Survey finds huge proportion of AMD Ryzen 3000 CPUs aren’t hitting advertised clock speeds

It emerged last month that a large proportion of AMD Ryzen 5 3600X owners were struggling to hit the advertised boost clock speeds. Now, it turns out the problem may run even deeper. Overclocker and YouTuber ‘der8auer’ ran an extensive survey with more than 2700 participants in an attempt to discover which Ryzen 3000 series processors suffered worse than expected boosting.

The survey asked AMD Ryzen 3000 users to run Cinebench R15 single core benchmarks, monitor the data using HWinfo, and then pass along the results. Der8auer filtered out of all of obvious troll results and outliers in an attempt to reduce the margin of error, although this data is, of course, not 100% reliable. The results, however, are certainly quite eye-opening.

CPUs tested included the Ryzen 5 3600 (21% of users surveyed), Ryzen 5 3600X (7%), Ryzen 7 3700X (40%), Ryzen 7 3800X (6%), and the Ryzen 9 3900X (26%). 

Failure to hit the advertised boost rates was more prominent in the higher-end processors. Approximately half of the Ryzen 5 3600 users survey could achieve the advertised boost clock speed of 4.2GHz, with the rest falling around 100 MHz short.

Things get worse for the Ryzen 5 3600X, with just 9.4% managing to hit the advertised clock speeds. That’s 90.6% of surveyed R5 3600X owners who couldn’t hit 4.4 GHZ. Ever. A handful fell as much as 300 MHz short.

Don’t go believing the news gets any better for high-end users though. The figures continue to drop the higher up the series we go, culminating in the Ryzen 9 3900X. This top-end Ryzen 3000 CPU could hit the advertised 4.6 GHz boost clock speed on only 5.6% of the systems tested.

The one big question mark hanging over a test such as this is the results and the methodology itself. Der8auer took plenty of measures to prevent rogue results, but upset customers are surely the likelier to respond. Despite this, the sheer mass of data points towards big problems on AMD’s end.

AMD will argue the advertised clock speeds are achieved under ‘optimum conditions’, naturally, but what just what are the conditions necessary when over 94% of their users are struggling to meet the target? Boost clock speeds are also typically advertised on a single core, and yet as we can see a large number of these CPUs can’t hit the rated clock speed whatsoever, on any core.

None of this necessarily makes these AMD Ryzen CPUs bad, necessarily, but AMD basing its marketing on those boost clock speeds sure does come across as misleading. It’s an advertising faux pas more than anything, with CPUs very rarely even expected to hit their top boost clock speeds, particularly for any extended period.

What are your thoughts on this little mess then, should AMD be re-branding its advertised Ryzen 3000 series boost clock speeds? Any Ryzen 3000 owners out there that have done any testing for themselves? Let us know below!