Windows 7 update is bad news for AMD

AMD has been claiming that once Windows 8 is available, its central processing units (CPUs) based on Bulldozer micro-architecture would go like the clappers.

However, an updated scheduler for Windows 7, which Microsoft just released, has shown that performance for AMD FX-series chips is probably not going to get much better.

AMD had been banking on the fact that when the update was released, its FX-series would go 10 percent better on some software. This performance advantage would flow on to Windows 8, which is more or less what the FX series was designed to run.

Windows 7 did not recognise the AMD FX processor architecture and cores which Microsoft has now fixed.

Adam Kozak, a product marketing manager at AMD, has admitted to Xbit that the hotfix does not improve performance substantially, but he is confident that things will be better in Windows 8.

He claimed that in initial testing of the upcoming Windows 8 operating system, its experts had seen performance improvements of up to 10 percent in some applications, when compared to Windows 7.

That does not explain why the hotfix, which was created by back-porting some of the Windows 8 scheduler code for AMD FX processors into Windows 7 made little difference.

Kozak said testing shows that heavily threaded apps, which are designed to use all eight cores, get little or no uplift from this hotfix because they are already maxing out the processor.

There is a small matter here of having to take AMD’s word for it. One of the big problems with the FX was that it was not the cure for cancer that we had been led to believe and performance levels were pretty much on par with what had gone before. By pushing the promise of performance gain to Windows 8, AMD effectively said that things would get better when Windows 8 comes out. Now it appears that it’s probably not worth the wait and you have to assess the FX on the basis of what you see now.