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AMD Zen 4 'Raphael' CPUs to Have Better Thermal, Power Management: Report

AMD Ryzen 3000 CPU
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

AMD's upcoming Ryzen processors based on its Zen 4 architecture are predicted to bring numerous performance improvement's to the company's next processors. According to a report from Igor's Lab, AMD has also improved its power delivery and thermal output reading for Raphael.

As the report notes, AMD has been working to improve overall problems with power management and thermal readings in its upcoming CPU lineup. Given that for the past few generations we have seen reports about incorrect readings of AMD CPU temperatures, this would be welcome news.

Cooling solutions for CPUs depend on one specific CPU output and that is Tcontrol (Tctl). If the CPU reports a higher Tctl, the fans on the cooler spin at higher speeds, and if the CPU reports lower Tctl, the fans ramp down slowly. It is a simple process working as long as the CPU works.

A part of Tctl is a new improved feature called CUR_TEMP (current temperature), where Raphael's implementation got an overhaul. With previous Ryzen generations, the CUR_TEMP output was jittery and caused random fan spin-up in a non-consistent way. With Raphael, the CUR_TEMP part was re-worked to output a smoother curve and provide fans with clearer signals about the temperature, resulting in a more normal fan operation and possibly lower noise.

As far as power management goes, Igor's Lab writes that:

"AMD points out to avoid excessive levels (stages) of power conversion when generating partial voltages in order to maintain efficiency and not push the overall efficiency down too much. The topology of the power conversion must therefore be carefully examined in advance. The number and level of voltages as well as the current requirements for each of these rails must meet the requirements. If the current requirement is high, switching regulators must be used that are sufficiently high. The total number of stages in the current path should be limited to two, including the main input power supply, because each stage significantly reduces the overall efficiency of the final voltage supplied. Series connection of power supplies are therefore always extremely counterproductive."

It appears AMD is aiming to make power consumption a very efficient game, and wants to minimize the inefficiency that the processor produces.

  • hotaru.hino
    A part of Tctl is a new improved feature called CUR_TEMP (current temperature), where Raphael's implementation got an overhaul. With previous Ryzen generations, the CUR_TEMP output was jittery and caused random fan spin-up in a non-consistent way. With Raphael, the CUR_TEMP part was re-worked to output a smoother curve and provide fans with clearer signals about the temperature, resulting in a more normal fan operation and possibly lower noise.
    I'd rather prefer hardware give me the raw values as much as possible and have the software taking these as inputs figure out how to best interpret the data rather than "adjusted" values that's been pre-caclulated.

    At the very least I hope that this is just another output that can be used rather than replacing the primary sensor output.
    Reply
  • hasten
    This has plagued AMD for a decade +(trying to remember how bad phenoms and athlons before but been a while and my memory isnt as sharp as it once was!). It was one of those things that I assumed would be corrected generationally but the same results over again instead. I will say it always gave me a good chuckle when novices bragged of their sub-ambient temperatures during the FX run. It was amazing that there were no red flags of a cpu running at 14c in a room that was 78f.
    Reply
  • JWNoctis
    hotaru.hino said:
    I'd rather prefer hardware give me the raw values as much as possible and have the software taking these as inputs figure out how to best interpret the data rather than "adjusted" values that's been pre-caclulated.

    At the very least I hope that this is just another output that can be used rather than replacing the primary sensor output.
    Oh I'd hope they'd at least have retained the raw values somewhere. They are fixing problems with naïve fan speed control that really shouldn't have been there to begin with, but similar filtered values for thermal output already existed in at least the latest Ryzen mobile APUs, and could be found with tools like HWiNFO.
    Reply