Review AMD's New Binning Strategy on Ryzen 3000: Core-by-Core Turbo Analysis

Really interesting article Paul and team, thanks!

IMHO this is a case of clever engineering mixed that's been muddied by dubious (at best!) marketing. Intel's approach of specifying both Turbo Boost 2 (which all cores can meet) and Turbo Boost 3 (the highest possible clock speed on any single core) is a more transparent approach and one that AMD should adopt.

As you suggest, AMD likely have binning requirements on the "worst" cores, but these should be included in the spec table for the CPU. We should know what they are. On Z390 motherboards you can flick an "MCE" switch and it just works (provided you can cool it), because Intel have a minimum frequency that each individual core must be able to hit. That's the way it should be.

Intel have work to do around transparency too: their stupidly low base clocks and lack of transparency around dual + quad core boost frequencies is similarly misleading at best. But on the issue of this article, AMD should be more open. AMD's response quoted in this article is totally inadequate. Hopefully you gain some traction and they decide to give you more than "blah blah blah meet the product definition".
 
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TJ Hooker

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Something to keep in mind is that some Intel CPUs may fail to hit their max turbo speeds as well, albeit for different reasons. Intel is more specific about what the max turbo is for a given number of cores loaded, and some CPUs will only hit their max speed on a single core. The prevailing theory seems to be that with a typical system there will always be stuff going on in the background, such that there's never truly only one core being loaded, and therefore you may never actually see the single core turbo speed.

I know my 6700k won't hit 4.2 GHz at stock settings running benchmarks like P95 or Cinebench single threaded.
 
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Interesting reading this just a few days after the Silicon Lottery binning results.

Given that AMD wants to use as much of the silicon they produce as possible, I wonder if we'll see 6 and 8 core processors that utilize two processor chiplets, where only 3 or 4 of the cores are active.

I'm planning on building a new Ryzen 3000 system towards the end of the year, so I'm hoping that another 6 months sees some improvements made to the 7nm process, and possibly new processor steppings.
 
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Something to keep in mind is that some Intel CPUs fail to hit their max turbo speeds as well, albeit for different reasons. Intel is more specific about what the max turbo is for a given number of cores loaded, and some CPUs will only hit their max speed on a single core. The prevailing theory seems to be that with a typical system there will always be stuff going on in the background, such that there's never truly only one core being loaded, and therefore you may never actually see the single core turbo speed.

I know my 6700k won't hit 4.2 GHz at stock settings running benchmarks like P95 or Cinebench single threaded.
That's interesting, I wasn't aware there were regular issues on Intel's side too.

To be fair though, presumably you can just flick the MCE switch (or equivalent) in your BIOS and, assuming you have a capable motherboard and cooler, you should hit 4.2Ghz on all cores? In other words, all four cores should be capable of sustaining 4.2Ghz at ambient-coolable voltages. That's simply not the case with the new Ryzen processors.

I like where AMD are going with Ryzen and I'm saving my pennies for a 3900X, but I'm glad these boost scenarios are being explored and I hope they are more transparent with future releases.
 
"not all cores can reach the advertised boost frequency'?

That's a pretty big understatement...

It seems lucky for many users if even the best single core can hit only 50-100 MHz below it....for 1/4 second or so...and many seemingly are lucky to achieve even 100 MHz below it...

All core? Most definitely, subtract 200-300 MHz...maybe 400 MHz...

I'd not be surprised to eventually see some 'class-action' activity involving attorneys, frankly...; I don't think AMD's little 'you need to understand' sponsored lectures really help much.
 
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greenreaper

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Gen that AMD wants to use as much of the silicon they produce as possible, I wonder if we'll see 6 and 8 core processors that utilize two processor chiplets, where only 3 or 4 of the cores are active.
It's more likely we'll see those put into Athlon as single chiplets, although what you envisage could be suitable for low-end EPYC designed for storage servers. Ryzen isn't the high-end brand, but it's also not the low-end.

