As you know, it is the graphics subsystem that determines the performance of the entire platform equipped with pretty high-speed processors in the majority of contemporary games. Therefore, we do our best to make sure that the graphics card is not loaded too heavily during the test session: we select the most CPU-dependent tests and all tests are performed without antialiasing and in far not the highest screen resolutions. In other words, obtained results allow us to analyze not that much the fps rate that can be achieved in systems equipped with contemporary graphics accelerators, but rather how well contemporary processors can cope with gaming workload. Therefore, the results help us determine how the tested CPUs will behave in the nearest future, when new faster graphics card models will be widely available.
Games are not among those tasks that create parallel multi-threaded loads. Therefore, quad-core processors suit gamers’ needs much better than AMD’s multi-core monsters. The diagrams above are a great example of that. The new eight-core FX-8150 is not any faster than its six-core predecessor – Phenom II X6.
As for the gaming performance correlation between Zambezi and Sandy Bridge, things are far not that optimistic for AMD. The current Intel microarchitecture copes much better with typical workload created by 3D games and there is absolutely no hope that AMD will ever manage to catch up with the competition here. In other words, the only time it makes sense to use Bulldozer for gaming would be the situation when you are absolutely sure that the given processor will be fast enough in the specific graphics sub-system and in specific games. However, even in this case it is important to understand that the next graphics card upgrade may actually have an adverse effect and you will be in a worst situation than those users who have initially preferred an Intel platform.
In addition to our gaming tests we would like to offer you the results of the synthetic Futuremark 3DMark11 test run with the Extreme settings profile.
We added these results in order to show the ideal situation for FX-8150, namely when the video sub-system doesn’t actually allow the processor to show its full potential. In this case the graphics card is loaded to the fullest and the CPU performs an auxiliary function. In this case we can state that Bulldozer and Sandy bridge processors are equally fast, although this is not exactly true.
However, the new FX-8150 looks quite good in the 3DMark11 Physics test (especially against the background of the previous results). The new eight-core AMD processor performs comparably with the quad-core Intel Core i5-2500 during the multi-threaded calculation of the gaming physics model.