Tuesday, May 3, 2022

AMD Ryzens: prototype kind of CPUs?

Could AMD still be selling their CPUs in not completely finalized form, as kind of still under development chips, or even, Ryzen still being kind of prototype kind of CPU by itself?

Basing on my experience of two out of three Ryzens I own having problems, at least for me, in my personal opinion, AMD sold me an unfinished product. And basing on the problems I had with the latest (4800H), I can believe that it was in fact in some prototype kind of stage still, not thoroughly tested, not a final product that should be put on the market.


What AMD CPUs do I own as products and their problems (if any):

  • Ryzen 1600X - was struggling a lot to stabilize this CPU as much as possible, still resulting in occasional crashes of applications every few days and BSOD every 1 month or more. 1xxx series had problems with RAM controller, and even though I changed RAM for AMD certified one, which helped too, the instability is still there, no matter what.
  • Ryzen 2500U - this CPU has no problems so far. Maybe because its clock is pretty low and voltages don't jump as high as on high-end models. My family relative has the same CPU, no problems. So far this is the only Ryzen that is working 100% stable for me without any tinkering.
  • Ryzen 4800H - this CPU has weird problems. The problems are not noticeable at first until... you run tensorflow in training + sampling mode. After around 24h (shortest was 2h, longest was few days) the notebook will simply crash, usually on "hardware" issue. It does not matter if you force the TDP to 20W, it will still crash.


I could understand 1600X still having problems, it was 1xxx series. A brand new line of products that company should test well but somehow overlooked certain issues just to push it to the market.


I cannot, however, understand that my 4800H is still causing problems and of different kind than 1600X. Isn't it 3 series ahead for someone to get their act together and test the CPU properly and thoroughly in various kind of applications and, if possible, fix the problems or clearly state what the CPU may fail on?

So, how about I clarify what causes my 4800H to fail exactly? I tried to pin-point the problem and I found a solution for this CPU to run completely stable without any BSOD whatsoever.

There are two solutions and are related to Windows power scheme:

  • Disable Aggressive boost - if you are fine with your CPU running at 1.8Ghz just to be stable, go for that option, or,
  • Disable Idle - if you are fine with your CPU not saving power when not used and run at full speed instead, with no hint of instability at the same time, go for this one. However, if you overload your CPU your system will be kind of less responsible in this mode (beat me why...), but at the same time some applications may run faster (I got 10-15% speed up with AI training just by disabling Idle mode when the power draw was still 35W)


Unfortunately I have no bios update to maybe mitigate this problem, nor it offers me any kind of tinkering with processor states to try pin-pointing it even further. Nonetheless, I opted for disabling Idle state and controlling my CPU TDP with Renoir Mobile Tuning as otherwise I am at risk of losing my unsaved work.

I'm not the only one having problems with their CPUs, they are more people like this. Whenever there are certain parts being problematic, clearly AMD should run more auditing on that matter to make sure no bad quality CPUs reach the market. Until then you may try BIOS update or tinkering with your power schemes to turn off certain CPU functionalities to make it more if not completely stable.