AMD Ryzen 5000 undervolting will return better than ever in future update

AMD Ryzen render with orange glow under the chip
(Image credit: AMD)

Director of technical marketing at AMD, Robert Hallock, is promising new and improved undervolting capabilities are on the way for Ryzen 5000 chips, to be bundled into a future AGESA firmware update.

Currently AMD's Ryzen 5000 processors do not offer undervolting in any capacity, and that means you'll have to stick to only positive voltage tweaks today. AMD does offer the ability to run your processor within the constraints of a lower TDP, such as taking a 105W TDP part down to 65W TDP, but beyond that you're a bit stuck at the stock configuration.

At least for the time being. AMD's Robert Hallock has listed a couple of PSAs over on his Twitter account, including one that details a new 'hype' undervolting functionality. 

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AMD has not offered an exact time-frame on when the AGESA update containing the new functionality will arrive, but when it does we can expect "better frequency, voltage, and performance tweaking."

Which AGESA update you're running on, and which you should download, can get a little confusing. You can read more over on AMD's community website, but essentially it's down to manufacturers to implement the code. You'll often see which AGESA, or "AMD Generic Encapsulated System Architecture", has been implemented on a per BIOS basis on the manufacturer's downloads page.

New functionality expected to arrive with AGESA versions beyond existing AGESA includes:

  • Returning support for negative core voltage offsets (“undervolting”) with all-new AMD functionality for better frequency, voltage, and performance tweaking
  • Additional AMD optimization for performance and stability at ~2000MHz fabric clock
  • Additional functionality tuning for benchmarking under extreme OC conditions (e.g. LN2)

The flck optimizations will help ensure you're able to run your AMD Ryzen 5000 processor at a 1:1 ratio with 4,000MHz DDR4 RAM. Currently that functionality is limited to those lucky enough to own the better performing samples of Zen 3, as our Alan discovered when his chip turned out to not be up to the task.

If you can't wait to mess with your chip's internals, however, there's always overclocking. While we didn't have much luck with the Ryzen 9 5900X, a chip that's seemingly at its very limits out of the box, we've had much greater success overclocking the cheaper Ryzen 5 5600X. Alan managed to push this 65W chip (which is likely the key to its success) to 4.7GHz at 1.3v or 4.6GHz at 1.2v. And with a bit of fine tuning there's probably more to be gained, too.

Jacob Ridley
Senior Hardware Editor

Jacob earned his first byline writing for his own tech blog. From there, he graduated to professionally breaking things as hardware writer at PCGamesN, and would later go on to win command of the kit cupboard as hardware editor. Since then he's joined PC Gamer's top team as senior hardware editor, where he spends his days reporting on the latest developments in the technology and gaming industry. He also enjoys making short videos for TikTok and believes everyone reading this should go follow our account immediately.