AMD Announces BIOS Updates For Ryzen 3000 Series Boosting Performance And More


AMD and their new Ryzen 3000 Series processors have been under a bit of scrutiny since launch, not for their performance but for their boosting capabilities.   This was picked up on in a lot of launch day reviews where reviewers found the Ryzen 9 3900X and other Ryzen 3000 Series CPUs not quite hitting expected boost targets in single-core or the multicore load as laid out by the reviewer's guide.  This situation was made worse by the results from der8auer's Ryzen 3000 Series Boost Survey that took submissions by nearly 3000 Ryzen 3000 Series owners and found that most of them fell short of hitting the target advertised boost frequency, often by only 25-50MHz.

That survey was released on September 1st leading into a major US holiday weekend and it wasn't until the following Tuesday that AMD delivered a response, and that response was simply put that they found a firmware issue and would be making an announcement on September 10th.  Well, here we are. Today, AMD released an extensive blog post outlining their plans to address the issue as well as responding to some hearsay regarding the reasoning behind the moves they've made.

Ryzen 3000 Series Boost Frequency Fix Incoming!

So About That Boost

AMD will be releasing AGESA to their board partners today and we can expect new BIOSes to become available in the time frame of approximately 3 weeks, which is all dependant on the time frame that your respective board vendor takes to prepare, test, and validate the new BIOS.

AMD mentions that their internal testing showed add approximately 25-50MHz to current boost frequencies under various workloads; some of which included PCMark10 and Kraken JavaScript Benchmark that they used to test. AMD also went and reiterated just how many different variabilities affect the CPU frequency and that not all workloads are equal.

 Going forward, it’s important to understand how our boost technology operates. Our processors perform intelligent real-time analysis of the CPU temperature, motherboard voltage regulator current (amps), socket power (watts), loaded cores, and workload intensity to maximize performance from millisecond to millisecond. Ensuring your system has adequate thermal paste; reliable system cooling; the latest motherboard BIOS; reliable BIOS settings/configuration; the latest AMD chipset driver; and the latest operating system can enhance your experience.

AMD did go on record and lay rest to the claims made that the recent changes in the AGESA updates were not made in a push to extend the lifespan of the Ryzen 3000 Series CPUs and reiterate that the updated will not have any impact on the lifetime of the CPU despite introducing higher boost frequencies.

In addition, we do want to address recent questions about reliability. We perform extensive engineering analysis to develop reliability models and to model the lifetime of our processors before entering mass production. While AGESA 1003AB contained changes to improve system stability and performance for users, changes were not made for product longevity reasons. We do not expect that the improvements that have been made in boost frequency for AGESA 1003ABBA will have any impact on the lifetime of your Ryzen processor.

Idle Enhancement

Another thing that was a bit different on the Ryzen 3000 Series was the way idle voltages were being reported in various software.  The reporting and pinging of the cores for the reporting were causing the core to respond to a workload and instantaneously waking the core to respond to a workload, causing a spike in voltage that was being reported as really high idles.  AGESA introduces an "activity filter" that lets the CPU Boost Algorithm ignore intermittent OS and application noise that would cause the idle voltage to jump and prepare itself for a workload. AMD anticipates that you should see lower desktop idle voltages of around 1.2v for the cores that are handling these tasks.

A New Monitoring SDK

On September 30th, 2019 AMD will be releasing a new public SDK for monitoring including the new Average Core Voltage API for 3rd Gen Ryzen Processors.  If you're keen to check this out for yourself in an application already it has been implemented into the latest version of Ryzen Master version and you can download it today.

AMD Announces BIOS Updates For Ryzen 3000 Series Boosting Performance And More


To wrap this one up, AMD has announced more than I expected today with the news of the new AGESA, new Idle Enhancements that will be coming with it, and the new Monitoring SDK.  But, I think two of the most important notes came in the admission that previous AGESA updates were not to extend the lifespan of the parts and the timeline which to expect new BIOSes to become available from board partners.  The timeline is important because we've already seen supposed leaked BIOSes, and subsequent tests completed off of those leaked BIOSes, so I would likely disregard those as not accurate results since AMD is just now releasing this AGESA today and that pretty much makes having gotten it several days ago an impossible task.

AMD Ryzen 3000 Series CPU Lineup

CPU NameRyzen 5 3500Ryzen 5 3500XRyzen 5 3600Ryzen 5 3600XRyzen 7 3700XRyzen 7 3800XRyzen 9 3900XRyzen 9 3950X
Base Clock3.6 GHz3.6 GHz3.6 GHz3.8 GHz3.6 GHz3.9 GHz3.8 GHz3.5 GHz
Boost Clock4.1 GHz4.1 GHz4.2 GHz4.4 GHz4.4 GHz4.5 GHz4.6 GHz4.7 GHz
Cache (L2+L3)16 MB32 MB35 MB35 MB36 MB36 MB70 MB72 MB
PCIe Lanes (Gen 4 CPU+PCH)4040404040404040
Price$149 US$179 US$199 US$249 US$329 US$399 US$499 US$749 US