Microsoft Releases Patch to Boost Windows Performance on AMD Bulldozer Chips

Microsoft has released a patch for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 which is designed to improve performance of the operating systems when running on systems featuring AMD's Bulldozer processors.

"Currently, the performance of AMD Bulldozer CPUs is slower than expected," Microsoft explains in the patch release notes. "This behavior occurs because the threading logic in Windows 7 and in Windows Server 2008 R2 is not optimized to use the Simultaneous Multithreading (SMT) scheduling feature. This feature was introduced in the Bulldozer family of AMD CPUs."

While the hotfix patch will help improve the performance of multi-threaded applications, it's unlikely to have any impact on general application performance for single-threaded processing - an area in which AMD's Bulldozer chips have been seen to be underwhelming in the extreme.

Although the patch will be welcomed by those who have already invested in a Bulldozer-based system, it won't do much to convince those sitting on the fence to invest in AMD's latest chip technology over Intel's rival Core ranges - especially at the higher end where, patch or no patch, Intel holds a not-insignificant speed advantage.

The patch for Bulldozer systems will not be automatically rolled out: those who wish to upgrade the scheduler to take advantage of SMT technology in the Bulldozer processor are advised to head over to Microsoft's site and download the fix manually.