AMD has been sitting behind Intel in the performance chip sector for quite a long time now. Since 2006 when Intel’s first Core 2 Duo chips landed and yanked the crown from AMD’s 64 chip’s brow, the latter company has been playing the price game, making sure that their bang for buck was strong, even if their power wasn’t anything particularly explosive. They’ve maintained relavance by having a lot of cores and a decent price bracket, but for a while now fans of the firm have been hoping for something a bit more ballsy.That’s where Bulldozer was supposed to come in.
It all looked good just a few weeks ago too. Reports appeared on several sites showing the new chips breaking the overclocking record by a fair margin; hitting 8.4GHZ. If this could be achieved under extreme conditions, 5GHZ couldn’t be too far out of reach for the average enthusiast.
However, now that the reviews of the chips have come in, it’s not looking so good. Anandtech is reporting that while multithread performance is quite strong – even beating out Intel’s Sandybridge chips in a few instances – but in single threaded applications and most games, the results were not so strong. In quite a few cases as well, the performance of the new Bulldozer chips was even worse than previous iterations of AMD hardware, with the lower clocked Phenom chips holding their own.
LegitReviews reports slightly better results in gaming, but two out of the three they used are heavily multithreaded.
Anandtech also showed that cache and memory performance was pretty terrible on the new Bulldozer chips. Not compared to the Phenom chips, who are still a little bit faster in terms of latency, but the Sandybridge alternatives are almost twice as snappy. It’s a poor show.
How AMD will respond is unclear at this point. Whether they’ll crash prices down in an effort to stay relevant, or will rebrand themselve: who knows.
Either way, here’s hoping they can pull something out their hat. Competition is what forced Intel to make the greatest performance jump in a long time with their Core 2 Duo chips.