What does this all mean? Well, to put it mildly, it means almost nothing. Some applications gained performance, some lost performance. In most cases the difference wasn’t even worth talking about. We can confirm that we are indeed seeing the advertised boost clocks, or are at least within a few megahertz of them. Again, you’ll note below that our test CPU used greater voltages to boost over the 4.3GHz values we are used to seeing on this CPU. The screenshot of CPU-Z below represents the highest boost clock we’ve seen on this CPU to date.
Essentially, the AM4 platform has a little way to go as far as Ryzen 3000 series CPU’s go. As we said concerning our thoughts on the AM4 BIOS, the types of issues we experienced are one of the many reasons why we don’t think socket longevity is always a good thing. On paper its nice that AMD doesn’t force a new socket and chipset on us every time it releases a new CPU.
Intel doesn’t always do this either, but its really common on the mainstream sockets. Greed aside, Intel simply doesn’t have to deal with nearly as many issues with its platform. This is because it changes it and locks it down to specific CPU’s. For everything there is a price to pay and with AMD and socket AM4, additional BIOS issues are simply something that’s part of the game.
Does this BIOS update or AGESA code update change our opinions on the Ryzen 9 3900X or any of the Ryzen series CPU’s thus far? In a word: “no.” It does not. We are no less likely or more likely to recommend these CPUs than we were a week ago. AMD’s Zen 2 architecture and Ryzen 3000 series processors have been well received in spite of their teething issues. They may not overclock very well, or even always hit those advertised boost clocks, but they provide better overall performance than the competition. It’s likely only going to get better as time goes on.
The improvements over the previous generation are surprisingly large. We do not typically see this type of improvement from one generation to the next. Or at least, we haven’t in several years. As an enthusiast platform, the more we use it the more impressed we are. While the CPU’s don’t overclock all that much, there are still things to tune such as RAM and Infinity Fabric values.
The way Precision Boost 2 and Precision Boost Overdrive work, we might just see an end to overclocking in the traditional sense. There is seemingly no reason to do it. We saw this with the Ryzen 2000 series and Threadripper CPU’s as well, but the 3000 series hammers the point home. What we might see are other variables related to the processor receive more attention for tuning. That being the Infinity Fabric and memory settings. That would include clocks and timings.
All that said, the changes in performance based on the slight clock speed increase weren’t anything significant. Not that long ago, we remember people believing that miracles in BIOS updates would allow processors like Phenom and Phenom II to behave better. Back then, BIOS updates rarely did much on the performance front. Updates addressed things like Phenom’s TLB issue actually hurt performance.
These days, modern processors are far more complicated and so are there platforms. What we’ve seen via these updates is that we won’t see any miracles. Updates to the AGESA code can make the platform even stronger than it is. Performance is definitely impact certain applications and that’s something to look forward to.
These CPU’s are incredibly good. Nothing we’ve seen here changes the opinions we shared in our earlier Ryzen 9 3900X review. If your looking for the best desktop CPU available today the Ryzen 9 3900X is it. There are some initial issues to be worked out, the CPU and its platform are proving to be incredibly powerful. Over the coming weeks expect to see X570 motherboard reviews and coverage of additional Ryzen 3000 series CPU reviews.
Below are links to buy the Ryzen 3000 series chips – if you buy through these links, we’ll get a commission for it.