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AMD on Ryzen 3000 overclocking: "You're not going to see a whole lot of manual OC headroom"

By onetheycallEric · 34 replies
Jul 11, 2019
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  1. AMD's Senior Technical Marketing Manager, Robert Hallock, has confirmed what most reviews have already uncovered: Ryzen 3000 doesn't offer a lot of overclocking potential. And according to Hallock, that shouldn't be a surprise, given AMD's investment in its Precision Boost 2 formula.

    Hallock took to Reddit in response to questions regarding boost clock behavior and overclocking headroom. Hallock explains that AMD doesn't like to leave any performance on the table, and that its algorithms (that is, Precision Boost 2) are meant to squeeze every megahertz of performance from Ryzen 3000 silicon.

    I'm not sure what you're asking. Our boost formula is opportunistic based on VRM current, socket power, temperatures. Therefore: light workloads will have a higher boost, and heavier workloads will have a lower boost. This is the basic behavior of Precision Boost 2 we described in November 2017. This is the same boost formula used for all Ryzen 2000 Series CPUs as well: 4.3GHz peak for light threading, to around 4GHz for all-cores. No change year-over-year in how the boost behaves.

    If you're asking whether or not all cores will hit the max boost clock: no. It will not do that, nor have we ever promised or implied that. We've been very clear for 1.5 years that the Precision Boost 2 behavior is a "curve" that tries to get the loaded cores to the highest possible frequency with respect to the aforementioned limits. Even with all cores loaded, the CPU can maintain frequencies that are hundreds of MHz higher than base.

    The other goal of our engineering effort is to absolutely maximize the performance of the product out of the box. //EDIT: By designing algorithms that extract the maximum silicon performance automatically (e.g. Precision Boost 2) without asking the user to tinker or risk their warranty. So, no, you're not going to see a whole lot of manual OC headroom. That's just performance an average person--who doesn't know how to OC--can't access. Why would we do that? It is not our intent to leave anything on the table.

    It's more beneficial to enable PBO, overclock the fabric, overclock the memory. But that's true of Ryzen 2000 Series, too.

    Indeed, TechSpot's own Ryzen 9 3900X, Ryzen 7 3700X and Ryzen 5 3600 reviews support Hallock's statement. We managed to achieve a 4.3 GHz all-core overclock with both the Ryzen 9 3900X and Ryzen 7 3700X -- one of the better manual overclocks out there. With our Ryzen 5 3600, we couldn't get past 4.2 GHz.

    The news may be disheartening, depending on your perspective. For those wanting the best out of the box performance, AMD seems to have optimized the curve of Precision Boost 2 to extract an impressive amount of performance automatically. However, for enthusiasts who like to tinker with manual overclocking, there doesn't appear to be much room for playing with core clocks.

    The 7nm process node is still in its infancy though. Once 7nm has had some time to mature, it may yield better silicon with more overclocking potential. In the meantime, it seems that enabling PBO and overclocking the memory and Infinity Fabric interconnect could net more positive results, as Hallock notes in his statement.

    Permalink to story.

  2. McMurdeR

    McMurdeR TS Addict Posts: 144   +115

    So basically it overclocks itself. I'm fine with that tbh.
    max0x7ba, ddferrari, mcborge and 9 others like this.
  3. pcnthuziast

    pcnthuziast TS Evangelist Posts: 588   +197

    Will certainly bolster the sales of faster ddr4 kits. Will be very interesting to see what ram prices do and where the settle by years end.
  4. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,892   +2,219

    I'm okay with that, they are priced very well for what they are and for my work loads I need multithreaded performance over single core.

