AMD Comments on Ryzen Core Boosting Controversy and Lack of Manual OC Headroom

AMD’s Ryzen 3000 chips have received a very positive response from the tech community since their launch on Sunday, but their core boosting behavior has generated a bit of controversy. Some reviewers found that their Zen 2-based CPUs were not hitting the boost speeds AMD had advertised.

Senior Technical Marketing Manager Robert Hallock has chimed in on this, stating the chips perform as promised. Hallock believes it’s user error, and he may be right: some reviewers (e.g., AnandTech) used outdated firmware for their initial tests and saw superior results after updating their boards with a newer BIOS.

It’s going to vary with workloads, but it should be absolutely possible for the CPU to boost up to 4.6 on the 3900X. We have seen some reviewers say their CPU never got there, and I’m confident that this is a configuration issue that can be resolved.

Others have apparently misunderstood AMD’s claims for max boost clock. The specification does not imply that all cores will hit that number.

If you’re asking whether or not all cores will hit the max boost clock: no. It will not do that, nor have we ever promised or implied that. We’ve been very clear for 1.5 years that the Precision Boost 2 behavior is a “curve” that tries to get the loaded cores to the highest possible frequency with respect to the aforementioned limits. Even with all cores loaded, the CPU can maintain frequencies that are hundreds of MHz higher than base.

Hallock also mentioned there was little point in manually overclocking the new Ryzen chips because of Precision Boost, which does a lot of the work automatically. The Ryzen 7 3700X might be worth tweaking due to its lower (65W) TDP, however.

The other goal of our engineering effort is to absolutely maximize the performance of the product out of the box. //EDIT: By designing algorithms that extract the maximum silicon performance automatically (e.g. Precision Boost 2) without asking the user to tinker or risk their warranty. So, no, you’re not going to see a whole lot of manual OC headroom. That’s just performance an average person–who doesn’t know how to OC–can’t access. Why would we do that? It is not our intent to leave anything on the table.

It’s more beneficial to enable PBO, overclock the fabric, overclock the memory. But that’s true of Ryzen 2000 Series, too.

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