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Hi, everyone! Starting this week, AMD Ryzen™ customers can download a new version of the AMD Ryzen Chipset Drivers (version 17.10).

 

This release is primarily intended to make good on our promise to include the AMD Ryzen Balanced power plan in the chipset driver package. The 17.10 (or later) driver release will automatically install and activate the AMD Ryzen Balanced as a fourth power plan (shown below). This driver package is exclusively designed for systems with Windows 10 x64 and the AMD Ryzen CPU.

 

 

What does this power plan do?

The AMD Ryzen Balanced power plan allows your AMD Ryzen processor to more quickly raise clockspeeds. The plan also prevents your CPU cores from being "parked," an idle state that can negatively impact the performance of many (but not all) games. If you're interested in additional details, our original blog on the topic has lots more to offer.

 

In parallel, you should also pay a visit to LegitReviews' testing on the AMD Ryzen Balanced power plan. Nathan Kirsch noted "6-7 percent performance gains when gaming at both 1080P and 1440P screen resolutions" in a couple games, plus lots of test results for you to pore over. Thanks, Nate!


Until next time

As always, we sincerely appreciate the time you took to test the standalone plan and provide feedback on installation and usage. With your help, our final build should gracefully install for any user that previously installed (or attempted to install) the standalone plan.

Highlights from More Than 300 Reviewers Worldwide Who Received Ryzen 5 1600X and 1500X Processors —

 

Yesterday, April 11th, hardware reviewers worldwide began posting their first reviews of Ryzen 5 1600X, a six-core, 12-thread processor, and the Ryzen 5 1500X, a four-core, eight-thread processor. Ryzen 5 CPUs were taken through every conceivable CPU and platform synthetic and real-world productivity test or benchmarks, as well as a wide range of games at various resolutions and settings. And while Ryzen 7 reviews were typically paired with X370 enthusiast motherboards, the Ryzen 5 reviews were mostly paired with B350 motherboards, including a new BIOS that enhances performance and support for overclocked memory1.

Coverage has been quite positive and high volume thanks to the massive reviewer sampling program, with reviews recognizing the solid strengths of Ryzen 5 as well as the difference a mere month can make in the stability and finesse offered by Ryzen and its AM4 platforms. ExtremeTech summed this up well:

 

“Final verdict? These chips are everything we like about Ryzen, a bit less of things we didn’t like much, and they’re selling at prices that wreck Intel’s price structure. While there are exceptions and corner cases, AMD currently offers the best overall price/performance ratios in the CPU business.”

 

Gaming drew added scrutiny following some review commentary around 1080p gaming performance with Ryzen 7 last month, however with the large improvements made since March 2nd through BIOS updates, memory support, Windows settings, and developer optimizations, it seems to offer little concern with Ryzen 5, in fact many reviewers now see this as a draw with i5. With comments like “equal gaming quality” and ”out of the box gaming performance is currently similar between AMD and Intel” it is clear we have made great progress here. PC World added:

 

“After testing Ryzen 5, and especially after seeing how its performance changed with optimized games, Ryzen gaming performance is clearly not as big of a deal as it seemed when Ryzen 7 first launched.”

 

Of course, this is only part of the story, and when it comes to compute or productivity performance, many press felt i almost unfair to draw comparisons with i5, stating Ryzen 5 can “easily replace Intel CPUs in multi-tasking and productivity.” The Ryzen productivity advantage even prompted some reviewers to compare to higher end Intel i7 models:

 

“[Ryzen 5] is very competitive even with the 6 core X99 CPUs from Intel at half the price”.

 

Pricing was generally well received with the solid gaming performance, amazing compute and the “feature rich“ AM4 platform, the norm was comments like

 

“…from a price to performance perspective, Ryzen 5 is the most acceptable choice these days. No contest!” and “Ryzen 5 is ready to become the 'sweet spot' for PC users”, ultimately the conclusion drawn was “You know that you are getting a great value for money with the processor”.

 

Similar to Ryzen 7, this launch has allowed press to once again focus on the meaning of Ryzen to the market as a whole as well as to the competition, with TechRadar stating

 

“The extra processing power of the Ryzen 5 1600X puts Intel’s processors to shame, including both its closest competitor and a much higher-spec Broadwell-E part.”

