AMD released a statement this morning on Twitter that says it will role out a BIOS update to fix an issue with its Ryzen 3000 processors not reaching advertised boost clocks. AMD didn’t give a precise date as to when the fix will be available, but the company did say it would provide an update on September 10 as to its availability.
“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,” said AMD. “We are in the process of preparing a BIOS update for our motherboard partners that addresses that issue and includes additional boost performance optimizations.”
The statements comes at the end of a long trail of complaints from users about their inability to reach advertised boost clocks under all conditions. YouTuber Der8aeur recently conducted a survey that showed 5.6 percent of the 2,700 respondents could reach advertised boost clocks.
Tom’s Hardware got the discussion started when it discovered that only one core on any Ryzen 3000 CPU can hit the rated boost clock at a time, meaning that the latest processors contain a mix of faster and slower cores—and that was on the Ryzen 5 3600X at a max of 4.4GHz. This is likely the result of the binning tactic (categorizing components by quality and performance) AMD uses, where not every core can meet some specified requirement. By mixing ‘faster’ and ‘slower’ core specifications, AMD is able to qualify more parts at higher ratings.
Our own tests showed numbers that were lower than expected, with game performance with a Ryzen 9 3900X falling just below Intel’s Core i7-7700K. However, with our review-in-progress, we didn’t necessarily identify any issues with boost clocks, and neither did other publications like PCWorld. Later investigations showed maximum clockspeeds typically 50-100MHz below the advertised speed.
We’ll have to wait and see if the new BIOS update fixes the firmware issues AMD says is keeping its Ryzen 3000 processors in the slow lane. It may only be a 50-100MHz boost in performance, but every little bit can help.