In the months that have passed since I started experimenting with the Ryzen 5 3600X on my X470 motherboard (GigaByte X470 AURUS Gaming 7 WiFi Rev. 1.1 and then helping my friend configure his Ryzen 3900X on his motherboard (ASUS X570 ROG Crosshair VIII Hero (WiFi).
I bought the X570 motherboard I wanted (at a price I was willing to pay) the GigaByte X570 AURUS XTREME and experimented with my 3600X in that until I managed to get the CPU I wanted, the Ryzen 9 3950X which I now have.
A YouTube Techie who I respect from a channel called "Actually Hardcore Overclocking" Actually Hardcore Overclocking - YouTube called "Buildzoid" who recently made three videos on the topic of configuring PBO on a the same GigaByte board I have, an ASUS board and then general thoughts on PBO:
In the course of his experimentation he has managed to degrade his Ryzen 7 3700X and I fear that with the way he is configuring his Ryzen 9 3950X he will be doing the same thing there as well.
In the video he has put up some benchmarks where, by configuring PBO in the BIOS he managed to get the results up by some amount, the problem is though, that he is doing so at higher voltages than I consider to be prudent and also at higher temps than I experience with my 3950X.
His maximum CineBench R20 result after configuring his 3950X was at 9,554.
The way I configure my Ryzen 9 3950X I get a CineBench R20 score of 10,170 and still remain within the specification as laid down by TSMC for their 7nm Node. This specifies a far lower voltage than AMD considers safe and personally I am going to go with the recommendations of the creator of the 7nm Node and constrain the voltage of my Ryzen 3000 CPUs to 1.3 Volts MAXIMUM
Because of my back problems (I have had two spine operations and have spinal arthritis) I have to keep the room temperature pretty warm.
The ambient temperature in my room is 28 - 29 °C and you should keep that in mind when I show you the following benchmark results of my system:
My R9 3950X with SMT On:
1) CineBench R20 all-core score of 10,170 and a single core score of 500
2) FireStrike EVGA 1080 Ti SC2 I have a Graphics Score of 28,213, a Physics Score of 33,848 and a Combined Score of 15,488
3) FireStrike Extreme EVGA 1080 Ti SC2 I have a Graphics Score of 14,130, a Physics Score of 33,821 and a Combined Score of 7,057
4) FireStrike Ultra EVGA 1080 Ti SC2 I have a Graphics Score of 7,180, a Physics Score of 34,089 and a Combined Score of 3,902
5) TimeSpy EVGA 1080 Ti SC2 I have a Graphics Score of 10,292 and a CPU Score of 15,390
6) TimeSpy Extreme EVGA 1080 Ti SC2 I have a Graphics Score of 4,791 and a CPU Score of 9,421
7) Ghost Recon Wildlands benchmark 1080p everything at max FPS 86.33, CPU 14.7% (Min. 9.8% Max. 23.2%) and GPU 96.7%
8) 7zip Compression Average 124.906 MB/s, Decompression 199.303 MB/s
My R9 3950X with SMT Off:
1) CineBench R20 all-core score of 7,817 and a single core score of 513
2) FireStrike EVGA 1080 Ti SC2 I have a Graphics Score of 28,295, a Physics Score of 30,052 and a Combined Score of 15,833
3) FireStrike Extreme EVGA 1080 Ti SC2 I have a Graphics Score of 14,170, a Physics Score of 30,168 and a Combined Score of 7,076
4) FireStrike Ultra EVGA 1080 Ti SC2 I have a Graphics Score of 7,186, a Physics Score of 30,164 and a Combined Score of 3,906
5) TimeSpy EVGA 1080 Ti SC2 I have a Graphics Score of 10,271 and a CPU Score of 15,340
6) TimeSpy Extreme EVGA 1080 Ti SC2 I have a Graphics Score of 4,788 and a CPU Score of 7,564
7) Ghost Recon Wildlands benchmark 1080p everything at max FPS 86.51, CPU 23.4% (Min. 17.2% Max. 48.6%) and GPU 97%
8) 7zip Compression Average 103.106 MB/s Decompression 129.844 MB/s
The cooler I am using is the AlphaCool EisBaer 360 LT which as the name suggests has a 360 rad and I am running it with three Noctua NF-A12x25 fans.
In the following I will be giving you a step-by-step guide to configuring your Ryzen 3000 series CPU.
This is based on the BIOS in my GigaByte X570 AURUS XTREME board, but the few values that you need to change can be found in the other BIOS's from ASRock, ASUS or MSI.
The following is the step-by-step guide to configuring the system whereby you will be able to maximise the performance without running the risk of frying your CPU and you don't have to live in a ice-locker to get a result:
I have to preface this with some info that is woefully lacking in the videos or articles you may see or read.
The thing is that as opposed to Intel CPUs that you have been used to (and that I was used to) the BIOS is supplied to the motherboard manufacturers as a binary and is called AGESA.
So what you see displayed as "The BIOS" is in effect just a configuration menu for the AGESA. The problem about editing the AGESA portion found under "Settings" under the headings "AMD CBS" and "AMD Overclocking" directly is that with some of the options, if you enter a wrong value, then your system will not boot. What is worse however is that some of the settings cannot be removed with a "Clear CMOS" and your mobo is effectively bricked.
