Having had another look through the Guru3D review that also covers the 4 and 6 core Bulldozers I am very unimpressed - link below.http://www.guru3d.com/article/amd-fx-81 ... ce-review/
I have a reasonably cheap CPU in the form of the Phenom II 840 (really an Athlon II as it doesn't have any L3 cache), which runs at 3.2GHz, it is barely any faster (100 MHz) than the Athlon II 645 in the review (3.1GHz, also with no L3 cache - same core design).
Note how the "Bulldozer" FX-4100 does against the AII 645 - not very well at all - (wins most tests, but not by a lot, and actually looses a few - notably 3D Mark), the AII 645 costs just £79 (the PII 840 costs £80) whereas the FX-4100 costs £90, which makes its closest AM3 competitor as the Phenom II x4 955 (a real Phenom with 6MB of L3 cache) that also runs at 3.2GHz like my x4 840 (no L3 cache).
The obvious winner on the AM3 platform at that price point is the Phenom II x 4 955, or if you want to save a bit of cash (and cache) the PII 840 is a good choice. the only problem with comparing the PII 955 with the FX-4100 is that the PII 955 is a 125W part (the 840 is 95W).
All in even the relatively cheap, relatively fast FX 4100 doesn't even look like a good deal compared with existing AM3 products. FYI I called the FX 4100 relatively fast because it runs at the same clocks as the FX 8150 which is why it beats its 6-core brother in some tests - that all important clock speed that translates directly into single threaded performance which is the Bulldozers bugbear multiplied by however many cores are present.
I can only see a few ways out of this fiasco for AMD.
1, Drop the price of the bulldozer CPU's by 20% - going to be costly for those large die's. This of course does nothing to improve the performance, but it will help the damned things to actually sell, and most importantly, to out-sell the AII's and PII's which they are supposed to be replacing.
2, Re-design each "module" to dramatically improve the IPC - going to be costly, and is going to take months before they hit the shelves.
3, Increase the clock speeds by about 1GHz all round so that they can compete - seems to be possible as these CPU's were always meant to clock high, and every review has overclocked them by 1GHz anyway - serious drawback on the power front though.
4, Start producing the Athlon II's and Phenom II's using the 32nm process, this would allow the clock speeds to be given a boost whilst reducing the die size, thus costing less to make - I don't see a reason why this shouldn't be done, and it is probably easier to do than some of the others - but will still take months before they hit the shelves.
5, Make the cache faster - AMD's on die cache has always been slow compared to Intel's, but this time around it looks like a very weak link in the chain.
If I were AMD I would do all of the above, number 4 as a safety net on the basis that number 2 could run way over a few months (Bulldozer was very very late already). Dropping the price would be an instant boon and would allow them to sell well right now because they would be price competitive instantly.
Rapidly ramp up the clock speeds over the coming months to stay competitive with Intel who will drop the price of their CPU's once AMD dropped the price of theirs, find some spare 32nm capacity to churn out some AII's (ideal for their small die space) to beef up their low end offerings for a while whilst re-designing the Bulldozer so that they can be competitive when they release the "Bulldozer 2" in the middle of next year.