 

Engadget proclaims:

 

“AMD finally has desktop chips that can directly compete with Intel's most powerful options.”

 

Each of the processors receives its own share of appreciation from reviewers for a variety of reasons, but Hardware Canucks exemplifies the appetite felt for 1600X, stating:

“While the Ryzen 5 1500X is a good processor the 1600X should be destined for greatness. Its price, performance, efficiency, decent overclocking headroom, situational adaptability and so much more make it one of the best CPU’s released in the last half decade. AMD’s willingness to be transparent about their progress refining Ryzen is just the icing on the cake and goes to show there’s much more to be excited about in the future. Pair one of these 1600X’s up with a $120 B350 motherboard alongside an RX480 or GTX 1060 and you’ll have an absolutely rocking foundation upon which to build a very, very capable budget system.” TechSpot in turn rather fancies the 1500X stating, “If you thought the 1600X seemed like a pretty obvious choice, then sit down, the 1500X is a no brainer. Quad-cores are somewhat unexciting in 2017 but the SMT-enabled, four-core, eight-thread 1500X does rather well for itself and represents exceptional value at $190.”

 

Affordability certainly receives a fair share of commentary across reviews also. CG Magazine states:

 

“Retailing for half the price of the flagship R7 1800X, the Ryzen 5 1600X is releasing as one of the best CPU’s to cater to both gamers and content creators alike,” while Digital Trends claims, “Whether you’re encoding video, streaming and recording while gaming, or compressing and uncompressing large files, you’ll see a benefit from the extra cores and higher power draw on the Ryzen 5 1600X. Add that to a precisely targeted price point, and the result is a mid-range champion that’ll appeal to just about everyone looking to put together a powerful, yet affordable, PC.”

 

Let’s take another broad look at what independent reviewers had to say from different countries around the world.

 

  • “On performance, for anyone wanting to do intense CPU work, the Ryzen gets a nod here. Twelve threads are hard to miss at this price point.” – Ian Cutress, AnandTech

 

  • “Retailing for half the price of the flagship R7 1800X, the Ryzen 5 1600X is releasing as one of the best CPU’s to cater to both gamers and content creators alike.” – Cole Watson, CG Magazine

 

  • “The Ryzen 5 1600X puts Intel on notice -- AMD’s affordable processors mean business.” – Brad Borque, Digital Trends

 

  • “Whether you’re encoding video, streaming and recording while gaming, or compressing and uncompressing large files, you’ll see a benefit from the extra cores and higher power draw on the Ryzen 5 1600X. Add that to a precisely targeted price point, and the result is a mid-range champion that’ll appeal to just about everyone looking to put together a powerful, yet affordable, PC.” – Brad Borque, Digital Trends

 

  • “AMD finally has desktop chips that can directly compete with Intel's most powerful options.” – Devindra Hardawar, Engadget

 

  • “Final verdict? These chips are everything we like about Ryzen, a bit less of things we didn’t like much, and they’re selling at prices that wreck Intel’s price structure. While there are exceptions and corner cases, AMD currently offers the best overall price/performance ratios in the CPU business.” – Joel Hruska, ExtremeTech

 

  • “There’s no argument that, at the price, Ryzen is the best price competitor for render workloads if rendering on the CPU – though GPU-accelerated rendering does still serve as an equalizer, for people who use compatible workloads. If CPU rendering is your thing, Ryzen 5 is well ahead of same-priced i5 CPUs.” – Steve Burke, GamersNexus

 

  • “Perhaps the best part about the 1600X is an ability to act like a chameleon of sorts; it easily adapts to whatever scenario you are dealing with.” – Michael Hoenig, Hardware Canucks

 

  • “[The 1600X] price, performance, efficiency, decent overclocking headroom, situational adaptability and so much more make it one of the best CPU’s released in the last half decade.” – Michael Hoenig, Hardware Canucks

 

  • “If you are holding onto a really old system and are looking to upgrade the AMD Ryzen 5 might be just what the doctor ordered.” – Nate Kirsch, Legit Reviews

 

  • “For consumers concerned with multi-threaded performance, including media encoding, rendering or even heavy multitasking scenarios, the Ryzen 5 processors will provide a significantly improved experience.” – Ryan Shrout, PC Perspective

 

