Skip to main content

AMD Announces BIOS Fix for Ryzen 3000 Boost Clocks, Update Comes September 10

(Image credit: AMD)

After an extended period of silence, AMD has finally publicly acknowledged that "some" of its customers aren't receiving the expected boost frequencies with AMD Ryzen 3000-series processors.

As you can read in the statement below, the company simultaneously announced that it would issue a fix for the BIOS issues. The company will update the community on September 10, 2019 about the availability of the fix.

“AMD is pleased with the strong momentum of 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen™ processors in the PC enthusiast and gaming communities. We closely monitor community feedback on our products and understand that some 3rd gen AMD Ryzen users are reporting boost clock speeds below the expected processor boost frequency. While processor boost frequency is dependent on many variables, including workload, system design, and cooling solution, we have closely reviewed the feedback from our customers and have identified an issue in our firmware that reduces boost frequency in some situations. We are in the process of preparing a BIOS update for our motherboard partners that addresses that issue and includes additional boost performance optimizations. We will provide an update on September 10 to the community regarding the availability of the BIOS.”

The statement comes amidst a growing chorus of complaints from Ryzen 3000 owners on forums, Reddit and other social media that their chips aren't reaching the advertised boost clocks. In response to the growing number of complaints, YouTuber Der8aeur recently conducted a survey that garnered 2,700 respondents, of which only 5.6% were able to reach the advertised boost clocks for AMD's flagship Ryzen 9 3900X CPU.

Our own investigation of AMD's new boost clock behavior also found that only one core on any given Ryzen 3000 CPU can hit the rated boost clock, which AMD confirmed. That means the Ryzen 3000-series processors contain a mix of faster and slower cores, which is a departure from how AMD and its competitors have traditionally spec'd processors. Unfortunately, users must have the latest version of Windows 10 to use the Ryzen-aware scheduler, which targets the fastest cores with lightly-threaded applications, further complicating matters for frustrated customers trying to attain the advertised boost frequencies.

In either case, even with the presence of the necessary BIOS, driver and Windows 10 scheduler, most customers have been unable to attain Ryzen 3000's advertised speeds with any of the models.

We don't expect the new BIOS fix to change the requirement for Windows 10 or AMD's driver, or to change the new binning tactic of using a mix of faster and slower cores. Hopefully, the new BIOS fix will expose the best performance possible from the fastest core, but we'll have to wait until September 10 to find out.

For reference, here are the clock speeds of the existing models, with the boost clock speed highlighted:

SEP (USD)Cores / ThreadsTDP (Watts)Base / Boost Frequency (GHz)L3 Cache (MB)PCIe 4.0 Lanes
Ryzen 9 3950X$74916 / 32105W3.5 / 4.76424
Ryzen 9 3900X$49912 / 24105W3.8 / 4.66424
Ryzen 7 3800X$3998 / 16105W3.9 / 4.53224
Ryzen 7 3700X$3298 / 1665W3.6 / 4.43224
Ryzen 5 3600X$2496 / 1295W3.8 / 4.43224
Ryzen 5 3600$1996 / 1265W3.6 / 4.23224
  • jimmysmitty
    This should, hopefully, fix the issues and put this controversy to rest. If it does fix it great.
    Reply
  • Giroro
    "Our own investigation of AMD's new boost clock behavior also found that only one core on any given Ryzen 3000 CPU can hit the rated boost clock "

    Except that's not what the data presented in that article shows. It's clear in that test that even the "best" core was not able to reach the advertised boost speed, at least not for a period of time that is observable.

    So the question remains: has any review ever been able to prove that any core in any Ryzen 3000 CPU will reach advertised frequency for any amount of time?
    Reply
  • redgarl
    ....

    I told you so...

    ...
    Reply
  • redgarl
    Giroro said:
    "Our own investigation of AMD's new boost clock behavior also found that only one core on any given Ryzen 3000 CPU can hit the rated boost clock "

    Except that's not what the data presented in that article shows. It's clear in that test that even the "best" core was not able to reach the advertised boost speed, at least not for a period of time that is observable.

    So the question remains: has any review ever been able to prove that any core in any Ryzen 3000 CPU will reach advertised frequency on any core for any amount of time?

