HEXA CORE Processor AMD FX 6100

By Muhammad Faisal 0 comments
When is a six-core PC processor not a six-core PC processor? When it's AMD's new Hexa Core Processor AMD FX 6100. Long before AMD released its fancy new FX chips, we had a feeling a fisticuffs was brewing over the definition of what constitutes a processor core. Now the hexa core processor has arrived and the gloves are off.

hexa core processor amd fx 6100It all comes down to the radical new approach to simultaneous multi-threading (SMT) taken by AMD with the new Bulldozer architecture. Intel's been doing SMT for some time in the form of Hyper-Threading and fair to say Chipzilla's take can be fairly called 'SMT lite'. It hasn't spent a lot of transistors in enabling each of its processor cores to run two of software threads in parallel. So a multi-threading performance boost of around 15 to 20 percent is pretty decent outcome.AMD reckoned it could do better and verily cooked up the Bulldozer module. This little techno-beasty packs a pair of execution units. But much of what you'd normally consider a processor core is shared. The upshot of which is that, on paper at least, it's hard to say whether a Bulldozer module is one hell of a single-core solution or truly deserves to be counted as two cores.

In practice, however, it's all too clear. A Bulldozer module doesn't deserve dual-core status. For proof, observe how this triple-module, supposedly six-core AMD FX 6100 chip compares with AMD's own Phenom II X6 1100T, a true six-core chip and one that isn't famed for world-beating per-core performance. Put simply, the 1100T owns it, and it owns in every metric save memory bandwidth.

As if that wasn't enough, comparisons with Intel's quad-core chips make the 6100's six-core status look even sillier. The non Hyper-Threaded Core i5-2500K mugs it in every test. Meanwhile, the Core i7-2700K is in another league. What's more, in terms of overclocking having one less active module compared to the FX 8150 doesn't appear to deliver much benefit. It didn't get significantly higher clocks out of the 6100.

If that makes the 6100 sound pointless, it's not quite as bad as that. AMD has priced it keenly. At $220, you can make an argument for it as a cheap multi-threading chip. The allure becomes even greater when you factor in the possibility that you may be able to flick a BIOS switch and enable that hidden Bulldozer module. The same applies doubly to the dual-module FX 4100. However, there are no guarantees and it will take a few months before it felt for how successful FX buyers are finding their module-unlocking exploits.

Until then, we'll put on hold recommending the 6100. At stock clocks and with the final module hidden, it's not terribly exciting. However, if it turns out that most 6100s will happily run with the final module enabled, it might just be worth a roll of the dice. If that happens, we'll be more than happy to upgrade the 6100's status to buy.

Vital Statistics
Price $220
Cores/threads 6/6
Clockspeed 3.3GHz (3.9GHz Turbo)
Cache memory 14MB
Socket AM3+
Memory Dual-channel DDR3
Process technology 32nm
Multiplier Unlocked
Integrated Graphics None

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