  • “It’s pretty hard to pass up the incredible performance the Ryzen 5 1600X offers, especially as we move into a world where more cores and more threads are expected to matter. For that new world, the Ryzen 5 1600X is easily the winner and just a hell of a deal for the overall performance you get.” – Gordon Ung, PCWorld

 

  • “In that case, Ryzen 5 is the way to go. It burns Core i5 to the ground in multi-threaded applications performance and doesn’t give up much in single-threaded performance.” – Gordon Ung, PCWorld

 

  • “The extra processing power of the Ryzen 5 1600X puts Intel’s processors to shame, including both its closest competitor and a much higher-spec Broadwell-E part. If you’ve been looking for an affordable, powerhouse CPU that both works and parties hard, this is it.” – Kevin Lee, TechRadar

 

 

  • Quasar Zone Benchmark Results of AMD Ryzen 5 1600X and 1500XDue to the superior number of threads in Ryzen 5, users can expect a high performance that can easily replace Intel CPU in multi-tasking and productivity. Ryzen also has a significant competitive advantage over Intel CPU in pricing with a power to restructure the current pricing system formed by Intel.”

 

  • Notebookspec.com “Ryzen 5 able to work in multifunction gaming, streaming or even workstation which suit with users nowadays. This is universal CPU that come with untouchable price when compared with its competitor.”

 

  • IT-Reborn  “AMD did very good homework on CPU temperature and power consumption for Ryzen 5, as for the CPU performance it easily competes with Kaby Lake”

 

  • PC.com Review: Ryzen 5 – Definitely No Middle Child Syndrome “At its price point, the Ryzen 5 1600X is definitely something to look out for when you are building your next computer for productivity or even gaming. You know that you are getting a great value for money with the processor.”

 

 

 

  • VR Zone AMD Ryzen 5 1600X & 1500X Review “So, AMD drops another bomb in the form of Ryzen 5, offering compelling solutions by combining affordability, competitive performance and a feature rich platform to the mid-range performance segment of the market. Throw in unlocked clock multipliers for a cherry on top!...Where Ryzen 5 really shines is multi-threaded performance. It is very competitive even with the 6 core X99 CPUs from Intel at half the price. This is really excellent to see and it’s no longer confined to the high end. The average consumer now has a mega competitive choice in the mid-range market.”

 

  • TechSpot “Outstanding! Overall I think I'm more impressed with Ryzen 5 series than I was with Ryzen 7 for the simple fact that there is less competition at these price points. Intel has done a poor job of looking after enthusiasts, particularly those on a budget and this is where these new Ryzen 5 chips really hit hard…If you thought the 1600X seemed liked a pretty obvious choice, then sit down, the 1500X is a no brainer. Quad-cores are somewhat unexciting in 2017 but the SMT-enabled, four-core, eight-thread 1500X does rather well for itself and represents an exceptional value at $190.”

 

  • Blunty |_YouTube “So once again I have to reinforce my early prediction that the 1500x will be the new go to CPU for a great big pile of those budget friendly builds people love to arrange.”

 

 

  • Hardware Zone Philippines Online AMD Ryzen 5 Processors Have Arrived, Starts at PHP9250 “We were lucky enough to review the flagship of the Ryzen 5 series, the 1600X, and we must say that we’re impressed with its performance, especially at its price point. Much like the 1800X, the 1600X offers top-tier performance at almost half the cost of the competing processor.”

 

 

 

 

 

  • Jagatreview.com - AMD Ryzen 5 1600X Review “With an outstanding overall performance for its price, Ryzen 5 is ready to become the 'sweet spot' for PC users that desire a speedy CPU but do not wish to spend a fortune"

 

Adriatics and Hungary

  • “After all we’ve seen, it’s not difficult to conclude that AMD once again has a winning product in their hands. We believe that Intel has legitimate reason to be worried, and their only short term solution is price erosion of their current stack, as well as bringing new products with more cores to stay competitive. Until that happens, AMD is the clear victor” - Benchmark.rs
  • Ryzen 5 beats Intel’s models in tests that can exploit all of the cores, including demanding multi-tasking.” - Bug.hr
  • “As we’ve seen from the tests, Ryzen 5 processors are as good as expected. 1600X with 6c/12T has comparable performance with 6c/12T processors from Intel that are way more expensive. On the other hand, 1500X has bit lower performance compared to 4C/8T competition, but it’s priced against Intel’s 4C processors that don’t support hyper threading.” - PCekspert.com

