It's not often you turn to your power settings to get a better frame rate, but it's been necessary for anyone who has picked up a Ryzen CPU in the last month. And to make matters a little easier, the chip maker has released a special power plan to help performance.
Releasing a new CPU comes with a few quirks that have taken some time to iron one. And one of those ticks has been getting Windows 10 to play nicely with the sensor and adaptive technologies built into the Ryzen architecture.
To put it simply, the Ryzen CPUs will adjust voltages and frequencies for maximum performance. But the Ryzen CPU can be doing this as frequently as within a millisecond, something that Windows 10 doesn't approve off immediately. The default power plan for Windows 10 on desktop is "balanced", which restricts the Ryzen CPU from adjusting as fast as it possibly can.
Previously, AMD recommended everyone use the "High Performance" plan on Windows 10. But over the weekend, AMD released their own plan which "reduces the timers and thresholds for P-state transitions" requested by Windows 10.
There's two options now: the High Performance plan, and an Ryzen Balanced offering that you can download from AMD. Here's a graph from AMD showing the alleged improvement in FPS from the default Windows 10 balanced power plan, with the grey bars showing the improvement when using the "High Performance" option, and orange showing the new "Ryzen Balanced" profile:
So if you're a gamer, you'll want High Performance on all the time. It's interesting that Mafia 3 is somehow faster on the balanced plan, and Watch Dogs 2 doesn't seem to care much But the jumps in Battlefield are nothing to scoff at.
At the end of the day: if you have a Ryzen desktop or you're buying a Ryzen CPU, use the High Performance plan. Or this new one from AMD if you're worried about power usage. (You shouldn't be. They're all sub-100W CPUs anyway.) As an added bonus, AMD announced that their Ryzen Master overclocking tool was getting an update later this week that would result in the software accurately reporting the CPU temperature. You can read more about it on the official blog.