software that might harness the power eight cores and Turbo Boost can offer both in the desktop space. While it is has yet to be proven, the FX with its eight cores could very well be ahead of its time.

For now, the FX-8150, the highest-end variation of AMD's FX, retails for around £155, compared with around £140 for its direct competitor, the Intel Core i5-2500K. So, if you're buying a new motherboard for a workstation and want to scrutinise the best value for your money, the Intel part will offer slightly better performance for most office applications.

But, in the larger scheme of things, expect to see versions of the FX show up in future PCs that will at least compete against machines with Intel inside performance-wise, and may still beat them in price as well.

In the worst case scenario, AMD's FX launch is disappointing in that the chip doesn't trounce competing Intel devices in performance. Regardless, as the two chip giants battle, they continue to attempt to outdo each other, which benefits consumers.

In the end, the fact that AMD has maintained market share in CPUs means that Intel has had to keep its prices in check to remain competitive. If Intel had a monopoly, as Microsoft has had with its PC operating system, then CPU prices would surely have been higher and Intel would have had less incentive to innovate.

Without the competition, a pure Intel monopoly would have left the workstation and server computing years behind where it is today.


More from Techworld

More relevant IT news


Send to a friend

Email this article to a friend or colleague:

PLEASE NOTE: Your name is used only to let the recipient know who sent the story, and in case of transmission error. Both your name and the recipient's name and address will not be used for any other purpose.

Techworld White Papers

Choose – and Choose Wisely – the Right MSP for Your SMB

End users need a technology partner that provides transparency, enables productivity, delivers...

Download Whitepaper

10 Effective Habits of Indispensable IT Departments

It’s no secret that responsibilities are growing while budgets continue to shrink. Download this...

Download Whitepaper

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving

Enterprise information archiving is contributing to organisational needs for e-discovery and...

Download Whitepaper

Advancing the state of virtualised backups

Dell Software’s vRanger is a veteran of the virtualisation specific backup market. It was the...

Download Whitepaper

Techworld UK - Technology - Business

Innovation, productivity, agility and profit

Watch this on demand webinar which explores IT innovation, managed print services and business agility.

Techworld Mobile Site

Access Techworld's content on the move

Get the latest news, product reviews and downloads on your mobile device with Techworld's mobile site.

Find out more...

From Wow to How : Making mobile and cloud work for you

On demand Biztech Briefing - Learn how to effectively deliver mobile work styles and cloud services together.

Watch now...

Site Map

* *