New AMD Chipset Drivers Tested on Ryzen 9 3900X 74

New AMD Chipset Drivers Tested on Ryzen 9 3900X

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Conclusion

Looking at our benchmark results, we can confirm definite performance improvements with the new AMD chipset drivers across the board. Especially low-threaded applications benefit in a significant way, some posting several percent improvements, which is big—Intel sold us such gains wrapped up in a new processor generation. What's slightly surprising is that heavily-threaded applications do lose a little bit of performance, especially rendering seems affected. Overall, I'd say those results are definitely favorable. Trading a small loss in multi-threaded performance for better low-threaded performance certainly seems worth it to me—I guess the people complaining on social media about losing 100 points in Cinebench nT and declaring this update a disaster might disagree with me.

The biggest benefactors of these drivers are tests that are less parallelized, such as web rendering, in which all three benchmarks post over 5% performance gains. Microsoft Office tests also post 3-4 percent performance gains, as does Adobe Photoshop.

AMD's new chipset driver also improves gaming performance by a little bit. On average, we measured around 0.5% improvement at higher resolutions like 1440p and 4K, which is small, but not nothing. At the most popular gaming resolution, the gains are a little bit more pronounced; +1.2% on average, I'll happily take that. We recently tested the performance of the 3900X with SMT disabled and celebrated the roughly 2 percent improvement in gaming performance we saw. Any setting that ekes out more IPC without changing clock speeds or voltages adds to the processor's value since it leaves your overclocking headroom untouched.

Results for the academic resolution of 720p are a little bit of a mystery. While some titles show similar gains as with other resolutions, we'd expect the overall gains to be higher here. Usually, the differences are bigger the lower the resolution; i.e., the more CPU limited you are. The best theory we have for the observed behavior at this time is that at 720p, the CPU will be so busy running in its highest boost state that it becomes very unlikely for the CPU to switch to idle states. Since this chipset driver affects idle behavior specifically, there's no chance for its benefits to materialize in that scenario.

There's nothing to report for power consumption and boost clocks, which are essentially unchanged. This might upset Ryzen owners who were hoping that this update will make their processors boost right up to the "maximum Boost" frequency of their processor. While we have no concrete information on whether AMD can/will address this in the future, I have no doubts that this is something they are looking at.

Overall, to gain performance improvements of any kind through a "chipset" driver update is a pleasant surprise, and it's good to see AMD delivering lifecycle-quality updates mere weeks into the product launch, especially when it's troubleshooting not one, but two distinct product lines—Ryzen and Radeon. If you have one of these processors, we highly recommend you update your drivers.

Since not everybody seems to be aware, the full statement and analysis from AMD can be found here, and the updated 1.07.29 chipset driver is here.
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