AMD Brings Bulldozer To Desktops With New FX CPUs

The new chips, based on AMD's 32 nm architecture code-named 'Zambezi' design, come with approximately two billion transistors – specs especially attractive to multimedia and gaming enthusiasts. Included in the release are two eight-core processors (FX-8150 and FX-8120) expected to boost performance and enable multi-display gaming and high-definition content development for desktop PCs. The series also offers a six-core (FX-6100) and four-core (FX-4100) processor option, starting at $115.

While the lower-end, four-core processors clock a turbo speed of 3.8 GHz, the eight-core CPUs can go as high as 4.2 GHz, and were overclocked at an impressive 8.429 GHz (while being cooled by vats of liquid helium) during a demonstration last month. AMD said the overclocked FX CPU's speed broke the world record for “Highest Frequency of a Computer Processor” ever recorded, according to Guinness World Records. AMD believes the customization capability for the unlocked and already-fast FX chips will be a major selling point.

“AMD FX CPUs are back with a vengeance, as validated by the recent feat of setting a Guinness World Records title,” said Chris Cloran, corporate vice president and general manager, Client Group at AMD in a press release. “While overclockers will certainly enjoy the frequencies the AMD FX processors can achieve, PC enthusiasts and HD media aficionados will appreciate the remarkable experience that AMD FX processors can provide as part of a balanced, affordable desktop system.”

Adam Kozak, platform marketing manager, client product marketing at AMD, views the new Bulldozer-based FX chips not only as record-setting CPUs, but as validation of the organization’s overall strategy and dedication to the desktop and PC market. “There’s a lot of data out there saying how fast the mobile marketing is exploding,” Koazk said. “But it’s important to note that the desktop market is still there.”

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Strong performance and the convenience of larger screens are a few of the many reasons behind AMD’s staunch support of the desktop, Kozak explained.

The AMD FX series competes directly with Intel's second-generation Core series, which is based on the vaunted Sandy Bridge architecture. Despite claims of the FX series’ record-breaking speeds, the anticipated release of Intel’s Ivy Bridge CPU architecture, scheduled to launch in early 2012, may make AMD's speed lead short lived.

But competition aside, AMD sees this FX release as major turning point for the company. “This is really the start of AMD’s future, in terms of architecture. It’s pretty significant for us,” Kozak said.