Microsoft Releases Windows Patch to Boost Performance of AMD "Bulldozer" Chips [UPDATED]

AMD's Latest FX, Opteron Processors Receive Performance-Boosting Hotfix from Microsoft

by Anton Shilov
12/15/2011 | 07:11 PM

UPDATE: Microsoft has pulled down the patch as it had been released prematurely.


Microsoft Corp. on Thursday released a patch for its Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 operating systems that boosts multi-threading performance of systems powered by the latest microprocessors from Advanced Micro Devices which rely on Bulldozer micro-architecture, such as FX chips for desktops and Opteron processors for servers.

Currently, performance of AMD central processing units based on Bulldozer micro-architecture (FX, Opteron 4200-, 6200-series) under Windows 7 and Windows Server 8 R2 is slower than expected because the threading logic in the operating system is not optimized to use the simultaneous multithreading (SMT) scheduling feature of AMD Bulldozer processors. The update optimizes the performance of AMD's latest CPUs that power Windows 7-based or Windows Server 2008 R2-based computers.

Exact performance advantage that the patch brings to systems featuring AMD Bulldozer microprocessors is unclear. What is know is that only programs that rely on execution of multiple threads at the same time will benefit from the hotfix, therefore productivity programs are unlikely to get a boost, whereas demanding applications like data processing, rendering or simulations will run faster.

Only performance benchmarks will tell whether AMD FX-series microprocessors for desktops will be able to outperform Intel Corp.'s Core i-series "Sandy Bridge" microprocessors in a large amount of applications due to the patch for Windows 7.

Earlier this year AMD issued a document claiming that with next-generation Windows 8 scheduler its eight-core microprocessors will receive 2% - 10% performance boost over what was demonstrated by Windows 7.