Question Ryzen 3600X keeps boosting at idle

Red Hawk

Diamond Member
Jan 1, 2011
3,237
144
106
So I recently built a new PC based on the Ryzen 3600X. Performs great -- but it seems to have a problem boosting while idling, doing absolutely nothing. It will just sit their bouncing its CPU clock between 3.8 GHz and 4.3 GHz, causing it to warm up and make the CPU fan ramp up and down with it. My issue is, shouldn't it be downclocking much further below the base 3.8 GHz when it's idle? It doesn't seem to be behaving properly. Is this a known issue, or is there just a setting I can change to fix this? I've made sure that "Cool 'n Quiet" is manually set to "enabled" in the BIOS.

Full system specifications and settings:
AMD Ryzen 3600X with stock Wraith Spire cooler
MB: MSI Tomahawk B450, bios revision E7C02AMS
RAM: Crucial Ballistix 3200 MHz (XMP enabled)
GPU: Radeon RX-5700 XT (stock)
AMD chipset driver revision 2.04.04.111 installed
"AMD Ryzen Balanced" power plan enabled in Windows

What am I missing here?
 

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
15,780
4,763
136
Sounds like you've got backround processes causing boost spikes. Pretty common actually. Anyway the fan will ramp up over and over using many default fan profiles, which is annoying. Have you tried just moving to a static fan profile and seeing how your temps go that way?
 

Red Hawk

Diamond Member
Jan 1, 2011
3,237
144
106
Sounds like you've got backround processes causing boost spikes. Pretty common actually. Anyway the fan will ramp up over and over using many default fan profiles, which is annoying. Have you tried just moving to a static fan profile and seeing how your temps go that way?
Thank you for your response. :)

I'm not sure what could be in the background that's causing it to constantly boost. It's a clean installation of Windows, nothing else running in the background but Steam and Windows services, and it's pretty much constantly boosting past 4 GHz. You're saying that's normal behavior?

I've messed around with the fan curve in MSI's "Dragon Center" utility. It seems in order to keep the fan at least stable and not repeatedly ramping up, I need to set the minimum temperature to 50 C and the minimum fan speed to 50%. That doesn't seem optimal to me. What temperature would you suggest I should be aiming for as a minimum?
 
Last edited:

coercitiv

Diamond Member
Jan 24, 2014
3,729
3,513
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To develop on this further, use task manager to check whether any process is using the CPU in short bursts. It may be related to the fresh Win 10 install, or maybe some particular driver/software.

Last time somebody reported similar behavior the culprit seems to have been Xbox Live app.

The tools you could use to investigate this if nothing immediately pops out include:
  • Process Explorer as a more accurate resource usage monitoring software
  • Autoruns to check which software runs automatically when Windows starts (better details than Task Manager / Startup tab)
  • LatencyMon to track pesky software using resources while system should be idle.
I would start with using the stock Task Manager and check for abnormal usage behavior (including System Interrupts), then run LatencyMon a couple of times and see if it reports bad latency measurements (it also points towards a culprit). If everything seems normal you might want to start using Process Explorer, Autoruns and maybe even Process Monitor to look for software that runs on system start and uses the CPU or the disk repeatedly when system should be idle.
 
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bgt

Senior member
Oct 6, 2007
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I've a 3600X also but no problems whatsoever. Temp is always between 32-38C so no problem. The power draw (measured at the wall)when idle is about 35W. Fan is set at "silent" in bios and it truly is very quiet.
 
Last edited:

DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
15,780
4,763
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I'm not sure what could be in the background that's causing it to constantly boost. It's a clean installation of Windows, nothing else running in the background but Steam and Windows services, and it's pretty much constantly boosting past 4 GHz. You're saying that's normal behavior?
It's not normal per se, but it can happen. I would recommend following @coercitiv 's advice. It may also be the Steam client doing something in the background.

The problem is one of polling, more often than not. Matisse CPUs - like your 3600x - can boost and then go idle over and over in incredibly quick intervals, and it's usually only one core doing so. As long as the power draw from this activity is low, the CPU will boost as high as it can just because that's what it's designed to do. The problem lies with the fan curves that detect this activity and attempt to spin up the fan in concert with that one core.

I've messed around with the fan curve in MSI's "Dragon Center" utility. It seems in order to keep the fan at least stable and not repeatedly ramping up, I need to set the minimum temperature to 50 C and the minimum fan speed to 50%. That doesn't seem optimal to me. What temperature would you suggest I should be aiming for as a minimum?
I'm a little old school when it comes to fan behavior. Personally, I pick the maximum fan speed that my ears can stand (for me it's 100%, but I understand not everyone is like that) and then let the fan sit there all the time. As long as temps are okay in benchmark runs, I call it a day. If you want the fan to ramp down, then raising temp tolerances is okay as long as temps stay below 70C or so. Technically you can run the CPU at temps as high as 95C before anything goes wrong, but I've observed marked drops in efficiency of the CPU as it affects its voltage/clockspeed curve at temps above 70C. If you can set up the fan to run at minimum speed of 50% and make sure it doesn't ramp up until temps cross 50C, and if your ears are okay with that, then that would be an okay band-aid fix until you can figure out what's causing your cores to boost in the background.
 

cherullo

Junior Member
May 19, 2019
13
17
41
I'm facing the same situation, 3600x on a MSI x470 Gaming Plus. Temps go from 40C to 55C in a split second, so the fans ramp up immediately.
Since it's a transient workload (like DrMrLordX perfectly described above) the temps go back down in a few seconds, reaching 40C just in time for another burst. The ramping fan is annoying as hell.
Using a larger heatsink helps but doesn't solve the ramping. I "fixed it" by using a flat fan profile: around 30% RPM all the way up to 70C and then shoot it up to 100% at 75C.

