If you’re going to drop $500 or more on a processor, you want one that does what it promises on the box. With the Ryzen 3 3900X CPUs, though, that may not be the case. According to well-known overclocker Der8auer, though, AMD’s Ryzen 3000 series is having difficulty hitting the advertised boost clock speeds.
De8auer is best known in the PC community for delidding and overclocking CPUs, so he’s certainly going to be one to spot a processor acting out of character compared to its promised speeds. After noticing the discrepancy, Der8auer conducted a survey among Ryzen 3000 users and found that only 5.6% of respondents are seeing their Ryzen 9 3900X CPUs hitting rated boost speeds. Other AMD 3000-series CPUs are doing better job of hitting those boost speeds but are still struggling.
Tom’s Hardware confirmed through AMD that the only one core on a CPU is guaranteed to hit a a rated boost clock, but Der8auer’s results show that many users aren’t hitting it on any core, let alone a single one.
The survey includes performance data from 2,700 systems with AMD Ryzen 3000-series chips running Cinebench R15 and HWInfo, an AMD-recommended utility. Many got within 25MHz of the advertised boost speed, but most didn’t make it there.
A flawed survey
There are a few issues with this survey. Der8auer is an expert when it comes to CPU performance, so we’re definitely not questioning his interpretation of his data. However, Der8auer is also going to attract people who pay attention to the particulars of processor operation to his audience. This self-reported survey highlights a specific subset of computer users; this already biases the result.
Further—and Der8auer acknowledges this—users who have reason to be suspicious of their speeds and users who find that they’re getting sub-par speeds are more likely to respond to a survey like this, while other users might dismiss it.
5.6% is a dismal return, though, and it would be a wild skew to see the numbers differ significantly in a more scientific survey.
AMD hasn’t commented on the findings yet. The issue shows up on a variety of boards, too. Der8auer still recommends the 3000-series CPUs. He explains that AMD just shouldn’t advertise speeds that users can’t reasonably achieve.
If you’re in the market for a new AMD 3000-series Ryzen CPU, it’s something to keep an eye on.