11
Aug
2015

AMD’s FX Series: Single Threaded Performance?

This has been a highly debated topic, but I have never decided to try and find out what the big deal is by myself. I decided to use my 2009 PC and my 2012 PC.

The 2009 PC has a Phenom II X4 at 3.6GHz, whilst the 2012 PC has a FX6300 at 3.5-3.8GHz (depending on load). Now, some benchmarks!

Lets start with Asus’ Realbench:

  • Phenom II X4 965:

Realbench

  • FX6300:

Realbench

Image Editing uses GIMP, which only uses a single thread. As you can see, the Phenom II system here does 19% better, but falls under the six cores of the FX6300 system. The OpenCL score can be ignored since we are not testing graphics horsepower today.

Next, CINEBENCH R15:

  • Phenom II X4 965:

CINEBENCH

  • FX6300:

13

Similar story here: the older Phenom II system does better, but by only 9% this time. In the multithreaded test, the FX6300 wins. You can see how AMD changed their architecture here in the MP Ratio scores. The older Phenom II used true individual cores, yielding a near perfect scaling going from 1 core to 4 cores, whereas the FX system had a lower scaling score since resources are shared between pairs of cores (“modules”).

More and more newer games are utilizing multiple cores, but older ones still run off a single core. 3DMark06 is a good benchmark to show the difference in single-threaded performance:

  • Phenom II X4 965:

3DMark06

  • FX6300:

2

This benchmark is now greatly CPU-limited, which explains why there isn’t a massive difference between scores, even though the GTX 750 Ti is vastly more powerful than the HD5750. The Phenom II system had a 12% better CPU score here, but the faster GPU pulled the FX system out in front. I might try running the same GPU in both systems in the future, to really see how older games are impacted by this difference in single threaded CPU performance.

So to conclude: it can be seen that the single threaded performance of AMD’s FX lineup is not as good as their previous generation of processors: the Phenom II series (at similar clockspeeds). AMD is promising much better single threaded performance with their next platform: Zen. Much excite!

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