    I use to have an i7 3770k and was very happy with it for many years but when that died in a power surge I bought a 1700x. I've been very happy with it but I think I can justify buying a 3000 series ryzen and just add my 1700 to my server rack. Maybe turn it into a game server or something
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
  5. Drew Valadez

    Drew Valadez TS Booster Posts: 56   +33

    Won't that drive up your power bill having a beast of a CPU in the server?
  6. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,892   +2,219

    I don't think it will be that bad. I don't have enough things to do with it to put it under full load. And I also think of it like this. Car guys pay more for gasoline. I'm a computer guy and paying more for electricity is just the cost of my hobby.
    Panda218 and Hardware Geek like this.
  7. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 2,543   +918

    AMD has always sucked at clock speeds and are quick to jump from process node to process node. Hence their push to add more cores. AMD is not for enthusiasts, and that alone keeps me from buying their CPU's.
  8. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,892   +2,219

    Previously I'd be inclined to agree with you. However, I think the 3000 series changes things. As long as you don't need bleeding edge performance or are like me and need as many cored as possible, Intel isn't the clear winner anymore.

    At the end of the day it's your money and you'll do what you think is best, but AMD is now worth considering. Clock speed isn't everything. It certainly helps but my understanding of ryzen is that memory speed and the speed of the interconnect has a far larger impact on performance than just the clock speed. I've also seen some articles that show that scheduling of cores needs some optimization. It's been shown that when all cores are underload single core performance actually goes up. It's been theorized that this is from the CPU running the same task on multiple cores and that slows it down.
    TechEd, elementalSG, mcborge and 3 others like this.
  9. rub900

    rub900 TS Booster Posts: 101   +34

    For God sake. Go spend double on a intel CPU. With more security holes than a screen door. Comments like this make crazy. I hate Intel. Having to buy a new motherboard every time they come out with CPU. Crap support. Go on buy them. Spend your freaking money or more like your parents money. Buy 10. Who cares.
    Wessell Urdata and trparky like this.
  10. Ginpo236

    Ginpo236 TS Rookie

    Wow..just wow. AMD was first to break the 1Ghz barrier and 5Ghz barrier you know that right? Bulldozer sucked, I think that's been documented very well. AMD not being for enthusiasts is something that someone who doesn't know a lot about CPU history. Do your research before you post something like that please!
  11. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,892   +2,219

    Intel has fixed their security holes in the 9000 series. Is Intel more expensive? Yes. However, it's not THAT much more expensive and let's be honest. The cost of 500 series AMD motherboards doesn't help that much. I need more cores than singled threaded performance so AMD is the clear winner for me, but Intel is still the single threaded king.
    Does AMD have a 5ghz ryzen 3000? No? Then who cares who did it first.
  12. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 2,543   +918

    Fastest Gaming CPU sounds a lot better than, Fastest Photo/Video Editor/Converter every day of the week.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
    max0x7ba likes this.
  13. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 2,543   +918

    I'm just going to let this comment speak for itself.
  14. Mr Majestyk

    Mr Majestyk TS Addict Posts: 154   +116

    I've never been a big OC'er and if AMD has done the hard work for me that suits me fine. I can use a lower end cooler than in the past or possibly stick with stock. Even as the 7nm process node matures, AMD will raise the clocks if it can anyway, so ZEN 3 will probably be clocked higher and again I'll have no need to want to OC further. I have two PC's one already updated 2 years ago to use ZEN and a 7 year old PC with i5 3570K. My old machine will get updated to ZEN2 this year and my newer machine will probably get updated around ZEN 4

    RESTFUL TS Rookie

    No in silicon mitigation in 9th gen processors for Spoiler exploit and ZombieLoad exploit. ST alone 3900x trades blows with the 9900k. Only reason to buy Intel is you purely game or purely run AVX/STX workloads. The 3700x competes with the 9900k in performance while being nearly half the price. They are also compatible with the X470, X370, B450 and B350 boards if the 20 dollar premium for buying X570 is really too much, as per usual launch day prices are steeper. I do see a problem if you are to buy more exclusive DDR4 kits though.

    The other guy brought up AMD in general when in reality AMD hasn't been jumping process node to process node (see Bulldozer, 28nm for 4 years), nor have they been always behind in clocks. CPU pipelining and process limitations provide advantages and disadvantages. Sometimes latency is favored over pure throughout and both Intel and AMD have different solutions to this problem.
  16. godrilla

    godrilla TS Enthusiast Posts: 86   +40

    What is the point of 3800x at this point? Is it a binned part with higher tdp?
  17. HugsNotDrugs

    HugsNotDrugs TS Rookie Posts: 18   +9

    First gen Ryzen was fine as long as you don't overclock and do undervolt it a bit.

