OC: Ryzen 5 1600X & 1600
We have two processors endowed with six cores and two others with four. Which one will overclock the best? Now's the time to place your bets.
Ryzen 5 1600X: 5250 MHz
During our air cooling tests, the 1600X wouldn't cooperate. Bugs kept popping up and holding back the frequency. We assumed things would get worse once we introduced LN2. In the end, while our sample didn't have any issues with liquid nitrogen cooling specifically, it still proved difficult to get running.
At this point, it's pretty safe to conclude that you never know what you're going to get. The behavior of these processors is much too variable from one to the next, even among identical models.
After spending two hours with LN2, we only saw Windows twice. Two times in as many hours is a poor showing, to say the least, which explains the absence of a score.
We hit 5.1 GHz at 1.7V, and even saw 5250 MHz once at 1.85V. The cores are pretty good, but far from Der8auer's diamond in the rough that exceeds 5.4 GHz. Still, the clock rate we recorded was good enough to land second-highest for a Ryzen 5.
For reasons pertaining to our mental health, we didn't bother trying to squeeze any more performance from the processor's memory controller.
At the end of this chip's trials, as we were removing the cooling pot, our Ryzen 5 1600X got stuck to the bottom and was pulled from its socket. This isn't the first time we've seen that. Either the socket doesn't grip tightly enough, or the thermal paste has too much suction. Fortunately, nothing was damaged.
R5 1600: 5075 MHz
Unlike the six-core chips we just finished testing, our 1600 didn't suffer any show-stopping bugs. Whether it be air or LN2 cooling, its behavior is normal. This processor loves high core voltages and exhibits progression up to 1.92V. With that said, it's not a great performer, plateauing at 5075 MHz. The IMC is nothing exceptional; we timidly reached 3000 MT/s at CAS 12, but were stable around 2800 MT/s for our memory-intensive benchmarks.
This doesn't mean that all 1600s will behave this way. We'd guess that fewer active cores would enable higher maximum clock rates. But that doesn't prove to be the case today.
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