Question Can a CPU "break-in"?

joshjaks

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Jan 29, 2016
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Even when I'm asking this question, I'm thinking this is totally stupid. Break-in periods are usually for mechanical parts that have tolerances that adjust to each other at the very start.

However, silicon is still being affected by heat. In a sense, it could be "adjusting" since heat causes objects to expand a bit, shrinking again when cooling down.

Here's why I ask. I'm working on overclocking a Ryzen 2700X. I was testing a lower level clockspeed, and barely pulled 3.8GHz at 1.275 Vcore, Turbo LLC. I went a step higher, 3.9 GHz, and I'm back down to 1.275 Vcore, Turbo LLC. I can't get this chip to crash a stress test now!

Another difference on the tests. I was seeing the stock cooler limits when I capped out on 3.8GHz. My other cooler is an NZXT Kraken X62. I wanted to see voltage gains to go to 3.9GHz. It doesn't crash even when I lower voltage to the previous level.

Is it possible that my testing is "breaking-in" the CPU? Could it be that maybe the stock cooler was too tight, giving me issues I wasn't aware of? Is Ryzen affected so dramatically by heat, that even though the Core temps are basically the same in stress testing (~70c), that the better cooling of liquid keeps it stable at lower voltages? Any thoughts or experience would be greatly appreciated. It's an enigma to me at the moment.

UPDATE: To further test this theory, I put my Kraken X62 back on and tried my 4.2GHz clockspeed. When I first tested, I was averaging a crazy 1.56 Vcore with Extreme LLC to barely hit the stable point and just staying under the temp specifications for the chip. Last night, I easily got stable again with 1.49 Vcore average, only Turbo LLC, and temps were about 10c lower on average as a result. This is just in a matter of a few days. Never seen this before.
 
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That "Brake in period" disappeared with 8086 and it mostly means loading all components to their maximum to see if it's still stable and/or won't blow up, if cooling etc. is adequate and stuff like that. Only component that may need some brake in is TIM paste which may need some time under hot temps to spread properly and as thin as possible to enhance cooling.
Mounted under good cooling and on a half decent MB, 2700x can be OC-ed to 4.2GHz or higher, by OC-ing to 3.8 - 3.9GHz you are not doing it any favor but lowering performance comparing to letting it use PBO/XMP in automatic turbo mode.
 

joshjaks

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Jan 29, 2016
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That "Brake in period" disappeared with 8086 and it mostly means loading all components to their maximum to see if it's still stable and/or won't blow up, if cooling etc. is adequate and stuff like that. Only component that may need some brake in is TIM paste which may need some time under hot temps to spread properly and as thin as possible to enhance cooling.
Mounted under good cooling and on a half decent MB, 2700x can be OC-ed to 4.2GHz or higher, by OC-ing to 3.8 - 3.9GHz you are not doing it any favor but lowering performance comparing to letting it use PBO/XMP in automatic turbo mode.
Just to clarify, I have some personal, somewhat private at the moment, reasons for testing lower clockspeeds. I did update the post with a new test I did at my 4.2GHz manual overclock. Still saw a huge drop in needed voltage to maintain the clockspeed after just a few days. I'm having a really hard time finding an explanation other than a break-in period. =/
 

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