Question Total OC Noob

ceponatia

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Hi everyone! I've been building PC's since the 90's but the idea of overclocking always terrified me. I kept hearing horror stories from (admittedly inept) friends who melted their computers and so on. I've recently become very interested in performance gaming PC's and have a better income to allow it. I can't afford top of the line stuff so I'm looking to push the mid range. I know that these days it's far less dangerous and expensive to do so but I'm a bit lost on where to start. I have read a few blog posts and watched a few videos (Linus Tech Tips etc) but am looking for advice more specific to my setup.

I have a brand new Ryzen 7 2700 on an ASUS ROG B450-F (I hate it but it's what I have for now) with 16GB DDR4, a Samsung 500GB SATA SSD and a Samsung V-NAND 970 Evo Plus M.2. GPU is Radeon rx 580 8GB fatboy. Less relevant: Sound Blaster Z and BrosTrend AC1200 wifi adapter as the ROG B450-F does not have onboard wifi and I don't have ethernet running to my room.

I think that's everything.

All fans are stock. I should mention my case as it has a fair amount of cooling... it's a Rosewill ATX full tower as my old case couldn't fit my board.
It has 3 fans up front and one in the rear. PSU is 650w but I can easily upgrade that if need be.

I know this was long... don't really know everything people would need to know in order to give me advice. I'm more than happy to provide any other info. The advice I'm mainly looking for is what kind of cooling should I add that isn't cost prohibitive (probably can't even fit liquid cooling in this case it's already a mess inside) and just some basic pointers for OC. I can learn all the deep tech stuff on my own, not looking for a personal course on electrical engineering, but basic stuff please. :)
 
Go check a few how-to's...here's one to start:

https://www.tweaktown.com/guides/8703/ryzen-2000-series-overclocking-guide/index3.html

I'd also suggest getting started with AMD's overclocking software: RyzenMaster. You can DL it from their website. Advantages are: it comes with an overclocking guide written by AMD (so you know it's going to give safe guidelines) and it works from within windows.

Working within windows means you can make changes to overclock processor (multiplier and VCore) you don't have to restart Windows. Just make the changes and they 'take' immediately.

If you make some other changes-- like clock speed changes to memory or disabling cores or multi-threading-- it will ask to restart Windows.
 
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ceponatia

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Hmm I'm using RyzenMaster and reading the AMD guide but my software doesn't look like anything I'm seeing online and no matter what I do I can't seem to edit any of the fields. Am I doing something wrong?
 

DavidM012

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Don't overclock with ryzen master overclock manually by increasing the clock multiplier in bios. Get to know your bios. Don't be noob. about it.

Over clocking is relatively straightforward as long as you take the requisite precautions with a large cooler and a high quality psu like a seasonic or evga and you also understand that the combined power draw of your cpu and gpu under load doesn't exceed the rated wattage of your psu. Poor quality psu's may simply fail under a load. And insufficient cooling can dmg cpu, as well as over volting. You need to check the safe voltage and recommended temp. limit for each cpu and never exceed it.

You should search the model name and number of your PSU for over clocking recommends or not. Besides that the vrm setup on the motherboard needs a quick assessment to ensure it's suited for overclocking. Since you will be increasing the voltage of the cpu it will pull higher than default watts and that means it will also output more waste heat.

Things can get complex to an extent since no standard or entry level cooler will be able to handle it particularly well. Depending on the size of the chassis and/or preferences you might like a massive air cooler like the nh-d15 or a aio water loop like the kraken 62, or a custom water loop that cools only the cpu or also includes gpu water cooling. depending one the cpu you want to overclock. Ryzens are lower tdp but still require a good cooler for over clocking. A large air cooler is sufficient for Ryzen and that all depends on your liking whether you want rgb as well and the size of chassis you're trying to fit.

If you shift to a water cooler you'll want to add a fan to huff directly on the vrm area to replace the air flow from an air cooler. Also a few chassis fans to promote airflow.

It boils down to what you can get to fit into your chassis that can be a pain or straightforward depending on what components you select.

Since you will be buying premium components you need to assess whether the over clock is getting you much above default speeds I don't think there are any free mhz to be had but you can eke about 10% more out of your cpu which can sometimes be the difference between laggy frame rates or not so much. There's a premium to pay for over clocking not on the cpu but on the cooler, psu and chassis if you need one to fit things really tidily.

