AMD AGESA 1003ABBA BIOS Will Help Ryzen 3000 Reach Max Boost Clock

AMD said they needed 7 days to come up with a plan to release a BIOS patch with their  motherboard partners that addresses Ryzen 3000 series processors being unable to reach their max boost clock in some situations. Legit Reviews took a quick look at this topic yesterday and sure enough none of our CPUs could hit their rated max boost speed.

The past week has flown by and the enthusiast community has been patiently waiting for AMD’s update on when a BIOS will be available that addresses that issue along with additional boost performance optimizations.

We are happy to report that AMD just passed along some good news. First, both processor boost behavior and desktop idle behavior have been adjusted in AGESA 1003ABBA. Thanks to firmware-level changes, AMD has enabled an “activity filter” that allows the CPU boost algorithm itself to disregard intermittent OS and application background noise. This is not the firmware cap that many expected AMD to implement. The processor is free to boost if active workload(s) seriously require it. Ryzen 3000 series processors will be seen using its designed and tested voltage range of 0.2V to 1.5V during normal operation. It should be noted that the improvements that have been made in boost frequency for AGESA 1003ABBA will not have any impact on the lifespan of Ryzen 3000 series processors.

AMD shared the above image with us that shows Ryzen 9 3900X peak/average CPU core voltages running Steam and AMD Ryzen Master (version 2.0.2.1271). Similar voltages, around 1.09V, were observed while running Corsair iCUE software. This is an example of the improvements they have also done to calm idle voltages.

AMD expects motherboard makers to release BIOS versions based on AGESA 1003ABBA in about two to three weeks’ time.

The next big change is that AMD is introducing a new monitoring SDK with over 30 API calls! This SDK will be released to developers on AMD.com starting September 30th, 2019. This is exciting as we are always looking for a way to log reliable data about both AMD and Intel processors. This new AMD Monitoring SDK should hopefully allow all third party monitoring applications to report identical and accurate information in a number of key areas.

In closing here is a statement from the AMD blog post. You can also find out more on this Ryzen Community Update post.

With our newest processors, we set out to build a family of products that offered outstanding performance and amazing value across a wide number of applications – and from the user response and third party reviews we have done just that. Alongside this feedback on the incredible performance of 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen, we have also heard from some users who expressed concerns about their ability to hit the maximum boost frequency of their product. We understand how this can be confusing and frustrating for those users, so we are providing more context on how we set the boost frequencies on 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen processors, and what you should expect to see.

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. As part of our manufacturing process, each Ryzen 3000 series is tested at a set of voltage and temperature specifications to ensure the processor is capable of operating to the base and maximum boost frequency specified.  

Achieving this maximum boost frequency, and the duration of time the processor sits at this maximum boost frequency, will vary from PC to PC based on many factors such as having adequate voltage and current headroom, the ambient temperature, installing the most up-to-date software and BIOS, and especially the application of thermal paste and the effectiveness of the system/processor cooling solution.

As we noted in this blog, we also resolved an issue in our BIOS that was reducing maximum boost frequency by 25-50MHz depending on workload. We expect our motherboard partners to make this update available as a patch in two to three weeks. 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, bursty workload proxy for a user to test the maximum boost frequency of their processor in their system.  It is expected that if users run a workload like Cinebench, which runs for an extended period of time, the operating frequencies may be less than the maximum throughout the run.

As always, if a user has a concern about the performance or operation of their AMD Ryzen processor, we ask that they contact us here for technical support and assistance.