    Steve from hardwareunboxed tested the same CPU over a bunch of x570 motherboards to see if the boost clock could be achieved... the funny thing is, MSI GODLIKE X570, the board that Toms used, was not able to achieve the Boost clock... but some others did.

    Basically, Toms screwed up.... just accept it! (Just buy it!)
    Reply
  • st379
    redgarl said:
    Steve from hardwareunboxed tested the same CPU over a bunch of x570 motherboards to see if the boost clock could be achieved... the funny thing is, MSI GODLIKE X570, the board that Toms used, was not able to achieve the Boost clock... but some others did.

    Basically, Toms screwed up.... just accept it! (Just buy it!)

    I want to believe they did not do it on purpose but after the "just buy it" article and the fact that they tested the athlon 200ge with gtx 1080 and did not test the igpu i am not sure it wasn't on purpose.
    Reply
  • PaulAlcorn
    redgarl said:
    Steve from hardwareunboxed tested the same CPU over a bunch of x570 motherboards to see if the boost clock could be achieved... the funny thing is, MSI GODLIKE X570, the board that Toms used, was not able to achieve the Boost clock... but some others did.

    Basically, Toms screwed up.... just accept it! (Just buy it!)

    There is no screw up. Steve tested with one CPU. Silicon quality varies, and our sample was from a retail outlet, not one provided by AMD. Other Ryzen 3000 series processors that we have in-house have hit advertised boost clocks, or within 25mhz, with this very board.

    Also, the central point of the article was NOT if the chip can hit boost clocks. It was to characterize boost behavior, particularly that there are slower cores that are simply unable to hit the boost speed, and that the scheduler targets cores.

    You seem to be willingly refusing to accept what AMD confirmed directly to us: Not all cores can hit the boost clock, and the scheduler targets the faster cores first. Do you think AMD would admit to that if "Tom's messed up?"
    Reply
  • TJ Hooker
    redgarl said:
    Steve from hardwareunboxed tested the same CPU over a bunch of x570 motherboards to see if the boost clock could be achieved... the funny thing is, MSI GODLIKE X570, the board that Toms used, was not able to achieve the Boost clock... but some others did.

    Basically, Toms screwed up.... just accept it! (Just buy it!)
    According to the HWUB video, the X570 Godlike with a 3800X is in fact capable of hitting max advertised boost clocks. Assuming this is the video you're referring to: o2SzF3IiMaEView: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2SzF3IiMaE

    And even if the Godlike wasn't capable (and there's nothing about the board that would suggest that prior to testing), which boards can and cannot reach max boost seems semi random (in addition to varying by BIOS rev), so it wouldn't have been a matter of Toms screwing up so much as it would have been them simply being unlucky.

    Edit: And of course the focus of that article was not on the max single core boost of the CPU, but rather the boost of the various individual cores. It remains to be seen how, if at all, the conclusions of that article will be affected by the new AGESA.
    Reply
  • PaulAlcorn
    TJ Hooker said:
    According to the HWUB video, the X570 Godlike with a 3800X is in fact capable of hitting max advertised boost clocks. Assuming this is the video you're referring to: o2SzF3IiMaEView: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2SzF3IiMaE

    And even if the Godlike wasn't capable (and there's nothing about the board that would suggest that prior to testing), which boards can and cannot reach max boost seems semi random (in addition to varying by BIOS rev), so it wouldn't have been a matter of Toms screwing up so much as it would have been them simply being unlucky.

    It's also noteworthy that the article wasn't focused on whether or not the CPU can hit the boost clocks. It was centered on how many cores CAN boost to the clock, and how the scheduler is targeting the faster cores.

    Regardless of the board, one fact remains, which we proved and AMD confirmed: All Ryzen processors come with a mix of fast and slower cores, and not all cores can hit the boost clock.
    Reply
  • PaulAlcorn
    st379 said:
    I want to believe they did not do it on purpose but after the "just buy it" article and the fact that they tested the athlon 200ge with gtx 1080 and did not test the igpu i am not sure it wasn't on purpose.

    There is no "on purpose" to it. The article is factual, and the results therin are verified by AMD.
    Reply
  • Ncogneto
    PaulAlcorn said:
    There is no "on purpose" to it. The article is factual, and the results therin are verified by AMD.
    Do you think as the process matures, this might change with more cores hitting the boost clock?
    Reply