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on June 5, 2012
I've been waiting nearly five years to upgrade my computer. In that time, I've been getting by on an old Athlon X2 @2.6Ghz. Games of the past few years had started feeling sluggish and it was all CPU-bound; my GPU wasn't really capable of shining as my CPU/RAM wasn't keeping up. Most aggravating though is that I transcode a great deal of video and audio, and to transcode standard-def video into x264 at a measly 10fps was just painful.

My motherboard decided to go belly-up a week ago, and I knew it was time to build a new rig. I decided right away that I wanted something that could chew up encoding jobs and an 8-core CPU fit the bill. I also knew I needed enough speed to handle even the newest games. After seeing the price premium charged by Intel, and reading that the FX line's initial launch problems (mostly regarding specific Steam games) had been resolved, I lept. I have *not* been disappointed.

The FX-8120 can be easily overclocked to 4.2Ghz, or higher with after-market cooling (I've seen 4.9Ghz with water cooling), though I choose to set it at the stock 3.1Ghz and let my mobo ramp up the clock cycles as necessary up to 4.2Ghz. The CPU goes anywhere from 1.7-4.2Ghz, as the work load dictates. This processor eats parallelized work loads for breakfast! Handbrake sings opera on this CPU and really shows off what 8 cores can do. Using the exact same encoding settings, I as able to encode the same standard-def material at a whopping 81fps, not the previous 10. To put that in perspective, a 2-hour movie used to take 288 minutes to transcode (about five hours). Now, that same 2-hour movie takes 35.5 minutes. Wow. I couldn't be more pleased. Games *never* dip below my vsync rate (60fps), even the newest blockbusters I've tried, at extreme settings and running 1080p. If I turn off vsync, games run anywhere from 110fps average (Diablo III) to 220fps average (Half-Life 2/Counter-Strike Source). Since I hate screen tearing and always leave vync on this bodes very well for a long relationship with this CPU. I did have a few problems launching Portal 2 and Left 4 Dead 2; after updating my motherboard's firmware and re-installing the games, they now run just beautifully. Bottom line: this CPU screams no matter what job I've thrown at it.

And that's where things go down-hill: this CPU SCREAMS. It sounds like a freakin' shop-vac when the workload is heavy!!! Please don't disregard this; when cranked up full-tilt the cooler fan runs at well over 6000rpm, and I can hear it from the other end of my house. My case even has foam sound insulation and it sounds like the CPU could take off for a vacation in Fiji any minute, and it's gonna take the full-tower system with it if it has to. So distracting is the noise that I ended up purchasing an after-market water cooling system to replace the stock cooler. I don't consider this a huge negative in the grand scheme of things as I almost always purchase after-market cooling solutions for my CPUs and had already planned to overclock this CPU eventually, but as a potential buyer you should be aware that the stock cooler is incredibly loud.
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on February 13, 2012
If you're looking at buying one of the FX series processors, first I recommend you do some homework over the performance of the Zambezi line. In case you haven't done so yet, I'll skip to the conclusion: the FX series provides no immediate performance increase from the Phenom II line. The FX series performs roughly as well as the Phenom 2 960 processor. If you dig into the reasons why the Zambezi processors don't perform as well as the high-end Phenom II's, the answer lies in how multi-threading is handled. The Bulldozer cores are AMD's physical answer to Intel's firmware Hyperthreading. I expect the FX series will see some performance boost from the way Windows 8's scheduler handles the Bulldozer core design, but there won't be a significant boost. So if you're looking for an upgrade from a Phenom II, you're better off waiting for the Trinity line later this year.

Now that that's out of the way, I really enjoy the FX-8120. It's a solid processor, with no performance hiccups or surprises. As I expected, it handles all of my tasks with ease, including heavy gaming. Combined with a Noctua D14, the temps rarely top 45C. Having moved up from a Phenom I, it's a small performance boost and a significant improvement in temperatures. I

Beyond that, there's not much to say. The stock HSF is the same that AMD has used for years. Works well enough for most applications. Overall, I enjoy using the FX-8120. It's rock solid, fast enough for anything I can throw at it, and it's still cheaper than an i7.
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on August 5, 2013
I have had this processor now for about a year, and I am pretty impressed with it to be honest. When I first got it though I did have a few issues. First of all it was extremely loud with the stock cooler. I can deal with that though pretty much every component on my computer is loud. But as loud as it was you would THINK it would be cooling the processor pretty well. No, definitely not. The stock cooler is not sufficient for a processor that runs as naturally warm as the Bulldozers do. I was in bios and idle speeds of +40c. I didn't even bother gaming on it for fear of damaging it and my board.

