AMD Ryzen 7 1700X: Overclocking on Water

So as I’ve mentioned a while back, I have a Deepcool “GamerStorm” Captain 360 EX now added to Flammenwerfer. Seeing as it has three 120mm fans on the radiator with the sole purpose of removing heat, it would be simply rude not to overclock the 1700X. I mean – free performance? Sign me up 😀

At stock settings the CPU barely reaches 45 degrees C – and scores ~15000 in PerformanceTest:

At 3.825 GHz (my daily OC) I get just shy of ~16,000:

And at the highest I was able to push the CPU at 4GHz I got about 16,400:

I have found 3.825GHz to be the sweet spot for my daily needs – at this frequency I can run at 1.30 V with perfect stability. As I started to push the frequency past this point, the voltage required seems to jump up significantly. Below is a table of what I noticed:

  • Stock (3.4GHz) – ~1.25V
  • 3.7 GHz – 1.25V
  • 3.825 GHz – 1.30V
  • 3.9 GHz – 1.4V
  • 4.0 GHz – 1.45V

3.9 and 4 GHz were only achieved with some pretty hefty LLC (Load-Line Calibration) enabled (this boosts the voltage to the CPU to help counteract voltage drop under load) – this ramps up CPU and especially VRM temperatures quite a bit. With the fans set to 100% they will spin at ~1800 RPM (AKA loud as heck) and this does keep the CPU and VRM comfortable (about 70 for the CPU and 80 for the VRM). For daily use though its a bit too loud.

ASRock’s latest BIOS revisions seem to have much, much better fan control options. I’ve slightly customised the “Quiet” preset to have a slower fan speed at idle (since it wasn’t quiet enough) and to spin the fans up when things warm up. At 3.825 GHz @ 1.3V the CPU stays frosty and the VRM hovers around the 90 degC range (perfectly acceptable when they are designed to reach 125 degC!).

The fans reach about 1000 RPM at the very most – at this speed they are audible but the H440 does a good job of keeping the noise down. The pump runs at about 2300 RPM and is very quiet – it can’t be heard over anything else in the system.

To get 4.0 GHz I ran the fans at 100% – the temperatures were still great but it was that VCore of 1.45V I had to set for it to be stable (even then it would occasionally crash) and it took heavy LLC to get benchmarks to run. I was seeing 1.46-1.47V being applied which is far too much for daily use – long term operation at those voltages degrades the chip to the point where it needs more and more voltage to reach higher clocks. It’s not worth it for me to go to such extremes over the sake of 175 MHz.

Ultimately the Captain 360 EX is the star of the show here – this cooler is totally overkill for this chip but it gets the job done with the fans set to low speeds. Ryzen 7 when overclocked is an absolute powerhouse, but ultimately I feel the same as many other critics do – I wish we were able to reach 4GHz+ like in the Bulldozer/Piledriver days. It seems now we are back to how Phenom II used to behave – 4GHz just needs too much.

2017 has been the most interesting year for PC tech in a long time
An addition to the family

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