Techspot: AMD FX-8150 Reviewed - Bulldozer makes debut

AMD has continued to improve the Phenom II range to this day, with the Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition leading the charge for the quad-cores, and the six-core Phenom II X6 1100T Black Edition remaining as the flagship offering. The Phenom II has had to deal with the Intel Core i7 on multiple platforms, as well as the Core i5 and Core i3 processors, for almost 3 years now.

After all this time, is the pain finally coming to an end for AMD? A code-name has been tossed around for years now that is meant to do exactly that, that name is Bulldozer. Today AMD is launching its new FX processor lineup comprised of the flagship FX-8150 along with the FX-8120, FX-6100 and FX-4170 processors.

The fastest of the bunch, the FX-8150 will retail for $245, making it 20+% cheaper than the popular Sandy Bridge-based Core i7-2600K. Keep reading as we explore the inner details of AMD's new FX series and we benchmark all four new processors being launched today.

Read: Bulldozer Arrives: AMD FX-8150 Review

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Open Minded said,
It's not really 8 full cores. Each of the two cores inside one module share a floating point unit.

Ok, 8 paraplegic cores then. Now when I think of it, most of the stuff where speed actually matters, also happens to require floating-point arithmetic. What on earth befell on AMD engineers to make such a blunder?

Now all Intel has to do is to lower prices by a small percentage (which is something it can always afford safely) and Bulldozer is effectively doomed, except for fanbois.

Looks like AMD are a little too ahead of their time - depending too much on 8 cores when most software cannot make full use of it yet.

Oh well, I guess I'll wait for Ivy Bridge.

LaP said,

AMD (ATI) makes great GPUs. And AMD used to make very good CPUs too.

i still refer to ATI as ATI. AMD made great cpus about 6-7 years ago which is like a millennium ago in computer years. they where the kings of single core, but no one cares about single core cpu's anymore.

benchmarks benchmarks...

i mean, come on. its just numbers, noone really know if they are really true, specially since even same systems have gotten different benchmarks if it was something to trust it would be almost the same.

none of those games and programs in benchmark will use 100% processor, and some will be optimized more to use Intel than AMD. just like has happened always.
like when a game comes an say "runs better on nvidia" "ati bla bla" of course it would run better in those graphic cards.

but i really dont understand who take these benchmarks seriously, 1090T Works amazing for me, and it seems having these new bulldozers would be faster. yeah i design and render in 3d, so it uses 100% processor. so i bet these bulldozer would be amazing, not like it will make everything in 1 second. but not like before when i had to wait hours and hours.

as long as it Works as it does. i really see benchmarks numbers stupid. since i bet some people if they used a computer without knowing if its amd or intel, i bet noone would tell the difference and say "omg this isn't intel!" specially since no many stuff people use daily can use more than 4 cores not 100% processor.

but anyway i will keep buying AMD. its been fast for rendering, so i cant complain.

EmilyTheStrange said,
benchmarks benchmarks...

i mean, come on. its just numbers, noone really know if they are really true, specially since even same systems have gotten different benchmarks if it was something to trust it would be almost the same.

none of those games and programs in benchmark will use 100% processor, and some will be optimized more to use Intel than AMD. just like has happened always.
like when a game comes an say "runs better on nvidia" "ati bla bla" of course it would run better in those graphic cards.

but i really dont understand who take these benchmarks seriously, 1090T Works amazing for me, and it seems having these new bulldozers would be faster. yeah i design and render in 3d, so it uses 100% processor. so i bet these bulldozer would be amazing, not like it will make everything in 1 second. but not like before when i had to wait hours and hours.

as long as it Works as it does. i really see benchmarks numbers stupid. since i bet some people if they used a computer without knowing if its amd or intel, i bet noone would tell the difference and say "omg this isn't intel!" specially since no many stuff people use daily can use more than 4 cores not 100% processor.

but anyway i will keep buying AMD. its been fast for rendering, so i cant complain.


What they call you in capitalism is a sucker. If Intel's cpu's are faster you should obviously buy the faster one. Sure right now you can't tell the difference, but not too far down the line you'll be wanting a faster processor, and you won't have one because you bought the wrong one.

