AMD FX 6100 Black Edition review

Six cores beats four cores, right? Well...

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On paper it's hard to say whether a Bulldozer module it 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 single Bulldozer module doesn't deserve dual-core status. For proof, observe how this triple-module, supposedly six-core, AMD FX 6100 Black Edition chip compares with AMD's own Phenom II X6 1100T.

That's a true six-core chip and one that isn't exactly famed for world-beating per-core performance. Put simply, the 1100T owns and it owns in every metric save memory bandwidth.

AMD fx 6100 black edition

As if that wasn't enough, comparisons with Intel's quad-core chips make the AMD FX 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. We didn't get significantly higher clocks out of the 6100.

If that makes the AMD FX 6100 sound pointless, it's not quite as bad as that.

AMD has priced it keenly. At £128, 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 might 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 absolutely no guarantees and it will take a few months and a bit of forum trawling before we have a feel for how successful FX buyers are finding their module-unlocking exploits.

Until then, we'll put a hold recommendation the AMD FX 6100 Black Edition.

At stock clocks and with the final module hidden, it's not terribly exciting. However, if it turns out that most of all 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.

We liked:

In multi-threaded terms the AMD FX 6100's performance isn't bad, still lagging behind the previous top hex core CPU from AMD.

We disliked:

Again it's the weak single-core performance of the Bulldozer architecture that makes for one massive technological sad-face.

We'd like to say positive things about the possibility of unlocking those dormant cores, sadly though we simply can't say how likely it is to happen.

Final word:

An interesting option, but only if the module-enabling prospects turn out good.

Tech Specs

Product TypeProcessor
Processor CoreHexa-core (6 Core)
Thermal Design Power95 W
Processor ManufacturerAMD
Product FamilyFX
L3 Cache8 MB
Clock Speed3.30 GHz
Processor SocketSocket AM3+
Brand NameAMD
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS
64-bit ProcessingYes
Thermal Specification70°C
Overclocking Speed3.90 GHz
L2 Cache6 MB
Product SeriesFX
ManufacturerAdvanced Micro Devices, Inc
Product ModelFX 6100
Product NameFX Processor
Package TypeRetail
Manufacturer Part NumberFD6100WMGUSBX
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Blow away the competition with the unrestrained power of an AMD FX Processor. Unlocked out of the box and competitively-priced, AMD FX Processor give you more bang for your buck with aggressive performance and lightning-fast responsiveness.

Process Technology32 nm
Package Contents
  • FX Processor
  • AMD-qualified Heat sink and Fan with Thermal Interface
  • Installation Manual
  • Case Sticker
  • Certificate of Authenticity
Limited Warranty3 Year