AMD Ryzen 7000's Tiny RDNA2 GPU Overclocked to 3.1 GHz

Ryzen 7000
(Image credit: AMD)

AMD's latest Ryzen 7000-series processors for desktops based on the Zen 4 microarchitecture feature a tiny RDNA-based graphics processing unit inside their I/O die (IOD). This GPU is hardly meant for gaming, but as SkatterBencher discovered, it can still be overclocked, which improves its performance by around 42% in case of AMD's Ryzen 7900 processor (via VideoCardz). This does not mean the GPU suddenly becomes a viable gaming solution, but at least it will gain performance.

AMD's Ryzen 7000-series 'Raphael' desktop CPUs integrate an RDNA 2-based GPU with 128 stream processors and 2 CUs inside their IOD. This graphics solution operates at up to 2.20 GHz and delivers about 0.563 FP32 TFLOPS of compute throughput, which is comparable to a high-end graphics card from 2007 (e.g., ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT). That's by far not enough to get decent frame rates in a modern game. Still this GPU can display graphics and playback some videos. Furthermore, it can be overclocked. 


(Image credit: SkatterBencher)

Overclocking of the integrated GPU is not a trivial task though. On the one hand, AMD's Agesa supports overclocking the iGPU, but to squeeze all the possible performance of this graphics processor, one needs to play with AMD's Precision Boost Overdrive settings as well as increase voltages and power limits.

Meanwhile, even a significantly increased Precision Boost Overdrive power budget by itself will not get a significant improvement for the built-in GPU since it is a tiny low-end graphics solution that's not meant to perform. Therefore, it makes more sense to manually increase VDDCR_SOC voltage as well as VDDCR_GFX voltage to get more power to the integrated GPU.

By default, the GPU operates at 2.20 GHz at 0.997V, but with the voltage increased to 1.2V, the graphics processor can hit 2949 MHz. Further adjustments of voltage/frequency curvature to 1.395V help to bring GPU frequency all the way to 3.10 GHz. Meanwhile, this increases SoC power to 60.7W, up from around 38.5W by default, which means increased cooling requirements.

AMD OC GPU performance

(Image credit: SkatterBencher)

From the performance point of view, this brings an up to 42.5% of additional performance in games like Tomb Raider, but at 17 frames per second the title remains unplayable. Furthermore, it also allows to run a raytracing benchmark that does not work on the built-in GPU by default. Yet, even such extreme overclocking does not bring a substantial performance improvement in a number of synthetic benchmarks, possibly because of other limitations.

While overclocking of the integrated RDNA 2-based GPU does not seem to bring any real-world fruits, it is a doable. Furthermore, now that AMD does not allow adjusting the voltage/frequency curve on discrete RDNA 3 graphics cards, it looks like overclocking of its integrated GPUs is easier than overclocking of discrete GPUs.

Anton Shilov
Freelance News Writer

Anton Shilov is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Over the past couple of decades, he has covered everything from CPUs and GPUs to supercomputers and from modern process technologies and latest fab tools to high-tech industry trends.

  • Allen_B
    Pretty much useless, but that's hardly the point of modern overclocking. I love it!
  • Metal Messiah.
    From the video, it looks at its default clocks, the iGPU delivered around 12 FPS in Tomb Raider & 58 FPS on average within CS: GO at 1080p. On 720p the scores are going to be higher.

    But once he enabled EXPO, the performance increased only up to 12%, which shows that there's a "Memory Bandwidth" bottleneck here. While this didn't improve the gaming performance much, I think at least some more performance can still be squeezed out of the RDNA 2 iGPU.
  • Quirkz
    Despite the implication that this is pointless, I looked at a really small 1260P based system last year as a lightweight work travel machine that could also do gaming. It could, but only for older titles. I ended up spending more money for a larger and heavier device because it just missed my performance targets for a couple games i wanted to play.
    This overclocking, along with the already stronger generational improvements over the intel 1260P, means that a lot of the games that would only hit 20fps at 1080 are now a playable 30fps. This isn't 'pointless'.
    FF14, for example, was borderline before. This makes it a decent experience.

    These little incremental gains shouldn't be undervalued, as each of these incremental gains is putting another class of games within reach of these ridiculously small thin and light and cheap laptops. And it applies to the Intel parts as well, not just AMD.

    The steamdeck APU, for example, is 'only' 1.6TF at peak power (most of us run it much slower it for better battery and have it at 1TF.), and no one scoffs at that chip. These thin and lights are getting closer and closer to steamdeck performance here.
  • domih
    I'm not a gamer, I don't care about FPS.

    But then again, here is a bar chart whose scale does not start at zero, making it look better than it is. BS.
  • thisisaname
    I wish AMD would stop putting such old graphic cores in their CPU's!