Bulldozers for Desktops: AMD Formally Introduces FX Microprocessors

AMD Ships FX "Zambezi" Microprocessors, Aims Sandy Bridge

by Anton Shilov
10/12/2011 | 11:15 PM

Advanced Micro Devices on Wednesday officially introduced its FX-series microprocessors based on highly-anticipated Bulldozer micro-architecture for desktops. Due to late time-to-market, AMD now has to position its code-named Zambezi central processing units for performance-mainstream segment and price the chips at below $250.


“While overclockers will certainly enjoy the frequencies the AMD FX processors can achieve, PC enthusiasts and HD media aficionados will appreciate the remarkable experience that AMD FX processors can provide as part of a balanced, affordable desktop system," said Chris Cloran, corporate vice president and general manager of client group at AMD.

As previously reported, AMD's launch lineup includes FX-8150 ($245), FX-8120 ($205), FX-6100 ($165) and FX-4100 ($115) central processing units with eight, six or four cores. Specifications of the chips are well known. Going forward AMD will add more models into the FX family.

Bulldozer micro-architecture in general as well as Zambezi microprocessors in particular have been anticipated for many years now. In fact, Bulldozer is AMD's first brand-new high-performance micro-architecture since 2003. Unfortunately, since AMD engineers shifted their priorities from instructions per clock and core frequency towards the number of cores this time, eight-core FX "Zambezi" did not manage to outperform Intel Corp.'s high-end Core i7 chips and in certain cases is even slower than the six-core Phenom II X6 CPUs.

"FX processors based on Bulldozer microarchitecture managed to show their strengths only in a small variety of common user tasks. There are very few popular applications, which would generate simple multi-threaded integer load and this is the only case when Bulldozer really performs at its best. As a result, in certain applications the new Bulldozer is not just slower than competitors from Intel, but is even slower than the previous-generation Phenom II X6. And it means that AMD didn’t succeed in launching a revolutionary desktop CPU," said Ilya Gavrichenkov, the CPU analyst at X-bit labs.