Zambezi is the fourth-longest river in Africa (the one with the beautiful Victoria Falls), and also the codename for the new FX series of "Bulldozer" desktop enthusiast CPUs from AMD. After months of speculation and spin about the launch date and performance numbers, the new processors have finally hit the shops and we bring you our review of the top of the line FX-8150. Also, stand a chance to win a ASUS ROG Crosshair V Formula 990FX Motherboard (details inside).
Overview of the AMD FX Platform
First, to set your expectations right from the start, this is a chart/
bombshell from the reviewer's guide itself:
As we can see, despite the hype from previously leaked marketing slides and forum trolls claiming otherwise, today's AMD FX series of processors are NOT designed to go head to head with Intel's higher end SKUs like the i7 2600k or the 6-core i7 "Gulftown" 990X. This is evident in the performance tests in the later pages of our review.
These are the products launching today:
Suggested retail pricing is US$245 for the FX-8150, US$205 for the FX-8120, US$165 for the FX-6100 and US$115 for the FX-4100. At this point of time it is not known or tested if the 4/6-core models have disabled core unlock capabilities.
The new AMD FX models are on AM3+ (942 pins) socket, which retains mechanical compatibility with older AM3 motherboards, provided they can supply enough peak current and receive a BIOS update from the respective vendors to support the new processors. Officially, AMD recommends the use of the 990FX/990x/970 + SB950 chipsets, but we've seen motherboard vendors tout that the new processors will work from mature models like 760G to the more modern 890FX.
Platform Specifications/Die Shot:
Much have been said about the new Bulldozer architecture on VR-Zone and other websites already so we will write more in detail about it in a later article this week. For now, we move on to what our readers will be most interested in: overclocking and benchmarks…