How to overclock Ryzen processors (part one)

How to overclock Ryzen processors (part one)

How to overclock Ryzen processors (part one)

Ryzen processors have been introduced to the market by AMD for months and there are always discussions about these processors.

Now it’s time to overclock new AMD processors. Due to the fact that the mentioned company has left the hands of overclockers free to increase the frequency of processors, this group can show their abilities in this field. Of course, as you know, reaching higher frequencies requires a high-quality cooling system.

Are Ryzen processors the dream of overclockers? To achieve better results, we made some adjustments using the original firmware. Also, to reach higher frequencies, we have used professional air cooling or liquid cooling with closed loop. Of course, we have already overclocked Ryzen processors, and the ceiling of the results was usually between 3.9 and 4 GHz.

But today’s story is a little different. Today we’re going a step further and trying to measure the effects of different BIOS settings on octa-core models. We have used liquid cooling to lower the temperature of the processor. Finally, we will test the effects of different RAM and processor frequencies.

Configuration For testing

Some of our labs got their CPUs from AMD, some CPUs were obtained from motherboard manufacturers, and other labs were forced to do so when AMD supplied their products. They bought chips from retail. Thoms Hardware of France managed to receive all three octa-core models 1700, 1700X and 1800X from AMD. In order to overclock these processors to death, we have used the best available hardware.


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For cooling, we used a 280mm Be Quiet cooler. Although our different offices use different motherboards, we use JSkill named Flare X, designed for Ryzen. In fact, this kit uses Samsung B-die ICs, which have the best features for overclocking. Is this a great combination? we will see. To avoid creating a graphics bottleneck, we use Asus ROG Strix GTX 1080 graphics card. To do this, Power MasterWatt Maker 1200 from Cooler Master It is responsible for providing the power consumption of the entire system.

Overclock settings

Overclocking through Windows is easy. ; But we prefer to use the new settings in BIOS. It seems that using BIOS settings on a new platform like Ryzen has more effect.

In the following, the important and practical settings available in the ASUS motherboard BIOS are:

  • Ai Overclock Tuner: for To access the frequency settings, set this option to “manual” and to select the memory overclocking profile, set it to “.D.O.C.P” (related parameters are set automatically).
  • CPU Core Ratio: This coefficient is used to determine the frequency of the processor. To overclock the processor, you must increase it; You have to be careful though. When “Ratio” is not set to Auto, AMD’s XFR technology is disabled. The processor will automatically go into overclocking mode and all power saving features will be disabled. This can be done by X0.25 increments. Memory frequency: The system memory frequency is from 1333 to 3200 MT/s (million transfers per second) and using the BCLK frequency range, it can be increased it. This is a very important parameter for performance optimization and we will look at it shortly.
  • SMT mode: or Simultaneous Multi Threading, similar to Hyper-Threading Intel is Note that we ran into problems with the motherboard when this option was enabled. If you set SMT to auto mode, SMT will still be active and we will not have the previous problem.
  • CPU Core Voltage Override: This option allows to set the core voltage of your CPU. do. Asus recommends not to set the voltage higher than 1.4 volts. AMD recommends a maximum voltage of 1.35V for long-term overclocking. Although the company claims that Ryzen’s core voltage can be increased up to 1.45V; But the lifespan of the part may be affected.
  • DRAM Voltage: Increasing the RAM voltage can help stabilize the overclock. It seems that 1.35 V is enough. If using Samsung B-die cells, without additional cooling, the voltage can be increased to 1.8V for high overclocking and low latency.
  • PLL voltage: We recommend manually setting this option to It is 1.8 volts. If you set it to “Automatic”, there is a risk that your motherboard will overclock it; As a result, the temperature will rise. This option is useful when you use liquid nitrogen when overclocking (especially for RAM).

If you click on the external submenu “Digi+ Power” , you will see these options:

  • Load-line Calibration: According to our testing, level 1 gives the best results.
  • CPU Current Capability: To avoid overclocking limitations, we recommend increasing this option to 140%.

As ​​a reminder, it is good to know that LLC helps to stabilize the main voltage when loads A heavy processor helps. When the processor is at rest (idle), it consumes little power; Therefore, the voltage of 1.35V easily solves its need. However, when the workload increases, the voltage drops slightly (eg 1.3V). Obviously, this decrease is not good for processor stability. A motherboard equipped with a load calibration feature can increase the main voltage during heavy loads to compensate for this effect.

