On Friday, Microsoft began testing a fix to eliminate the cache latency issues that have plagued PCs powered by AMD Ryzen processors running Windows 11.
However, the patch, part of Windows 11 Build 22000.282, is available just to the Windows Insider Beta and Release channels—both opportunities for members of Microsoft’s beta program to test new code before it is released to the general public. Microsoft did not give a timetable for when the 22000.282 code would be released to the general public.
In the patch notes, Microsoft says: “We fixed an L3 caching issue that might affect performance in some applications on devices that have AMD Ryzen processors after upgrading to Windows 11 (original release).”
New operating systems typically have bugs, although the issue that plagued Ryzen systems was a little perplexing—AMD-powered PCs have typically represented about 20 percent of the overall PC market. AMD itself warned on April 6 that Windows 11 might increase cache latency (the time in which the processor can access the level-3 cache) by up to 10 to 15 percent. Caching data in the cache is an architectural feature designed to allow the CPU to act quickly on frequently-used data, rather than take a comparatively lengthy amount of time to hunt it down within main memory. Cache latencies defeat that efficiency.
Even worse, independent testing showed that Ryzen PCs running on Windows 11 could see L3 cache latency penalties that were higher than what AMD stated: 6 to 12 times slower, depending upon the test.
The Insider build announced Friday includes numerous bug fixes of all sorts, all related to Windows 11 and all expected to roll out to consumers in the next few weeks. Microsoft also released new Windows 11 wallpapers to Insiders this week, though it disappointed fans when it announced a new preview of Windows 11 emoji that used flat 2D designs, rather than the 3D versions it had earlier promised.
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.