Benchmarks are how you TELL what's faster. You of course have to know what you're looking for in terms of benchmarks, but I don't think you do. These benchmarks look perfectly fine except for the lack of programs that are optimized for more than 4 cores, which is seriously problematic because most of the new processors have more than 4 cores, leaving 2 to 4 cores mostly unused. What we need is more benchmarks that address this, not you going "My processor still runs so I buy AMD". My ancient K6-2 233 mhz still runs, too, but that doesn't mean ****. I want to know how fast it is, and only benchmarks can tell me that.

OuchOfDeath said,

What they call you in capitalism is a sucker. If Intel's cpu's are faster you should obviously buy the faster one. Sure right now you can't tell the difference, but not too far down the line you'll be wanting a faster processor, and you won't have one because you bought the wrong one.

Benchmarks are how you TELL what's faster. You of course have to know what you're looking for in terms of benchmarks, but I don't think you do. These benchmarks look perfectly fine except for the lack of programs that are optimized for more than 4 cores, which is seriously problematic because most of the new processors have more than 4 cores, leaving 2 to 4 cores mostly unused. What we need is more benchmarks that address this, not you going "My processor still runs so I buy AMD". My ancient K6-2 233 mhz still runs, too, but that doesn't mean ****. I want to know how fast it is, and only benchmarks can tell me that.

do you understand i render in 3d. nothing i do, uses 100% nor full speed but rendering in 3d. obviously if i want a faster processor i would get a real one for a workstation, xeon or opteron.

but for the Price of 1090T and the performace i get... i dont care. its not like 5 seconds will kill me. or 10 (of course it depends).

I still get a nice processor AMD cheap and with 6 cores. if you dont know what 100% usage of a 6 core processor means, its not my problem.

like i say benchmarks most of the time are stupid. i said i have tested the same system and i didn't get quite the same number these super god benchmarks say. if you believe at them, good for you. but i dont care as long as i get a nice rendering speed. if i wanted the best of best speed believe me... i wouldn't get these systems and i would get xeon or opteron. but i dont have the money and its not like i will die from a diarrhea for rendering with 1090T.
and sometimes the same processor in an slight different system, same specs but different memory brands and motherboard runs completely different. and i have tested that, and yeah another reason why i don't like benchmarks. and like i say, some people might get these processors or intel not knowing whats inside. and they wont notice its not intel or amd.

people should get what they like and not base everything on benchmarks that always seem stupid. I hope AMD get better processors now tech its out but it doesn-t mean i will pay for a $1000 6 core processor like when i paid for my 1090T only for gaining some seconds in my renderings.

EmilyTheStrange said,

do you understand i render in 3d. nothing i do, uses 100% nor full speed but rendering in 3d. obviously if i want a faster processor i would get a real one for a workstation, xeon or opteron.

but for the Price of 1090T and the performace i get... i dont care. its not like 5 seconds will kill me. or 10 (of course it depends).

I still get a nice processor AMD cheap and with 6 cores. if you dont know what 100% usage of a 6 core processor means, its not my problem.

like i say benchmarks most of the time are stupid. i said i have tested the same system and i didn't get quite the same number these super god benchmarks say. if you believe at them, good for you. but i dont care as long as i get a nice rendering speed. if i wanted the best of best speed believe me... i wouldn't get these systems and i would get xeon or opteron. but i dont have the money and its not like i will die from a diarrhea for rendering with 1090T.
and sometimes the same processor in an slight different system, same specs but different memory brands and motherboard runs completely different. and i have tested that, and yeah another reason why i don't like benchmarks. and like i say, some people might get these processors or intel not knowing whats inside. and they wont notice its not intel or amd.

people should get what they like and not base everything on benchmarks that always seem stupid. I hope AMD get better processors now tech its out but it doesn-t mean i will pay for a $1000 6 core processor like when i paid for my 1090T only for gaining some seconds in my renderings.


I don't care what you use it for. Your argument is stupid nonetheless.

I was obviously talking about overall value, aka the price/performance ratio. Your Opteron server cpu argument is kind of pointless here.

So your argument is "I hate Benchmarks, I just have God tell me what's better". You OBVIOUSLY NEED SOMETHING for some guidance. It's pretty damn obvious benchmarks are not perfect. That's why there's a ton of different sites that perform a ton of different benchmarks in all sorts of scenarios. You draw conclusions from the various sources, and evaluate them properly. What you're doing is ignoring the only real evidence as to overall performance.

