AMD Announces BIOS Fix for Ryzen 3000 Boost Clocks, Update Comes September 10

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Despoiler

Golden Member
Nov 10, 2007
1,851
683
136
This really seems like a crapshoot. I'm having no trouble hitting advertised boost with AGESA 1.0.0.2 (Asus BIOS 5008) on my R5 3600 and Asus Prime X370-PRO (NH-D15, Phanteks Enthoo Pro M TG). So I'm not sure if there's any compelling reason for me to perform this update.
AMD has modified the voltages quite a bit going to 1.0.0.3. It's been speculated by The Stilt that it's to keep the chips inline with their longevity assessment. They've also been fixing bugs which is the reason for all of the revisions. I'd definitely update and ABBA looks like it might finally be the version we've all been waiting for.
 

Kenmitch

Diamond Member
Oct 10, 1999
7,440
642
126
Looks like the ABBA BIOS is boosting correctly.

reddit.com/r/MSI_Gaming/comments/d1rv4f/x570_agesa_1003abba_beta_bios/
I'll probably flash mine tonight if I don't see any negative comments on their forum.

My MB has USB flashback so all I really lose is time and my tweaked saved profile.
 

misuspita

Member
Jul 15, 2006
94
51
91
trupathems.wordpress.com
Copied from another forum :

AMD posted an elaborate release detailing the AGESA 1.0.0.3ABBA update:

Hello, everyone! We're delighted by your support and the strong momentum of 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen processors in the marketplace, and we continue to watch your feedback closely. Today we have some important updates for you concerning processor boost behavior, desktop idle behavior, and a new monitoring SDK. The first two changes will be arriving in BIOSes based on AGESA 1003ABBA, and we are planning to make the SDK public on developer.amd.com with a target release date of September 30.

Boost Changes
Starting with our commitment to provide you an update on processor boost, our analysis indicates that the processor boost algorithm was affected by an issue that could cause target frequencies to be lower than expected. This has been resolved. We've also been exploring other opportunities to optimize performance, which can further enhance the frequency. These changes are now being implemented in flashable BIOSes from our motherboard partners. Across the stack of 3rd Gen Ryzen Processors, our internal testing shows that these changes can add approximately 25-50MHz to the current boost frequencies under various workloads.

Our estimation of the benefit is broadly based on workloads like PCMark 10 and Kraken JavaScript Benchmark. The actual improvement may be lower or higher depending on the workload, system configuration, and thermal/cooling solution implemented in the PC. We used the following test system in our analysis:

  • AMD Reference Motherboard (AGESA 1003ABBA beta BIOS)
  • 2x8GB DDR4-3600C16
  • AMD Wraith Prism and Noctua NH-D15S coolers
  • Windows 10 May 2019 Update
  • 22°C ambient test lab
  • Streacom BC1 Open Benchtable
  • AMD Chipset Driver 1.8.19.xxx
  • AMD Ryzen Balanced power plan
  • BIOS defaults (except memory OC)

These improvements will be available in final BIOSes starting in about three weeks' time, depending on the testing and implementation schedule of your motherboard manufacturer. Additional information on boost frequency in the 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen Processors can also be obtained from this separate blog update.

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.

Following the installation of the latest BIOS update, a consumer running a bursty, single threaded application on a PC with the latest software updates and adequate voltage and thermal headroom should see the maximum boost frequency of their processor. PCMark 10 is a good proxy for a user to test the maximum boost frequency of the processor in their system. It is fully expected that if users run a workload like Cinebench, which runs for an extended period of time, the operating frequencies may be lower than maximum throughout the run.

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.

Revisiting Calmer Idle
In late July, we implemented a series of software changes that would help the processor ignore requests for voltage/frequency boost from lightweight applications. The goal was to make the processor more relaxed at the desktop, but poised to react for serious workloads. While many of you were happy with the effect of the software changes, some of you were still grappling with cases where the CPU was a bit overzealous with boost. We wanted to smooth those out, too.

Today we're announcing that AGESA 1003ABBA carries firmware-level changes designed to do just that. The changes primarily arrive in the form of an "activity filter" that empowers the CPU boost algorithm itself to disregard intermittent OS and application background noise. Example test cases might include: video playback, game launchers, monitoring utilities, and peripheral utilities. These cases tend to make regular requests for a higher boost state, but their intermittent nature would fall below the threshold of the activity filter.