    It's actually a fairly ideal server CPU.
  18. Drew Valadez

    Drew Valadez TS Booster Posts: 56   +33

    I think you revealed a bit about your maturity level on that comment there champ.
    Stark and Panda218 like this.
  19. pcnthuziast

    pcnthuziast TS Evangelist Posts: 588   +197

    If you're like me and literally only play games and currently have an intel chip and ram you don't wanna have to upgrade, the AMD chi[p may not be the best path. The 3700x + a faster 32gb kit to replace my current 32gb set + mobo, would be more expensive than a 9700k and a mobo which for gaming alone is going to make more sense, no?
    max0x7ba and Morris Minor like this.
  20. TechEd

    TechEd TS Rookie

    Sad that I can't really tweak like I used to but keeping my warranty is nice. That said you know I'm gonna get that 3800X and see what it can do, I'm already hearing good things. (Wendell level1techs + reviews)

    In my eyes:

    Ryzen (in general) + PBO2: Up-and-coming opportunistic boxer, jabbing and hitting hard when possible.

    Intel 14++: Years at same level, perfecting its technique, and fast runner too. (Now a bit stuck)
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
  21. Panda218

    Panda218 TS Evangelist Posts: 602   +313

    The username he/she uses speaks volumes about the maturity level we're dealing with here.

    Probably just plays Fortnite anyways.
  22. Stark

    Stark TS Addict Posts: 120   +100

    in other words because AMD is finally able to jump ahead on fabrication technology, which is some how "bad" and Intel's continuous use of 14nm is "good", please do elaborate as I am left scratching my head?
    also they keep compatibility with socket, so AM4 supports all 1xxx,2xxx and now 3xxx series, but you have to buy new motherboard with Intel every time and may be a cooler depending on series. But still this is not pro consumer on AMD part?
  23. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,892   +2,219

    Please keep in mind that I own AMD products and plan on buying more. AMDs motherboard compatibility is actually more of an issue than it is at first glance. The older motherboards weren't designed to power(literally provide electricity to) AMDs new CPUs. They draw more power than the 1000 and 2000 series AMD the 300 and 400 series motherboards simply can't provide them with enough power to function. Most consumers arent aware of this and buy older motherboards that don't work with new CPUs. I've also read that older boards need anbios update before they can boot the new CPUs.

    That said, I'm buying a 3900x with a 570 board and adding my 1700x/370 to my server rack
    Stark likes this.
  24. Stark

    Stark TS Addict Posts: 120   +100

    yeah that's true, people need to keep the core count and motherboard VRM in mind before buying the new top end CPU, which exceed the last gen core count.
    BTW congrats on that new 570 board and 3900x makes me jealous and wish I did not buy my rig just a few months back >.<
    and a good read > https://www.techspot.com/review/1872-ryzen-9-on-older-motherboards/
    "We don’t believe 3900X support is relevant right now, but in a few years' time when you can buy these CPUs second hand for what we’re guessing will be around $100-$200, then getting one and sticking it on a cheap B350 board will be a nice option." perfect for upgrading family rigs!!!!
  25. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 2,543   +918

    Ryzen had three process nodes and their competitor stuck on 14nm, and couldn't even play games faster. Games. More people play games than Photoshop. Fact. Ryzen is a tough sell to 80% of the planet. Ryzen is STILL for the 20%.

    Gamers Nexus literally took a crap on the 3700X and for good reason. The chip doesn't make any sense. This is what AMD has done with a 7nm advantage? It's a joke. Even Techspot's 3700X/3900X called them Productivity Kings, because they are very tough sells to gamers. The 3900X is AMD's worst flagship since Bulldozer. It's a one trick pony and not representative of a Ryzen chip. The 3900X is a Threadripper part, not a Ryzen part.

    AMD needed a smoking gun. Ryzen 2 isn't it.
    max0x7ba and Morris Minor like this.

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