I replaced the stock cooler with the Antec 620. This made a HUGE difference. On stock clock it was only a little over 20c. When I got around to running AMDs overdrive it got to 5ghz stable and only then was it back to 40c at idle. I of course didn't want to tax the processor that much and dialed it back down to 3.8ghz. That said, many people run 4ghz+ regularly without issue but I don't need to push it that hard because I have seen zero issues at the current rate.

So the final verdict is that when you see this processor at a good price (I paid $115.00 from warehouse deals) it is worth getting. BUT remember that you MUST include the price of a cooler in there too, I paid $60 for the ANTEC liquid cooler.

For reference purposes here is a list of my system specs
AMD 8120 Black
Saphire AMD 7870 graphics card
16gb corsair 1600 Ram
MSI 970A-G46 motherboard

Common programs I use:
Arma 3 DayZ
Sim City (2013)
Planet Side 2
Battlefield 3
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on July 19, 2012
I was using a phenom II 965 for a while and just installed this recently. The phenom II of course did everything well but I can see a noticeable difference with this. My download rates about doubled and my temperatures are about 10 degrees less on idle and when stressed cause this thing is hardly working. This laughs at the workloads that would stress out my last cpu! Max temps are in the upper 30's with water cooling after prime95. When it idle's it's right around room temperature. I haven't tried overclocking yet but I'm gonna hold off on that until I find something that this processor will have trouble handling. I haven't had any trouble at all and so far I love having this in my system! It's paired with a 990fx board and it's a great combination. I haven't tried gaming yet but my video card is outdated, so it's not worth mentioning fps until I do my next upgrade. If I had to complain it would be that the tin has a hole in the side to look at the cpu, so I can't use it for other things... Also I hear the heatsink is terrible but that's why I'm not using it.

If you're looking to upgrade from a quadcore then this isn't a bad choice at all. Don't expect it to keep up with an i7 but for what this does I don't know why you would want to spend $100 more for something a little better. If you want to wait I'm sure that the next generation of processors will be awesome as well. Otherwise I highly recommend upgrading to this. It's working extremely well for me!
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on March 16, 2014
After many months of use, several performance test & real life usage the only thing I can say about the AMD FX-8120 is:
That it over-clocks really nice.
Meets all of my needs.
In non-gaming usage I have only hit 40% usage on occasion.
This CPU will put out a lot of heat when you start to work it, so plan form the start to move ALLOT OF AIR through your case.
Go big on the CPU cooler.
I run this at about 30% over-clock on a daily bases, for all work & play.

I am extremely happy with this CPU and will be using more of them in the future.
After a years worth of use, Price, and Performance makes this a FIRST choice in my opinion.
Don't bother putting an AMD FX-8120 on a cheap motherboard.
In real life usage, I can not find a compelling reason to us an Intel CPU.
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on June 5, 2012
Pros: Really nice tin can
Easy to install
Worked straight out the box with lightning speed
Provides a heatsink and a Fan
Lock and Unlock Cores(You can use 2,4,6, or 8 cores)
Easy to overclock
Cons: NONE

I started building my computer and was either choosing the FX-6100 or FX-8120. It was hard but I chose to buy the FX-8120 because for $20 dollars extra, i was getting two extra cores. With two extra cores, it allows my computer to run a lot faster. You save a lot of money by buying this Fx-8120 because it will last you longer in terms of technology than the Fx-6100. You can also overclock it right out the box to match the same speed as the Fx-8150 and saves you a good $30 dollars.

Would i recommend this? Of course, I recommend this to everyone that wants a fast computer and keep up with the technology. It is wallet friendly and speed is inbetween the i5 and i7. It is a cheaper than the i5 and i7 and it comes close to the i7 when overclocked.
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on April 29, 2013
Got this for a compilation server and works as expected, because compiling is an integer unit heavy process, the 8 integer cores are used properly in this solution. It is very fast. But do yourself a favor, get another heatsink when you bought this CPU! The included one is noisy as an airplane engine (The guys at the office called my workstation the same name as the local airport!) and doesn't cool properly (Got a couple of forced shutdowns!).
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on March 9, 2012
So first let get this out of the way: This processor DOES work with Windows7. What it doesn't get is full utilization of all 8 cores with it. However, even with that, this sucker if freakin' *fast*. My Windows Experience Index is at 7.5 for the CPU, and that's without overclocking it. Which brings me to another topic- AMD chips have always been good with overclocking, and from all reports i've seen, this one is rock solid. I've modestly upped it to 3.4 ghz so it can run at effectively the same speed as the FX 8150, and it's good so far.

The other thing about it that Windows 8 *does* take advantage of its architecture and reports are that there will be at least a 10% boost in performance with Win8. Normally, when you go up an OS, your computer's hardware needs to be updated. With this CPU, you won't have to- in fact, your PC will be even faster!