Net-net, we expect you'll see lower desktop voltages, around 1.2 V, for the core(s) actively handling such tasks. We believe this solution will be even more effective than the July changes for an even wider range of applications.

Please keep in mind, however, that this firmware change is not a cap. The processor must still be free to boost if active workload(s) seriously require it, so you should still expect occasions where the processor will explore its designed and tested voltage range of 0.2 V to 1.5 V.

New Monitoring SDK
Obtaining reliable data about the operating behavior of a processor is important to enthusiasts such as myself. There are many monitoring utilities on the market, and we work with many of them to ensure they're accessing telemetry data in a sensible manner. Regardless of the utility, however, it's common sense that all the tools should roughly correlate when you ask a simple question like "what's my CPU temperature?"

Enabling a consistent experience across monitoring utilities is important to us. That's why we're announcing the September 30 release of the AMD Monitoring SDK that will allow anyone to build a public monitoring utility that can reliably report a range of key processor metrics in a consistent manner. Altogether, there are 30+ API calls within the first SDK release, but we've highlighted a few of the more important or interesting ones below:

  • Current Operating Temperature: Reports the average temperature of the CPU cores over a short sample period. By design, this metric filters transient spikes that can skew temperature reporting.
  • Peak Core(s) Voltage (PCV): Reports the Voltage Identification (VID) requested by the CPU package of the motherboard voltage regulators. This voltage is set to service the needs of the cores under active load, but isn't necessarily the final voltage experienced by all of the CPU cores.
  • Average Core Voltage (ACV): Reports the average voltages experienced by all processor cores over a short sample period, factoring in active power management, sleep states, Vdroop, and idle time.
  • EDC (A), TDC (A), PPT (W): The current and power limits for your motherboard VRMs and processor socket.
  • Peak Speed: The maximum frequency of the fastest core during the sample period.
  • Effective Frequency: The frequency of the processor cores after factoring in time spent in sleep states (e.g. cc6 core sleep or pc6 package sleep). Example: One processor core is running at 4 GHz while awake, but in cc6 core sleep for 50% of the sample period. The effective frequency of this core would be 2 GHz. This value can give you a feel for how often the cores are using aggressive power management capabilities that aren't immediately obvious (e.g. clock or voltage changes).
  • Various voltages and clocks, including: SoC voltage, DRAM voltage, fabric clock, memory clock, etc.

A Preview in Action
This SDK will be available for public download on developer.amd.com on September 30. As a preview of what the new SDK can enable, AMD Ryzen Master (version 2.0.2.1271) has already been updated with the new Average Core Voltage API for 3rd Gen Ryzen Processors. It's ready for download today!

As noted above, Average Core Voltage shows you average voltages that all CPU cores are experiencing over a short sample period after you factor in sleep states, idle states, active power management, and Vdroop. Depending on the load on the processor, this value might be quite different from Peak Core(s) Voltage.

For example: if the processor is lightly loaded on a few cores, the overall activity level of all the CPU cores will be relatively low and, therefore, the Average Core Voltage will be low as well. But the active cores still need intermittently higher voltages to power boost frequencies, which will be reflected in the Peak Core Voltage. As the CPU comes under full load, these two values will eventually converge representing that all cores are active at approximately the same intensity. The overall goal of these two values is to show you what's happening moment-to-moment the most loaded cores (Peak), and what's happening more generally to the CPU cores over time (Average).

We hope new APIs like Average Core Voltage give you a better understanding of how our processors behave, and we can't wait to see more tools make use of the new monitoring SDK. Visit amd.com on September 30 for the first public release!

What to Expect Next
AGESA 1003ABBA has now been released to our motherboard partners. Now they will perform additional testing, QA, and implementation work on their specific hardware (versus our reference motherboard). Final BIOSes based on AGESA 1003ABBA will begin to arrive in approximately three weeks, depending on the testing time of your vendor and motherboard.

Going forward, we'll continue providing updates in this format as the updates are being prepped for release.
 

