Windows 10 Scheduler may be limiting AMD Ryzen performance
Why it matters to you
Ryzen performance is likely to improve over the next few months, whether the Scheduler is to blame for problems or not.
Some sources claim that AMD’s Ryzen CPUs could perform better in Windows 10 except for the way the operating system incorrectly handles Ryzen’s simultaneous multi-threading (SMT). We’re told that instead of leaving it to the smaller tasks, it lumps them right in with the main cores, which can result in a real dip in performance.
However, not everyone agrees.
Intel has been offering hyper-threading as one of its CPU features for a long time — that’s part of why it has maintained a performance lead over AMD for many years. Ryzen introduced SMT as its alternative multi-threading technology and it works well, but some research suggests that Windows 10’s Scheduler doesn’t seem to realize that those virtual cores aren’t as capable as the real ones, so when it doesn’t prioritize physical cores over the SMT ones, it is artificially holding Ryzen CPUs back.
For some reason also, the Scheduler seems to think that Ryzen CPUs have as much as 136MB of cache, whereas in reality, they have 20MB of L2+L3 cache, thanks WCCFTech. AMD is said to be aware of this issue.
More: Ryzen proves the PC industry can no longer ignore AMD’s comeback
Not everyone, however, agrees that this is cut and dry. PCPer has some pretty solid evidence that the Scheduler is not to blame, though AMD has yet to officially comment on its research.
If you don’t want to wait to find out whether this is a real problem or not, it may be worth using Windows 7 instead, as purportedly that doesn’t suffer from the same issues as Windows 10 does when running the new hardware. Do confirm that your motherboard manufacturer has released Windows 7 compatible drivers for your board first, though.
Disabling SMT in the BIOS has been shown to improve gaming performance under Windows 10, too, so that’s worth considering for now. For those running heavier multi-threaded tasks, performance is unlikely to be affected in the same way, though.
How have you guys been finding Ryzen CPUs so far? Do they stand up to the hype in real-world usage?