AMD & Its Board Partners Discuss Ryzen 5000 Zen 3 CPU Undervolting, Memory / Overclocking & 500 Series AGESA Support


AMD along with its board partners has started sharing more details for the Ryzen 5000 Zen 3 Desktop CPUs regarding undervolting, memory support, and overclocking functionalities. The information was shared by AMD on social platforms and also by board partners during launch webcasts for the Zen 3 consumer family launch.

AMD & Partners Discuss Undervolting, Memory Support & Overclocking Profiles For Ryzen 5000 Zen 3 Desktop CPUs

Videocardz managed to do a great roundup of all the details which AMD has officially shared over at various social platforms such as Twitter, Reddit, and their own community blog. Several buyers got their hands on the AMD Ryzen 5000 Zen 3 desktop CPUs yesterday and these details could get you more performance out of your purchase if you follow them correctly. AMD's own Director of Technical Marketing, Robert Hallock was keen to share the details with the rest of us and you can find all useful information listed below.

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AMD Ryzen 5000 Undervolting & General Questions

Robert answered a range of questions over at Twitter which includes everything from undervolting, memory support, precision boost, and general support.

  • Ryzen 5000 Series doesn't need a power plan. Don't expect to see one.
  • Yes, it can clock to DDR4-4000 1:1 if you have a good sample. Upcoming AGESA work will make this easier.
  • But you CAN tweak Ryzen perf vs. power with the Win10 Power & Sleep sider AFTER you install the chipset driver.
  • Is the memory controller the same? YES.
  • Do you need a new AGESA for pre-5000 Series CPUs? No. Not really. Stay on the BIOS you have.
  • But ROBERT what about the VOLTS and the CELSIUS. WHAT IS NORMAL?!?!!?! ROB HELP. See below.
  • I see this a lot: "precision boost is automatic overclocking." No. False. Wrong. Precision Boost is our boost technology. Every processor has a boost in technology. But ours is unique in that X THREADS do not equal Y CLOCKS. Why? Because that is SLOW.
  • But Robert, where is undervolting? Answer: IT'S GONE. j/k. Temporarily gone for 5000 series. It'll be back in an upcoming AGESA with new functionality. 😉 It's gonna be HYPE. Y'aint never saw undervolting quite like this.
  • Fastest gaming CPU brotherrrrr *mic drop*

AMD Ryzen 5000 Memory Support, Memory Overclocking Details

Coming to memory support, AMD has once again assured that DDR4-4000 MHz memory is the sweet-spot for its Ryzen 5000 Zen 3 Desktop CPUs. Users can expect 2000 MHz FCLK support & even 2100 MHz (as showcased by MSI).

AMD also states that an FCLK of 2000 is not guaranteed for all samples but they are trying to make it easier with upcoming AGESA updates. With that said, DDR4-3600 will still be the best memory in terms of price/performance ratios.

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What is the fastest possible RAM you can run with 1:1 FCLK?

DDR4-4000. 2000MHz FCLK is to the Ryzen 5000 Series what 1900MHz FCLK was to the Ryzen 3000 Series. Many samples can do it, but not all. In the upcoming AGESAs, we will be implementing additional tuning that will make reaching 2000MHz easier. This is not a guarantee. There is no "safe bet" that your CPU will reach this frequency. But don't be surprised to see a bunch of people bringing that magical 2000MHz FCLK home with DDR4-4000.

Okay, so what's the best price/performance?

DDR4-3600 continues to be a "sweet spot." The kits are inexpensive, widely available, perform well, and have good compatibility. Is it the best in every category? No, but that's not what the sweet spot is. 3600 is a good bet because it's a good value in perf/$ for someone who wants to plug and play. Is it the best possible performance? No. Is it close? Yes, and without tinkering.

What's the best memory, even if I have to overclock?

Probably very tight timing 3600 or 3800, just like the Ryzen 3000 Series. The timings on these
memory bins can be super aggressive versus higher memory speed grades, and that usually
overpowers frequency.

I only bought 3200, did I do bad?

No, DDR4-3200 is typically binned with tight timings that make it very competitive with a weak or average DDR4-3600 kit. You're not missing out on a ton of performance, but there are gains to be had w/ OC if you're interested in it.

