Precisely what are AMD's XFR 2 and Overdrive?

Subject: Processors | May 11, 2018 - 02:43 PM |
Tagged: amd, ryzen, xfr2, precision boost 2, Precision Boost Overdrive

Whether you have had a chance to play around with a new Ryzen processor or not, you might benefit from more information on what XFR2 and Precision Boost 2 are and what they are not.  [H]ard|OCP spent some time to write an article that dispels the rumours which have been spread, especially the fact that these are both unreleased at the moment.  Together they will provide support for Precision Boost Overdrive, which could be supported by Ryzen Zen+ CPUs on an X470 motherboard, at least in theory.  When enabled it will utilize the ability of the new Ryzen Master software to monitor your motherboards VRM usage and if it sees it is below it capacity it will relax the vCore limiter on your CPU allowing more juice to flow in which can be used to increase the frequency of your Zen + chip.  It will be interesting to see how effective this is, but for now all we can do is read about it.

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"We wanted to put together a quick overview about what Precision Boost 2 and XFR2 are NOT about. It seems that slides leaked, and faked, earlier in the 2nd generation Ryzen's development have clouded some people's understanding on what features are included, but more important which features are not."

Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

May 11, 2018 | 11:43 PM - Posted by Hood

So this is about squeezing out the last drop of OC headroom, in a CPU that notoriously has very little headroom. Up around 4.3 tops? Well, better than nothing I guess...

May 12, 2018 | 03:30 AM - Posted by WhyMe (not verified)

Not exactly, Overdrive seems to be similar to increasing the power limit on GPUs although we don't know for certain yet as its not be released yet.

There seems to be some confusion over XFR Enhanced and/or XFR2 as Jeremy refers to it as XFR2 while in the article he linked to Kyle talks about both XFR2 and XFR Enhanced, AFAIK XFR2 is currently enabled on all 2 series Ryzen X parts, XFR Enhanced is not something I've heard of until reading the article on [H]ardOCP.

May 12, 2018 | 01:15 PM - Posted by ArtificallyBinnedSpecialKsAndHigherCostProductSegementation (not verified)

Well wasn't the original intent of overclocking something like getting the, for example, 1700/1800/2700/lower SKUs at a lower cost and then gettng those lower binned parts clocked up to perform like the higher binned(1700X/1800X/2700X) parts. And the Higher/Highest parts really should not have any overclocking headroom to begin with if they where binned properly in the first place as the higher/highest binned parts should be.

AMD does not offer any "K" sorts of branding like Intel where Intel's K parts are the only ones with unlocked multipliers.

I can understand folks wanting Intel's K/non K series cores because Intel's attainable clocks are higher out of the box but the binning process is statistical. And maybe since Intel charges a premium for its K series parts Intel has some motive to lower the binning bar artifically on its overall offernigs on those K and non K parts with the same model numbers in order to give the K series customers some intentionally engineered overclocking headroom. Intel's customers are paying more for the K series parts.

There is no way to overclock any of the non K series Intel parts with the same model numbers to see if they can go just as high. But at least AMD does not artifically lock down its 1700/2700/lower parts' multipliers and only gives its X series parts a little more base/boost clock range. So really AMD's customers can sometimes get the non X series parts to perfrom very close to the X series parts and AMD does not even have a "Overclocking" oriented brand to begin with.

AMD's customers who overclock should be tageting the non X branded parts in the first place and trying to get that overclocking value the original way. But I guess there will be some still hoping that there will be Some 2700X parts that can win the silicon lottery and make some higher than 4.3 Ghz clocks without the voltage in the range that will degrade the products life expectancy. I'd wait until TR2 is released on that Zen+/GF 12nm process to see if AMD is keeping the Better Binned Zen+/Zeppelin dies for TR2 and maybe some better than 4.3GHz clocks.

The other wait and see sort of thing is GF's 12nm process showing any improvements over time that are similar or better than any improvements than GF's(licensed from Samsung) 14nm process showed over time. Fab diffusion processes are tweaked over time and even on the batch level come out different with the binning process there to catch the better performing samples to be used in some later unreleased products like TR2 most likely for AMD, or some other new variant.

May 14, 2018 | 03:57 PM - Posted by Rocky1234 (not verified)

You talking about Intel and the K SPU's for overclocking does make me wonder which generation AMD will start doing the same thing. I mean they could have the X versions as their unlocked SKU's and the non X versions as their locked and no over clocking. I guess only time will tell if they decide to use Intel's play book and start doing crazy things like locking their non top tier CPU's.

I do not think the next Ryzen 3000 series will do it but the Ryzen 3 4000 series might do it.

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