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Zen 3 is here

The much anticipated Zen 3 architecture has finally been launched close to a year and a half after Zen 2 while remaining on the same 7nm TSMC process. AMD's recently released Ryzen 3000XT showed there are frequency gains to be had just by manufacturing improvements over time. The question is what else is brought to the table. Below you can find my findings on overclocking and performance tuning.

The boost clock is fixed

I'm very pleased to be able to report that on Ryzen 5000, the advertised boost and actual seen clock frequencies are in line. Possibly the aftermath from the Zen 2 with users not hitting the expected boost frequencies had some impact on this change. In fact while the advertised boost speed of the 5950X is an already impressive 4.9 GHz, the factory programmed frequency limit is all the way up to 5.05 GHz.

FCLK and memory frequencies are about the same

As AMD uses the same IO-die as on Ryzen 3000, it should not be a surprise that there's no noticeable change here. There has been leaked slides floating around indicating that it should now be possible to get most chips up to 2000 MHz FCLK. However from my own testing the expectation is still very much 1900 MHz on AGESA 1.1.0.0. There are indications that there could be AGESA or other firmware updates in the future that improves FCLK frequencies on Zen 3.

Curve Optimizer lets you tune the VF-curve

With the latest AGESA for this platform there's a new option hiding in the AMD Overclocking menu. It's called the "Curve Optimizer" and lets you modify the factory programmed Voltage-Frequency Curve when using PBO. Theoretically this should finally allow overclocking the 1T boost (without using reference clock) by combining it with an Fmax offset ("Max CPU Boost Clock Override").

There's no documentation or explanation available for what it does exactly. My theory is that it lets you add a voltage offset to the curve which affects what voltage the CPU thinks is required for each frequency. This leads to higher frequencies due to larger margin to the voltage ceiling and increased power budget.

ASUS DOS Overclocking

A new exclusive feature on the ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Dark is the Dynamic Overclock Switcher (DOS). It allows you to set a load current threshold for switching between PBO and manual overclocking settings, including per-CCX overclocking. In theory this offers the best of two worlds, allowing you to maintain high frequencies when few cores are loaded and a manually tuned overclock at all core loads. Unfortunately I didn't have time to try this function myself, but check out these videos by SkatterBencher and der8auer which tests the feature:

Test Setup

  • AMD Ryzen 9 3950X (16 cores, 4.9 GHz Boost, 105W TDP)
  • ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero (BIOS 0090, AGESA 1.1.0.0)
  • G.Skill 3200C14D-16GTZR (2x8GB)
  • Corsair H115i
  • Windows 10 2004
Method

Any benchmark results are the average of three runs. HWInfo was used to record the monitoring information during the run. The average frequency was measured using the “Effective Clock” item. The average power was measured directly from the VRM controller and reports the CPU Core power only (excl SOC and other rails). Load-Line Calibration was set to Level 3 for the overclocked results. For the single-threaded tests, the affinity of the benchmark was lock to the highest ranked core according to CPPC.

Results

Single-Thread PBO

At default settings we're already exceeding the advertised 4.9 GHz boost clock at 4945 MHz. Keep in mind that this is a sustained average during the Cinebench R15 1T benchmark. If the max recorded boost clock was recorded it would show several bursts above 5000 MHz.

After setting the Curve Optimizer to -15, the average sustained boost clock sees an increase to 5035 MHz while the boost voltage is reduced by 27 mV. By then setting the Fmax offset to 50 MHz the boost clock is further increased to 5065 Mhzat the expense of a 38 mV voltage increase. With Curve Optimizer set to -25 it was necessary to add a voltage offset of +50 mV in order to keep the system stable. These settings gave us an average boost clock of 5080 MHz and the voltage was now reaching 1519 mV. Further testing showed the limit was reached and there were no further increases. The frequency even dropped if the voltage offset was too high.

Multi-Thread PBO

When setting Curve Optimizer to -15 for multi-threaded workloads, the voltage is reduced by 6mV by simultaneously increasing the all-core boost frequency from 4425 MHz to 4525 MHz. At the -25 setting again it was necessary to increase the voltage offset to +50 mV. In total this resulted in a 4575 MHz clock frequency while the voltage increased by 63 mV. Further reducing the Curve Optimizer to -35 did not result in additional frequency, however it did reduce the voltage by 7 mV.

Manual Overclocking

Through manual overclocking the limit was found to be around 4650 MHz with 1.29 V actual voltage during load. At this point the CPU is very close to the thermal limit as it reaches close to 100°C while consuming up to 236 W.

Other Recommended Content

Ryzen 9 5950X Curve Optimizer to 5.1 GHz, PBO and overclocking
SkatterBencher tests ASUS DOS
Ryzen 7 5800X overclocked to 7 GHz, but it's not real
End of an ERA - "Vermeer" has arrived
 

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LOVE IT! I have a Ryzen 3600 and it always frustrated me that best performance profile was the "extreme" PBO settings, as anything I can do manually would take more performance off my top end for small gains on all core. I'll spend weeks playing with all the sliders until I get something that performs 3% better, but gosh darn it imma get that 3%.
 

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LOVE IT! I have a Ryzen 3600 and it always frustrated me that best performance profile was the "extreme" PBO settings, as anything I can do manually would take more performance off my top end for small gains on all core. I'll spend weeks playing with all the sliders until I get something that performs 3% better, but gosh darn it imma get that 3%.
Yeah, on my 2700x, 3900x, and 3900XT I ended up throwing up my hands, turning on PBO and leaving it. OC'ing is frustrating, to say the least, with these guys.
 

