The most popular AMD Ryzen CPUs are finally getting optimized Linux support

AMD Zen 3
(Image credit: AMD)
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The latest AMD (opens in new tab) driver has posted patches to the Linux (opens in new tab) kernel that’ll enable users to get better per watt performance from their AMD Zen-based CPUs.  

According to Phoronix, the drivers currently support processors powered by the Zen 3 microarchitecture, such as the Ryzen 5000 (opens in new tab) desktop processors, as well as the Epyc server processors (opens in new tab).

“We would like to introduce a new AMD CPU frequency control mechanism as the "amd-pstate" driver for modern AMD Zen based CPU series in Linux Kernel,” wrote Rui Huang, senior member of the technical staff at AMD.

The new AMD-PSTATE driver reportedly promises to bring the same level of optimizations to Zen 3 processors that Intel's P-State driver has been delivering for Intel CPUs for a long time.

Long time coming

Unlike the generic ACPI CPUFreq driver, the new AMD-PSTATE uses ACPI Collaborative Processor Performance Controls (CPPC) to help make better performance state decisions to maximise performance with a minimal energy footprint.

According to Phoronix, AMD first introduced an optimized CPPC-based driver back in July 2019, just as the company was about to unveil its Zen 2 microarchitecture. 

However, the effort never made it into the kernel, and was eventually abandoned, supposedly because of a “lack of resources” at AMD.

While the ACPI CPPC support originated with the Zen 2 processors, the current AMD-PSTATE driver currently limits itself to Zen 3 processors only. However, Phoronix reports that AMD has promised to extend their coverage to cover not just upcoming processors, but also older ones such as those based on Zen 2.

Via Phoronix (opens in new tab)

With almost two decades of writing and reporting on Linux, Mayank Sharma would like everyone to think he’s TechRadar Pro’s expert on the topic. Of course, he’s just as interested in other computing topics, particularly cybersecurity, cloud, containers, and coding.