Despoiler

Golden Member
Nov 10, 2007
1,851
683
136
I'll probably flash mine tonight if I don't see any negative comments on their forum.

My MB has USB flashback so all I really lose is time and my tweaked saved profile.
I got ABB yesterday for my x370 board. Waiting patiently for ABBA as Asus is slower to update than I'd like.
 

Kenmitch

Diamond Member
Oct 10, 1999
7,440
642
126
I wound up getting off of work early today.

I took the plunge and flashed my MSI x570 Gaming Plus with the latest beta 1.0.0.3ABBA uEFI to see how my 3700x would respond. I was eager to get into Windows to get a sneak peak so I haven't tweaked my b-die yet.

Stats are from a 30 minute time period with both uEFI versions. PBO wasn't enabled. I just surfed the web, watched a youtube video, and did a few single and all core Cinebench runs to get an idea of boosts.

10606

So far the uEFI seems stable, but I haven't tried to tweak my b-die back to 3600 CL14 yet. The boost behavior looks like it's fixed, but then again I wasn't really leaving much on the table anyways.

Once I get my b-die tweaked I'll enable PBO and see if I got any extra headroom left.
 

Shmee

Memory and Storage, Graphics Cards
Super Moderator
Sep 13, 2008
3,904
287
126
Nice, how is Vcore and temps looking compared to before?
 

Kenmitch

Diamond Member
Oct 10, 1999
7,440
642
126
They didn't look like they've changed much at all so far. Maybe just a tad bit lower vcore under high boost, but temp wise it's really close. I guess I didn't have much of a boost issue to begin with anyways. Is nice to pick up that last 25 MHz that was on the table. I guess 6 of 8 hitting 4.4 GHz with 2 topping out at 4.35(so far) isn't too bad in the end. I haven't tried any all core over clocking yet to see if anythings changed for the better or worse yet. I'm just happy they didn't mess up my b-die over clock like a few betas ago. Got the b-die back to 3600 CL14 with the same tight timings so all is good there.
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
13,040
2,705
136
I figured that it was an attempt to control the dancing queen that is Ryzen 3000 voltages.
Oy vey.

Does it require Waterloo cooling?
What have I done? And yes, it does.

Back on-topic. It looks like my board (x570 Aorus Master) does not have an ABBA UEFI yet. Latest is F6 which provides some SATA hot-plugging functionality fix and . . . that's about it?
 

Dribble

Golden Member
Aug 9, 2005
1,724
286
126
Interesting article: https://www.tomshardware.co.uk/amd-ryzen-3000-boost-clock-controversy-intel-attack,news-61617.html

So it's not as simple as AMD just made an error, now they are fixing it. It seems more that they are fighting against heat and wear problems. They lowered it because the chips were getting too hot and AMD were worried they would die young, and now after the complaints they are attempting to raise it a bit again. Also interesting that different cores have different max clocks and only some can reach the boost number with windows having to prioritise those cores all suggesting they are running right at the limit.

Looks like they've clocked it too high, knock a 100mhz off the clocks and all would have been fine.
 
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coercitiv

Diamond Member
Jan 24, 2014
3,373
2,543
136
So it's not as simple as AMD just made an error, now they are fixing it. It seems more that they are fighting against heat and wear problems.
This was already addressed by AMD themselves with a resounding No. See posts above in this thread. [1] [2]
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.
 

Vattila

Senior member
Oct 22, 2004
435
368
136
They lowered it because the chips were getting too hot and AMD were worried they would die young
As @coercitiv points out, AMD's Senior Technical Marketing Manager, Robert Hallock, explicitly refutes this claim.

Noteworthy, Intel marketing used this FUD (fear-uncertainty-doubt) about reliability in their recent slides at IFA, even though it clearly was no more than unsubstantiated speculation on the cause of differences between AGESA versions.

Looks like they've clocked it too high, knock a 100mhz off the clocks and all would have been fine.
Although there seems to be a myriad of variables — from software, OS and firmware to motherboard model and cooler mounting — that all have contributed to a large variance in the max frequency seen by users, which is an issue that needs to be addressed, and is being addressed, in the end I think the main issue is rather what Max Boost should mean.

