The Windows 11 upgrade exacerbates a serious gaming problem with AMD CPUs

The Windows 11 upgrade exacerbates a serious gaming problem with AMD CPUs

Tech Highlights:

  • Unfortunately, the very first patch Tuesday update for Windows 11, which arrived yesterday, seems to have thrown more spanners in the works when it comes to the pair of bugs – which includes a gremlin with L3 cache latency being much higher – dragging gaming performance down further. (Note that this patching wasn’t supposed to cure anything gaming-related – but it certainly wasn’t expected to worsen the situation).

  • As was officially acknowledged last week, Windows 11 has difficulties with gaming slowness for users using AMD Ryzen CPUs — but a recent patch from Microsoft has apparently made the problem worse.

This is according to Tech PowerUp, with the tech site performing tests using a Ryzen 7 2700X CPU which had an L3 cache latency of 10ns originally, which was driven up to 17ns by the cache bug, and is now way worse after Microsoft’s new cumulative update was applied. In fact, latency now stands at 31.9ns, so the problem is not far off twice as bad (and triple the original latency).

We’ll be waiting slightly longer for the other issue to be kicked into touch, which is a glitch with UEFI CPPC2 impacting some apps and games, but the fix is expected on October 21. Note that these are targeted dates, so it’s not inconceivable that last-minute problems could crop up to delay things a bit further.

The L3 cache problem has already been resolved by Microsoft – we have indeed seen references to the cures in dev builds of Windows 11 going back a month – and the fix is set to be deployed on October 19.

It’s an alarming measurement to see the cache latency spike up even further – quite dramatically, really – after a round of Windows 11 patching has been applied, and obviously this could leave some AMD processor owners even more frustrated with their gaming performance.

That said, this is just a single test scenario of one particular Ryzen chip, and we can’t put too much emphasis on it as a result. Other folks may not find the same happening with their PCs, and indeed there are some posts on the above linked Reddit thread where gamers are saying that they’re not experiencing any noticeable difference with their performance levels.

The level of impact is, of course, based on a whole load of variables, not just including the exact hardware configuration of the PC, but also the game being played (and what settings it’s running with).

As AMD made clear in its initial admission of the cache latency problem, the bigger performance hits – of up to 15% drops in the frame rate, apparently – are what it describes as ‘outliers’, so the majority of systems shouldn’t see this kind of sluggishness.

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