Benelux

  • "If you're not a gamer, Ryzen 5 is a very welcome addition. For almost the same money, AMD offers 50% more cores, which means a serious performance boost in many tasks. If video editing is one of your daily tasks, you will appreciate these extra cores much more than Intel's slightly better performance-per-core. For this target audience, the Ryzen 5 1600X is extremely appealing."  - Hardware.Info
  • "The Ryzen 5 processors are a more interesting option for mainstream PCs than the Ryzen 7 series. The prices are considerably lower and the performance level is very similar, except when running heavy multithreaded applications." - Tweakers.net
  • "The Ryzen 5 1600X leaves the i7-6700K/i7-7700K in the dust in all multi-threaded applications, at the cost of an i5-7600K. For those who push their CPUs with photo, video, rendering, streaming, etc an AMD Ryzen processor, regardless of your budget in the current line-up, is very enticing. Whether you put the ~€220 Ryzen quad up against a comparable i5, or the Ryzen 7 1700 against an i7-7700K; AMD simply offers more processing power." - Tech Testers

Bulgaria

  • “Ryzen 5 offers the mainstream user lots of processing power. Thanks to AMD’s aggressive price policy, multicore computing becomes affordable to the masses. Who could have thought just a year ago that one could buy a 6-core processor with top performance for 600 BGN (300 Euro)? We know that a similar configuration of motherboard and processor with Intel products would amount to 1300-1500 BGN.” - PCworld.bg,
  • “After all we’ve discussed above, I believe the situation is clear to everyone - the King is dead, long live the new King! With the advent of the new Ryzen 5 models, AMD totally reshaped what we call the mainstream class. The new models offer more cores, more threads, more cache and respectively much better multithreading performance.” - Hardwarebg.com
  • “Ryzen 5 gives lots of speed to gamers and content creators at an affordable price”. - Technews.bg

Czech Republic and Slovakia

  • “AMD is offering significantly more performance in the mainstream market than Intel and also better efficiency. Ryzen 5 processors can be overclocked without needing an expensive chipset. For the price of i5-7600K, you can have 6-core/12-thread Ryzen 5 1600X that has almost identical performance per core, much higher multi-threaded performance and it’s more efficient.” - DDWorld
  • “AMD has entered the mainstream market with excellent processors. Ryzen 5 1600X is targeted against Core i5-7600K, but in some tests also beats the much more expensive Core i7-7700K. So if you plan to buy a new computer that won’t only be for gaming, I recommend choosing the AMD Ryzen 5 1600X.” - PC.sk
  • “Application benchmarks of Hardware.fr shows that Ryzen 5 1600X is comparable to Intel Core i7-6800K (which is 2 % quicker), Core i7-5930K and Core i7-5820K (4.5 % slower). Ryzen 5 1600 (without X) is the closest to Core i7-5820 and actual top model of Kaby Lake series – Core i7-7700K.” - Diit

France

  • “Ryzen 5 1600 is a perfect choice (...) One thing is certain, with such a pricing and appealing B350 motherboards, Intel and its Core i7 will face a though to beat competition (...) Intel has the lead in games but we bet it won't be enough especially when we see how we can invest the savings in a faster graphics card” - Next Inpact
  • “By launching six-core models under the 300-euro mark, AMD clearly rises up the level of performance achieved in this price range. The Ryzen 5 1600X and 1600 inflict a real hit to the Intel Core i5.” - Hardware.Fr
  • “There is no communication error on AMD's side since the Ryzen 5 clearly constitute an alternative to the Intel Core i5. In application tests, Core i7s can even be beaten in specific cases.” - Les Numériques

Germany

  • “In gaming, the 1600X belongs to the fastest AMD models and generally the fastest chips on the market: It surpasses the Core i5-7600K in most scenarios and on occasion - e.g. in Dishonored 2 it even surpasses the Core i7-7700K” - Golem
  • “In the test, the AMD Ryzen 5 1600X comes up with an excellent result. It leaves behind all currently available Intel processors from the consumer segment and ranks right after the Ryzen 7 1700.” - CHIP
  • “The most important market in the mainstream segment is the price range up to 300 Euro - and this is where AMD is the new boss. For 2800 Euro, the Ryzen 5 1600X can deliver the performance of a Core i7-6800K (420 euro more expensive) or a i7-7700K (350 euro more expensive)” - Computerbase
  • “AMD’s six core, the Ryzen 5 1600X, turns out to be a sweet spot regarding the combination from core number and tact” - PCGamesHardware

