Microsoft pulls Windows 7 update for AMD Bulldozer chip

AMD processors based on the company's Bulldozer design have gotten hammered by tech reviewers for lower performance than expected on PCs. A few days ago, Microsoft actually released a hotfix that in theory would have boosted the performance of Windows 7 on PCs that have the Bulldozer processors.

VR-Zone reports that at the moment, Windows 7 sees the Bulldozer chip as a quad-core processor but with eight threads, rather than an eight core processor which is, of course, how the chip was designed by AMD. The hotfix was designed to improve the scheduling for threads on Bulldozer chips and would have boosted performance by two to seven percent.

However, Microsoft pulled the hotfix for Windows 7 soon after it was released. Early reports indicated that there was actually a performance drop when the hotfix was installed. In a note on the download web page Microsoft states:

AMD and Microsoft are continually working to improve hardware and software for our shared customers. As part of our joint work to optimize the performance of “Bulldozer” architecture-based AMD processors we collaborating on a scheduler update to the Windows 7 code-base. The code associated with this KB is incomplete and should not be used.

There's no word on when the Bulldozer hotfix will be re-released.

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Actually, Windows 7 sees each core as a full fledged core. From the cited article, it appears that the hotfix makes Windows see each "module" (set of 2 cores, with shared cache) as a single core which can handle two threads. This is intended to cause Windows to schedule processor intensive tasks to separate modules first, then if more is needed it will start adding multiple processes to the same module. The speed boost comes from the fact that the shared cache between the two cores of each module can cause some inefficiencies, so spreading tasks out is supposed to be faster.

If we take into consideration softpedia's benchmarks, the Builldozer does not see a performance increase, and in some case scenarios it dwindles.

Jose_49 said,
If we take into consideration softpedia's benchmarks, the Builldozer does not see a performance increase, and in some case scenarios it dwindles.

Helps to RTFA

2 - 7% that is it? .. sure it is an improvement and might amount to something but wow ... was expecting at least 10%+ that 2 there really bugs me

zeta_immersion said,
2 - 7% that is it? .. sure it is an improvement and might amount to something but wow ... was expecting at least 10%+ that 2 there really bugs me

well its not really ready for primetime.. It may be around 10 percent at the actual release

lol "The code associated with this KB is incomplete and should not be used" - or in other words we goofed and need to fix our bugfix code.

Tony. said,
It'll be interesting to see what benchmarks will be like after the hotfix.

Not very different. Bulldozer is AMD's Pentium 4. A new design that's not really better. There is a reason why Intel dropped the Pentium 4's architecture after a while and based the Intel Core on the Pentium 3 architecture.

It's all about research of course. Intel has a HUGE amount of money to spend on research, AMD not so much. I do hope they stay competitive though, we really don't want Intel completely dominating the market.

Tony. said,
It'll be interesting to see what benchmarks will be like after the hotfix.

or even how performance will be when windows 8 is out

Ambroos said,

There is a reason why Intel dropped the Pentium 4's architecture after a while and based the Intel Core on the Pentium 3 architecture.

Actually, the Intel Core was designed on Pentium M architechture, but I get what you're trying to say.