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ClockTuner Unlocks Higher Performance, Lower Power Consumption on AMD Zen 2 CPUs

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

As reported by Guru3D, Yuri "1usmus" Bubliy, the creator of DRAM Calculator for Ryzen, is cooking up a new piece of free software for AMD Ryzen owners. The ClockTuner for Ryzen (CTR) aims to extract extra performance out of your Zen 2 processor while decreasing its power consumption.

The CTR software is designed to exploit AMD's chiplet design, so first-gen Zen owners are out of luck for this one. Thus far, CTR supports the Ryzen 3000-series (codename Matisse) and Ryzen Threadripper 3000-series (codename Castle Peak) processors. The author says CTR will be compatible with AMD's future Zen 3 chips as well because the Zen 3 microarchitecture also allows individual voltage and frequency adjustment for each core.

There is no black magic involved with CTR. The software essentially undervolts the individual CCXes (Core Complex) inside the processor, which reportedly helps the chip run faster and cooler while also drawing less power. According to the creator, all the energy-saving features remain intact. It sounds like a complicated process, but 1usmus has automated the entire operation. And best of all, CTR will be completely free for anyone to use.

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AMD Ryzen 9 3900X

AMD Ryzen 9 3900X (Image credit: Guru3D)
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AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3960X (Image credit: Guru3D)

CTR will work with any AMD motherboard regardless of the brand, and is even compatible with motherboards that don't allow CCX modifications. Apparently, CTR uses low-level SMU access that permits it to bypass any obstacles that the motherboard or processor have in place.

CTR's Smart Overclocking module automatically evaluates the quality of each CCX and adjusts the frequency accordingly. The author integrated a homemade version of Prime95 to assess the stability of each CCX. CTR also integrated the Cinebench R20 benchmark to compare before and after results.

To give us an idea of what CTR can achieve, 1usmus shared results for the Ryzen 9 3900X and the core-heavy Ryzen Threadripper 3960X. On the Ryzen 9 3900X system, CTR extracted 6.5% higher performance while decreasing the power consumption by 9%. On the Ryzen Threadripper 3960X system, CTR squeezed out an extra 5.3% performance and dropped the power draw by 4.2%.

While CTR appears to deliver promising results, it remains to be seen whether the benefits are perceptible in a real-world scenario. Fortunately, we won't have to wait long to find out as 1usmus expects to launch CTR next month.

  • hotaru251
    actually a smart piece of software.


    Look forward to trying it out.
    Reply
  • Alvar "Miles" Udell
    Will be interesting to see if it can improve my 3700X's 4.3ghz @ 1.2v.
    Reply
  • TerryLaze
    And AMDs tradition of of having fans have to come up with software that the company should provide continues.
    https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/intel-cpu-auto-overclock-performance-maximizer,6179.html
    Reply
  • Ducktor
    Wonder if the single threaded performance will degrade when using this?
    Reply
  • TheNerdyGlaceon
    I'm hopefully getting my 3900X build up today, and I will definitely give this a try.
    Reply
  • gruffi
    TerryLaze said:
    And AMDs tradition of of having fans have to come up with software that the company should provide continues.
    https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/intel-cpu-auto-overclock-performance-maximizer,6179.html
    Not really. CTR sounds great, in theory. But no one knows if a processor runs stable for years using such a utility. Undervolting can lead to instabilities under certain circumstances. A generation is validated for many months before launch to find the sweet spot between performance, power consumption and stability. That's all what AMD has to do. And they do that. There's no need to ask for more. Such functionality as CTR actually has to be implemented on silicon level, not software level. And Zen 3 will be another step to improve it.

    Intel's tool cannot be compared to CTR because IPM is just an overclocking tool. Nothing you can't do with AMD's PBO. Nice try. But maybe you should read more carefully next time.
    The tool competes with AMD's Precision Boost Overdrive that will come standard with all Ryzen 3000-series processors.
    Reply
  • TerryLaze
    gruffi said:
    Intel's tool cannot be compared to CTR because IPM is just an overclocking tool. Nothing you can't do with AMD's PBO. Nice try. But maybe you should read more carefully next time.
    Maybe you shouldn't just blindly believe articles but do a teeny weeny bit of research yourself.CTR is also just an overclocking tool and does exactly the same as IPM does, check each core individually to get the most out of it at the lowest power draw.
    W872lQcy65I:282View: https://youtu.be/W872lQcy65I?t=282
    Precision boost is similar to turbo boost,they run cores at higher clocks but without regard to individual performance metrics and by using plenty of vcore.
    PBO is basically the same with intel's PL states, you can give it a bit more watts for it to boost higher or longer or whatever.
    Reply
  • drivinfast247
    Alvar Miles Udell said:
    Will be interesting to see if it can improve my 3700X's 4.3ghz @ 1.2v.
    Doubtful, as it seems to change powerstates and allows the CPU to function as normal and fluctuate frequency and voltage. Yours is a set overclock.
    Reply
  • Jake Hall
    I still have to figure out how to use the DRAM calculator, PBO and whatever else, before using this, but it's definitely interesting
    Reply
  • Soaptrail
    TerryLaze said:
    And AMDs tradition of of having fans have to come up with software that the company should provide continues.
    https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/intel-cpu-auto-overclock-performance-maximizer,6179.html
    We already have Ryzen master software, this is just a more automated version of that.

    We have seen what Cinebench R20 does now to see a game benchmark.

    W872lQcy65I:0View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W872lQcy65I&list=WL&index=33&t=0s
    Reply