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Extreme Overclocking: 10 Ryzen CPUs Under LN2

Overclocking: Air Vs. LN2

Before wrapping up, we wanted to see if there was a strong correlation between a processor's maximum frequency with liquid nitrogen cooling and what it is capable of with air cooling. This has significant appeal: why bother spending precious time and an enormous quantity of LN2? It could be sufficient to pre-select the best processors based on their performance under air cooling, and then test only the best contenders using liquid nitrogen cooling.

So we revisited our 10 Ryzen CPUs and found the maximum frequency of each at 1.35V. The table below allows us to make a comparison between the room temperature results and those with liquid nitrogen.

SampleDate of FabricationMax Freq. @ 1.35V (MHz)Max Freq. @ -196°C (MHz)Ideal Voltage @-196°C (V)
Ryzen 7 1800X #11703PGT405053201.85
Ryzen 7 1800X #21711SUT402552201.85
Ryzen 7 1700X1711PGS397551701.85
Ryzen 7 1700 #11713PGT390050501.85
Ryzen 7 1700 #21709PGT390051201.85
Ryzen 7 1700 #31713PGT392551501.94
Ryzen 5 1600X1711SUT397552501.85
Ryzen 5 16001713SUT390050751.92
Ryzen 5 1500X1712SUT385050301.85
Ryzen 5 14001714SUT390050001.8
  • At the top of the table, the 1800X CPUs dominate with air, just as they did in our LN2 tests. It seems like a processor capable of passing Cinebench R15 at 4 GHz with air cooling could be able to do 5.2+ GHz under the influence of LN2. The difference between our first and second samples is nevertheless more pronounced with liquid nitrogen than cooling at room temperatures.
  • The 1700X tends to reinforce our observation; it finishes just below the 4 GHz mark with air, and just below 5.2 GHz with LN2.
  • The same observation applies to our 1700s. The best with air cooling is also the best with LN2, but an important variable also comes into play: ease of use. Our notes show that these processors gave us a hard time. The samples that struggled under LN2 cooling were problematic under air, too.
  • Looking back at the Ryzen 5 CPUs, we could say that a processor able to hold 3.9 GHz at ambient should be capable of benching at around 5.1 GHz. Obviously, these numbers aren't always exact, but they do illustrate a trend. This pattern seems to prove correct with the exception of Ryzen 5 1400, which should have been able to reach a higher frequency with LN2. It may have, too, had it not stopped progressing before 1.8V.


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  • InvalidError
    It isn't surprising that the highest-end CPUs have the highest and least troublesome overclocks as that's what chip binning is for - the best dies go to the premium SKUs first, lower tiers get what is left over.
    Reply
  • Yuka
    19937674 said:
    It isn't surprising that the highest-end CPUs have the highest and least troublesome overclocks as that's what chip binning is for - the best dies go to the premium SKUs first, lower tiers get what is left over.

    Even more, it's very interesting since it gives some credibility that AMD is not binning due to defects, but electrical properties, hence, making the rumour mill of being able to unlock some 4C and 6C to higher core counts not that far-fetched.

    Cheers!
    Reply
  • Wisecracker
    Très bon!
    (hope I used this correctly)

    Just wondering ... would it be considered a 'faux pas' (or, an insult to AMD) to release the batch numbers?

    Reply
  • theyeti87
    19937697 said:
    19937674 said:
    It isn't surprising that the highest-end CPUs have the highest and least troublesome overclocks as that's what chip binning is for - the best dies go to the premium SKUs first, lower tiers get what is left over.

    Even more, it's very interesting since it gives some credibility that AMD is not binning due to defects, but electrical properties, hence, making the rumour mill of being able to unlock some 4C and 6C to higher core counts not that far-fetched.

    Cheers!

    Wasn't that a similar case with the Phenom X4, X3, and X2's? Or were those 3's and 2's disabled cores due to defect?
    Reply
  • Yuka
    19937706 said:
    19937697 said:
    19937674 said:
    It isn't surprising that the highest-end CPUs have the highest and least troublesome overclocks as that's what chip binning is for - the best dies go to the premium SKUs first, lower tiers get what is left over.

    Even more, it's very interesting since it gives some credibility that AMD is not binning due to defects, but electrical properties, hence, making the rumour mill of being able to unlock some 4C and 6C to higher core counts not that far-fetched.

    Cheers!

    Wasn't that a similar case with the Phenom X4, X3, and X2's? Or were those 3's and 2's disabled cores due to defect?

    They were a mix of both. If you were lucky (and could track down some of the batches) you were able to unlock the CPU with little worry, but there were defective ones that when unlocked, would not work. I came across both myself.

    To be honest, I just catalog it as "interesting", because I will pay the difference to always get the full working version, but I do know there's people out there that like gambling and can track batch numbers :P

    Cheers!
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    19937697 said:
    Even more, it's very interesting since it gives some credibility that AMD is not binning due to defects, but electrical properties
    The relatively low defect rate has been a given since launch IMO: half of each CPU core is L2 cache and half of the CCX die area is the L3, so you have a 50% chance that defects within a CCX will land in L3. If the defect rate had been significant, cache defects would have forced AMD to launch models with 8MB of L3 long before the 1400.
    Reply
  • Yuka
    19937880 said:
    19937697 said:
    Even more, it's very interesting since it gives some credibility that AMD is not binning due to defects, but electrical properties
    The relatively low defect rate has been a given since launch IMO: half of each CPU core is L2 cache and half of the CCX die area is the L3, so you have a 50% chance that defects within a CCX will land in L3. If the defect rate had been significant, cache defects would have forced AMD to launch models with 8MB of L3 long before the 1400.

    True. It's just nice to have more non-validated statistical-irrelevant proof! Haha.

    Cheers! :P
    Reply
  • Gregory_3
    This is all kind of cute, but the real market success will be played out in conventional liquid cooled and air cooled environments. Nobody is going be running high end software with condensation dripping all over.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    19938043 said:
    Nobody is going be running high end software with condensation dripping all over.
    There wouldn't be condensation issues if OCers used the nitrogen gas boiling out of the pot to displace air and the moisture it contains around the motherboard to keep it off of it. Instead of circulating the boil-off around the motherboard though, LN2 OCers use fans to suck it away, drawing more moisture-ladden air in the area.
    Reply
  • gasaraki
    "It isn't surprising that the highest-end CPUs have the highest and least troublesome overclocks as that's what chip binning is for - the best dies go to the premium SKUs first, lower tiers get what is left over."

    While it might not be surprising, it shows the immaturity of the Ryzen processors in that the build quality is not the same between different CPUs or even CCXes and binning is what they do for the lower cored versions. If your build process was mature ALL your chips would come out mostly the same and "awesome" then at that point your forced to just shutdown cores to make the lower cored processors.
    Reply