Proof of stock settings degrading 3rd Gen Ryzen performance

Discussion created by nec_v20 on Jul 11, 2020
Latest reply on Jul 19, 2020 by ajlueke

About a year ago (beginning of August 2019), not long after Third Gen Ryzen was released I bought the hardware my friend in Sweden needed to build his new computer.


I had a spare Gen 2 512 GB NVME M.2, a 512 GB SSD, an 8 TB HD drive and a Noctua NH-U9S Cooler which I could give him, and so it made sense to buy the rest of the hardware here in the UK where it was cheaper, and to configure everything for him and then to send it off to Sweden.


I bought the Ryzen 5 3600X, GigaByte AURUS X470 Gaming 7 WiFi Rev 1.1 and 16 GB of Team Group Edition 3600 CL16 RAM, which of course he paid for.


This was the same hardware I bought for myself at the time.


The case he got (also the same as mine) was the Phanteks Evolv X and the PSU he bought was an EVGA 650W SuperNova Gold, and he managed to get a great deal on an Nvidia 1080 Ti graphics card.


I already had the identical configuration and had already experimented with my own 3600X and had discovered the basics of how to properly configure the 3rd Gen Ryzen CPU which I outline in my guide Updating my definitive guide to configuring the Ryzen 3900X/3950X and all other 3000 Series CPUs 


I had found that just leaving the system at stock settings and only configuring the CPU and RAM in Ryzen Master to give the best results.


I installed and configured the system with Windows 10 Enterprise and Ryzen Master.


As it turns out, he forgot what I told him about having to load Ryzen Master every time he booted and to apply the profile I had created; so since he has had the system (from September 2019) he has just booted into the bog-standard, out of the box, stock settings.


I can't really blame him for forgetting, because it was a huge adventure for him to build his very first PC which I talked him through, and I failed to re-emphasise the necessity for loading Ryzen Master and applying the profile.


Fast forward to yesterday, where I was talking him through upgrading his BIOS to the latest version and installing the newest Ryzen Master and configuring it (which I did via TeamViewer).


When I configured the profile for Ryzen Master again, and tested it, the system would not run AT ALL with the settings which had previously been rock solid steady and stable, namely 4.225 GHz all-core at a maximum of 1.3 Volts, when running CineBench R20.


Before I sent him the configured system last year I tested it VERY extensively. The reason for this was that I had every intention of buying the 3950X when it came out (and also the GigaByte AURUS X570 XTREME when I could get it for a good price - which I did), and so, if his CPU was not as good as the 3600X I had (Silicon Lottery is a thing) I would just swap them.


His CPU was no better or worse than the one I had.


His system is now only capable of completing a CineBench R20 run at 4.175 GHz at 1.3 Volts, even punting the voltage up to 1.325 Volts will not make the system run at the 4.225 GHz it ran comfortably at when I originally configured it.


When I say, that it does not run at all, I mean that setting it to 4.225 GHz at 1.3 Volts results in an immediate hard crash, not even a BSOD. It will not even run at 4.2 GHz at 1.3 Volts - although the results there are a bit better, only resulting in CineBench terminating or a BSOD.

At 4.2 GHz it will however run if I put the voltage up to 1.325.


This is a clear indication that the CPU has degraded over the period of less than a year (September to July).


Of course I said to my friend that he could have my 3600X in exchange for his, because I only need the CPU as a backup in case anything happens with my 3950X and I need to RMA it.


I know that some of you reading this will try to hand-wave this away with the comment "Purely anecdotal"; however, considering that I EXTENSIVELY TESTED the CPU with the Ryzen Master settings for about a week, and in all that time it ran perfectly stable at 4.225 GHz at 1.3 Volts (even below that voltage, looking back at some of the screenshots I made of the performance) before I sent it to him, the fact of the degradation of the CPU is anything but trivial.

To run it now at 4.175 at 1.3 Volts I had to raise the LLC to "High" in the BIOS because that was the only way that CineBench R20 would run stably without crashing. The LLC had been set to stock "Auto", i.e. the lowest setting, before.


Without adjusting the LLC the highest it will run is 4.15 GHz all-core at 1.3 Volts.


This proves that the statements I made last year with regard to my consideration that the voltages AMD considered safe to apply to the CPU were idiotic and would result in the degradation of the Ryzen 3rd Gen CPUs over time. It was the reason why I looked around for an alternative way to configure a Ryzen 3rd Gen CPU in the first place.