Did you change the memory controller?

No. Everything you know about memory from the Ryzen 3000 Series still applies. Everything. In full. Except the ceiling is now +100MHz higher @ DDR4-4000 for good samples.

MSI's Suggested Overclock Voltages For AMD Ryzen 5000 CPU Family

During its MSI Insider webcast, MSI also provided a lot of key insight into the AMD Ryzen 5000 Desktop CPUs, especially the CPU & memory overclocking capabilities of the Zen 3 architecture. MSI first showed off the first look at a delidded AMD Ryzen 5000 desktop CPU.

AMD is known to utilize a very high-quality solder design on their processors which includes IHS gold plating & silicone-protected capacitors which offer better durability and proper contact with the integrated heat spreader to dissipate heat more effectively to the cooling solution. Each of the three chiplets also features a liquid metal thermal interface for better heat conductivity which shows AMD is still keeping its CPUs prepped up with high-quality materials underneath.

Moving on, MSI listed down overclock voltages and the resulting power usage based on its own internal testings. According to MSI, these are the overclock voltages tey would suggest users. We have the voltages for each CPU along with the power consumption and current ratings listed below:

  • AMD Ryzen 9 5950X - 1.30V (1.26V Stress / 24.56A / 294.72 Watts
  • AMD Ryzen 9 5900X - 1.35V (1.30V Stress) / 18.02A / 216.24 Watts
  • AMD Ryzen 7 5700X - 1.40V (1.35V Stress) / 11.26A / 135.12 Watts
  • AMD Ryzen 5 5600X - 1.45V (1.40V Stress) / 8.460A / 101.52 Watts

MSI also showcased that Auto overclocking for Ryzen 5000 desktop CPUs delivers slightly better results than what PBO has to offer.

And finally, MSI showcased the memory latency performance of Ryzen 5000 CPUs which has been vastly improved with Zen 3. MSI acknowledges AMD's claims of DDR4-4000 being the sweet-spot. MSI also demonstrated latency as low as 49.5ns with an FCLK of 2100 MHz or DDR4-4200 (CL14).

AMD Ryzen 5000 AGESA BIOS For 500-Series Motherboards

Last but not least, anyone whose getting the AMD Ryzen 5000 Zen 3 CPUs should be ready to install their new processors in their 500-series motherboards by following these guidelines:

Getting ready right now is easy:

  1. Have an AMD 500 Series motherboard.
  2. Already have a motherboard? Update your motherboard's BIOS to a version containing AGESA This will make sure your AMD Ryzen 5000 Series processor has full performance and the best experience.
  3. Just bought a new motherboard? You can easily perform a BIOS update via USB Flashback (if needed). This will allow you to update the BIOS even when the installed processor is not compatible with the current BIOS. You may not even need a CPU installed at all! Consult your manual for details on how to perform a BIOS update via USB.

And if you have an AMD 400 Series motherboard, you should see BIOS updates starting in January 2021.

What’s new in AGESA for Ryzen 5000 Series:

  • General performance improvements for many types of workloads
  • Improved support for loading and applying overclocked memory profiles
  • Improved BIOS overclocking robustness
  • Improved USB hotplug detection
  • Improved SATA device detection on select SATA ports
  • Adds support for Eco Mode for automatic TDP reduction (AMD Ryzen Master)

Overall, this AGESA is designed to bring the Ryzen 5000 Series to the full performance and experience intended by AMD. Performance optimization is really the hero of this release, so make sure you grab the update for your motherboard when you’re up and running on “Zen 3.”

But that’s not all! We have an exciting roadmap beyond AGESA and wanted to give you a small preview of what’s coming in future BIOS updates.

Beyond AGESA for Ryzen 5000 Series:

  • Returning support for negative core voltage offsets (“undervolting”) with all-new AMD functionality for better frequency, voltage, and performance tweaking
  • Additional AMD optimization for performance and stability at ~2000MHz fabric clock. While not all processors are innately capable of reaching this frequency, our tuning is intended to help stabilize the overclock on capable samples —good luck!
  • Additional functionality tuning for benchmarking under extreme OC conditions (e.g. LN2)