When AMD first started talking about its new Bulldozer processors there were a lot of excited geeks out there. On paper, the processor sounded really good with its 2 billion transistors and lots of nice features. Once the processors started getting into the hands of reviewers, the excitement faded for many people when it was noted that the performance wasn’t on par with the specs noted by AMD.
Many of the reviews noted that the performance of the new flagship parts was barely on par with the CPUs AMD already had. The Bulldozer processors were significantly behind their Intel counterparts in performance. AMD has now come back and said that it was in error when it described the Bulldozer as having 2 billion transistors.
AMD then said that Bulldozer actually had 1.2 billion transistors. What happened to the other 800,000 transistors? The die size is the same reports ExtgremeTech. The issue could be an automated AMD design process with some significant overhead according to ExtremeTech. The plot thickens though when ET asked AMD what was going on when it realized the number of transistors we should see didn’t match up with the 1.2 billion AMD was stating. AMD wasn’t chatty on the subject and it could well be that the number of transistors that AMD is quoting now at 1.2 billion is the functional ones on the chip.