In the real world we evaluate a product based on how it performs, not based on our own ideas that we make up out of thin air like you are.

OuchOfDeath said,

I don't care what you use it for. Your argument is stupid nonetheless.

I was obviously talking about overall value, aka the price/performance ratio. Your Opteron server cpu argument is kind of pointless here.

So your argument is "I hate Benchmarks, I just have God tell me what's better". You OBVIOUSLY NEED SOMETHING for some guidance. It's pretty damn obvious benchmarks are not perfect. That's why there's a ton of different sites that perform a ton of different benchmarks in all sorts of scenarios. You draw conclusions from the various sources, and evaluate them properly. What you're doing is ignoring the only real evidence as to overall performance.

In the real world we evaluate a product based on how it performs, not based on our own ideas that we make up out of thin air like you are.

First I DIDNT ask you to reply my comments.
second, i was talking how I DONT like benchmarks and i think THEY ARE STUPID in most cases. just because something its more expensive don't will go and buy it only because it will give me 10 seconds less of rendering.

and sorry but Opteron SERVER? really... you know what WORKSTATIONS are used for?
i said if i wanted REAL SPEED in my renderings i would get a workstation which means getting a xeon or opteron. which means throwing money in something useful but something I surely dont need. but you seem to ignorant to understand that.

its MY opinion. and I THINK people who use benchmarks like if it was all that matters its stupid, i read them but i don't base everything and say a processor sucks for not scoring high in something. and seriously who are you to say my "argument" is stupid. specially when im really not talking to you. when you don't even understand when i said I DIDNT NEED to spend $1000 in intel when i got a AMD 1090T that performs good and renders fast enough for me.

It MY opinion, its MY comment. and you come feeling so smart and special. "oh i know everything" and im sorry but you are just a pathetic person who comes TO MY comment about MY OPINION, and you are far from smart. but of course you can always go and stick a processor in your butt, you know, maybe there will be useful .
but shut up, because im not asking you what you think or "please reply my comment, you seem smart" because obviously i don't think you are at all.

EmilyTheStrange said,

Text

First, if you comment on a news item on a public website then people will obviously read it and some will think differently and state their opinion. Second, benchmarks is how we evaluate and compare hardware, they're not useless. Third, you don't need to spend 1k on Intel, just roughly the same as if you'd buy a proc from AMD.

EmilyTheStrange said,

First I DIDNT ask you to reply my comments.
second, i was talking how I DONT like benchmarks and i think THEY ARE STUPID in most cases.

But.. benchmarks are not just someone's opinion - they are a demonstration of fact.. like a scientific experiment. You create a controlled environment with matching hardware (apart from the item you wish to benchmark) and subject it to the same kinds of tests to get a result. It's the best, most fair way of testing whether something is good or not.

I personally base a lot of my purchasing decisions on benchmarks.. on paper these FX chips look great and I was seriously thinking I'd consider AMD for my next PC, but seeing a few reviews and a few comments has put me right off

EmilyTheStrange said,
benchmarks benchmarks...

i mean, come on. its just numbers, noone really know if they are really true, specially since even same systems have gotten different benchmarks if it was something to trust it would be almost the same.

none of those games and programs in benchmark will use 100% processor, and some will be optimized more to use Intel than AMD. just like has happened always.
like when a game comes an say "runs better on nvidia" "ati bla bla" of course it would run better in those graphic cards.

but i really dont understand who take these benchmarks seriously, 1090T Works amazing for me, and it seems having these new bulldozers would be faster. yeah i design and render in 3d, so it uses 100% processor. so i bet these bulldozer would be amazing, not like it will make everything in 1 second. but not like before when i had to wait hours and hours.

as long as it Works as it does. i really see benchmarks numbers stupid. since i bet some people if they used a computer without knowing if its amd or intel, i bet noone would tell the difference and say "omg this isn't intel!" specially since no many stuff people use daily can use more than 4 cores not 100% processor.

but anyway i will keep buying AMD. its been fast for rendering, so i cant complain.

people look at benchmarks as a quantitative measure of how one thing performs against another. It's not just computers. Look at cars... X car has 200 HP, Y car has 250 hp.. must be faster right? It's a way to quickly compare one system vs another...as an example, I'm going to pick up a new video card soon, so I am curious to see FPS rates for various cards in various games, I already know I'm not going to see the exact same numbers, but if i can get a rough idea, I can see which card will give me a decent boost in FPS while not sucking too much electricity or costing too much.

