AMD admits to Ryzen performance stuttering, a fix will take months

AMD Ryzen 6000 chip renderImage: AMD

AMD said this week that customers with Ryzen-based PCs may experience intermittent performance “stuttering,” due to an integrated Trusted Platform Module, or TPM. Unfortunately, the company doesn’t expect a fix to be available until May, unless customers want to shell out for a replacement component before then.

AMD doesn’t define what “stuttering” is, but you can expect performance to slow and then speed up somewhat randomly if your PC is affected.

AMD said in a support document that “select AMD Ryzen system configurations may intermittently perform extended fTPM-related memory transactions in SPI flash memory (“SPIROM”) located on the motherboard, which can lead to temporary pauses in system interactivity or responsiveness until the transaction is concluded.”

AMD Ryzen processors, like their counterparts in the Intel Core family, include integrated Trusted Platform Modules that serve as a root of trust for a Windows 10 and Windows 11 PC, to help protect it. Earlier PCs used a discrete TPM on the motherboard to serve the same function in earlier operating systems.

What AMD is saying is that the memory transactions that the integrated TPM is performing can cause a pause in system activity, leading the PC to feel like it’s stuttering or pausing. Unfortunately, a fix for the issue not only requires AMD to come up with and validate a fix, but also to work with motherboard manufacturers to distribute the fix to you, its customers. AMD said that it expects a fixed sBIOS fie to be available beginning in May. Customers, though, will receive it sometime later: “Exact BIOS availability timing for a specific motherboard depends on the testing and integration schedule of your manufacturer,” the chip maker said.

If you’re pining for an earlier fix, there is a solution: Buy a discrete TPM. We’ve advised you not to, in part because of the integrated TPM. But if you absolutely need to buy a TPM, you can: here’s where to find a TPM, and how to buy one.

Unfortunately, the pickings were slim for discrete TPMs last year because of supply-chain issues and the emergence of the TPM standard as a Windows 11 system requirement. The good news, however, is that they’re relatively inexpensive: $15 to $35 or so. However, that doesn’t mean the issue is any less annoying.

As PCWorld’s senior editor, Mark focuses on Microsoft news and chip technology, among other beats. He has formerly written for PCMag, BYTE, Slashdot, eWEEK, and ReadWrite.

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