A hot potato: In response to the growing chorus of Ryzen 3000 customers who aren't seeing advertised boost speeds with the latest Ryzen processors, AMD will look to address the problem by pushing out a BIOS update to motherboard partners. Confusion over boost block behavior and sporadic availability for certain SKUs have been something of a blemish on AMD's otherwise impressive Ryzen 3000 launch. Here's hoping that AMD can put one of those issues to rest, sooner rather than later.
While Ryzen 3000 has been a tremendous success for AMD, that success hasn't come without a bit of controversy. Shortly after launch, there's been growing discussion surrounding the boost clock behavior of Ryzen 3000 series.
Early reviews for the chips demonstrated that the processors weren't hitting their specified boost speeds. What's more, boost speeds were limited to only one core, which AMD later confirmed. AMD went on to update its Ryzen product pages to clarify that point and attempt to mitigate further confusion. However, the crux of the issue seems to be that users are reporting that their chips aren't hitting advertised boost frequencies at all -- with any core.
That's an important detail that overclocker and YouTuber Der8auer emphasized when he commissioned a survey that some 2,700 users responded to. The survey found that only 5.6% of users with the 12-core Ryzen 9 3900X were hitting advertised maximum boost clocks. The Ryzen 5 3600 fared better, with nearly half (49.8%) of users reporting the processor was achieving maximum boost speeds. Still, the numbers don't exactly paint a pretty picture.
AMD has acknowledged the issue via Twitter, saying it has identified a firmware-level problem it aims to rectify with a future BIOS update.
“AMD is pleased with the strong momentum of 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen™ processors in the PC enthusiast and gaming communities. We closely monitor community feedback on our products and understand that some 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen users are reporting boost clock speeds below the expected processor boost frequency. 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. We are in the process of preparing a BIOS update for our motherboard partners that addresses that issue and includes additional boost performance optimizations. We will provide an update on September 10 to the community regarding the availability of the BIOS.”
We'll have to wait until next week to see what AMD has in store for a fix, but hopefully it'll bring about better -- and more consistent -- performance in respect to Ryzen 3000 boost clocks.