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AMD’s 16-core Ryzen CPU may have been held up by lower-than-advertised speed

AMD’s 16-core Ryzen 3950X is set to be released in November, following a slight delay from its original October launch date. But while that was thought to be due to supply issues of the 7nm chiplets that all Ryzen 3000 processors rely on, it may, in fact, be more of a quality control issue. The problem, according to the latest rumor, is that the 3950X just isn’t fast enough to meet expectations.

AMD’s Ryzen 3000-series processors changed the mainstream CPU market for good with the introduction of high-speed 7nm cores that are great at single-threaded and multithreaded tasks, with more cores at the top end than we’ve ever seen — all at an affordable price. But AMD has run into some issues with these processors not hitting their advertised boost clocks by up to 200MHz in some cases. The 3950X, although set to be the most selectively binned of all Ryzen 3000 chips, could well be facing a similar problem.

The 3950X will be the first 16-core mainstream processor ever and with a price of just $750, it would undercut and likely outperform, many of Intel’s $1,000-or-higher HEDT chips. It might not even need to hit its rated 4.7GHz single-threaded boost clock to do so, either. But considering the strong wave of popular opinion that AMD has enjoyed in recent months, and the relative dip it took following the boost clock debacle with its other processors, it might make a lot of sense to delay a similarly problematic CPU that will serve as the flagship of the entire generation.

According to DigiTimes sources, that’s exactly what’s happened. Its report suggests that previously announced clock speeds were not being hit by the 3950X. It’s hoped that with a couple of months of refinement, those problems can be ironed out before release.

AMD’s response to the clock speed issues elsewhere in the Ryzen lineup has been mixed. It has attempted to skirt around the issue, suggesting in some statements that the problem isn’t pernicious or even that pertinent, since few applications use just one thread at a time. But following further investigations by the enthusiast community, press, and professional overclockers such as Roman “Der8auer” Hartung, AMD released several BIOS updates which have mostly fixed the issue for the wider user base.

The question now remains, whether it can do it for one of the most exciting CPU launches of the year. The clock is ticking.

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