Italy

  • “The sale price of 1600 X is set at around $ 249, that typically allows AMD to bite the market, seriously undermining the performance / cost ratio of the fastest models i5, especially if it also makes use professionally” - Everyeye.it
  • “Ryzen 5 1600X offers a fantastic relationship between price and performance if you want to realize a low-cost workstation, placing itself at the level of the Core i7-6800K but at a much lower price. Performance even with the games are more than satisfactory, although AMD should continue to work on this front. For these reasons, we bestow to Ryzen 5 1600X our award "Editor's Approved” - Tomshw
  • "AMD Ryzen 5 1600X and 1500X Ryzen 5 processors confirm the advancements AMD has already shown with Ryzen 7. The prices at which they are proposed make them extremely attractive for those users looking for processors that are capable of ensuring power at the highest levels but with an affordable cost. In comparison with Intel solutions, Kaby Lake newcomers are on average more preferable; the only specific scenario in which the CPU Intel Core i5 still has an edge is in gaming. AMD Ryzen 5 processors are currently the most balanced choice of performance and cost available on the market "- HWupgrade.it

Middle East

  • “The AMD Ryzen 1600X and 1500X are the new kings of mainstream PCs.” - Dark Tech Reviews
  • There is no competing with the price of the 1600X processor, which also kills the Core i5 7500 in performance, as well as any other processor in the similar price range.” - Dark Tech Reviews
  • “AMD Ryzen 5 processors deliver immersive experiences and high performance innovation to gamers and creators worldwide, with up to 87 percent more performance when comparing the AMD Ryzen 5 1600X to the Intel flagship Core i5 model, the 7600K.” - Review Central Middle East

Nordics

  • “In summary, the Ryzen 5 1600X and 1500X is a lot of performance for the money, in a price range where Intel does not have anything to compete with the current situation - at least when it comes to multi-threading performance. If games are the main focus, Intel is possibly a better choice, but for multithreaded applications Ryzen 5 is an excellent choice for this price point.” - Sweclockers
  • “We are pleasantly surprised by Ryzen 5, which is arguably the most exciting processor launch in a very long time. Like the big brothers in the Ryzen 7 family, it did not knock out the competitor, but delivers impressive enough performance for its price tag to seriously become an attractive option for consumers.” - Nordic Hardware
  • “The Ryzen 5 1600X surprised me a great deal and showed very good performance for "only" six cores. It was gratifying to see it keep up with the big boys in the Ryzen 7 series, as long as you do not put multiple heavy burdens on its shoulders.” - HwT.dk

Poland

  • “The summary will be very similar to Ryzen 7 review - in terms of CPU-intensive workloads the competition has been just smashed, while in terms of gaming this is the level close to Core i5. (...) If you build a PC that will be used not only for gaming, but as well for some more ambitious applications, then it’s for sure worth to consider Ryzen 5. The additional advantage is easy and affordable upgrade path for high-end Ryzen 7 (this is something that competition can’t offer, because there you need to change virtually whole platform).” – Benchmark.pl
  • “After the years of Intel domination in this price point, the choice is back. Both tested processors (Ryzen 5 - add. by AMD team) delivers very good performance in professional apps, while in gaming came out on par. On the other hand, they feature unlocked multipliers and you can overclock it.” – Komputer Świat
  • “All our tests confirm that AMD has finally got into competition with Intel, so the gamers and other PC users will now have a choice between products from two companies instead of one. The hardware is really cool (even motherboards!), and if there are any shortcomings it’s only on level of UEFI, OS or drivers - adjustments shouldn’t be either hard or time demanding.” - PC Format