The next gen. of cpu will usually exceed the over clock of the previous generation at default speed and power levels so it all depends on what you pay for the cooling rig + psu + chassis vs. the next gen. of cpu. It's always good to have a quality psu for the extra reliability and longevity and you can skimp on the chassis sometimes if you don't mind leaving side panels off or making do with resting an aio on top of the chassis if it doesn't quite fit. If you're a neat freak you'll pay more to stuff a large water cooler or custom loop all into a very nice mid tower.

I can get a water cooler into a $40 chassis with the side panels on but I tend to leave them off because there's always something to do or experiment with on my rig.

Never recommend overclocking software as it often sets the cpu voltage too high it's not at all difficult to increase the clock multiplier in the bios and the vCore as long as you understand that it's increasing the power draw and thermal load on the psu and heatsink and you have enough psu and cooler to handle it.

Don't go BLAM and try and hit the max overclock. You have to test each stage for stability with benchmarking software and prime 95 version 26.6 torture stress test to ensure max, load does not exceed target cpu temperature with cooler. so you increase your clock spd. by 0.1ghz from 3.6 to 3.7 across all cores then you run your stress test and then you go to 3.8 and run your stress test. etc. to keep your temps good. and also monitor voltages with something like HWINFO.

As long as the cooler and psu are adequate (and the psu isn't faulty) then things should be absolutely fine. You need the premium parts for that reliability. A decent cooler, PSU and motherboard with ryzen should easily hit 4.2ghz but it's not free you pay extra for the premium components. And you can't skip intermediate testing. You'll have to sit there running the stress test at max load for a few hours to see if there are any errors. Why? Because when you're gaming or putting the psu & cpu under a load and not monitoring temps or running too hot you won't know what happened if it suddenly shuts down under a load.

Since a stress test will exceed the load of normal usage it will reasonably establish that the system is ok and stable to use over clocked.

Some also overclock their memory on ryzen but personally I'd prefer to simply buy a dimm of the rated speed anyway and use xmp. Over clocking memory and cpu at the same time is more hassle than I'm interested in for all the amount of error testing you'd have to do. There might be a saving to be had but it's probably pennies rather than pounds. Also mixing ddr 4 memory or using cheaper lower rated dimms and over clocking with ddr 4 is an arcane art. You don't have a box of free dimms to try out you only have one shot to buy the right memory for it to be economical so you will have to read a lot of reviews + the qvl for the board you are over-clocking with. And Ryzen won't love you for skimping on the memory.

If you can get your sums to add up after all that maybe it's worth a go at over-clocking for a bit more fps, nothing lost in having a decent psu that will last for years rather than blow out the day after the warranty expires, it's not economical if the psu fails and also damages the system. If you can get parts on sale then maybe you're getting some value for money.
 
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ceponatia

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You may be in the Current Mode tab...that just displays what the (umhmm) Current mode is doing.

Go to Creator Mode tab to make some changes. Be sure to also click 'apply' at top.

Here's a youtube that may help...

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IS0ogbzbPl8


but read that guide too. lots of good stuff there.
You're right that did it. Still looks different from what's in the manual but it's probably just a different version. Great video, thank you!
 

ceponatia

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Don't overclock with ryzen master overclock manually by increasing the clock multiplier in bios. Get to know your bios. Don't be noob. about it...
Thank you for this in depth post! I am definitely going to look into a better PSU and see what cooling I can fit in before I start messing with it as I want to OC my GPU as well.
 
You're right that did it. Still looks different from what's in the manual but it's probably just a different version. Great video, thank you!
The good thing about doing it in windows is you can monitor the effects 'real time'. This gives you a good feel for what your overclocking changes are actually doing to the system.

To do that, you'll need something that puts a meaningful load on the CPU: get Cinebench 20 from the Windows store. It's a benchmark but it will also run near infinite loops of the benchmark to make a good stress test too.

Then, to monitor voltages and temperatures ACCURATELY get HWInfo64. There are going to be two primary Core voltage readings to watch: 'Vcore' and 'CPU CoreVolts (STI2 TFN)'. The difference is where they are measured: the one that matters most is STI2 as that is the voltage inside the CPU. 'Vcore' is measured by the on-board monitoring chip and you don't really know where that is.

For core temps the only one that matters is 'TDie'. For a 2700 it will be TDIE/TCtl in HWInfo since they are the same on that CPU.

