Ryzen 7 7800X3D Gaming Performance Gets A Nice Lift With These Simple Tweaks

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A document leak has revealed more performance numbers for AMD's upcoming Ryzen 7 7800X3D. But this time the leak comes from MSI, revealing benchmark results of the CPU with MSI's home-grown Enhanced Mode Boost 3 and MSI's High-Efficiency modes turned on. These modes are MSI-exclusive and boost the 7800X3D’s power limit and accelerate DDR5 memory performance. Gaming performance with all the aforementioned features turned on resulted in up to 9% higher performance compared to stock (DDR5 4800MHz) settings at best in the games that were tested.

The test system was comprised of a Ryzen 7 7800X3D, paired to a MSI X670E Tomahawk WiFi motherboard (BIOS v122), DDR5-6000 2x16GB Kingston Fury Beast memory, MSI RTX 4090 Gaming Trio, MSI Coreliquid S360 AIO, and MSI MEG Ai1000P PCie 5 PSU. The OS used was Windows 11 build 22H2.

Eight titles were tested in the slide with several different settings, including stock settings, EXPO enabled, EXPO + High-Efficiency mode, and finally, everything enabled including Enhanced Mode Boost 3.

Despite the fancy terminology, performance gains from MSI's memory and CPU enhancements appear mixed in this slide. Watch Dogs Legion yielded good result with all of MSI’s enhancements and AMD EXPO turned on, yielding almost a 9% performance uplift over pure stock settings. However, the rest of the games were less dramatic, with Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Metro Exodus, Final Fantasy XIV EndWalker, and Far Cry 6 yielding just 4-6% additional performance. The rest of the listed games including F1 22, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla yielded no noticeable performance gains at all with any of the memory or CPU enhancements turned on.

This behavior is very similar AMD’s 3D-VCache technology in how it only benefits certain titles that utilize large L3 cache pools. The same apparently applies to AMD’s EXPO memory mode, High-Efficiency Mode, and Enhanced Mode Boost 3. If this behavior is concurrent on many more titles, we suspect many will leave these features off to save power and retain system stability (with the exception of EXPO), assuming power draw is adversely affected.

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Leaked Ryzen 7 7800X3D Slide From @g01d3nm4ng0 on Twitter

AMD EXPO is a new memory overclocking profile akin to Intel's XMP, and is aimed exclusively at AMD Ryzen 7000 series platforms. Just like XMP, EXPO is a standard that allows memory manufacturers to overclock DDR5 to a specific memory frequency and set of primary timings for additional performance beyond the official DDR5 JEDEC specification. This allows users to easily boost system performance by purchasing pre-overclocked RAM instead of manually overclocking the memory themselves.

However, just like with any type of overclocking, stability is not guaranteed. Only the stability of the memory kit itself is verified, but stability of the RAM in conjunction with the CPU’s memory controller and the motherboard is not. The only way to know for sure is to test an XMP or EXPO kit yourself, with a memory stress tester, or buy a RAM kit from your motherboard’s QVL list to improve the odds of stability. But even QVL lists don’t guarantee stability between the RAM and CPU memory controller.

Unfortunately, exact details relating to MSI’s High-Efficiency mode and Enhanced Mode Boost 3 are unknown. According to TechPowerUp, High-Efficiency mode is some sort of memory optimizer that tightens additional memory timings (not related to EXPO) to improve memory latency. Enhanced Mode Boost 3 appears to be another mode like AMD Precision Boost Overdrive (PBO) that increases the power limit available to the CPU. However, what we do know is that these modes are MSI exclusive and are not developed by AMD, so you won't find these exact features from any other motherboard vendor.

Based on this, we're not surprised to see minimal performance gains with all these features turned on. Increasing power limits on the CPU rarely ever increases gaming performance, since games seldom put full load on an entire CPU, even if the CPU has just 8 cores. There are times when a game will utilize 8 cores, especially if the CPU is streaming in textures, or assets from storage to the GPU, but it's not common. High-Efficiency mode should technically boost performance at least a little bit since games are notorious for being sensitive to memory latency. However, we suspect MSI is not pushing the timings that hard, or else the mode would probably crash most DDR5 memory kits. So, memory performance is likely not that much different from vanilla EXPO mode.

However, take all this information with a grain of salt since we don’t know officially how these features work, or if the leaked slide were altered in any way. Hopefully, we’ll know more once the 7800X3D releases in a few days, in conjunction with an MSI statement about these features.