Romania

  • “I believe that AMD Ryzen 5 1500X is the new best-buy in its category and is suitable for gaming systems running games at full HD resolution as well as for other activities (photo editing / video rendering), providing an optimal balance between price, computing performance, power efficiency and temperatures”. - Lab501
  • “Now Ryzen 5 came to compete with LGA1151 solutions, and AMD banged Intel’s head again with 1600X, a 6-core/12-threads CPU that beats everything from LGA1151, and even competes with LGA2011 similar solutions. It is absolutely amazing what AMD managed to release in the CPU department, bringing the price/performance ratio to a complete new level for users.” - ReviewStudio
  • “While Ryzen 7 was dedicated to enthusiasts and professionals, Ryzen 5 comes with a budget solution for those who want high performance at an affordable price, and still get some of the advantages of superior R7 series.”. - Go4IT

 
Russia

  • “As the analysis shows, Ryzen 5 1600X processor, which is reviewed, has a performance level that is excellent for its price and outperforms Intel's alternative Core i5-7600K in terms of the ratio of these fundamental characteristics.” - 3DNews.ru
  • “There are four models in the line: Ryzen 5 1400, 1500X, 1600 and 1600X. They differ in clock frequency per core, cache volume and number of cores. All without exception Ryzen 5 are equipped for overclocking and support multithreading - each of the physical cores of the chip contains two logical cores. The tests that compare the Ryzen 5 processors with the competitors from Intel - i5 and i7 generation. Surprisingly, in many tests inexpensive AMD CPUs ($ 169 - $ 249) not only exceed i5 7600K, but also stay close to the much more expensive Core i7 7700K.” - Kanobu
  • “The fastest models - Ryzen 5 1600X and 1600 - are sharpened for "heavy" games and applications that require large computing resources. AMD promises that the performance of the 1600X is "up to 87% higher" than the main competitor - Intel Core i5 7600K.” - Hi-tech.vesti.ru

 
Spain

  • "My experience with this processor has once again been magnificent. Accompanied by the right components and with the new energy profile that AMD has developed for Windows 10, we have a spectacular machine."- Geeknetic
  • “It's impressive how this processor scales. With 4.1 GHz in all its cores we have improved the 1239 cb in cinebench to 1327 cb with memories at 2933 MHz.” - Profesional Review
  • “The truth is that  Ryzen 5 has gone very well to AMD. In power it scales very well, and in games its performance is equivalent to the superior models.” - Noticias 3D

 
Turkey

  • “At the end of this review you can sell your Core i5!” - Donanimhaber.com
  • “Ryzen might be 10% behind in gaming but it is much more better in overall performance!” - Donanimarsivi.com
  • “Gamers who look to buy a new CPU can select Ryzen 5 series and have incredible performance along with very good features. No need to worry for its gaming performance.” - Teknoseyir.com

 
Ukraine

  • “AMD Ryzen 5 1600 CPU performed well in synthetic tests, often passing ahead of the current flagship Intel Core i7-7700K. In a number of games with full HD resolution, it managed to get ahead of the 8-core AMD Ryzen 7 1700X, although he almost lost to the Intel Core i7-6700K.” - Gecid

 

United Kingdom

  • “AMD’s Ryzen processors continue to impress. Both the AMD Ryzen 5 1600X and Ryzen 5 1500X have jumped straight in as the best CPUs you can buy at their respective prices.”- Trusted Reviews
  • “The short story is that the Ryzen 1600X is a superb budget CPU for multi-threaded performance and appears to be able to nail a near 4GHz overclock fairly easily.” – Bit-tech
  • “Put simply the Ryzen 5 1600X is a far more significant processor than any of the octa-core Ryzen 7 CPUs, and for us gamers arguably the most significant chip AMD have ever made.” - PCGamesN

 

Supporting Resources

 

  1. Overclocking memory will void any applicable AMD product warranty, even if such overclocking is enabled via AMD hardware and/or software.  This may also void warranties offered by the system manufacturer or retailer or motherboard vendor.  Users assume all risks and liabilities that may arise out of overclocking memory, including, without limitation, failure of or damage to RAM/hardware, reduced system performance and/or data loss, corruption or vulnerability.  GD-112

Hey, Ryzen fans! Today we’re back with our third community update, once again focusing on several key topics you asked us to look at: power plans, game performance updates, and temperature monitoring software!

 

Balanced power plan optimized for AMD Ryzen™ processors


4/26/2017 Update:
The AMD Ryzen Balanced Power Plan is now included in the official AMD chipset drivers starting with version 17.10! Simply download and install the latest chipset driver package, and the new plan will be automatically configured for you. Windows 10 64-bit is required.

