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  • AMD FX-4100 Bulldozer

    Phoronix: AMD FX-4100 Bulldozer

    As mentioned over the weekend, a Phoronix reader that was excited about AMD's Bulldozer products had went out and immediately purchased an FX-4100 processor. This user graciously let me SSH into the system as soon as Ubuntu Linux was installed so that benchmarks from the AMD FX-4100 could be conducted. Here is a look at the AMD FX-4100 Bulldozer on Linux compared to Llano Fusion hardware and Intel Sandy Bridge processors.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=16556

  • #2
    this cpu will speed up by 3% for the cache kernel patch and 10% for the scheduler kernel patch and maybe 20% for the compiler patches.
    also as i know amd will upgrade the micro code in the bios to fix some speed bugs.

    but yes technically this cpu is a dual-core with some extra Integer help units.

    If some one need a true quatcore with greater speed from amd he can get the Opteron 6204.
    but yes 400 isn't cheap.

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    • #3
      The i3-2120 operates at just 3.3GHz and is a dual-core part with Hyper Threading while the FX-4100 operates at 3.6/3.8GHz and is a true quad-core.

      That's obviously false, Michael, educate yourself:

      Originally posted by http://www.anandtech.com/show/4955/the-bulldozer-review-amd-fx8150-tested
      Architecturally Bulldozer is a significant departure from anything we've ever seen before. We'll go into greater detail later on in this piece, but the building block in AMD's latest architecture is the Bulldozer module. Each module features two integer cores and a shared floating point core. FP hardware is larger and used less frequently in desktop (and server workloads), so AMD decided to share it between every two cores rather than offer a 1:1 ratio between int/fp cores on Bulldozer. AMD advertises Bulldozer based FX parts based on the number of integer cores. Thus a two module Bulldozer CPU, has four integer cores (and 2 FP cores) and is thus sold as a quad-core CPU. A four module Bulldozer part with eight integer cores is called an eight-core CPU. There are obvious implications from a performance standpoint

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      • #4
        Originally posted by birdie View Post
        The i3-2120 operates at just 3.3GHz and is a dual-core part with Hyper Threading while the FX-4100 operates at 3.6/3.8GHz and is a true quad-core.

        That's obviously false, Michael, educate yourself:
        the FX-4100 is technically a dual-core to. its just a difference way to do the hyper-threating.

        the i3-2120 do have 4 integer units per core and the bulldozer do have 4 integer units per module and 2 per core.

        its exactly the same just a difference way to do it.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Qaridarium View Post
          the FX-4100 is technically a dual-core to. its just a difference way to do the hyper-threating.

          the i3-2120 do have 4 integer units per core and the bulldozer do have 4 integer units per module and 2 per core.

          its exactly the same just a difference way to do it.
          Well, on one hand it is indeed technically questionable to call the FX-4100 a true quad, but on the other hand that's what AMD sells it as.
          And I'll take the opportunity to say it again: atrocious PR/marketing around Bulldozer so far, AMD...

          As for the processor itself, I'm more and and more attracted by the "diamond on the rough" factor

          What dictated the choice of processors for this comparison? 32nm, price range, # of cores? Because I think the Athlon II x4 645 and the Phenom II x4 965 would have been interesting to include in the tests, the former being the "best of budget quad" from AMD, and the latter having the exact same retail price here.

          Also... How is the FX-4100 not competitive vs the i3? They keep trading blows. The only test that is really off for the BD part is CLOMP, though an analysis of the causes would be appreciated. The graphs already provide data, please take the opportunity to provide information in the text. (Hope everyone knows the difference between data and information)
          Last edited by PsynoKhi0; 10-19-2011, 03:57 AM.

