On 12 October 2011 AMD disclose its new flagship CPU: the Bulldozer-based FX-8150 processor. Equipped with 16 MB L2/L3 caches, eight integer cores and four beefed-up FMAC FPUs, the new architecture sound very promising.

However, as many online reviewers discovered, the new AMD Bulldozer architecture didn't performs so well, especially in desktop workloads. Sure, in many cases it was a significant improvement versus the old K10-based PhenomII processors. At the same time, it fail to impress in a large number of tests.

The key question is: why? Why the new AMD processor, with its massive 16 MB cache and 1.2B total transistors number, barely outperform the old Phenom processors? And why sometime it is even slower? This article is going to shed some light on the problem.

If you didn't read anything on Bulldozer architecture and how the new FX-8150 processor performs, I strongly suggest you to read the following reviews (see the last page for references):

  • “AMD's FX-8150 'Bulldozer' processor” @ techreport.com [1]
  • “AMD FX-8150 CPU: BULLDOZER” @ bjorn3d.com [2]
  • “AMD FX-8150 Review” @ overclockersclub.com [3]
  • “The Bulldozer Review: AMD FX-8150 Tested” @ anandtech.com [4]

Please note that I don't have a Bulldozer-based processor in my hands. What you will find in the following pages is the results of a careful examination of these (and others) excellent online FX-8150 reviews and AMD own technical documents [5]. If you had any new and/or different informations, let me know without hesitation.