Undervoltage would have kept AMD Ryzen 7000 series chips cool without hurting performance

As AMD has proudly trumpeted, the Just announced The Ryzen 7000 series processors will be the first desktop processors to be manufactured using TSMC’s 5N process. These will be the densest silicon chunks to sit under a big fin stack yet. This means that they will probably get very hot. In this case, however, it may be possible to undervolt the chips and keep them as cool as ice.
AMD is proud to be the first to use 5nm.

Many people have made dire predictions about the thermal density of AMD’s Zen 4-based Ryzen 7000 processors. You see, transistors don’t necessarily produce less heat as they get smaller, they just do it in a smaller area. This increases the thermal density, which makes the chip more difficult to cool effectively. AMD has already revealed that the throttling temperature of Ryzen 7000 CPUs is still 95⁰C like Zen 3. With the high thermal design power (TDP) of the new CPUs – 170W on high-end models – we’re looking for some serious challenges cooling. Chinese leaker Enthusiastic Citizens posted these two images of hardware monitoring during Zen 4 CPU stress tests on Bilibili. Based on the leaker’s other recent posts, we can reasonably assume that the first, reproduced above, uses a 16-core Ryzen 9 7950X, while the second (below) is a six-core Ryzen 5 7600X. The results show that the 7950X processor throttles at 95⁰C while consuming over 200 watts.

Meanwhile, the six-core processor hits nearly 91⁰C in a stress test, consuming nearly 110 watts. Enthusiastic Citizens doesn’t elaborate on what kind of cooling it used, but it does say “to be honest, the performance is really good.” Indeed, even though they are thermally throttled, we still expect sixteen Zen 4 cores at just under 5GHz to be extremely fast.

The thing is, it may actually be possible to keep temperatures in check while maintaining high clock rates. Twitter leaker 포시포시, better known as @harukaze5719, job a two-part image showing temperatures, power consumption, and clock rates for a Ryzen 5 7600X under the AIDA64 stress test.

On the left side you can see the processor in stock operation – at full load it runs at 5.05GHz and draws over 120 watts while operating at 93⁰C – even worse than Mr Citizens’ data above. above. However, after an unspecified manual adjustment of the core voltage, the chip consumes barely half the power (68 W) and operates at only 57 ⁰C while maintaining the same clock frequency.

These kinds of underachievements haven’t been seen since the days of AMD Vega and Hawaii The GPUs, both of which responded extremely well to undervoltage. These GPUs would often run higher clocks under voltage due to reduced heat output. The same may be possible with Zen 4 according to the leaker, who writes that “there is a lot of CLK/temp headroom.”

ECSM_Official and @harukaze5719 seem to believe that these results are anomalous and could be the result of either using a pre-released silicon sample or early firmware. If it’s the latter, well, there’s still nearly four weeks until these processors are released. AMD may fix or reduce the issue with firmware updates during this time. Either way, enthusiasts should probably be prepared to carefully tune the voltage of their Ryzen 7000 CPUs if they want maximum performance.


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