Unexpected benefit with Ryzen – reducing power for home server

Matthew Dillon
dillon at backplane.com
Sun Sep 2 14:28:12 PDT 2018
I received an unexpected benefit today when I checked for BIOS updates and
found that my ASRock AB350M Pro4 Ryzen motherboard now supports ECC. I
decided that it is finally time to upgrade my home server from the
venerable E3-1270 (Xeon, 3.4GHz, 4-core/8-thread) to the 2700X (Ryzen,
~4.1GHz, 8-core/16-thread).

In doing so, I am using ECC memory and the only EUDIMMs I have are 2133.
At those memory frequencies, overclocking the cpu itself doesn’t really add
much benefit so I decided to test just how LOW a power envelope I could set
and still retain full multi-threaded performance for compile jobs. That
is, the system is limited by relatively low memory bandwidth so there’s no
need to overclock the cpu itself. It turns out… really low! Ryzen CPUs
are very sensitive to memory bandwidth.

To make these changes I tell the BIOS to use the AMD CBS settings (usually
in the

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