AMD Teases Improved Precision Boost Overdrive For Ryzen 3000 CPUs on X570 Motherboards

Source: AMD

AMD Explains Precision Boost Overdrive and How it Will Work on Upcoming Ryzen 3000 CPUs Running on X570 Motherboards

AMD recently posted a video to its YouTube channel featuring Technical Marketing Lead Robert Hallock delivering a succinct high level explanation of AMD’s Precision Boost Overdrive automatic overclocking technology along with a teaser of how it will work with imminent Zen 2-based Ryzen 3000 processors running on motherboards with the X570 chipset. While a bit light on details (hopefully more information will be available post-launch), Precision Boost Overdrive is a technology that allows processors to take advantage of headroom in power, thermals, and/or electrical design current by raising frequency and voltage to achieve higher performance up to hitting one of the aforementioned limits. Notably, the overclocking achieved using Precision Boost Overdrive (PBO) happens without disabling Precision Boost 2 and XFR 2 under loaded conditions as well as the power saving modes with smart frequency and voltage management when idle.

Precision Boost Overdrive (introduced with 2nd generation Ryzen 2000 series ThreadRipper) extends the frequency beyond that of Precision Boost 2 + Extended Frequency Range (XFR) 2 with PBO being more aggressive when it comes to how close the processor is allowed to approach the limits in SoC Power (PPT Limit), VRM current (TDC Limit), and temperatures.

Once the processor hits one or more of the limits, it will begin fluctuating the clockspeed by 25MHz and attempt to maintain the boost for as long as possible. With Precision Boost 2 and PB0, there is no longer a hard divider between what a processor is allowed to boost to with one core vs all cores – instead Ryzen 2000 and 3000 processors attempt to boost as many cores as high as possible.

Interestingly, Mr. Hallock teased that with Ryzen 3000 chips on X570, Precision Boost Overdrive may be user-configurable with enthusiasts able to “plug in” (in his example) 200 MHz which would allow a processor that out of the box is rated to boost to 4.55 GHz (Precision Boost 2 / XFR 2) will be able to boost to 4.75 GHz with PBO activated. While he did not go into details on where that 200 Mhz number comes from or how it may be modified, the video does raise some interesting questions and possibilities for easily wringing just a bit extra free performance out of your 7nm Zen 2 processor. While I have to wait for reviews to be sure, based on past showings and expectations (keeping in mind I have not seen any NDA’d tests/info and have not been pre-briefed) AMD is pushing the new processors utilizing TSMC’s 7nm process as far as possible out of the box as far as clockspeeds, and with PBO there may be even less room for manual overclockers (outside of extreme overclocking using liquid nitrogen or chillers) to play with. Although some enthusiasts will surely still opt for the manual route because it is fun and a hobby, bringing more performance (and less headroom) out of the box and one-click Ryzen Master PBO(?) overclocking cutting into the fun of manually dialing in an overclock is a “good problem to have” situation.


What are your thoughts on AMD’s efforts to auto-overclock (processor-based as well as Ryzen Master software) as well as Intel’s response and recent increased push for automated overclocking and higher clockspeeds with Intel Performance Maximizer and the Intel i9900KS respectively. Have you taken advantage of the newer overclocking methods (are the ‘good enough’?) or do you still prefer dialing in a manual all core overclock?

"Taking your feedback seriously is a critical objective for us, as is using the Ryzen CPU's intelligence in new and beneficial ways. We knew we could bring those two goals together with Precision Boost Overdrive! The result is awesome: a new type of overclocking that combines smart boost control, idle power savings, factory max boost clock, and higher nT performance. We hope you enjoy!"

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About The Author

Tim Verry

Tim is a long time computer geek and DIY system builder that specializes in family tech support.


  1. djotter

    “Use of the feature [Precision Boot Overdrive] invalidates the AMD product warranty”.

    Not really sure what AMD is trying to do here.

    • Tim Verry

      Heh I think Intel and its IPM has the same fine print though Intel sells that overclocking protection plan thing that will replace your chip one time if you kill it overclocking.

      It is pretty hard to kill a chip overclocking these days with all the safety features built into the cpu and motherboard these days at least…

  2. MRFS

    Tim, See also the comments under Jim’s ITM review. This kind of capability appears to be a perfect marriage/opportunity to implement AI principles in safe overclocking and optimizing options. Without repeating in detail what I wrote under Jim’s ITM review, I had a lot of success recently by searching the Internet for screen shots of CPU-Z settings for the Intel CPU I wanted to overclock. I believe CPU manufacturers should substantially expand this general idea so as to embrace the experience already available from prosumers and expert overclockers. The ASRock “OC DNA” feature comes to mind, and I also believe that the CPU-Z authors also maintain a constantly expanding database of results, which are published on the Internet. Using general concepts of factor analysis, a limited set of independent variables results in observations of key dependent variables, chiefly CPU speed, core voltage(s), core temperature(s) and similar settings for installed DRAM. Finally, any such “AI”-assisted computer should ask the user which among several different “policies” the user prefers. For example, if energy conservation is a primary goal, the AI engine should find a set of optimal settings that minimize voltages, within acceptable “headroom”, and thus minimize operating temperatures. Similarly, if maximizing the speed of a single CPU core is the goal, then a different set of optimal settings is recommended. Bottom Line: programs like ITM and PBO should be developed to take advantage of prior known successes optimizing any given CPU, and of course its own successes with any given CPU.

    • MRFS

      correction: “ITM” should be “IPM” in my Reply above. Sorry for the typo.

  3. MRFS

    p.s. Is there a way we can EDIT our comments in this Forum?


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