Of course, they could do Athlon as a no-graphics derivative of the Zen 2 APU instead, which may be a monolithic integrated design, sans chiplets, as in Zen 1.
 
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13thmonkey

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Will this improve with time? Will next year's chips behave differently, given how close to the edge they are perhaps they will. Intel have sufficient headroom that you may not notice any beneficial drift, other than in the most extreme of max OC's
 
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amclaren4

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I buy a product based on what it can do for its price, while paying attention to its spec's. Although this boost difference gets me to stop and go hmmm, it does not stop me from looking at purchasing them. Performance of a chip on the whole and for a competitive cost is what I like. The fact that all the cores do not hit max frequency got me to read this article completely. Although I was slightly disappointed with the results, it was not enough for me to over look its over-all performance to cost ratio. When I buy a computer, it is the whole system I look at, not just one part, yet this article is looking at one part. I will still put things into context for a more complete understanding. Each has their own view, this is mine.
 

cmmarco

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I bought a 3600x on day 1 for my x370. I can definitely confirm I cannot reach 4.4Ghz on a single core, but some can reach 4.3+. On the flip side, with water cooling my "base" frequency seems to be 4.2Ghz on all cores (I have never seen 3.8Ghz or under 4.2Ghz under load). I can get it to 4.4Ghz on one core with overclocking (PBO settings and Auto-OC) but the increased voltage and power applied just does not seem worth the extra 100Mhz. Odd that i have to take it "out of warranty" to get what should have been capable off at stock settings.
 
While it is sad that not all the cores can hit maximum boost, this does show how powerful the Zen 2 architecture really is. People automatically assumed that with a 4.4GHz boost for 1T applications it will hit that and stay there, we now know it is usually 50-100MHz lower than that. The fact that with a 350MHz boost deficiency the 3600X is able to keep up with the 8700K on 1T processes is quite amazing. Hopefully AMD will decide to do something like Intel does with their 2 different designations of boost.
 

cwolf78

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I guess that's one advantage to buying a chip with lower stock clocks: you probably have a much better chance of all cores hitting the advertised boost speed. I have a 3600 which has a 4.2 GHz boost but mine runs at 4275 MHz on all cores with no changes to voltage. I'm sure it can probably be tweaked further but it already seems plenty fast to me. (I upgraded from a 3570k)
 

1_rick

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Hmm. I have a 3600X bought launch day. It's supposed to have a 4.4GHz turbo but according to Ryzen Master it never goes above 4.225GHz. All 6 cores can hit that speed, but none of them ever go faster. Oddly, though, sometimes HWInfo64 will report 4.35+ speeds, so something's weird.
 
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Gurg

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"not all cores can reach the advertised boost frequency'?

That's a pretty big understatement...

It seems lucky for many users if even the best single core can hit only 50-100 MHz below it....for 1/4 second or so...and many seemingly are lucky to achieve even 100 MHz below it...

All core? Most definitely, subtract 200-300 MHz...maybe 400 MHz...

I'd not be surprised to eventually see some 'class-action' activity involving attorneys, frankly...; I don't think AMD's little 'you need to understand' sponsored lectures really help much.
My thoughts exactly, expect the class action law suits to be filed shortly. This sounds an awful lot like the Nvidia 970 graphic card debacle where Nvidia knew they were making false claims. Maybe TH should rethink their AMD 3000 series recommendations.
 
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Gurg

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I'm curious, does MSI Afterburner work on AMD products and MB? Along with the GPU info, the Afterburner Hardware Monitor shows by core individual CPU speeds, usage and temps as well as RAM usage. When gaming with 9600k set at 50 multiplier, the by core min and max: for temps, usage and speed are approximately equal for all the cores although the max cpu clock Mhz shows 4995 Mhx max for each of the cores rather than the 5.05 Mhz shown on Intel Extreme Tuning app. The six individual CPU Afterburner charts for clock speed for all six cores looks almost identical.
 

photon123

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Did this surprise anyone?
This was evident from the original reviews. Back then I couldn't think of any other explanation as to why all cores can't reach the boost frequency when working together with good cooling.
 
