A Finnish overclocker who goes by the name of “The Stilt” has claimed to have fixed AMD’s performance in the benchmark Super Pi and has not only revealed his method to fix it, but also has released software to improve the performance of AMD processors when it comes to running the deprecated, but often used, x87 code.
Super Pi is an intensive benchmark which requires the processor to run through a large chunk of calculations and output the result in the fastest time possible. Super Pi calculations are a popular validation method among overclockers and run faster on Intel CPUs by default. However, a number of programs are biased towards Intel processors by default as a result of being compiled on Intel hardware, which results in a performance deficit on AMD hardware.
The Stilt took time to benchmark a number of AMD processors and recorded his results over time. Using developer guides and BIOS development manuals as well as his own experience writing software, he created a patcher which enables AMD Bulldozer and Piledriver processors to chew through x87 code more efficiently. The largest gains are seen with longer and more complex calculations. The Stilt says he’s recorded anything from a 15-30% increase in performance.
x87 code is largely deprecated today, however, and appears less and less in newer programs. It still lives on in some parts of Nvidia’s Physx technology, as Physx can run on a low level on the CPU when a Geforce graphics card is absent. Many game ports from the Xbox 360 and PS3 to the desktop PC also have x87 code everywhere as a result of being run on PowerPC architecture.
The Stilt notes that the software he’s designed to fix Super Pi, creatively titled “Bulldozer Conditioner”, fixes just the x87 performance deficit in AMD’s Bulld0zer-based processors. Other programs using x87 code may or may not benefit, as their software environments may be radically different.
The Bulldozer Conditioner does not permanently fix x87 performance – that is up to motherboard vendors to update their BIOS to fix the problem, The Stilt says. For a slightly more permanent solution, there’s the Intel Compiler patcher, which scans executables for games and programs and disables code that causes a performance drop on non-Intel processors. It goes without saying that MyGaming is not responsible for any mishaps that may arise as a result of your use of the patcher.