Test LLC

We tried a number of modes offered by the Crosshair VI Hero motherboard and the results were recorded using a voltmeter.

After setting the CPU voltage to 1 .35V, all these profiles injected close to 1.357V into the processor at idle; But the voltage of different profiles in heavy loads has different values. The following table shows the voltage of each profile in idle and heavy load mode.

LLC 1 (Auto) 1.357V 1.36V
LLC 2 1.357V 1.37V
LLC 3 1.357V 1.4V
LLC 4 1.357V 1.42V
LLC 5 1.357V 1.44V

The above table shows the same voltage with time that the LLC setting is idle. At level 1, increasing the voltage in load mode seems reasonable. Our tests show that level 1 is no different from automatic mode; But when you want to use LLC 1, do not set it to automatic mode to ensure the correct voltage. The last level is more risky, as it increases the voltage to 1.44 V.

Watch your CPU voltage. As you can see, setting the voltage to 1.35V does not mean that the exact same voltage is received by the processor. In LLC 5, the processor voltage increases by 0.1 V. It is also worth noting that the obtained values ​​have been confirmed by Asus.

Maximum voltage recommended by Asus

Recommended voltage

In normal mode

Maximum voltage

In normal mode

Recommended voltage

when using

liquid nitrogen

maximum voltage

when using

liquid nitrogen

CPU Core Voltage
1.40V Up to 1.45V 1.80V Up to 1.95V
SOC Voltage
1.15V Up to 1.30V 1.20V Up to 1.40V
DRAM Voltage1
1.40V Up to 1.90V 1.80V Up to 1.90V
1.8V PLL Voltage
1.80V Up to 2.10V 3.00V Up to 3.20V
1.05V SB Voltage
1.05V Up to 1.40V 1.30V Up to 1.40V
1.8V Standby Voltage 1.80V Up to 2.10V 2.10V Up to 2.30V
2.5V SB Voltage
2.50V Up to 2.80V 2.70V Up to 2.80V

DRAM latencies

The DRAM Timing Control settings menu provides access to memory delays. Currently there are only five options. Proper memory settings are very important in this platform, so we have dedicated a whole title for memory settings.

Not all parameters in “DRAM Timing Control” are applicable. At least, this is the case in firmware version 5803. Maybe AMD will allow motherboard manufacturers to remove these locks later. justify”> In order to increase performance in Windows, AMD has recommended to select the option “High performance” in the “Power Plan” section. What is the effect of this? To understand this issue, we tried to test it.

First, we ran “Performance Bias” in active BIOS and Geekbench 4. This option allows overclockers to score more points in competitions. The benchmark results in the table below are obtained after three consecutive runs.

Geekbench 4

Configuration Single-Core
Mem. Copy
Mem. Latency
Mem. Bandwidth
Mode: Normal
Bias: Auto
4705 23774 8183 5878 7276
Mode: Performance
Bias: Auto
4729 24240 8278 5885 7312
Mode: Performance
Bias: Geekbench 4
4756 24739 8528 6004 7369

Set “Power Plan” to “”, has slightly increased the efficiency. Even the “Performance Bias” option in the BIOS increases the Geekbench score. If you take it out of automatic mode and put it on Aida/Geekbench, you will see more score increase. Maybe professional motherboard reviewers consider these options to be cheating; But it will be used in overclocking competitions.

Asus TurboV vs. Ryzen Master

Although Asus’ TurboV Core software isn’t useful for daily use; But it is known as a software to facilitate the adjustment of BCLK frequency in the Windows environment. TurboV Core is a comprehensive program and allows you to change different voltages along with their coefficients.