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jimmysmitty

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"not all cores can reach the advertised boost frequency'?

That's a pretty big understatement...

It seems lucky for many users if even the best single core can hit only 50-100 MHz below it....for 1/4 second or so...and many seemingly are lucky to achieve even 100 MHz below it...

All core? Most definitely, subtract 200-300 MHz...maybe 400 MHz...

I'd not be surprised to eventually see some 'class-action' activity involving attorneys, frankly...; I don't think AMD's little 'you need to understand' sponsored lectures really help much.
I can already see the lawyers gearing up for a pay day. Not that I agree with them, I usually don't, but I can see them using this as a jumping off platform for a suit.

Okay, the CPU have been released for a mere 3 weeks. How do we know it is not related to BIOSes? You lost all credibility with Just Buy It!
You mean besides the fact that the author verified his findings with AMD before publishing? Could it be that AMD is not perfect and there are issues with their new CPU design?

And the opinions of one person do not mean everyone at TH agrees with it. The article was a OP-ED and is pretty old. Give it up.

Will this improve with time? Will next year's chips behave differently, given how close to the edge they are perhaps they will. Intel have sufficient headroom that you may not notice any beneficial drift, other than in the most extreme of max OC's
Possibly. It depends on if this is an issue with the core design itself or if it is the 7nm process causing the issue. It could be both even. I do expect improvements but I don't think anyone should expect AMD to unleash anything insanely better with tweaking.
 
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Not all cores in AMD's Ryzen 3000-series processors can reach the boost frequency.

AMD's New Binning Strategy on Ryzen 3000: Core-by-Core Turbo Analysis : Read more
I will not pretend to anything but here is my point of view. If AMD starts with biased or double standard specs whether it had been done in the past or not then the company will not see my as a customer.
Transparency is prime gold so uttershittery components does not happen down the road (fast).

I thank you very much Tom's hardware people for test, research, and honesty.
I was considering 3950x but in lights of this article, it's a cold shower enough to wait for i9 10k series and see what comes up. After all i9 9900k is not that far away in spite of "Old tech".
 
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I will not pretend to anything but here is my point of view. If AMD starts with biased or double standard specs whether it had been done in the past or not then the company will not see my as a customer.
Transparency is prime gold so uttershittery components does not happen down the road (fast).

I thank you very much Tom's hardware people for test, research, and honesty.
I was considering 3950x but in lights of this article, it's a cold shower enough to wait for i9 10k series and see what comes up. After all i9 9900k is not that far away in spite of "Old tech".
The desktop CPU for Intel's 10Gen is probably going to be yet another Skylake refresh, just with higher boost clocks.
 

redgarl

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I can already see the lawyers gearing up for a pay day. Not that I agree with them, I usually don't, but I can see them using this as a jumping off platform for a suit.



You mean besides the fact that the author verified his findings with AMD before publishing? Could it be that AMD is not perfect and there are issues with their new CPU design?

And the opinions of one person do not mean everyone at TH agrees with it. The article was a OP-ED and is pretty old. Give it up.



Possibly. It depends on if this is an issue with the core design itself or if it is the 7nm process causing the issue. It could be both even. I do expect improvements but I don't think anyone should expect AMD to unleash anything insanely better with tweaking.
Ah cmon... so far, only Toms did mention anything about this and the BIOS are in shamble. I would wait a month for things to settle a little bit. We are talking about the launch of a new uarch and a new chipset. Did toms tested this with x470/x370 or b450/b350 motherboards? Answer is no.... BUT OMG, TOMS IS RIGHT huh... Remember the 3200MHz RAM speed on x370 boards at launch? And now look at it today, I am at 3333MHZ on a 1700x.

If AMD came with those numbers it is because they came to those numbers in their labs. Like you said, it would be suicide to advertise false specs.

By the way, that old article is even more relevant to show how much Toms article are similar to INFLUENCERS videos nowadays. I don't trust anything here anymore, but it does give me a second opinion.
 

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