I have to say these benchmarks are missing something crucial. None of these programs are optimized for more than 4 cores, and most of them probably can't even use more than 4. These benchmarks look very similar to the Phenom II benchmarks, only with the Phenom II Benchmarks the X6 was able to win a single benchmark in that review against ALL Intel CPU's by a certain amount. This was the single benchmark that fully made use of six cores (no I don't have the link on hand unfortunately, should have saved it). Before the introduction of this new line the X6 was the most future-proof cpu as it's obvious it has more horsepower with more cores, if they are actually used.

I want to see proper benchmarks of seriously multithreaded applications with these new 6 and 8 core cpus, where they should obviously do better. I'm not convinced they're slower than Intel's, as I said from that single benchmarks in a previous Phenom II comparison.

For most applications they''ll obviously currently be slower, but to be honest at these speeds you won't notice a difference with anything at all. It's far better to buy a cpu with more cores and be future-proof for when programs are properly written for using more than 4 cores, and these are the benchmarks that I want to see. I retain my judgement. This was not a comprehensive enough review.

Edited by OuchOfDeath, Oct 12 2011, 5:56am :

Thing is...quad core processors have been out for like 3-4 years now and yet most programs aren't optimized for them yet, and instead will generally use two of the cores to their max potential. Hence you aren't going to see programs optimized for 8 cores anytime soon.

And btw benchmarks from the maker of the processor mean absolutely nothing. So just because AMD released some benchmark claiming their X6 line completely trashes Intel's core line...doesn't mean its true.

Like I said above, I want AMD to succeed but in all honesty their line of processors suck compared to Intel's offering.

/- Razorfold said,
Thing is...quad core processors have been out for like 3-4 years now and yet most programs aren't optimized for them yet, and instead will generally use two of the cores to their max potential. Hence you aren't going to see programs optimized for 8 cores anytime soon.

And btw benchmarks from the maker of the processor mean absolutely nothing. So just because AMD released some benchmark claiming their X6 line completely trashes Intel's core line...doesn't mean its true.

Like I said above, I want AMD to succeed but in all honesty their line of processors suck compared to Intel's offering.


I'm well aware benchmarks from manufacturers are useless. It was a somewhat reputable benchmarking site. Anandtech I think. Yes I know they're not HardOCP, but they're at the top of their game at all times, so being HardOCP aint easy. This was a reputable benchmark though, that showed an anomaly of the X6 being faster than every other processor as the benchmark program was specifically optimized for using all 6 cores.

I know programs don't use more cores yet. That's more of a reason to buy an AMD processor. They're far more futureproof (if this anomaly is a trend in real performance). Currently these processors are so fast there's little difference between Intel and AMD for most scenarios. This is why I want to see proper benchmarks that actually max out these 6 and 8 core cpus.

OuchOfDeath said,

I know programs don't use more cores yet. That's more of a reason to buy an AMD processor. They're far more futureproof (if this anomaly is a trend in real performance). Currently these processors are so fast there's little difference between Intel and AMD for most scenarios. This is why I want to see proper benchmarks that actually max out these 6 and 8 core cpus.

Like I said, you won't be seeing programs that are optimized for 8 cores anytime soon.

So unless you don't plan on upgrading your processor in the next 3-4 years, I'd still say save yourself some money buy the i5-2500k and build a much better computer. Reasons?
- It's cheaper
- It uses a LOT less power
- It overclocks a lot better, there's people who have gotten it to 4.5ghz+ on air cooling alone

Here it wins one significantly multithreaded benchmark by a bit, and almost ties two others. These benchmarks aren't very detailed and nothing here in the article addresses how well the programs make use of all the cores, but there's clearly more to these cpu's than Techspot shows.

Maybe you should read on...

Anandtech also pretty much say bulldozer is crap and if you have a phenom x6 theres no point in upgrading. Ok it isn't as blunt as that but its pretty much the message they're getting across.

/- Razorfold said,

Like I said, you won't be seeing programs that are optimized for 8 cores anytime soon.

