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Let me just preface this review by saying I'm only reviewing this processor based on my own experience, not by benchmarks, which, by the way, seem to be sorely lacking for this particular processor.
I've upgraded from an Athlon II X4 630, and I'm running the processor on an ASUS M5A87 motherboard with the 0701 BIOS update. Updating the BIOS via ASUS' utility was a little nerve-wracking, but ultimately painless, and the FX-8120 works flawlessly with it. Installation of the processor with stock cooler was also reasonably painless, though the lever on the cooler didn't exactly function intuitively, and the pictures in the manual were useless. I had to watch a YouTube video just to make sure I was doing it right. This doesn't matter, though, because you don't want to use the stock cooler, even if you're not overclocking. Trust me.
The big minus to this processor is the utterly hideous stock cooler. At idle, it's dead silent, true. Idle temperatures were 18 degrees C for me. Watch a YouTube vid, fire up a virtual machine, listen to an album in Media Player, or stream something from Netflix, and you'll hear a really loud whir that doesn't stop until a few seconds after you've stopped your minor activity. My old Athlon II X4's cooler sounded like that when I'd been gaming for an hour or two. And gaming... The first night after I installed the processor, I played the new Dungeon Siege 3 DLC and my computer sounded like a shop vac. My husband even complained about the noise. The next night, as I was trying to figure out some sort of solution, I discovered it got almost as loud playing Torchlight! Don't think you can snap in a new fan on the cooler to stop the noise, because it won't be as efficient as AMD's vacuum cleaner fan. Believe me, I tried. I'm now using the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo, and it's fantastic; I idle at 13 degrees C, and peak gaming temperatures are around 42 degrees C. It's also reasonably quiet, about as loud as my old Athlon II X4's cooler during gaming. Plenty of other aftermarket coolers are out there, so maybe you'll find something even better.
This leaves me with the pluses. I can't even begin to list them, honestly. This has been an utterly fantastic upgrade for me; everything's faster, and I didn't think my old processor was slow.
Gaming is where I really expected to see most of the boost, and I haven't been disappointed at all. Every game I play loads noticeably faster, and internal menus in any game's UI don't lag at all, unlike on my old processor. Benchmarks have been utterly useless for me in this arena, because I don't play the FPS and racing games that are typically benchmarked. Dragon Age: Origins is extremely smooth, and the 1.03 version with long, slow load screens isn't slow anymore. Dungeon Siege 3 is fluid and gorgeous, without the occasional stutter I'd have when moving the camera or accessing the UI menus. Older games play well with this processor: I've had no issues with KOTOR or Silverfall. A word of warning: I've read that some of the newer Steamworks games have had bluescreen issues, such as Portal 2, Total War: Shogun2 and Deus Ex: Human Revolution. I'm not sure if this has been fixed yet: the Steam client just updated Steamworks a few days ago, but the release notes were spotty, and I haven't read anything about the issue being fixed. I haven't experienced any issues with my Steamworks games.
If I could, I'd deduct half a star for the horrible stock cooler. Seriously, it's unusable for anything beyond surfing the web. But other than that, this processor really deserves five stars from me. I've seldom been so happy with an upgrade, beyond upgrading to my HD 6870. If you have an Athlon II X4 630 or slower, an AM3+ motherboard, and some dollars to spare, this is a no-brainer.
Everyone gets so caught up comparing numbers on a chart instead of actually using the systems. I built my system using a 8120 and am very happy with it. It performs as well as my buddies Intel rig that cost him twice the price. He can point to a graph and show me his system wins, I point to my wallet and say I am the winner. I hope we never go back to the days when Intel is the only choice. Intel is a better company because of AMD and we (the consumer) are much better off. I hope AMD builds better processors in the future but even if they do I don't have the buck$ to drop an a $1000 chip. The 8120 is well worth the performance you get for the dollars and I for one will continue to support AMD whenever possible.
For Price/Performance this 8-Core CPU is a winner. AMD FX 8120 (Code Name Bulldozer) will give you high performance in highly threaded Applications and Benchmarks with Newer Code. It currently stands it's ground, but it will be difficult to make all those cores work for you with todays lacking software.
AMD really went far out with this style of design and put a lot of time and pure Innovation into it. For that alone they get 5***** from me.
The cool part about this 8-Core Monster is the fact you can turn cores and threads on and off at will via Bios and AMD's FX software. This is a Black Edition which means you can also Overclock the CPU in a safe manner by means of a built in technique called Turbo Core. You can use Turbo Core to increase clock speeds when needed and/or you can manually Overclock it through the Bios and/or AMD's FX software. You can run this as 4 cores with 4 threads, 2 cores with 4 threads, 8 cores with 8 threads and so on.
Overall it's a great CPU. It's not without it's issues though. Because it's brand new, built from the ground up and completley different from what anybody has ever done, Software Developers need to catch up to AMD's style of design. Once they do in the near future, this processor should further guarantee you a solid future proof setup.
That said, it's been reported that the new AMD FX CPU's suffer from scheduling problems due to Microsoft's current Windows 7 OS not utilizing the AMD CPU properly. Windows 8 resolved this issue and the newer OS understands how AMD's new 8-Core works gaining you maximum performance. Hopefully Microsoft will release a patch for Windows 7 to resolve this issue.
Despite some Negative reviews along with some Positive reviews, here is my take on the matter. - AMD needs to further tweak this design. - Software needs to polish up to take advantage of this new design. - Driver Updates. - Windows 7 Update for Bulldozer to ensure further performance and consistency.
AMD's Innovation = Intel's Success. Without the two, the CPU Industry would fall far behind in Innovation and Technology. Good Job AMD, just fix the Quirks. Thanks...
With the 3027 beta bios for the Crosshair iv formula. I got this sucker to go 4.7ghz at 1.404 volts. Using Corsair H50 with 800d Case my idle temp are 30 to 35 at load 55 to 59. I guess it depends on the computer case you use that determines the temp. TBH i think the 8120 is a better buy then the 8150. They are bascally the same chip only difference is that the 8150 stock multiplier to higher. But max oc capability is about the same. I rather invest that 40 dollar difference on a high end cpu cooler/closed loops water cooler.