 

Throughout the launch of the AMD Ryzen™ processor, AMD has been clear that desktop PC customers should choose the “High Performance” power plan in Windows® 10. The reason is clear: testing conducted by AMD, and independent reviewers (e.g. Hardware.fr and Computerbase), have concluded that the High Performance power plan offers appreciable performance benefits to our customers. But the out-of-the-box power plan for Windows 10 is “Balanced,” so the community challenged us to find a compromise. We took that challenge seriously, committed to finding a solution by the first week of April, and today we believe we have the answer.

 

A little background is needed

AMD Ryzen processors feature AMD SenseMI technology, a sophisticated package of sensing and adapting features that (amongst other capabilities) allow the underlying microarchitecture to rapidly execute fine adjustments to voltage and frequency for peak performance. These changes can occur as quickly as 1 millisecond on an AMD Ryzen CPU. However, this intended functionality depends on the integrated power management in Ryzen being in absolute control. After all, nothing knows the hardware better than the hardware itself!

 

Transitions between frequencies and voltages are governed by “P-States.” P-states are frequency/voltage combinations requested by the operating system. Processors receive these requests all the time, and act on them by selecting matching states built into the hardware.

 

The Windows-default Balanced plan, in the interest of balancing power and performance, sets higher thresholds and longer timers for transitions into faster P-states than the High Performance plan. This can sometimes limit how quickly our processor responds to “go faster” promptings from high-demand applications.

 

Secondly, the default Balanced plan attempts to park all logical processors beyond the first 10% whenever possible. On an 8C16T AMD Ryzen 7 1800X, for example, logical processor 0 (physical core) and logical processor 1 (SMT core) stay awake, while the remaining 14 logical processors can be parked at any time. Resuming from a parked state has a latency cost that can affect performance, too.

 

The AMD Ryzen Balanced power plan

Because of these findings, the new AMD Ryzen Balanced power plan reduces the timers and thresholds for P-state transitions to improve clockspeed ramping. This lets the hardware take full control more often. We’ve also disabled core parking for more wakeful cores. As you can see in the chart below, the performance gains can be substantial—on par with the High Performance plan, in fact!

 


Testing conducted as of April 4, 2017. System configuration: AMD Ryzen™ 7 1800X, Gigabyte GA-AX370-Gaming5, 2x8GB DDR4-2933, GeForce GTX 1080 (378.92 driver), Windows 10 x64 (build 1607).

 

Other games that we’ve seen benefit from the new plan include: Total War™: WARHAMMER, Alien: Isolation™, Crysis™ 3, Gears of War™ 4, Battlefield™ 4, Project Cars™ and more. Though not every game behaves in a way where a change in power plans has an impact on the AMD Ryzen™ processor, we’ve long maintained that there are enough games to warrant a change. Today’s findings put a fine point on that, and we’re very excited to get these changes into the hands of our customers starting today!

 

Installation is simple: just install the latest AMD chipset drivers for Windows 10 64-bit!

 

 

After collecting feedback from this community preview, we intend to roll the final power plan into the AMD Chipset drivers for AMD Ryzen processors. The Ryzen Balanced plan will automatically be configured as the default power plan for Ryzen-based Windows 10 PCs. If you’ve already downloaded and installed our new power plan from this blog, the new chipset driver package will ensure you do not encounter duplicate entries.

 

Update @ 4/26/2017: The AMD Ryzen Balanced Power Plan is now included in the AMD Chipset Driver package starting with version 17.10. Simply download and install the bundle on Windows 10 x64, and everything will be taken care of automatically!

 

What about power?

Now that you know a little more about the performance of our new plan, let’s talk power. The AMD Ryzen Balanced power plan does not change how our processor handles low-power idle states called “CC-States.” These CC-States number cc1 through cc6, representing increasingly aggressive clock and power gating. In fact, cc6 represents a core that is essentially turned off. The core is sleeping so deeply that only its voltage can be detected by software.

 

The sophisticated power management technology in the “Zen” core can autonomously enter and exit these CC-States as quickly as 1ms. Software tools, unable to see through the sleep, will simply report the last P-state known to the OS before the core entered a CC-state. Don’t be alarmed! The effective frequency of a sleeping core is much lower (generally sub-1GHz).