Make changes in RyzenMaster, watch the voltage changes and temp changes both under load (CineBench running) and at idle. That way, when you want to replicate things in BIOS it will be easier.

Overclocking in BIOS can mean endless boots/reboots and lockups that make you run scandisk. A time wasting process and more than a little frightening if you're not used to overclocking at all.
 
And oh yeah...a 650W PSU should be adequate for overclocking a 2700 with an RX480/580/590, even overclocked. But if it's a Rosewill branded PSU (came with the case?) you might should look to upgrading anyway.

You defo should look to upgrading cooling. Stock cooling is good on Ryzens, but you can still only overclock a moderate amount on Wraithes. That shouldn't stop you from experimenting though. Just don't expect to have decent temps on long duration all-core stress tests.
 

DavidM012

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I prefer overclocking in bios and it is as straightforward as increasing the clock multiplier and vCore, there might be a few other settings to tweak to check that you can probably find a youtube video or review for your board. But you shouldn't simply copy the settings of others. Use it for information only, less of a guide. Any turbo modes will need to be switched off.

You simply need to increase the clock multiplier for 0.1 ghz increments and test each stage. When you get errors in p95 you'll have to reboot and increase the vCore by 0.01v or maybe there's an offset with a small 0.005 increment and that's about it. Increase and test in increments 'til the error disappears. Things vary between different bioses and amd and intel builds but the principles are the same.

Then you test again and increase again by 0.1ghz and test again so that you know that the error is from under volting rather than over volting. Then you increase your vCore by the next small 0.01 or 0.005 increment and test again. Each stage might require several hours of stressing. So when you reach your desired speed there will have been quite a few hours put into it.

Some over clocking software has been known to either fry cpu or corrupt bios so avoid. There aren't any recommended shortcuts. Manually overclock and reboot each time you need to adjust bios settings. Use software for monitoring only.

There is llc and vDroop to think about. For a long time I simply over clocked with incremental vCore bumps but if you increase the llc a notch that might have the same effect as bumping the vCore a bit. There is a point that you should not exceed. I don't like tweaking llc as it is like opening the floodgates on the power and increases thermals on the cpu while the vCore stays static but sometimes it will overclock higher with the llc higher, on a lower vCore like the accelerator on your car increases your speed, but then the faster you go the more you might crash if you haven't adequately prepped. the build with a decent psu, mobo and cooler. Don't bump the vCore and LLC at the same time. Again you have to take this in one at a time steps, reboot, stress, test, monitor temps and make sure it's stable at each level of clock speed.

If you set llc to the highest setting and also went to the highest 'safe' vCore right on the recommended limit then CPU would likely fry. So keep things as low as possible rather than thinking you can go full speed, full power and it will all be perfectly safe riding on the recommended limits. I don't think it is. It won't last a week or a day that way. You need to stay as far below recommended limits as possible.

There isn't much difference in power draw or heat output with higher llc and lower vCore or higher vCore and lower llc but with LLC on extreme on my board with my fx cpu the heat output is noticeably higher to the extent that I turned it down to ultra high rather than extreme. Fortunately my cpu doesn't need it on extreme. I also turned off 2 cores to get temps 13c lower to a max 42c load under prime 95. Rather than riding on 55c. Ryzen is a bit different on temps and voltages but there is no argument against keeping both as low as possible. 2 core and threads I can switch on again if I want to do a bit of cpu intensive work. I already tested it to 55c. with my overclock and I don't want to exceed that target.

LLC or load line calibration works in opposition to vDroop. vDroop causes the voltage to drop when the cpu load drops and if it drops too low then you get an error. LLC tries to cancel vDroop by keeping the voltage steady all the time. This requires more power and so generates more heat.

Just don't do anything insensible like revving the motor to the max and stay below the recommended limits rather than right on top of them. Only increase the power in the smallest increments possible and aim for the highest ghz. with the lowest vCore +llc that is stable under stress testing.

It's more a bit of forethought in planning your build. LLC + the amount of heat might not be such an issue on Ryzen since it's lower tdp but I'd still stay off the max setting for that. It shouldn't need it on full anyway.

For a gpu+cpu you will probably want a custom loop and for that you will also have to select and review each component, pump, radiator, tubing, compression couplers, reservoir, maybe colorant as well, and distilled water, all of that is pricey and more than average hassle and you'll have to get your sums right again if it's value for money that you're looking for. And it has to fit the chassis.

