AMD's first eight-core desktop processors detailed

AMD's FX-8150 and FX-8120 are based on the new Bulldozer architecture

Details about Advanced Micro Devices' first eight-core desktop processors, based on its Bulldozer architecture, have appeared on some retail sites ahead of their official launch.

The FX-8150 and FX-8120 processors are part of the re-launched FX family of chips, which are pitched as high-performance parts aimed at gaming machines and other high-end systems. The FX chips are based on AMD's new Bulldozer architecture, which provides a speed boost of 50 percent or more compared to its predecessor, according to AMD.

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Last month, AMD said an eight-core Bulldozer microprocessor broke the world record for clock speed by running at 8.429GHz. The system was cooled by tanks of liquid helium.

AMD plans to launch the FX chips this quarter but can't yet give a specific date, said AMD spokesman Phil Hughes, who declined to comment further about the chips.

The FX-8150, with eight cores, runs at 3.6GHz and is priced at $287 and $283 on the retail sites of NextDayPC and Bottom Line Telecom. Pre-orders are not yet being accepted by either retailer.

The FX-8120, also with eight ores, runs at 3.1GHZ and is priced at about $237 on Bottom Line Telecom's and NextDay PC's sites.

Hardware maker ECS has also listed the chips on the webpage for an A990FXM-A graphics board, which it calls the "first AMD eight-core-ready motherboard in the world." It has listed the chips as having 16MB of cache.

The chips will compete with Intel's high-end Core i7-990X Extreme Edition processor, based on the Westmere architecture, which is much more expensive at $999 (PDF). However, Intel will soon release an Extreme Edition chip based on its newer Sandy Bridge microarchitecture, said an Intel representative at the company's trade show in September.

Intel also offers the Core i7-2600 quad-core processor, which is based on the Sandy Bridge microarchitecture and priced at $294. The chip has been demonstrated running gaming systems.

Other chips based on AMD's Bulldozer design, such as the 16-core "Interlagos" Opteron processors, will be used in servers. Those Interlagos systems are expected this quarter.

Correction: This story as originally posted misstated the number of cores in Intel's Core i7-2600 microprocessor. The article has been amended.

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