AMD says it is pushing out a BIOS update for motherboard partners, admitting that it has “identified an issue in our firmware” that reduces boost frequency amid a flurry in performance complaints from users of its latest Ryzen CPUs.
In an update posted on social media this week, the company said: “We have closely reviewed the feedback from our customers and… are in the process of preparing a BIOS update for our motherboard partners that addresses that issue and includes additional boost performance optimizations.”
The company added: “We will provide an update on September 10 to the community regarding the availability of the BIOS.”
The move comes two days after German Youtuber Roman Hartung published the result of a survey of over 2,700 Ryzen users, suggesting that not all were able to hit maximum advertised speeds on the desktop CPUs; it also follows several months of griping by gamers on Reddit and other platforms.
Many users were failing to hit their rated boost clocks and even falling marginally short of AMD’s own reviewer’s guide targeted numbers.
A Tom’s Hardware report in late July, meanwhile, revealed that while its Ryzen 5 3600X sample (bought off-the-shelf) managed to it its rated 4.4GHz boost speed, it only managed to do so on one of its six cores.
AMD makes no secret of the fact that some cores are designed to be faster than others, and uses Windows 10’s Ryzen-aware scheduler and its own chipset drivers to help the OS schedule single-threaded tasks into the fastest cores (thread pinning). As a result not all Windows versions can schedule threads into the fastest cores as efficiently; while previous generation Ryzen processors can reach optimal boost frequences on all of their cores.
The issue is a not great optics for AMD, however, which just last week agreed to $12.1 million settlement in a class action lawsuit for some customers who bought its FX-8000 / 9000 CPUs built on its 2011 Bulldozer architecture.
“AMD is pleased to have reached a settlement of this lawsuit. While we believe the allegations are without merit, we also believe that eliminating the distraction and settling the litigation is in our best interest,” an AMD spokesperson told CRN. (A number of customers disagreed with the labelling of the CPUs: AMD had pitched the Bulldozer processors as the first 8-core desktop chips when they arrived in 2011; the cores did not operate independently, however, and Intel’s four-core CPUs performed better).
The settlement is puny in terms of the company’s overall revenues and its latest releases have been well-received, with its latest EPYC range of server chips smashing over 80 world performance records.