I’m sure more than one of you found it strange when looking at the model table for the new AMD’s Ryzen processors that the same processor are named one way or another similar with an “X” after its model number.
You were not the only ones, but a Reddit user has dedicated to think about it and has concluded that the most likely answer is that this denomination is related to the new XFR processor feature, that allows to expand the margin of overclock of the processors.
The truth is that the frequency differences that exist between processors with suffix X and with those that do not have it are quite small, but that is not the case of its price and the TDP they support. For example, a processor without the X suffix (let’s call it “basic version”) is usually somewhat slower than the model with the suffix but its TDP is 65 W, while the TDP of the other model is 95 W. Taking into account that both models internally have the same number of cores and threads, Why is there a difference of 30 W between both processors, for only 100 MHz difference between both?
The conclusion this person came up with is that X suffix processors did have the eXtended Frequency Range (XFR) feature that AMD has implemented in its new Ryzen processors and that allows to unlock higher performance by the processor without the user having to perform any overclocking in the Bios, the processor would take care of everything automatically and, since they support a much higher TDP, we could expect increases of 200 or 300 extra MHz based on the type of cooling we use with the processor. Therefore, processors that do not carry the suffix X would have this feature disabled, which is corroborated by having a TDP 30 W lower than the others and it would be the user’s choice to try to shorten the distances of performance between both processors using the usual overclock, since we already know that all Ryzen models are unlocked as standard.
Anyway, it makes sense that if a user is willing to invest enough more money on it’s processor, it would surely also invest in a cooling solution according to the model that is using, so rewarding those willing to invest more in their processors has all the business-level logic for AMD, processors that carry the suffix X will not be sold with a standard heatsink while those that do not carry it will have the Wraith heatsink included that as we already know is currently giving some pretty good results to AMD.