AMD's Robert Hallock has released a video offering insight into the company's Precision Boost improvements due to land with its third-generation Ryzen parts - including the promise that the technology can improve both single-core and all-core performance.

When AMD unveiled its Ryzen family of Zen-architecture processors back in December 2016, as the antidote to years of poor performance from its long-pipeline Bulldozer and related architectures, it came with the promise of integrated smarts: SenseMI, a suite of technologies and sensors through which the system was able to tweak performance. Part of that tweaking, Precision Boost, aimed to offer a finer-grained alternative to rival Intel's Turbo Boost system: An automatic overclock that would modify the processor's operating clock in 25MHz increments at a 1MHz polling rate.

When the second-generation Ryzen chips were announced in April 2018, based on the tweaked Zen+ microarchitecture, it came with improvements to Precision Boost - and so it's little surprise to find that the third-generation Ryzen family, based somewhat confusingly on the Zen 2 microarchitecture, offers yet another improvement: An upgrade to Precision Boost Overdrive, a higher-end Precision Boost previously limited to the company's Threadripper parts.

In a video shared through AMD's social media channels, Robert Hallock walks through what's new with Precision Boost Overdrive in Zen+ and the third-generation Ryzen processors. In short: The biggest change comes in a higher upper limit for the automated overclocking, increasing single-core clocks by up to 200MHz from Precision Boost levels while also offering unspecified improvements for all-core clocks when running a multi-threaded workload. In short, the feature works a lot like XFR, AMD's Extended Frequency Range automatic overclocking functionality - and will not, interestingly, be reflected in the maximum clock speed used in advertising and on product packaging.

The five-minute video does, however, appear to contain a warning: Hallock mentions that Precision Boost Overdrive is available on Ryzen 3000-series processors model Ryzen 5 or above 'with an AMD X570 motherboard' - suggesting that it's unlikely to be available for those taking advantage of the third-generation Ryzen chips' backwards compatibility with motherboards based on previous-generation chipsets.

Update 02/07/2019: Despite the video suggesting that the new feature might only be available on X570 motherboards, Robert Hallock himself has taken to social networking sites including Reddit to clarify that 'Any mobo that supports 3rd Gen Ryzen will have this,' and that 'This is a core BIOS feature that's to be present when a 3000 Series CPU is in the socket.'

The full video is reproduced above.


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July 19 2019 | 17:30

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