See my discussion thread on this, and express your opinion in the poll.
 

Markfw

CPU Moderator, VC&G Moderator, Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 16, 2002
18,358
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136
and yet I have manually overclocked and undervolted all my 3900x's. That is, higher all boost core than stock with lover vcore and temps.
 

Topweasel

Diamond Member
Oct 19, 2000
4,940
1,167
136
Interesting article: https://www.tomshardware.co.uk/amd-ryzen-3000-boost-clock-controversy-intel-attack,news-61617.html

So it's not as simple as AMD just made an error, now they are fixing it. It seems more that they are fighting against heat and wear problems. They lowered it because the chips were getting too hot and AMD were worried they would die young, and now after the complaints they are attempting to raise it a bit again. Also interesting that different cores have different max clocks and only some can reach the boost number with windows having to prioritise those cores all suggesting they are running right at the limit.

Looks like they've clocked it too high, knock a 100mhz off the clocks and all would have been fine.
This isn't new. Ryzen Master from the beginning has always shown a gold and silver (Highest and second highest clocking) cores per CCD. Intel introduced the idea of a golden core with their SL-X product line.
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
13,040
2,705
136
Looks like Gigabyte has released some ABBA-based UEFI revisions for their x570 boards. Gonna try the new AGESA out for myself . . .

edit: I tried UEFI F7a for my x570 Aorus Master. It has some bugs detecting harddrives, and that bug seems to be common to all their x570 boards. You have to manually select some drives to boot from them. It can't find my 970 Evo without manual boot selection. So annoying.

Anyway, boost behavior seems much-improved for applications that use 4 or fewer threads. LLC still affects default boost behavior. On my 3900x, if I have Turbo LLC (which is LLC5) then I can get applications like SuperPi to hit 4.6 GHz and stay there for the entire run. MT workloads like CBR20 suffer, though. In contrast, if I use LLC Normal (LLC Off) and a -.1v offset, I get 4550 MHz in SuperPi and much better behavior in MT workloads like CBR20. So I lose a little in ST workloads, but gain quite a bit as more cores are engaged. For casual use, this seems to be the best setup for me right now, though static OC still provides the best overall performance.

Now on to AVX2 workloads.

First up, PrimeGrid PPS (LLR) which is @VirtualLarry 's workload of choice. Moving to the new AGESA variant and going with LLC Normal and -.1v offset gets me ~3850 MHz with slight variation. Voltage is reported @ 1.068v by CPU-z. Temp is ~55C. Very tame overall. The same chip can do 4150 MHz @ ~1.2v vcore so obviously there's room for improvement. Power limits prevent the chip from reaching those speeds via defaults. It's still an improvement over the previous AGESA's behavior which had the chip limited to 3660 MHz.

Next is Prime95 SmallFFTs. CPU-z reports a vcore of 1.104v during operation, and clocks sit at 3900 MHz with little variation. Temp is 58C. Also quite tame. 1.0.0.3ABB would restrict clocks to maybe 3825 MHz in a best-case scenario, so my boost has improved a little bit here.

Note that I ran those tests with default RAM config (in my case, DDR4-2133 . . . lulz) so boost behavior may change once I go back to my old RAM OC.

edit: I reran some simple tests with full RAM OC and looked at performance instead of clocks. Here's a basic breakdown of before-and-after on my end:

SuperPi 1.5 mod XS 1m
1.0.0.3 ABB: default, LLC Off: ~9.1s
1.0.0.3 ABB: default, LLC Off, -.1v offset: ~9.5s
1.0.0.3ABBA: default, LLC Off, -.1v offset: ~9.1s

CBR20 MT
1.0.0.3 ABB: default, LLC Off: ~7250
1.0.0.3 ABB: default, LLC Off, -.1v offset: ~7320
1.0.0.3 ABBA: default, LLC Off, -.1v offset: ~7400

Long story short, I was able to use DDR4-3733 and some LLC tweaking to get some of the best single-core and MT performance I've ever gotten out of this chip from boost behavior. So overall, it looks like a win. I might actually use this setup for my daily driving since I don't have to reload Ryzen Master and pick new settings every time I decide to run an AVX2-heavy application.
 
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