Skip to main content

AMD is about to give your Ryzen CPU a big upgrade

A hand holding the Ryzen 9 7950X in front of a green light.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

AMD’s Curve Optimizer is by far my favorite feature of Ryzen CPUs. It allows you to tune the voltage of a process across the frequency range with a simple offset, and it’s been an indispensable tool as I’ve undervolted the Ryzen 7 7800X3D inside my small form factor gaming PC. And with Ryzen 9000, AMD could be pushing the feature even further with something called Curve Shaper.

The news comes from 1usmus, a developer who’s created tools for Ryzen CPUs such as the DRAM Calculator and the Hydra overclocking utility. The developer says Curve Shaper will allow Curve Optimizer to work across the entire temperature range. Previously, according to the developer, stability concerns lead to cases where your processor would be running at a high temperature without receiving much benefit from Curve Optimizer. “Now everything will change,” the developer wrote in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

The release of Zen 5 is still a month away, but today I'll be bringing the curtain down on one incredible new overclocking feature for enthusiasts 😎

Curve Shaper, an add-on for AMD Curve Optimizer.

— 1usmus 🇺🇦 (@1usmus) July 2, 2024

Get your weekly teardown of the tech behind PC gaming
Check your inbox!

As you can see in the table above, Curve Shaper will define a positive or negative offset for Curve Optimizer for different combinations of frequency and temperature. Although that shouldn’t change peak performance — what you see at max frequency and high temperatures — it should optimize performance across the frequency and temperature range. That could make a big difference with Ryzen 9000 CPUs, particularly in games.

As we’ve seen with CPUs like the Ryzen 7 7800X3D, the processor often won’t run at max frequency when playing games. It stays in a more efficient window that may not get the full benefit of Curve Optimizer. Curve Shaper can optimize these situations in a way that Curve Optimizer currently doesn’t. It can also help with undervolting, hopefully lower temperatures when the CPU is idling.

AMD hasn’t confirmed Curve Shaper yet, but we should hear more about it soon if it’s a feature the company is working on. Ryzen 9000 CPUs are due out at the end of the month, and AMD is making some bold performance claims. The company says the Zen 5 architecture that Ryzen 9000 CPUs use comes with a 16% increase in Instructions Per Clock (IPC) compared to the previous generation, and that it provides upward of a 23% boost in gaming performance compared to the Intel Core i9-14900K.

They could come in at a lower price, too. Recent retail listings for Ryzen 9000 CPUs suggest AMD could lower the price of the chips compared to the previous generation, which would make sense. With the last generation of CPUs, we saw AMD launch at high prices before quickly lowering the prices of its CPUs. This time around, AMD could launch with lower prices right out of the gate.

The lingering question for Curve Shaper, beyond if it’s real, is where it will work. It’s possible AMD could roll out the add-on to its range of Ryzen CPUs, but it could also restrict the feature to Zen 5 CPUs. We saw something similar happen with Intel’s Application Optimization (APO) feature, which was initially restricted to Intel’s most recent high-end CPU.

Jacob Roach
Lead Reporter, PC Hardware
Jacob Roach is the lead reporter for PC hardware at Digital Trends. In addition to covering the latest PC components, from…
AMD Zen 5: Everything we know about AMD’s next-gen CPUs
The AMD Ryzen 5 8600G APU installed in a motherboard.

AMD Zen 5 is the next-generation Ryzen CPU architecture for Team Red. And after a major showing at Computex 2024, it's ready for a July launch. AMD promises major performance advantages for the new architecture that will give it a big leap in performance in gaming and productivity tasks, and the company also claims it will have major leads over Intel's top 14th-generation alternatives, allowing it to compete among the best processors.

We'll need to wait for the release to know for sure how these chips perform, but here's what we know about Zen 5 so far.
Zen 5 release date and availability
AMD confirmed in January 2024 that it was on track to launch Zen 5 sometime in the "second half of the year," and backed that up at its Computex 2024 showing, where it promised the first four chips from the Ryzen 9000 generation will launch in July. That will be the Ryzen 9 9950X, the Ryzen 9 9900X, Ryzen 7 9700X, and Ryzen 5 9600X. Additional non-X and X3D variants are expected in the months that follow, with Club386 teasing that we might see the X3D chips as soon as September. That'd be sooner than expected, given that in the previous generation, the gap between the initial release and the X3D variants was longer.

Read more
Intel’s next-gen CPUs are leaving a big feature behind
A Core i9-12900KS processor sits on its box.

Intel has confirmed that its next-gen Arrow Lake CPUs are arriving this year, but it looks like they'll arrive missing a feature of the last few generations. Arrow Lake, and its corresponding 800-series chipset, is dropping support for DDR4 memory and moving exclusively to DDR5, according to a new leak shared on Chiphell.

The leaked slide shows that the CPU will instead use dual-channel DDR5. That's hardly surprising, as we've suspected for a while that Intel would move onto DDR5 exclusively as soon as it switched sockets. The socket swap is coming with Arrow Lake, as Intel leaves behind the LGA 1700 socket we've seen for the past three generations and moves onto the new LGA 1851 socket.

Read more
AMD might make a last-minute change to save a Ryzen 9000 CPU
AMD announcing specs for Ryzen 9000 CPUs at Computex 2024.

AMD has already said that its upcoming Ryzen 9000 CPUs based on the Zen 5 architecture are the fastest consumer PC processors, but a new report suggests Team Red could juice the CPUs even more. A report from Wccftech claims that AMD is considering changing the TDP rating of the Ryzen 7 9700X from 65 watts -- which is the power draw the chip was announced with -- to 120W.

It's not just more power for the sake of it. According to the report, AMD is considering this change due to how the Ryzen 7 9700X stacks up against the Ryzen 7 7800X3D. The Ryzen 7 7800X3D is easily the best gaming CPU you can buy, and that's mainly due to its use of AMD's 3D V-Cache tech. Without 3D V-Cache, AMD is reportedly worried the Ryzen 7 9700X will fall short.

Read more