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AMD FX-8120 Black Edition CPU Review (with Asus M5A99X EVO)

Rating: 7.5.

Back in October we conducted an in-depth test of AMD’s FX-8150 Black Edition, the range topping processor based on their latest Bulldozer architecture.  We were reasonably impressed with the chip as it overclocked well and outperformed the Intel Core i5-2500K in a number of tests.

Over the last few weeks, AMD has adjusted the pricing of both the AMD FX-8150 Black Edition and the AMD FX-8120 Black Edition to make them more competitive against the Intel Core i5 2500K and 2400.

While we covered the FX-8150 Black Edition in depth when Bulldozer launched, we haven’t had a chance to test the slightly less powerful FX-8120 Black Edition until now.

Aside from the lower base clocks and turbo clocks, the FX-8120 Black Edition is essentially the same as the FX-8150 Black Edition. They both feature eight cores, 8 MB of L2 and L3 cache and a TDP of 125W.

The FX-8120 Black Edition is clocked at 3.1 GHz with a turbo core frequency of of 3.4 GHz and a maximum turbo frequency of 4.0 GHz.  The FX-8150 Black Edition, on the other hand, is clocked at 3.6 GHz with a turbo core frequency of 3.9 GHz and a maximum turbo frequency of 4.2 GHz.

We have already taken an in-depth look at the Bulldozer architecture in our launch review over here, so we won’t be covering this in the review today.

AMD have kindly supplied us with an Asus M5A99X EVO motherboard for this review, featuring the AMD 990X Chipset. We will be comparing the AMD FX-8120 Black Edition with an Intel Core i5-2500k in this review.

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  • Josh

    I wouldnt touch AMD for a processor/motherboard combo. They arent bad chips but Intel are competitvely priced and faster. AMD should drop prices by 20%.

  • alexander

    amd is running a uk cashback deal on the fx and a series at the moment. they’re calling it “more cores – more cashback” or something really similar.
    10£ for a quad core, 15 for hexa, and 20 for octo. this would bring the price to 115£. furthermore, im pretty damn sure that you should be able to find a better deal on it than 135£, and the cashback is directly from amd, so i doubt the choice of retailer will matter much.

  • Josh

    Yeah it was posted yesterday http://www.kitguru.net/components/cpu/kgnewsbot/amd-to-give-money-back-for-buying-fx-and-apu-processors/

    its still not enough.

  • Brad

    And the deal doesnt help americans. im pissed off , I bought a FX8150 a few weeks ago and it should be $15 less already. they are too expensive but im an AMD loyalist, although that might change soon if they look after customers like this.

  • brian

    I like their processors, they are good value for money

  • WarrenUK

    horribly inefficient. twice the physical cores for less performance at the same price, with higher power consumption. its a win !

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  • Ivan


    You are wrong here. First of all, AMD has 2x the integer core count . Where FX8120 loses to 2500K is in FP intensive workloads. No surprise there since FX has ONE FP unit per core pair,thus 4 FP units in “octo” core chip. Each of these units is on par (execution resources wise) as each of 2500K cores(Which have unified scheduler for integer and fp ops).
    So to sum up:
    FX8120 : 3.1Ghz stock clock,3.4Ghz all core turbo,4.2Ghz single core turbo. 8 integer cores,4 FP units each of which is 256bits wide(1×256 or 2x128bit depending on ISA).If AVX is used AMD can execute 4x256bit AVX ops.If FMA4 is used it can double the effective throughput putting it on par with 2500K’s AVX256bit throughput(only in this case).

    2500K : 3.3Ghz stock clock,3.5?Ghz all core turbo,3.7Ghz single core turbo,4 integer cores;4 FP cores each of which can do 1x128bit ADD and 1x128bit MUL so 256bits wide in SSE code. If AVX is used intel 2500K can execute 4x2x256bits of FP ops in theory.

    I hope you see now why FX8xxx series perform like this in some(not all!) FP/SSE heavy workloads. They just have 2x less FP resources than they have integer cores. This is AMD’s design choice since server workloads are mostly integer heavy and those who need FP performance for their HPC server will do a recompile for FMA4/3 path and achieve better performance this way. Desktop users can’t do anything tho,they will have to wait for Steamroller core for more FP performance ;).

    Overall,given above limitations FX has,it(FX8120) performs pretty well for its price versus “fat core” design such is 2500K. Not a bad showing when you consider lower stock clock FX has.

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  • Brian Crossland

    The background picture is makes it looks like the items on the top(AMD in this case) have lower performance.

  • jay

    is there any laptops having “fx” series amd processors??if you are having any info about this then please text me via email: [email protected]..
    thank you..

  • nicolas

    aguante amd loco…