AMD FX-4100 Quad Core CPU Review

By Muhammad Faisal 0 comments
Processor Tag AMD FX-4100Multi-threading and parallelism are all the rage. Put simply, more cores equals more fun, right? Not, as it happens, when it comes to games. Despite the hype, the fact is PC games still don't' scale that well across multiple processor cores.

On the one hand, that's a disappointing state of affairs given the multi-core hoopla Intel has been pedaling for the last five years. On the other, it presents an opportunity for gamers to save a few quid. After all, if it's games that gets you going, we'd argue there's only so many cores you need.

Consider, therefore, the AMD FX-4100. It's based on the very same two-billion transistor processor die as the range-topping FX 8150. The difference is that two of the 8150's four Bulldozer modules have been nuked. Still, what we know the FX-4100 is based on AMD's latest 32nm Bulldozer architecture.

It has two modules and therefore a grand total of four pseudo cores. It runs at 3.6GHz nominally, sports a 3.8GHz Turbo frequency and packs 12MB of L2 and L3 cache memory, combined. And it's happiest in an AM3+socket paired with DDR3 memory up to 1,866MHz.

AMD FX-4100 Price

But here's the real kicker. AMD FX-4100 your for just $158. So, that's healthy clocks, four threads and AMD's very latest CPU architecture. Quite an attractive package. But not, as it turns out, terrible fit or gaming purpose. The problem is the new AMD Bulldozer micro architecture. I anything, its strongest suit is multi-threading. And that means you want as many of those modules switched on as possible.

What Bulldozer doesn't deliver is decent per-thread performance. For proof, first observe the single-threaded benchmark results. The 3.6GHz (3.8GHz with Turbo) FX-4100 may be clocked much higher than the similarly priced 3.1GHz Intel Core i3-2100, but the latter is off the map in terms of single-or multiple-threaded performance. The FX-4100 needs three minutes and 44 seconds to churn its way through Cine bench R10 in single-threaded mode. The i3-2100 needs just two minutes and 51 seconds.

What matters is game performance and Bulldozer's per-thread gutlessness duly rears its head. The 67fps average the FX-4100 achieves in the World in Conflict may sound reasonable, but obscures the fact that the frame rate can and does drop well below 30 when the action goes into overdrive.

Meanwhile, the merely dual-core Core i3-2100 cranks out 80fpx and generally keeps cooler under pressure. In the testing, the 4100 didn't deliver significantly better OC headroom than the full eight-core Bully. The best that can be said about this dual-module Bulldozer, then, is that it's not far behind its triple and quad-module brethren in games. If only they weren't all of the pace.

CPU, FX-4100
Vital Statistics
Price $158
Cores/threads 4/4
Clockspeed 3.6GHz (3.8GHz Turbo)
Cache memory 12MB
Socket AM3+
Memory Dual-channel DDR3
Process technology 32nm
Multiplier Unlocked
Integrated Graphics None
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