Ryzen 9 7950X3D and Co.: Installation guide shows some hurdles to optimal performance

Ryzen 9 7900: Integrated GPU overclocked to 3.1 GHz - is it worth it?

from Valentin Sattler
In an installation guide, AMD explains how to correctly set up a system with Ryzen 9 7950X3D or Ryzen 9 7900X3D. Some of the tips should be familiar to most players, but there is also a surprise.

Since the beginning of the week, gamers can finally buy the new AMD processors Ryzen 9 7950X3D and Ryzen 9 7900X3D, where AMD supplements the current Zen 4 architecture with a 64 MiB X3D cache. As a result, the models should offer higher computing power, especially in games, which corresponds to the results from our test. In order for the high performance to actually arrive, however, a system with an X3D processor must be set up correctly. So that gamers can do just that, AMD published instructions on Tuesday that describe the optimal setup for a Ryzen 9 7900X3D/7950X3D.

Setup tips

Among other things, AMD’s installation guide also describes things that are recommended for every CPU upgrade anyway. For example, players are recommended to freshly install Windows 10 or Windows 11 and bring it up to date. Specifically, AMD recommends Windows 10 1903 (Build 19044.2546) or Windows 11 21H2 (Build 22000.1455) for the X3D processors.

In addition, buyers of an X3D processor should also update their mainboard’s UEFI and install AMD’s current chipset drivers. Specifically, at least the chipset driver version is recommended, otherwise the specific optimizations for the X3D cache cannot take effect. The background is the structure of the new Ryzen 7000 CPUs: These have two chips with CPU cores, only one of which has the X3D cache. In order to get full performance, it is therefore necessary to ensure that games run on the correct chip.

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Additionally, AMD recommends enabling “Game Mode” in Windows and updating the Xbox Game Bar app. The latter may sound surprising, but according to Tom’s Hardware, it is also involved in load balancing in games. Only the current version of the Xbox Game Bar app (5.823.1271.0 or newer) can therefore guarantee that the X3D cache is fully utilized.

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Finally, AMD also emphasizes that the first start with a new system can take a few minutes – users should not be unsettled here. After that, and once the said setup steps have been completed, players should then be able to use the full power of their X3D processor. Provided, of course, that the rest of the system’s hardware is designed and configured accordingly – keywords cooling, memory and GPU.

Source: AMD via Tom’s hardware