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All-core clock variability between individual CPUs?

Question asked by theflyingrat on Jul 5, 2020

Good evening!


I'm a somewhat avid hardware enthusiast; I like to buy things just to tinker and play around with.  Earlier this year, when I was sent home from work (as most of us were), I found myself in need/want of a second desktop - one for Windows which plays nicely with my remote access tools that I use for work.  I had some components, but no CPU or motherboard... so I ordered a motherboard (ASRock B450 Steel Legend) and while hunting for CPUs, I found the now-famous 1600AF for $85.  What a great system! 


So just for fun, I built a second, somewhat similar system with an MSI X470 Gaming Plus along with another 1600AF, to do testing on and such if needed. 


So, one thing I noticed is that the MSI system's full-load, all-core clock was capping at "only" 3.5GHz.  Odd... the ASRock system was running at 3.6, whenever it could.  On top of that, the ASRock was usually hovering around 1.1v vCore, where the MSI system usually stuck around 1.25v.  I figured that this was variability due to different UEFI from different manufacturers, and other potential discrepancies. 


Tonight, I simply swapped the CPUs out of sheer curiosity.  Lo and behold, the discrepancies in vCore and clock speed followed the CPU.  Not the motherboard, not the RAM, not the cooling or anything like that. 


My question to folks here, especially any "official" AMD people - is this within parameters, per AMD's technical specification?   That is, is a CPU which is advertised as having "3.6GHz Precision Boost" considered unusual if it doesn't make it to that speed under high-load conditions?  Basically - is this CPU derpy?  Or is it simply an under-performing AF?