We ran into a few issues while using TurboV Core. We used several different voltages during testing. We made the settings in the Windows environment and checked the temperature changes. After setting the core voltage to 1.2V, suddenly the temperature rose from 50 degrees to 120 degrees Celsius; So that the Cinebench benchmark software didn’t even get a chance to show a single pixel. At first, we thought we had not applied the settings correctly, but after a few minutes, the temperature increased to 114 degrees Celsius again and the system restarted automatically. Finally, when we set the voltage to 1.1 volts, the temperature reached 98 degrees and the system did not restart, and we were able to measure the actual voltage using a voltmeter. By measuring the values, we found that the value of 1.1 V in the software caused the voltage of 1.7 V to be applied on the board. We don’t know what the voltage was when the temperature reached 120 degrees; But considering that the voltage of 1.7 volts was able to raise the temperature of the chip to 98 degrees, the voltage required to raise the temperature to 120 degrees must have been close to 2 volts! Considering that the processor was able to survive under such a voltage, we conclude that Ryzen processors are very resistant. The next version of TurboV Core will fix this. Just before publishing, we tested the latest version of TurboV Core and found that the software hangs and closes instead of using the wrong voltage.

Bugs aside, we prefer Asus’s software to AMD’s Ezenmaster tool. The second software is a bit difficult to work with and has fewer settings.

BCLK frequency overclock

Ryzen overclock It is not much different from other platforms. There is a reference frequency that Asus calls the BCLK frequency, which is more or less equivalent to the BCLK frequency found in Intel processors.

This section It is of particular importance; Because the settings are related to several subsystems: processor clock and memory, as well as USB ports, PCIe port and SATA interfaces. Increasing it overclocks almost everything on the motherboard.

Increasing the BCLK frequency may lead to stability issues on any interface. For this reason, Asus recommends connecting the interfaces directly to the processor, which leads to overclocking of the interfaces. During heavy overclocking, Asus recommends using the m.2 storage device; Because it is connected to the processor through PCIe.

Change the BCLK frequency

Many motherboards allow changing the frequency They don’t give BCLK and lock it to 100 MHz. But some manufacturers use an external frequency generator in high-end platforms. Therefore, if you intend to make changes to the BCLK frequency, you must first make sure that the motherboard you are using has an external frequency generator. When writing this article, only 3 or 4 motherboards had these features.

In the tests performed, the system was stable with the BCLK frequency at 148 MHz, and the USB or SATA ports had no problems. To avoid overclocking the reference frequency, it is necessary to reduce the processor and memory ratio. With this increase in speed, the PCIe bus is under pressure. Set the SMT of the motherboard to “Auto” mode. SMT is active in this mode; But when we set this option to “Enabled”, the motherboard prevented us from increasing the frequency to more than 110 MHz.

PCI Express Management

The AM4 socket uses PCIe Gen 3. When you set the BCLK frequency to more than a certain value, the motherboard will continue to operate on PCIe 2.0. By selecting a higher frequency, a higher offset frequency is selected. Given that the frequency is tied to the PCIe bus, we tried to apply the Gen 1 transfer rate; But we didn’t see any change.

BCLK Frequency Interval
PCI Express Bandwidth
Real Bandwidth Per Lane
85 to 104.8 MHz Gen 3, 8 GT/ s (985 MB/s) 837 to 1032 MB/s
105 to 144.8 MHz Gen 2, 5 GT/s (500 MB/s) 525 to 724 MB/s
145 MHz+ Gen 1, 2.5 GT/s (250 MB/s) 313 MB/s+

Graphic performance was not affected much by these changes; At least in none of the titles we tested using the GeForce GTX 1080, there weren’t many changes. For this reason, we suggest using 104.8 or 144.8 MHz frequency. If needed, you can manually select and lock PCIe generation through ASUS BIOS; But be careful, because increasing the BCLK frequency too much may cause instabilities in the PCIe bus.

PLL temperature and effects

As ​​you know, Ryzen processors contain multiple sensors that allow frequency and voltage to function as a function of processor temperature. Therefore, it is important to study this relationship. Performance degrades when the chip temperature exceeds 95°C.

During benchmarking by various software, the temperatures observed when using the 1800X processor, even in Unemployment surprised us.

Settings (V)
Frequency (MHz)
PLL Voltage @1.8V
Temperature (
PLL Voltage @1.9V
Temperature (
PLL Voltage @1.8V
Corrected Temp. (
PLL Voltage @1.9V
Corrected Temp. (
1.0 3450 46 55 26 35
1.1 3700 52 60 32 40
1.2 3850 56 65 36 45
1.3 4000 63 71 43 51
1.4 4100 69 78 49 58
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