The performance of AMD's latest CPUs appears to show that it's the Ryzen 5 CPUs that are the best option for gamers. This is because the double CCD (Core Compute Die) configurations to be found at the top of the Ryzen 7000 stack seem to be falling foul of the Microsoft Windows 11 thread scheduler and performing worse than they should.
Jesus! 30% better lows with SMT off on 1 CCD. @Buildzoid1 pic.twitter.com/YSa2Xaskj7October 15, 2022
CapFrameX and Hardware Unboxed both took to Twitter to reveal that AMD's top chip of this generation was lagging behind the single CCD chips in some games—with Metro Exodus in particular dropping from 176fps on average from a single CCD down to 151fps at the stock Ryzen 9 7950X configuration.
Turning off the second CCD can unlock the performance of the chip, but halving the core count isn't exactly something you'd want to do after splashing out $699 on the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X. Alternatively, you could just pick up a chip that has a single CCD by default, such as the Ryzen 5 7600X or the Ryzen 7 7700X.
CapFrameX also tested to see if performance also improved after turning off SMT (Simultaneous MultiThreading) and sure enough, it did. But, and it's an important point here, the single CCD version of the chip with SMT off performed even better—it managed 190fps, with the minimums also improving significantly compared to the default configuration.
This is why the finger of fault ends up pointing at Microsoft's Thread Scheduler once again—there was a similar problem on this front last year with the release of Windows 21H2, which saw performance drop significantly for AMD's chips. A chipset driver update was needed back then to sort out the performance.
Will we see a similar patch this time around? There's a good chance that AMD will want to get this sorted quickly, as gamers actively avoiding its top-end chips is not a good look for Zen 4. The fact that we see the Ryzen 7 7700X as the better option for most gamers doesn't help much either.
PC Gamer Newsletter
Sign up to get the best content of the week, and great gaming deals, as picked by the editors.
Alan has been writing about PC tech since before 3D graphics cards existed, and still vividly recalls having to fight with MS-DOS just to get games to load. He fondly remembers the killer combo of a Matrox Millenium and 3dfx Voodoo, and seeing Lara Croft in 3D for the first time. He's very glad hardware has advanced as much as it has though, and is particularly happy when putting the latest M.2 NVMe SSDs, AMD processors, and laptops through their paces. He has a long-lasting Magic: The Gathering obsession but limits this to MTG Arena these days.