Also notice that Task Manager reports higher clocks than Ryzen Master and HWiNFO (which is quite detailed in this regard).

The 3600x has a lower quality die than it's larger siblings and uses a lot of power to clock above 4.0Ghz. There are some strategies to tame it somehow.
If you mostly care about single threaded performance, you can reduce its PPT from 128w to 80w in Ryzen Master. My CB20 MT scores went from around 3600pts to 3500pts, with the same ST scores, but with lower power consumption in MT. Games also responded well to this.
If you mostly care about multithreaded performance, you can limit it's clocks to something between 3.9Ghz and 4.0Ghz and then downvolt it, which is extremely effective in this range. I was able to keep the same CB20 MT scores from stock while saving 15w with a little hit in ST scores.
 
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DrMrLordX

Lifer
Apr 27, 2000
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Since it's a transient workload (like DrMrLordX perfectly described above) the temps go back down in a few seconds, reaching 40C just in time for another burst.
It actually happens a lot faster than that, but the polling software (if you attempt to observe the phenomenon) can't keep up.

Using a larger heatsink helps but doesn't solve the ramping. I "fixed it" by using a flat fan profile: around 30% RPM all the way up to 70C and then shoot it up to 100% at 75C.
See that makes a lot of sense. 70C is about as high as you want the CPU to run on anything but the most harsh workloads. Beyond that the voltage/temp/clockspeed curve gets bad.

Also notice that Task Manager reports higher clocks than Ryzen Master and HWiNFO (which is quite detailed in this regard).
That's one of the other problems. If the temp sensors running the fans were reading the same values that you get in Ryzen Master (this seems to vary based on either motherboard and/or fan control software), the ramping problem would be far less-pronounced.

The 3600x has a lower quality die than it's larger siblings and uses a lot of power to clock above 4.0Ghz. There are some strategies to tame it somehow.
If you mostly care about single threaded performance, you can reduce its PPT from 128w to 80w in Ryzen Master. My CB20 MT scores went from around 3600pts to 3500pts, with the same ST scores, but with lower power consumption in MT. Games also responded well to this.
If you mostly care about multithreaded performance, you can limit it's clocks to something between 3.9Ghz and 4.0Ghz and then downvolt it, which is extremely effective in this range. I was able to keep the same CB20 MT scores from stock while saving 15w with a little hit in ST scores.
If you want to get fancy, you can also try lowering your LLC settings and/or adding a negative voltage offset. It won't lower power draw, but it will normally drop temps and change the behavior of the boost curve.
 

Hitman928

Platinum Member
Apr 15, 2012
2,531
1,695
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First, I would try to see if there are any processes at all that are causing the CPU to constantly ramp. Could be anything running in the background, I've even had Windows services go nuts for a couple of days causing similar behavior. If you can't pinpoint some programs/service causing it, then there's been some reports that the latest AMD chipset driver is causing issues for some users:


Maybe try wiping the chipset drivers and using the previous version to see if you still have the same problem?
 
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Red Hawk

Diamond Member
Jan 1, 2011
3,237
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Thanks for all the responses everyone. :)

To develop on this further, use task manager to check whether any process is using the CPU in short bursts. It may be related to the fresh Win 10 install, or maybe some particular driver/software.

Last time somebody reported similar behavior the culprit seems to have been Xbox Live app.

The tools you could use to investigate this if nothing immediately pops out include:
  • Process Explorer as a more accurate resource usage monitoring software
  • Autoruns to check which software runs automatically when Windows starts (better details than Task Manager / Startup tab)
  • LatencyMon to track pesky software using resources while system should be idle.
I would start with using the stock Task Manager and check for abnormal usage behavior (including System Interrupts), then run LatencyMon a couple of times and see if it reports bad latency measurements (it also points towards a culprit). If everything seems normal you might want to start using Process Explorer, Autoruns and maybe even Process Monitor to look for software that runs on system start and uses the CPU or the disk repeatedly when system should be idle.
I do actually use the Xbox Game Pass for PC beta app, had left it to run at startup. Switched that off, that seemed to mitigate the random boosting somewhat, but not completely.

Thank you for the list of software utilities, already knew about autoruns but had never used process manager or latencymon.

It's not normal per se, but it can happen. I would recommend following @coercitiv 's advice. It may also be the Steam client doing something in the background.

