OC: Ryzen 7 1700X & 1700
Ryzen 7 1700X: 5310 MHz
Our overclocking approach didn't change for AMD's Ryzen 7 1700X. The cores in this specimen aren't that great, but they aren't bad either.
Just for giggles, we again tried for some records and ended up taking first place in all of the benchmarks we ran except for SuperPi 32M, which requires a lot of optimization. Sadly, we didn't have enough time to spend hours tuning for each metric. There are a lot more CPUs to get through!
What we have, then, is an average CPU that's easy to benchmark and fairly comparable to our 1800X samples.
Curiously, the scores we obtained in Wprime 32M are systematically very poor on all of our eight-core processors, and we can't explain why. Some overclockers see times between four and five seconds, while others dip under three seconds. While differences from one system to another are normal, the deltas shouldn't be 100%.
Ryzen 7 1700: 5150 MHz And Major Bugs
While we were testing our first Ryzen 7 1700, our friend Niuulh was testing a second sample we lent him for a competition. If you are familiar with the term poisoned chalice, this inadvertently became one in every sense.
We started by overclocking with air cooling, and quickly hit a brick wall. In the first minutes of our effort, the processor was stuck at 1550 MHz. Obviously something was wrong, since the chip's stock clock rate is higher than that.
And yet, the BIOS settings were unchanged from our trials with the 1800X and 1700X. The values indicated in Asus' software even matched those we set in the BIOS. Still, the processor remained fixed at 1550 MHz.
Moving to MSI's X370 Xpower Gaming Titanium didn't solve our problem. Two CPUs, separated by 600km, were suffering the same symptoms. The motherboard didn't seem to be the cause, the operating systems were unique installations, and the overclockers were different. Without a doubt, this was a problem with our processors.
After spending many hours tweaking BIOS parameters, the only solution was to not modify the supplied voltage via the BIOS, modify the OFFSET mode, or raise the REF_CLOCK setting. Whatever was going wrong, this was not business as usual.
The problem became even more severe under LN2 cooling. Once the temperature dropped below -20°C, the processor got stuck at 1550 MHz and nothing would free it.
Since our two processors were affected identically, we came to the conclusion that Ryzen 7 1700 cannot be used with LN2 cooling. We were condemned to powering on at -20°C and dropping the temperature to -196°C after booting to Windows. When the system crashes (every four to five minutes), you have to raise the cooling pot's temperature back to -20°C with a gas heating torch and start over. This eats up a ton of time, nitrogen, and gas, and it sucks the fun right out of overclocking.
Seeing that our Roman and Indonesian friends were able to overclock Ryzen 7 1700 with LN2, we asked them how they did it. Their answer: they didn't do anything special at all.
We decided to test our last 1700, and to our surprise, it had no problems under air or LN2. There went our hypothesis. By comparing processor batches, we determined that the two problematic processors were fabricated on the same date, while the third chip was older. Could this be a manufacturing issue? For now, we don't know.
As far as maximum clock rate goes, our three samples completed Cinebench R15 at anywhere from 5050 and 5150 MHz.
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