AMD supplied Phoronix with its standard Bulldozer press kit for this testing. The Bulldozer kit included an AMD FX-8150 CPU, the AMD FX-Series closed-loop water cooling system manufactured by Asetek that will be bundled with the FX-8150 in select markets, an ASUS Crosshair V Formula motherboard, and even an AMD FX belt buckle.
The ASUS Crosshair V Formula has been on the market for several months now and is a high-end AM3+ motherboard with an AMD 990FX/SB950 chipset combination that supports three-way NVIDIA SLI / AMD CrossFireX, eight-channel, SupremeFX X-Fi 2 audio, a UEFI BIOS, and other features. The current retail price on the ASUS Crosshair V Formula is approximately $230 USD.
In terms of Linux compatibility for the AMD Bulldozer CPUs, as the remote FX-4100 results showed last week, the new FX CPUs can work on already common Linux distributions like Ubuntu 11.04. Bulldozer CPUs just require an AM3+ motherboard, so as long as the motherboard is supported by the distribution of your liking, standard functionality should be in place.
For the AMD Crosshair V Formula motherboard being used for this testing, Ubuntu 11.04 was being a bit problematic, so the move was made to the brand new Ubuntu 11.10 x86_64 release, which worked fine for standard functionality. Some early customers have reported Bulldozer stability issues under Microsoft Windows and Linux, but with the hardware/software that I have been using for the past week, I have not encountered any stability issues at all attributed to the eight-core CPU.