So unless you don't plan on upgrading your processor in the next 3-4 years, I'd still say save yourself some money buy the i5-2500k and build a much better computer. Reasons?
- It's cheaper
- It uses a LOT less power
- It overclocks a lot better, there's people who have gotten it to 4.5ghz+ on air cooling alone


It's cheaper compared to the 8 core. The 6 and 4 cores are a lot cheaper, and end up being cheaper on a price-performance ratio today, but the argument I'm making is for tomorrow and not today.

/- Razorfold said,

Maybe you should read on...

Anandtech also pretty much say bulldozer is crap and if you have a phenom x6 theres no point in upgrading. Ok it isn't as blunt as that but its pretty much the message they're getting across.


I did read on? Have you even tried reading my posts? I'm trying to address the fact that benchmarks are inadequate in actually measuring the full processing power of the cpus. Current cpu's are more than fast enough for every day things, whether it's gaming or occasional encoding, decoding, etc. Processor core amount is probably going to double in 2 years, effectively close to doubling cpu performance. It's obvious massive parallelization in programs is coming really soon, which makes these AMD processors more attractive.

I think I made my case far more than I should have. Proper benchmarks are needed.

Ok lets stop looking 3-4 years ahead. In 4-5 months Ivy Bridge is out on Intels new 22nm lithography (AMD doesn't plan to introduce 22nm processors until 2013, putting them an entire year behind Intel).

Currently, Intels Core series destroys AMDs options in real world usage. Sorry there really is no other comparison to be made. And if this trend continues, Ivy Bridge will just bring more shame onto AMD.

You can keep waiting for that mythical day where all programs are coded for 8 core CPUs. Sadly I do that see that happening anytime soon. Why? Let's look at some examples:

- We've had 64bit processors for how long now? How many applications / games can you name that are 64bit enabled? Very few.
- We've had quad core processors for 4 years now, how many applications and games can you name that actually take advantage of all 4 cores? Very few.

Thing is you're only looking at core count. Sorry but core count, instruction set and clock speed go hand in hand. If core count was the only thing that mattered, nVidia/AMD GPUs would be the fastest processors on earth. Now the instruction set between AMD and Intel processors are pretty similar to lets forget about that. That just leaves us with clock speed and all the reviews agree that these bulldozer CPUs will be better if they could achieve higher clock speeds, but they can't.

The Anandtech review pretty much sums it up with one sentence "AMD forces you to choose between good singlethreaded performance or good multithreaded performance, you can't have both". With Intel you can.

Edited by -Razorfold, Oct 12 2011, 7:25am :

/- Razorfold said,
Ok lets stop looking 3-4 years ahead. In 4-5 months Ivy Bridge is out on Intels new 22nm lithography (AMD doesn't plan to introduce 22nm processors until 2013, putting them an entire year behind Intel).

Currently, Intels Core series destroys AMDs options in real world usage. Sorry there really is no other comparison to be made. And if this trend continues, Ivy Bridge will just bring more shame onto AMD.

You can keep waiting for that mythical day where all programs are coded for 8 core CPUs. Sadly I do that see that happening anytime soon. Why? Let's look at some examples:

- We've had 64bit processors for how long now? How many applications / games can you name that are 64bit enabled? Very few.
- We've had quad core processors for 4 years now, how many applications and games can you name that actually take advantage of all 4 cores? Very few.


We are looking 2 years ahead. That's not long. I know Intel will have something out later, but we're talking about buying processors now. That's how the processor-buying market works.

It's not a mythical day. Two years ago all games were coded for dual-cores. Now they are all coded for 4 cores. Where's this idea that 8 cores is a mythical target in two years? There's an obvious trend that's been going on with core doubling, and it's quite easy to predict, and has been easy to predict. You're stepping out of reality here. This is how fast this sector moves.

If you want to buy a decent future-proof cpu that will last you for two years, or perhaps more, the AMD 8 core obviously looks better right now from those proper multhithreading benchmarks. I've had my cpu for over 2 years now. Not everyone buys hardware constantly. Some people want decently future-proof hardware, and you're not addressing that. I'm trying to address that here.

Edited by OuchOfDeath, Oct 12 2011, 7:17am :

OuchOfDeath said,
It's not a mythical day. Two years ago all games were coded for dual-cores. Now they are all coded for 4 cores. Where's this idea that 8 cores is a mythical target in two years? There's an obvious trend that's been going on with core doubling, and it's quite easy to predict, and has been easy to predict. You're stepping out of reality here. This is how fast this sector moves.