So now to configuring your BIOS:
1) Go into Easy Mode (F2) and click on "Load Optimized Defaults (F7)
a) Switch to Advanced Mode (F2)
2) Under the heading "Tweaker" do the following:
a) Go down to the bottom of the page and open "CPU/VRM Settings"
i) Set "CPU Vcore Loadline Calibration to "Turbo" (third highest value)
ii) Set "SOC Loadline Calibration" to "High" (third highest value)
iii) Set "PWM Phase Control" to "eXm Perf" (eXtreme Performance)
3) Under the heading "Setting"
a) Go to "AMD CBS"
i) Go to "XFR Enhancement"
ii) Set the FCLK Freqency to the desired value (in the case of 3600 RAM that would be 1800 MHz)
iii) Set the "UCLK DIV1 MODE" to "UCLK ==MEMCLK"
b) Go to "AMD Overclocking" under "Settings"
i) Click on "Accept"
ii) Go to "DDR and Infinity Fabric Frequency/Timings"
iii) Go to "Infinity Fabric Frequency and Dividers"
iv) Set "Infinity Fabric Frequency and Dividers" to the desired value (in the case of 3600 RAM that would be 1800 MHz).
4) Under the heading "Boot" do the following
a) Set "Full Screen LOGO Show" to "Disabled"
Of course setting the boot drive etc. should be obvious and I don't think I need to explain that.
Do NOT set anything else, like "Extreme Memory Profie(X.M.P)" for instance.
There that's you done with the BIOS part of the configuration
Boot into Windows and install "Ryzen Master".
When Ryzen Master has loaded, click on "Creator Mode" on the left hand side.
1) Make sure "Control Mode" is expanded and under that heading click on "Manual"
2) Make sure that the section "Cores Section" is expanded
a) Expand "CCD0" and "CCD1"
b) Click on the red circle on the right hand side so that it changes to what looks like a Green "X"
i) Click in the first field beside "C 01" and change the clockspeed. You should have absolutely no problems setting it to "4250". When you have done the rest of the configuration then test it and increase it (in my case it is set to 4300 and I have no problems). When you set one field, because the Green X is activated, all the other values will change to what you set.
3) Make sure "Voltage Control" is expanded
a) Set "Peak Core(s) Voltage to 1.3 Volts
4) Make sure Memory Control is expanded and that it is "Included"
a) "Coupled Mode" should be "On"
b) Set your memory clock speed (in the case of 3600 RAM it would be 1800) remember this is the data rate. Infinty Fabric runs at the data rate and RAM runs at double data rate.
5) Make sure "Voltage Contols" is expanded
Unless otherwise stated, leave the values on "Auto"
a) MEM VDDIO should be set to 1.35
b) MEM VTT should be set to 0.675
c) VDDCR SOC should be set to 1.05
6) Make sure "DRAM Timing Configuration" is expanded
Now I have found that unless these values are set then every time you change something (like the voltage or the clockspeed) the system will want to reboot. If these are set then the values are just changed and you can continue
a) Change "CAS Latency" from "Auto" and you should see the correct value for your RAM
b) Change "Row Precharge Delay" from "Auto" and you should see the correct value for your RAM
c) Change "Read Row-Column Delay" from "Auto" and you should see the correct value for your RAM
d) Change "Write Row-Column Delay" from "Auto" and you should see the correct value for your RAM
e) Change "Row Cycle Time" from "Auto" and you should see the correct value for your RAM
Leave everything else on "Auto" and you can configure those sub-timings at your leisure.
7) Make sure that "DRAM Controller Configuration" is expanded
a) Change "Cmd2T" from "2T" to "1T". If you have good quality RAM then it should run at 1T. If not then change this back to 2T.
Now at the bottom click on "Save Profile" and then click on "Apply & Test" and the system will reboot.
As you will see, the CPU is limited to a maximum of 1.3 Volts and essentially you are just seeing how much clockspeed you can squeeze out of those 1.3 Volts. When the system is not under load then of course the operational voltage will decrease.
Now comes the best part about the 3950X.
If you are mainly gaming, then click on a different profile "Profile 1" for instance and do exactly the same as above EXCEPT:
1) Under the heading "Additional Control" turn "Simultaneous Multithreading" to "OFF". This will run your CPU as a straight 16 Core/16 Thread CPU.
2) Under "Cores Section" make sure the red circle is a green "X" and add 100 MHz to whatever was stable running 16 Cores /32 Threads with SMT ("Simultaneous Multithreading") ON
The one problem with the GigaByte BIOS is that this is not changed and you have to go into the BIOS and
1) In the Advanced Mode go to "Tweaker"
a) Under "Advanced CPU Settings"
i) Go down to "SMT Mode"
ii) Change from "Auto" to "Disabled"
Save and exit.
If you want to go back to using 16 Cores/32 Threads just choose the "Creator Profile" and then change this value back to "Auto" again.
I know it looks like a lot, but it really isn't.
Every time you reboot the system you have to load Ryzen Master and apply the profile you want. Unfortunately there is no way as yet to automatically load a default profile, but I hope that option will be forthcoming in the future.
If you are applying the same Profile you had before you shut down then the system will not need a reboot.
After you have applied the profile you can close Ryzen Master.