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          • #6
            Michael, please add the scrollbars to the specs table. It's a simple fix, just wrap it in a div:
            <div style="overflow:auto;"><script language="javascript" src="http://o ..... </noscript></div>

            Before


            After

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Qaridarium View Post
              the FX-4100 is technically a dual-core to. its just a difference way to do the hyper-threating.

              the i3-2120 do have 4 integer units per core and the bulldozer do have 4 integer units per module and 2 per core.

              its exactly the same just a difference way to do it.
              Yes, there are 2 ways of looking at it.

              They started with 2 cores per module and stripped out most of the hardware except the integer units.

              OR

              They started with 1 core per module and added in the bare minimum to allow full execution on a 2nd integer unit.

              Both are true.

              Anandtech had an article a while back about how the approach was more like a super-charged version of Hyper-threading (taking more die space but giving more performance) than it was like a whole extra native core. So I think i'll lean towards that side and say AMD marketing is just trying to bamboozle everyone with the core counts, and this is more of a dual-core + HT system than a native quad core like they claim.

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              • #8
                Cores

                BD shares the instruction decoder between the two "cores." To me that means it's just glorified Hyperthreading.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by PsynoKhi0 View Post
                  What dictated the choice of processors for this comparison? 32nm, price range, # of cores?
                  Having already tested them, probably. Another thing that makes Phoronix more blog-like than a proper review site, though getting comparable hardware for every review will probably blow their budget, so in this case it's understandable.

                  Originally posted by curaga View Post
                  Michael, please add the scrollbars to the specs table.
                  Why u no click on it and go visit great openbenchmarking site! ... Actually, with or without scrollbars, I find it to be too wide to look at it properly.
                  Last edited by AnonymousCoward; 10-19-2011, 06:36 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by AnonymousCoward View Post
                    Having already tested them, probably.
                    For every review I always re-test all hardware so it's on the same kernel/driver/etc. But yeah basically limited to hardware that's available...
                    Michael Larabel
                    http://www.michaellarabel.com/

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                    • #11
                      What a shame.

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                      • #12
                        It actually did better than I expected, yeah it's about 500MHz faster than the Llano in your test, but it was clearly able to follow and beat the Quadcore Llano into multithreading, I think it's fair to say it is a Quadcore based on what I saw JF_AMD write at Semiaccurate on how we technically define "cores" And unlike Hyperthreading you can't really turn it off, it would be quite a waste if you did, and from what I see in the tests of 8150, once it shows it's Multithreaded teeth you will see it outperforming Hyperthreading, as it should since it requires more die. If we see huge improvements in Ubuntu, I might get a 8150 anyway, although currently I think I will sit this one out and wait for Piledriver, maybe I'll get a Thuban for my Crosshair V board.

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                        • #13
                          The facts people are missing is this:
                          The CPU is a dual core, but has the physical elements making it seem like a quad core, but it really isn't. I believe the way HT works is it's physically 2 cores with each core running 2 threads at the same time, hoping they don't collide. Bulldozer CPUs are 2 physical cores that run 2 threads in physically separate locations.

                          The next fact is AMD removed the total amount of instructions per clock in order to increase clock speed. Thats why if you were to take a 3.6Ghz single-core Phenom (if that even exists) and have the FX-4100 face off in single-threaded tasks, the Phenom will immensely outperform, even though everything about it is supposedly worse.

                          I may be wrong about this, but I believe that if a single-threaded task is run on 1 core, the other thread of that core can't be used. Whereas with HT, there is no restriction. This can cause significant slow-downs.

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                          • #14
                            I wondered if this image below is from the Anandtech review of the processor helps clear up some of the confusion with how the processor can be optimised. The issue seems to be getting 'turbo core' enabled and directing threads with shared data to the same core.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by schmidtbag View Post
                              I may be wrong about this, but I believe that if a single-threaded task is run on 1 core, the other thread of that core can't be used.
                              Hmm do you really mean core? or module? If it's the latter, I think you can have another thread running on the other core of the same module, but then resources have to be shared and some workloads suffer, e.g. FP-heavy stuff.

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