Free 'Project Hydra' Overclocking Tool for Ryzen 5000 Now Available for Download

Project Hydra
(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Overclocking program Project Hydra is now available to download through Igor's Lab. Yuri Bubliy (@1usmus), creator of the Ryzen DRAM calculator and ClockTuner for Ryzen overclocking software, designed Project Hydra to wring out as much performance as possible from AMD's Zen 3 processors. That's accomplished through custom profiles, extensive customization of core voltages, core frequencies, and more, all of which you can now download for free. 

The project began earlier this year to provide Ryzen 5000 series owners with a tool that gives them unprecedented control over Ryzen's core and voltage-boosting behavior. The tool effectively replaces AMD's boosting algorithm built into Ryzen 5000 processors. The new profile can then be tweaked and adjusted as necessary to provide higher core frequencies and/or lower CPU voltages depending on your needs.

This profile provides the CPU with several voltage and clock speed profiles designed for any workload, whether they be single-threaded, multi-threaded, idle, or AVX. You can also add more profiles and tweak them, if necessary.

Project Hydra is also designed to be as safe as possible to use, with recommended voltages similar to AMD's default voltages used on its Ryzen processors. 1usmus notes that overvolting Ryzen 5000 is not optimal, as nearly all of its overclocking headroom is achieved at default settings.

Basically, you can think of Project Hydra as a tweakable auto-overclocking program that replaces your Ryzen 5000 CPU's boosting algorithm with a tunable framework.

Currently, there are two versions of Project Hydra — one is freeware, and the other is a paid version with more features. The Pro version adds extra features such as auto-check updates, manual FFT and VID manipulation for Core CO and CCD testing, and more. However, 1usmus says that roughly half of Ryzen processors won't benefit from the Pro version, so it's not absolutely necessary to buy the software unless you know you can use the extra features.

We must caution that all adjustments that take a Ryzen processor outside of its stock settings will void the warranty, including if you use AMD's own Ryzen Master overclocking software. As such, proceed with caution and at your own risk when you use any type of software that modifies those parameters.

Project Hydra has many more features than covered here. For more details, head over to Igor's Lab's post here, where he and 1usmus explain the capabilities of the overclocking software in-depth.

Aaron Klotz
Freelance News Writer

Aaron Klotz is a freelance writer for Tom’s Hardware US, covering news topics related to computer hardware such as CPUs, and graphics cards.

  • brandonjclark
    Is there anything like this for Intel?
  • TechyInAZ
    There is not no, because its not necessary. The only reason Project Hydra exists is due to AMD's own auto boosting algorithm which is quite restrictive, and manually overclocking AMD CPUs hinders overclocking headroom.

    Intel does not have either of these problems.
  • TJ Hooker
    Intel does have an auto OC tool, Intel Performance Maximizer
    Seems to be roughly the same idea as this AMD tool (except developed by the CPU maker rather than a 3rd party). Don't think it's been updated to work with alder lake though.
  • 8rdpsn
    I just tired it and maybe there is something beneficial here but the tool is far from being user friendly. I am writing this here because there s no way to reach the author of that utility without paying a monthly subscription which is BONKERs! imo.

    I tested the free 1.0F version.

    Before testing, i did not reset my settings in bios.
    I was using PBO default limits and +200mhz max freq. ,BUT the thermal limit 82c and curve optimizer at -15 all cores.

    My room temp was 35c and i had tower cooler (as500 plus ) at may be lower than 40db noise
    I was getting decent performance with these and CB23 score 26500.

    Before getting this utility to do the "automated" tuning, i had to create a separate local windows user account and set the login procedure to auto through searching "netplwiz" of windows.

    After running the diagnostic process with the utility, my performance was 10% lower.
    comparison chart before and after!39760&authkey=AArWbSrG-QpKNjA

    I will have to re-run the diagnostics as i am told that this tool does not check if the bios values are correctly set before diagnosing...

    Overall , it s too early to say how beneficial it is for me but IT S DEFINITELY not a "one click" automation AT ALL...
    IDK really... if a tool has a "1.0" version near it, it should have been able to detect if the current settings are set correctly in bios (like CO settings, LLCs etc...) before doing anything with them.

    Also the documentation lacks anything related to how the tool can auto-tune since , any basic windows user will have to type in the login info each time the machine crashes. and the process took almost 4 hrs on the 5950x due to core count.