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I hope we will see DOS on all the boards...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
LOVE IT! I have a Ryzen 3600 and it always frustrated me that best performance profile was the "extreme" PBO settings, as anything I can do manually would take more performance off my top end for small gains on all core. I'll spend weeks playing with all the sliders until I get something that performs 3% better, but gosh darn it imma get that 3%.
Yeah, on my 2700x, 3900x, and 3900XT I ended up throwing up my hands, turning on PBO and leaving it. OC'ing is frustrating, to say the least, with these guys.
I hope we will see DOS on all the boards...
It might be possible to port back Curve Optimizer to Zen 2, I'll keep you updated on that :) DOS should also work with older CPUs, but you need the Dark Hero for it unfortunately.

Hey Elmor, long time. I hope you are well.

Any word on max fclk?
My chip did max 1900 MHz, I'm hearing some are able to do 2000 MHZ but not sure how reliably.

Dropping my 10980XE to this one :love:
Promising. Can't wait !
Crazy that this will be an upgrade from 10980XE :)
 

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Does the curve optimizer still obey Ryzen's FIT limits? I'm still paranoid about degradation after I killed my 1800X.
 

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Hi,
Wouldn't take much to beat x299 at gaming lol
10900k though only claim is in some games this chip might be better.
 

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Certainly, but when you had OCed a X299 processor, it defended itself well anyway, now it's a new story...
 

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Overclocker in training
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Certainly, but when you had OCed a X299 processor, it defended itself well anyway, now it's a new story...
HI,
Nope x299 still had the crappy cache anchor.
 

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Great info Elmor-will test 11.11 on stream some things what u wrote here.

I hope, you have also some video from crazy OC session on HQ of Asus :)
 

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Is this what Robert Hallock was talking about on twitter?
 

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sooo.. any estimation when to expect bioses with agesa that have VF curve optimizer ?
my new 5800x in b550-f acts like this :

1) f-max enhancer :
"boosts" to 5.05 .. but is clock stretching AF, 4.3-4.5 effective in single
performance is 10 percent lower

2) pbo with default PPT, TDC and EDC, scaler 1x, offset, max offset 200Mhz :
"boosts" to 4.975 ... actualy holds 4.9 effective in single...
single and multi performance is 1-2 percent higher than stock (PBO does something this time .. :D)

so i think VF curve optimizer is what i need
 

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sooo.. any estimation when to expect bioses with agesa that have VF curve optimizer ?
my new 5800x in b550-f acts like this :

1) f-max enhancer :
"boosts" to 5.05 .. but is clock stretching AF, 4.3-4.5 effective in single
performance is 10 percent lower

2) pbo with default PPT, TDC and EDC, scaler 1x, offset, max offset 200Mhz :
"boosts" to 4.975 ... actualy holds 4.9 effective in single...
single and multi performance is 1-2 percent higher than stock (PBO does something this time .. :D)

so i think VF curve optimizer is what i need
It's tough to use HWiNFO Effective Clock unless you lock something to one specific core.
 

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sooo.. any estimation when to expect bioses with agesa that have VF curve optimizer ?
my new 5800x in b550-f acts like this :

1) f-max enhancer :
"boosts" to 5.05 .. but is clock stretching AF, 4.3-4.5 effective in single
performance is 10 percent lower

2) pbo with default PPT, TDC and EDC, scaler 1x, offset, max offset 200Mhz :
"boosts" to 4.975 ... actualy holds 4.9 effective in single...
single and multi performance is 1-2 percent higher than stock (PBO does something this time .. :D)

so i think VF curve optimizer is what i need
If ASUS special F-Max works like PBO bug, you need a load on the cpu to stop throttling to kick in, it tries to and get idle /low amps under single core load.
For benchmark, try moving your mouse around continually to see it improve the score stopping the throttle.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Great info Elmor-will test 11.11 on stream some things what u wrote here.

I hope, you have also some video from crazy OC session on HQ of Asus :)
There's some video footage but I don't think I'll be uploading a compiled video this time.

Is this what Robert Hallock was talking about on twitter?
It's possible but I really have no clue.

It's tough to use HWiNFO Effective Clock unless you lock something to one specific core.
Yes since it's an average read you need constant load on the thread you want to measure during the entire measurement interval.

@elmor
Great thread,thanks for sharing and I have had good results with using the AMD Curve Optimizer on 5800X
Awesome, which values ended up working well for you? Did you have any stability issues? To go higher than 5050 you need to add the Fmax offset :)
 

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Awesome, which values ended up working well for you? Did you have any stability issues? To go higher than 5050 you need to add the Fmax offset :)
First off thank you again for the thread.I do not know anything about the AMD Curve Optimizer .
Well PBO boost I seen at up to 5200Mhz short burst , with the 5800X I notice core 5 topping out at 5050Mhz so I just set negative 15 for all cores but core 5 and set that negative 5.

Now changing values on cores positive/negative can cause no boot and crash for sure. I made about 5hrs-6hrs of playing different games at up to 5050Mhz boost and have not notice stability issues. Just a trial and error thing as you know.

For Fmax I did not see or notice this on my MSI X570 Tomahawk Motherboard . Probably not added yet to BIOS,just guessing.

You would know for sure could I get around the slower core 5 on my 5800X using Fmax on per core basis.

Video of Cinbench 20 single with 3 games and actual bios setting for anyone interested.
Cinbench20
single score - 653
Multi did not include in video but was 6100+ can not remember exact score,just adding because people like cinebench scores for some reason but 650+ single score at up to 5050Mhz

 
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