Now games are all coded for quad cores? Wat?

I have a mobile i7 (4 cores + hyperthreading) and I can fire up Metro 2033 or BC2 or Rage and I'll notice that two of my cores are used a lot more than the other 6 (well 2 since hyperthreading doesn't really count). Hell Starcraft 2 is a strictly dual core game.

OuchOfDeath said,

It's not a mythical day. Two years ago all games were coded for dual-cores. Now they are all coded for 4 cores. Where's this idea that 8 cores is a mythical target in two years? There's an obvious trend that's been going on with core doubling, and it's quite easy to predict, and has been easy to predict.

And it's not something that you can continue to apply to game engine design like it's being sprinkled with magical fairy dust.
There are only so many things games can do in parallel. If we're going with rendering then sure - but that's strictly the GPU's domain, which is why GPUs are good at what they do.
There's only so much that other calculations (physics, AI et al) can be parallelised without having any advantage you might have gained be washed away by the overheads of shared memory reads.

I'm not saying that it won't be possible for games to take advantage of 8 cores, but it's a tricky thing to engineer - and every time that number goes up, the less trivial it becomes.

/- Razorfold said,

Now games are all coded for quad cores? Wat?

I have a mobile i7 (4 cores + hyperthreading) and I can fire up Metro 2033 or BC2 or Rage and I'll notice that two of my cores are used a lot more than the other 6 (well 2 since hyperthreading doesn't really count). Hell Starcraft 2 is a strictly dual core game.


Metro 2033 is a bit old now. I'm talking games coming out now. Crysis 2 and the upcoming Battlefield 3 and Skyrim all have "Quadcore recommended" specs. Rage I'm very surprised about. Carmack's always been about pushing the limits of computing power. Starcraft 2 I'm not surprised about in the least. This is Blizzard. They ALWAYS make their games to have them run on even the oldest computers.

I'm using games as an example, but yes games might be harder to parallelize beyond even 4 or 8 cores as this kind of performance jump doesn't line up with GPU jumps. GPU's are far more important, however their increases aren't any larger. There will always be room though for more processing power in a game engine. It may take longer to adopt from the 4-8 core jump as that is twice as many cores to work with than last time, but gaming's always been about the fastest GPU for years now, with mediocre speed dual-cores still being able to max some games out.

Edited by OuchOfDeath, Oct 12 2011, 4:08pm :

i have a Phenom II X6 BE 1090T it's awesome, I don't want update to bulldozer, or at least for a couple of years!

mjedi7 said,
i have a Phenom II X6 BE 1090T it's awesome, I don't want update to bulldozer, or at least for a couple of years!

Same, and if past has taught us anything with AMD waiting for the second round/gen processors is the way to go. I certainly won't be jumping ship after seeing this until the next round of them come out and hopefully are more efficient while maintaining or improving performance increase. This in its current iteration shows a chip that just constantly clocks higher and becomes less and less efficient with power consumption to performance ratio.

The architecture looked like it had some serious potential, but this is disappointing. Glad I decided to go for a 2500k a while ago, great processor.

I want AMD to succeed, competition is good, but this is disappointing.

The fastest of the bunch, the FX-8150 will retail for $245, making it 20+% cheaper than the popular Sandy Bridge-based Core i7-2600K
Or you can get the 2500K which is $219 and still faster than the FX processors in benchmarks.

I was hoping bulldozer would be a serious contender to Intel since it would be nice to have competition in the processor market again...but sadly, doesn't seem to be that way =(

/- Razorfold said,
Or you can get the 2500K which is $219 and still faster than the FX processors in benchmarks.

I was hoping bulldozer would be a serious contender to Intel since it would be nice to have competition in the processor market again...but sadly, doesn't seem to be that way =(

yeah, last-gen x6's are better than Bulldozer =/

These processors are pathetic. What happened to you AMD? My A64 3200+ and A64 3800+ X2 and A64 5000+ X2 are ashamed of you.

Vice said,
These processors are pathetic. What happened to you AMD? My A64 3200+ and A64 3800+ X2 and A64 5000+ X2 are ashamed of you.

What's really pathetic is that it's not even that good in games like AMD was flaunting in their PR stunt