Boostgate: AMD’s Boost Clock Controversy

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On September 10th, AMD said a BIOS update was coming at the end of the month to resolve these issues. Some people may not understand what this means, so I’ll go ahead and clear things up. Essentially, the AGESA code controls boost clocking behavior according to the motherboard manufacturers. The OEMs have no control over that. However, AMD’s AGESA code must be sent to the OEMs who then have to integrate it into their UEFI implementations and then validate it prior to release. This must be done for each model of motherboard.

Therefore, the fix is likely weeks away for the most popular motherboards. Both the most expensive and most popular X570 motherboards will no doubt be a top priority with everything trickling out sometime later. As is the case with the patch to fix the Linux and Destiny 2 issues, actual distribution of this fix is going to be weeks away for most people.

As we’ve seen in previous testing, AMD’s AGESA code updates can have a negative impact on performance as well as a positive one. The fear I have is that the updates may actually impact performance negatively in order to allow the CPU’s to boost that extra bit required to match the advertised clock speeds. That could even go so far as to have enthusiasts screaming at AMD to put things back and restore lost performance.

There is no doubt that AMD should have handled this boost clock issue differently, but there is no doubt that at this point, it can’t win. All we can hope is that no significant litigation occurs as a result which would sour AMD’s success. Afterall AMD isn’t a company that can always absorb these financial settlements the way its chief competition can. AMD’s Ryzen 3000 series is an outstanding product which has a slightly tarnished reputation as a result of how its marketing team represented the boost clocks.

Final Points

At the end of the day, despite the boost clocking issues we’ve seen first hand, it hasn’t changed our stance on the products themselves. Here at, we still recommend these CPU’s to anyone right now as they simply have more to offer than the competition does. Ultimately, a move to make the AGESA code either report the correct boost clocks or actually adjust them probably won’t change how these CPU’s perform. It’s a feel-good measure designed to quiet the most vocal and angriest of customers. Unfortunately, AMD might end up making things worse, so let’s hope that doesn’t happen. I don’t think it will, but you never know.

Check out all our reviews of the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X and the AMD Ryzen 7 3700X. We also have a Ryzen 9 3900X CPU Re-Test with new BIOS that was released post-launch. You can also check out our unique editorial about Socket AM4 BIOS sizes.


Dan Dobrowolski
Dan has been writing motherboard reviews for the past 15 years, with the first decade or so writing for [H}ard|OCP. Dan brings his depth of knowledge about motherboards and their components to his reviews here at The FPS Review to help you select the best one for your needs.

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