Sorry, the Ryzen 9 7950X doesn’t hit 6.3GHz
If you’ve been lucky enough to own an AMD Ryzen 9 7950X, you’ve probably noticed that the normally fast chip seems to be running at near record-breaking acceleration. Unfortunately, you don’t really get that much performance out of the chip.
The Ryzen 9 7950X is one of the best processors around, with a boost clock speed of 5.7GHz, which is already blindingly fast.according to our friends Tom’s Hardware (opens in a new tab)However, some users have found that when their PCs running the chip wake from sleep, the processor’s clock speed soars to 6.28GHz, which, if true, is absolutely incredible.
Unfortunately, those near record-breaking clock speeds are too good to be true. It appears that the AMD chip is experiencing an RTC (Real Time Clock) reporting bug, which makes the chip appear to be running much faster than it actually is.
Luckily, unlike many Windows 11 bugs or major security issues with AMD chips, the RTC bug doesn’t break anything or affect performance in any way, which is probably why it’s a lingering problem that will never go away regardless. Whether you use the best Intel processors or AMD processors, it will solve the problem very well.
So about those benchmarks…
One thing about the RTC bug is that benchmarking tools rely on the RTC to score a given component like the processor or graphics card. There’s nothing wrong with that, and that’s why RTC reports exist. The problem, though, is that RTC bugs can affect benchmark scores on tools like CineBench, which are used by both users and reviewers to test systems.
Benchmarking is especially important if you build your own PC, because benchmarking is an important way to tell if your system is properly assembled and integrated. This latest RTC reporting bug illustrates why it’s so important not to rely on a single test to determine system performance.
When I benchmark any component, I make sure to measure its performance using a variety of tools and usage scenarios, especially since any given test may have issues. While every synthetic processor benchmark takes into account the clock speeds given by the RTC, gaming benchmarks don’t factor this in at all, so if a processor is incorrectly reporting a 6.28GHz boost clock, you’d expect that to translate to noticeably faster clock speeds. High FPS when playing the game at low settings and 1080p resolution with a powerful graphics card.
If the numbers don’t match expectations, then you have strong evidence that there may be a problem with the way you put everything together. In short, always use a variety of tests when benchmarking your system. This way, you never have to worry about RTC errors preventing you from optimizing your build.