There are plenty of reviews and guides but don't simply copy what they did without understanding why it was done. There might also be other different products the market or newer versions that you might like. So research it all thoroughly and you'll probably wind up with a decent over clock. All look before you leap, quite simply. There's a variety of gpu blocks and a variety of cpu blocks a variety of chassis, many of which will have already been reviewed.

If you need someone to tell you what buttons to press in what order then you shouldn't be overclocking! You should pick the components you like for whatever reason I tend to prefer functionality over form. Get me wrong but I thought I was looking at the screen more than watching the colors cycle on rgb dimms or fans. I guess you could get an rgb fix without a pc if you really need one.

I built my own water loop with a motorcycle transmission cooler and currently use a bucket of water and an aquarium pump for coolant. Because I was simply interested in the scrapheap challenge aspect of it. The radiator I used was cheap bargain bin and I got a cheap cpu block and I built a cooler that is somewhat better than a 240mm aio but not quite as good as the noctua nh-d15.

None of it all fits tidily in the chassis but I don't care about that. I have a spare pump if it fails and the radiator is nowhere near the pc if it leaks it simply drips on the desk. But I glued it all up with pvc glue and secured with jubilee clips it can't leak anyway. It has to work drip free for years. With only the jubilee clips it had a leak under pressure that was almost imperceptible so I glued it as well. And it only leaked because I had pulled out all the aluminium tubing and replaced it with copper to avoid galvanic corrosion against the cpu block and I wanted copper rather than aluminium cpu block. So I had to re-do the U bends on it with pvc tubing. With a bit of glue+jubilee clips it simply can't leak at all.

All of that is totally non standard and off the pc market radar the components you buy to fit water cooling in your chassis all have reviews. Have people had problems with things like pumps and leaks, sure but that's why you need to review things and maybe ask for recommends before you buy them! You want a quiet pump with a decent operational PSi to push bubbles through the loop and a water block for your cpu with nice open flow channels that doesn't increase the pressure drop too much. Then you need enough radiator capacity to deal with gpu+cpu combined or each with their own radiator. These then have to fit within the chassis. You will then need a larger chassis to fit 2 radiators which in turn will be pricier.

What products that might be in the pc market that fit your budget and liking, that's something for you to narrow down. Yes it's more work but if that's what you want and you think it's worth it, that's all entirely your choice. You can only ultimately buy one of each item. The 'best' one is the one you like. I like the flow channel of the cpu block and the psi of the pump.

I would prefer a separate loop, pump+radiator for gpu and cpu rather than cpu and gpu on the same loop and rad. if I was going to do that, but it's an additional expense. You can do whatever you want as long as you're willing to splash the cash. Again it is far from economical if cheap naff components leak and fry system.

There is an additional layer of legwork and thought that needs to go into custom cooling. No shortcuts, only precautions.

The Toms hardware ryzen overclocking guide noted that LLC on the amd board they were using was insane at anything above 1, the lowest setting.
 
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DavidM012

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No sweat! Mostly only passing on a few tips I picked up here. I think it's best to stay in control of the vCore as much as possible so I use offset mode and only add a few 0.005 increments in each step & also take note of what the vCore is at various LLC levels and clock speeds so that it doesn't exceed the value that I want. Once I've found the vCore by testing I try to keep it there by a couple of settings (that will be different in your bios anyway) like cpu current control & so on, and stay off the highest settings, and rather than leaving things on auto where it might increase more than I want dynamically.

Also you need some sort of monitoring to alert you if a pump or fan has failed, should have halt on cpu fan error! built into the bios & I guess there must be some way to set temperature threshholds in the bios or some software rather so it trips if too hot and shuts down. I don't think there's huge problems as long as you monitor things and generally stay at the lowest temps. and volts you can for your overclock, with a good distance from the recommended limit.

Things to watch out for is when ambient temps. rise in the summer so you might have to re-tune things a bit as the idle temp. will be higher on the warmest days.

Also you will need a fan to huff on the vrm area if I didn't mention that, to replace the air flow from an air cooler. There isn't a convenient mount point for that, but you could use a couple of L-shaped brackets to mount one in the top corner, where the back exhaust fan would go, so it blows down over the vrm heatsink, or else, I simply rest a 120mm fan on the back of the gpu.

Should all be quite straightforward, it's just being aware of the issues, and taking the precautions that makes all the difference.
 

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