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AMD discusses Precision Boost Overdrive on Ryzen 3000 CPUs

by Mark Tyson on 2 July 2019, 10:11

Tags: AMD (NYSE:AMD)

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AMD has sharpened up its Precision Boost Overdrive (PBO) 'automatic overclocking' technology for the release of the Ryzen 3000 series of processors. PBO was introduced with the second gen Ryzen processors and is a smart optimisation tech which considers available headroom in power, thermals, and electrical design current - and accordingly raises the frequency and voltage to gain more performance. You can get an overview of how PBO currently works and its potential benefits in an AMD blog post from last August.

A few hours ago AMD's technical marketing lead Robert Hallock shared an explainer video about how PBO is being improved for the upcoming Ryzen 3000 series of processors. Of course, with the Zen 2 cores and new 7nm Ryzen 3000 series processors, things are going to get even better.

In a new explainer video about the updates to PBO for the Ryzen 3000 series Hallock started by reiterating the basics of how the technology works - making use of the processor and VRM headroom that your system has to deliver higher clockspeeds over longer periods.

New with PBO on Ryzen 3000 CPUs, installed on X570 motherboards, is that auto-overclocking can be applied too. So your new processor will be able to boost beyond the clock speed range printed on the box. In the example given by Hallock, a 4.55GHz processor could hit 4.75GHz when maximum processor power is required. It isn't clear how you would decide on the upper OC frequency limit. More than once Hallock says that you "plug in" the higher than normal clockspeed to get this extra OC level of boost applied.

As the availability of its Ryzen 3000 series of processors edges closer, AMD is cranking up the information and marketing. Shortly after the above PBO video explainer was shared a new video about GameCache on 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen processors was shared too.

The simple message of the above video is that the Ryzen 3000 processors come packing more cache than ever and this helps deliver lower latency for max FPS and smooth gameplay.



HEXUS Forums :: 19 Comments

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I like the general idea of PBO and I'm not aware of any major issues with it, but the automatic voltage controlling in particular scares me, I mean it is probably paranoia and I'm sure AMD have thought this through… but bugs/glitches or malicious attacks on something like this could potentially be devastating to the system if it's possible. If someone else here knows a lot about this feature please let me know how safe or dangerous this really is? I am considering a new Ryzen chip for a friends build so the more I know about them the better.
Hang on, I don't get this.

Each core has its own cache (L1 and L2). And they share access to L3. AMD is adding these all together and saying that the total cache increases as you add more cores, because each core comes with its own cache. So far, so good.

Then AMD says more cache means better gaming. Which again, is kind of true - if you increase L3 cache, and/or increase the per-core cache then you might get better fps.

But saying that increasing the number of cores increases gaming because of the increased cache is entirely misleading. You aren't increasing any per-core cache, and you aren't increasing the L3 cache. The only way adding a new core's cache into the mix is if you allow cores to use the L2 cache from a different core, which I don't think AMD do.

Hexus, can you get clarification from AMD?
EvilCycle
I like the general idea of PBO and I'm not aware of any major issues with it, but the automatic voltage controlling in particular scares me, I mean it is probably paranoia and I'm sure AMD have thought this through… but bugs/glitches or malicious attacks on something like this could potentially be devastating to the system if it's possible. If someone else here knows a lot about this feature please let me know how safe or dangerous this really is? I am considering a new Ryzen chip for a friends build so the more I know about them the better.

why its dangerous ?!?

i dont get your fears, no matter what you do, the CPU will throttle if the generated heat reaches the max safe temps, so it doesnt matter, it will just overclock itself to the max safe temp point.

and malicious attacks of what?! you mean viruses could play with these settings?! if yes, then as i said it will not harm the CPU as it will throttle automatically to avoid damage.
EvilCycle
I like the general idea of PBO and I'm not aware of any major issues with it, but the automatic voltage controlling in particular scares me, I mean it is probably paranoia and I'm sure AMD have thought this through… but bugs/glitches or malicious attacks on something like this could potentially be devastating to the system if it's possible. If someone else here knows a lot about this feature please let me know how safe or dangerous this really is? I am considering a new Ryzen chip for a friends build so the more I know about them the better.

I've used automatic voltage scaling on an Asus mobo and it is VERY conservative. It doesn't even go near the kind of voltages I'd manually set as a starting point for an overclock and a lot of the time is undervolting. That said, I think I got lucky with the silicon as comparing my auto overclock results to what people are getting with manual stuff was only a couple of hundred MHz off. I'd say for a zero effort (well, changing a few BIOS parameters to enable the auto overclock and allow automatic control of other associated features) overclock that's nay so bad.

My system is getting less and less responsive and so I think I'm going to get pushed into upgrading to Zen 3 series. I think the Intel security issues are what has finally killed it, possibly combined with people optimising software for features supported by modern hardware that mine just doesn't have.
Thanks guys, I was of the mind that I was just being over cautious, but hey if you ask no questions then you get no answers!