The problem is one of polling, more often than not. Matisse CPUs - like your 3600x - can boost and then go idle over and over in incredibly quick intervals, and it's usually only one core doing so. As long as the power draw from this activity is low, the CPU will boost as high as it can just because that's what it's designed to do. The problem lies with the fan curves that detect this activity and attempt to spin up the fan in concert with that one core.



I'm a little old school when it comes to fan behavior. Personally, I pick the maximum fan speed that my ears can stand (for me it's 100%, but I understand not everyone is like that) and then let the fan sit there all the time. As long as temps are okay in benchmark runs, I call it a day. If you want the fan to ramp down, then raising temp tolerances is okay as long as temps stay below 70C or so. Technically you can run the CPU at temps as high as 95C before anything goes wrong, but I've observed marked drops in efficiency of the CPU as it affects its voltage/clockspeed curve at temps above 70C. If you can set up the fan to run at minimum speed of 50% and make sure it doesn't ramp up until temps cross 50C, and if your ears are okay with that, then that would be an okay band-aid fix until you can figure out what's causing your cores to boost in the background.
Thanks. 50% fan speed was a little too loud for my liking, so I messed around a little bit more and seemed to get it stable at 40% up to 55 C, with further steps up to 75% past 65 C and 100% past 75 C.

I'm facing the same situation, 3600x on a MSI x470 Gaming Plus. Temps go from 40C to 55C in a split second, so the fans ramp up immediately.
Since it's a transient workload (like DrMrLordX perfectly described above) the temps go back down in a few seconds, reaching 40C just in time for another burst. The ramping fan is annoying as hell.
Using a larger heatsink helps but doesn't solve the ramping. I "fixed it" by using a flat fan profile: around 30% RPM all the way up to 70C and then shoot it up to 100% at 75C.

Also notice that Task Manager reports higher clocks than Ryzen Master and HWiNFO (which is quite detailed in this regard).

The 3600x has a lower quality die than it's larger siblings and uses a lot of power to clock above 4.0Ghz. There are some strategies to tame it somehow.
If you mostly care about single threaded performance, you can reduce its PPT from 128w to 80w in Ryzen Master. My CB20 MT scores went from around 3600pts to 3500pts, with the same ST scores, but with lower power consumption in MT. Games also responded well to this.
If you mostly care about multithreaded performance, you can limit it's clocks to something between 3.9Ghz and 4.0Ghz and then downvolt it, which is extremely effective in this range. I was able to keep the same CB20 MT scores from stock while saving 15w with a little hit in ST scores.
Yeah that sounds pretty similar to what's happening on my system. Messing with the voltages isn't really something I'm interested in, though.


First, I would try to see if there are any processes at all that are causing the CPU to constantly ramp. Could be anything running in the background, I've even had Windows services go nuts for a couple of days causing similar behavior. If you can't pinpoint some programs/service causing it, then there's been some reports that the latest AMD chipset driver is causing issues for some users:


Maybe try wiping the chipset drivers and using the previous version to see if you still have the same problem?
Huh, interesting. I am running the latest chipset driver, so I may try reverting to an older version when I get home from work.
 

funboy6942

Lifer
Nov 13, 2001
14,636
105
106
I had the same problem with my system using the 3600x, and did the exact same thing. I tried changing it from performance to balanced, killed off all I can find running I didnt need in the background, and it came down to uninstalling xbox game pass on it, for as soon as I removed that, it pretty much stayed at stock at idle. It was driving me nuts listening to my cpu fan ramping up and down up and down, but so far I removed it, and redid my system recently and reinstalled it, and its not going nuts, but it doesnt just sit still like I would like it to when all I am doing it web surfing. but at least my fans are not going insane anymore. I asked for help and got heck for it here, said I wasnt listening to suggestions, though when I did what was asked it didnt do anything different, but as said for poo and giggles I started uninstalling stuff, and when I did the xbox game pass, it finally went down, heat went down, fans didnt spin as much, and temps evened out.

But there is something, be it ever so small, thats making the driver for the cpu go insane, as it will continue to drive you insane till you find it.
 

funboy6942

Lifer
Nov 13, 2001
14,636
105
106
If it helps, I got this motherboard here from amazon, it was but $170 shipped (prime) and I havent had near as many problems as I was having trying to run this chip on my Gigabyte x470 board, and I am in absolute love of the lighting effects it has over my old board, seizure inducing :O

OH even though it said renewed, it showed up like new, smelling like new, with everything as new, happier then a pig in poo :)
 

pauldun170

Diamond Member
Sep 26, 2011
6,577
1,692
136
Be mindful of how you are monitoring.
.
 

Ajay

Diamond Member
Jan 8, 2001
6,957
2,299
136
Interesting to see this thread as I've been dealing with this problem with the past couple days. Unfortunately, using several tools, it appears my system jump up as much as 15C just while I'm typing this and doing other such simple tasks. Currently, I am messing with the Fan Control program (GUI wrapper for Libre Hardware Monitor). Setting the the fan speed vs temperature curve to be flat out to 50C is helping. Then I transition to move of a parabolic curve. Still tweaking.

 

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