 

In short:

 

  1. The AMD Ryzen™ Balanced power plan still permits aggressive power management. There should be little difference between the OEM Balanced and the Ryzen Balanced plan. We’re interested in your feedback!
  2. Performance of the AMD Ryzen™ Balanced power plan should be on par with the High Performance plan. We're interested in your feedback on this, too.
  3. Finally, if you see a third-party tool reporting “idle” clocks in the range of 3200-3400MHz, you can be virtually certain that the core is actually sleeping and the tool is simply reporting the last known P-State.

 

We’re very proud of the fast and granular power management in the “Zen” architecture, and we hope these explanations helps you better understand how our all-new processor functions.

 

Even more 1080p game performance updates

In our last community update, we brought you word of significant performance uplifts in Ashes of the Singularity™ and minimum framerate improvements in DOTA™ 2. Today we’re excited to share word of AMD Ryzen™ optimizations now available in Total War™: WARHAMMER with the game’s new “Bretonnia” patch—now available on Steam™!

 

The March 27th Bretonnia update helps the underlying game engine better understand the topology of Ryzen with respect to the number of logical vs. physical cores. Overall, this helps Total War: WARHAMMER better schedule threads on the processor to reduce resource contention.

 

Thanks to the great work from our friends over at Creative Assembly™ and SEGA®, we saw an uplift of up to 10.5% with the “High” preset and up to 7% with the more GPU-bound “UItra” graphics preset.

 

Testing conducted as of April 4, 2017. System configuration: AMD Ryzen™ 7 1800X, Gigabyte GA-AX370-Gaming5, 2x8GB DDR4-2933, GeForce GTX 1080 (378.92 driver), Windows 10 x64 (build 1607), 1920x1080 resolution.

 

An important update for AMD Ryzen Master

If you’ve not heard of AMD Ryzen Master, it’s a neat little tool we built for users to monitor and overclocking their Ryzen-based computer.1  You get real-time access to temperatures and fan speeds, memory timings, core voltage, and CPU frequencies, plus easy switchable profiles. Super convenient!

 

Image result for amd ryzen master

 

Today we’re pleased to announce that Ryzen Master version 1.0.1 will be available starting April 11th with two important updates:

 

  1. Ryzen Master now reports junction temperature, rather than tCTL, by automatically removing the tCTL offset on the AMD Ryzen 1800X, 1700X, and 1600X processors. See the “temperature reporting” section of this blog for more context on tCTL.
  2. The installer no longer enables or requires HPET when Ryzen Master is installed with a system running an AGESA 1.0.0.4-based BIOS. See the “let’s talk BIOS updates” section of this blog for more context on AGESA 1.0.0.4.

 

Until next time

What are you interested in hearing more about in our next AMD Ryzen Community Update? Let us know on Twitter @AMDRyzen!

 

 



Robert Hallock
is a technical marketing guy for AMD's CPU division. His/her postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.


Footnotes:

1. WARNING: AMD processors, including chipsets, CPUs, APUs and GPUs (collectively and individually “AMD processor”), are intended to be operated only within their associated specifications and factory settings. Operating your AMD processor outside of official AMD specifications or outside of factory settings, including but not limited to the conducting of overclocking (including use of this overclocking software, even if such software has been directly or indirectly provided by AMD or an entity otherwise affiliated in any way with AMD), may damage your processor, affect the operation of your processor or the security features therein and/or lead to other problems, including but not limited to damage to your system components (including your motherboard and components thereon (e.g., memory)), system instabilities (e.g., data loss and corrupted images), reduction in system performance, shortened processor, system component and/or system life, and in extreme cases, total system failure. It is recommended that you save any important data before using the tool.  AMD does not provide support or service for issues or damages related to use of an AMD processor outside of official AMD specifications or outside of factory settings. You may also not receive support or service from your board or system manufacturer. Please make sure you have saved all important data before using this overclocking software. DAMAGES CAUSED BY USE OF YOUR AMD PROCESSOR OUTSIDE OF OFFICIAL AMD SPECIFICATIONS OR OUTSIDE OF FACTORY SETTINGS ARE NOT COVERED UNDER ANY AMD PRODUCT WARRANTY AND MAY NOT BE COVERED BY YOUR BOARD OR SYSTEM MANUFACTURER’S WARRANTY.