So if you plan on upgrading a PC every year or 2, this CPU won't be the best deal for you. You can get a Phenom II for $50 less to get the same performance out of Win7. But if you want it to last you 4, 5, 6 years, this one should work nicely.

UPDATE on 11/16/12: I've actually been running this CPU at 4.2GHz for about 6 months now. That's about the limit i've been able to get on air cooling. It's been very stable and really fast, cannot complain at all!

Also, i have 2 sticks of 4GB G.Skill Sniper series 1866MHz RAM. I've seen some people concerned that you can't actually get ram to run at higher than 1600. First of all, some of those folks used 1600 ram, not 1866. Second, you DO need to most likely tweak your BIOS to run them at that speed regardless. My asus sabertooth 990fx motherboard would only look at my ram as 1600 by default, but a few quick settings changes in the BIOS fixed it. You have to manually set the timings per spec and it will work just fine.
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on December 16, 2012
Pros: It knows how to use energy properly.
Heat Sync an fan are good.
Bulldozers anything you place in it's way.

Cons: None so far.

Other Thoughts: Hey I'm a 3d graphic designer an I use the bulldozer 8120 everyday.
It takes on those big tasks of rendering shadows an mental rays.
I had no problems with the cpu at all. I was really scared after reading reviews but tbh it's the same as reading a game review you really don't know if you'll like it until you try. So that's what I did it's about my 3rd month of using the cpu which seems pretty fair as most people write negative feedback in 1 month.

This is the funniest thing on my build.
My PSU is only 250watt on 2 12v rails. I thought this would be an issue but I tagged the 8120 with a beautiful good cheap Mobo called the M5A97 which I also bought here at
It an EPU / TPU mobo so couldn't go wrong. Equiped with an ATI Sapphire 5770 and 5gb of Ram from HP.

Sadly I cannot run the cpu an an overclocking rate I havin't bothered trying I'm running the CPU at 2800 Tcore Disabled.
All fanspeeds are high. I balance my PC to be energy efficient at the right times. It's been tested during gaming I've ran on ultra Borderlands 2, Assasins Creed 3 and 2 , Global Agenda , Sleeping Dogs. All at the same time without a stutter or power strain. There was no noise the Heat Sync that came with the CPU I'm happy with it it stays at around 30-40c. 40 being when I ran everything lol it's normally 29 but anyways.

I could go on about how my rig is but there is 1 thing for sure I love this CPU and as I'm going to be making lots of animations in 3ds and blender for UDK I'm happy to say that when I release my underground game I hope I can place the Logo " Created using AMD"

When I hit the 6 month mark I'll come back with a video ;)
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on October 27, 2012
Wife's 'puter needed upgrade, so decided to give her the Phenom X4 Black and myself this FX8120 (her needs are much less). The 8120 went into the AM3+ I already had; Didn't really expect to see much improvement, with chipset being the same, etc.

I run the 880G set with 16GB ram, 1.25 TB hard drive,couple dvds. Operating system is Kubuntu 12.04.1 64.

First thing I noticed is ram is in more usage. Second is when I boot Windows XP in virtualbox, this thing is about like comparing an old Charger 426 to a 318 (something many won't know about). The boot is a matter of seconds: remember the 'puter must start up VirtualBox first, then load Windows. Actual boot time is 23 seconds start to finish. Some of this seems due to the processor's better utilization of hard and soft memory, including drives. Since I don't usually use windows any longer, except for some programs, to get a better handle on speed I opened my sound lab and did a modification of some old songs that needed pops removed, volumes adjusted and so forth. That process was near twice as fast as with the Phenom. Also, since virtualbox supplies the platform for windows to run, there are no issues about windows recognizing either the cpu or the 64 bit system, meaning windows runs much more smoothly than by itself. Also, this removes the security issues Microsoft has always had.

Also, once the cpu was installed and running (BTW, linux recognized and used the potential instantly) I decided to reinstall the 64 bit version of linux. That installation was finished much more quickly than with the Phenom, strangely enough. Also found that downloading large files seems quicker, probably due to the faster/more efficient memory/disk operations.

Considering the multitasking aspect, since linux is much better at that than ms, I can have a dozen iterations of windows running, but setting tasks on each at the same time I can't do because the thing finishes a task more quickly than I can start more. So if your standard usage includes the multitasking, this is a good one.

Other reviews complain about the noisy fan when the thing revs up; frankly, I noticed it more with the Phenom than with the 8120. Some of this is due to the fact that next to my box is a rather large true sine UPS (2kVA, runs all the computers/printers and such) which makes substantial noise, so commenting on that would mean little: I just don't notice the fan noise much.

As an upgrade, then, this is probably one of the best I've done re performance boost in a single easy step.
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