SkatterBencher #9: AMD Ryzen 7 1700 Overclocked to 4000 MHz

skatterbencher #9

We overclock the AMD Ryzen 7 1700 processor up to 4000 MHz with the ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero motherboard and AIO water cooling.

Welcome to the ninth episode of our SkatterBencher series. This time we’re taking a look at the Ryzen 7 1700 processor, the most affordable member of the Ryzen 7 series which we first looked at in episode #8 with the Ryzen 7 1800X. The Ryzen 7 1700 retails for around $329 USD, an attractive price for an octa-core processor, especially one which can be overclocked. As always we’re going to show step-by-step how to configure the processor and the system memory to get that extra free performance. Then, we’ll run some benchmarks to see how much the performance has improved compared to stock settings.

AMD Ryzen 7 1700: Platform Overview

As well as the AMD Ryzen 7 1700 processor, in this guide we will also be using the ROG Crosshair VI Hero motherboard from ASUS and a G.SKILL Trident Z DDR4 memory kit. The AMD Ryzen 7 1700 processor is an octa-core chip that uses SMT (Simultaneous Multi-Threading) to deliver 16 threads. It has a base clock frequency of 3.0GHz which can boost as high as 3.7GHz.Unlike the Ryzen 7 1800X, the 1700 processor does not feature XFR (Extended Frequency Rate).

The default memory frequency for AMD Ryzen processors is DDR4 2,133MHz, however memory ratios of up to DDR4 3200 are available in certain instances. Today we aim to push our system memory frequency to DDR4-3000, a configuration which should be possible using a pair of single ranked 16GB DDR4 DIMMs. A key parameter to consider when overclocking memory is the somewhat enigmatic Memory Fabric. This connects CPU cores with available cache and the IMC (integrated memory controller). Using Intel terminology we can perhaps describe Memory Fabric settings as being similar to Ring frequency. Also, note that XMP is not available on AMD platforms, being exclusive to Intel platforms.

Here’s a comprehensive list of the hardware involved in today’s testing:

  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 1700
  • Motherboard: ASUS ROG Crosshair VI Hero
  • RAM: 32GB G.SKILL Trident Z DDR4 Kit (F4-3200C14Q-32GTZSW)
  • CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Nepton 280L AiO

The cost of the components outlined above is around $800 USD.

Benchmarking Software

Here’s a list of the benchmarks and software utilities used in this guide, including download links:

AMD Ryzen 7 1700: Stock Performance

Before we get started with pushing the performance of the AMD Ryzen 7 1700 processor, let’s first take a look at the scoring at stock settings:

  • Y Cruncher 1B: 1m 20sec
  • HWBOT x265 1080P: 34.92 FPS
  • Geekbench 3 Single Core: 4,055 points
  • Geekbench 4 Multi Core: 27,575 points
  • Resident Evil VI: 17,197 points

Step 1: CPU Overclocking

The first step in the process of overclocking the CPU is to go into the motherboard BIOS. Hold down delete as the system boots and then navigate your way to the ‘Extreme Tweaker’ section of the BIOS – this is where you will find all the settings needed to tune and overclock several aspects of your system, including both CPU and memory.

First we make sure that the ‘Ai Overclock Tuner’ settings is set to ‘Auto’, then in the ‘CPU Core Ratio’ field we set the target to 40.00. Further down the menu you will find the ‘CPU Core Voltage’ section, set this to ‘Manual Mode’, then in the ‘CPU Core Voltage Override’ section set the voltage to ‘1.35 volts’. Press F10 to save settings, reboot and enter the operating system.

Once we have entered the OS, we can see that the CPU has been pushed from its stock setting of 3,000MHz (or 3GHz) to 4,075MHz, an increase of 35.83% (note: to check system settings after implementing a new configuration, use an application such as CPU-Z). To see how much impact this frequency boost has had, we run our benchmarks again. Check out the percentage score changes for each benchmark below.

  • Y Cruncher 1B: +24%
  • HWBOT x265 1080P: +23%
  • Geekbench 3 Single Core: +7%
  • Geekbench 4 Multi Core: +22%
  • Resident Evil VI: +14%

As you can see from the numbers above, the increase in CPU frequency has indeed improved our scores. This is especially true of the Y Cruncher 1B and HWBOT x265 1080p tests which have clearly benefitted from the higher clock speeds of the Ryzen CPU. Let’s move on to memory overclocking.

Step 2: Memory Overclocking

Firstly, return to the BIOS and Load Optimized Default settings. Now we can begin overclocking our DDR4 memory. Now we navigate to way to ‘Ai Tuner’ and set it to ‘Manual’, then we move on to ‘Memory Frequency’ settings – configure this field at ‘DDR4-2400MHz’. Navigate to the ‘DRAM Timing Control’ section and change each of the five timings from ‘Auto’ to 13-13-13-13-26 respectively. Go back out of the ‘DRAM Timing Control’ section and check the ‘DRAM Voltage’ field. Here, configure the voltage at 1.35 volts. Press F10 to reboot, and return to the OS.

Once we are back in the OS we now find that our system memory is running at DDR4 2400, increased from default settings of DDR4 2133 (an increase of 12.5%). Let’s run the benchmarks again to see what impact these settings have had on our performance.

  • Y Cruncher 1B: +10%
  • HWBOT x265 1080P: +2%
  • Geekbench 3 Single Core: +3%
  • Geekbench 4 Multi Core: +1%
  • Resident Evil VI: +6%

Although these scores are a little less dramatic, the benchmarks do indicate better performance when using a higher DDR4 frequency.

Step 3: CPU and Memory Overclocking Combined

Now we are ready to apply both CPU and memory overclocks. Repeat the steps outlined in Step 1 to implement the CPU overclock. Then Press F10, and reboot into the OS. Now we have our CPU at 4,075MHz and the DDR4 memory set to 2,400MHz. Let’s see how this has improved performance.

  • Y Cruncher 1B: +29%
  • HWBOT x265 1080P: +26%
  • Geekbench 3 Single Core: +9%
  • Geekbench 4 Multi Core: +23%
  • Resident Evil VI: +20%

CPU and memory overclock is clearly giving us the best scores so far. Let’s go ahead and try to push the memory further by using a higher Reference Clock.

Step 4: Reference Clock Overclocking

Here are the settings used in this final step; CPU Core Ratio = 32, CPU Core Voltage = 1.35, Memory Frequency = DDR4-2400MHz, DRAM Voltage = 1.35. We also use the same memory timings (13-13-13-26). We can now configure the ‘BCLK Frequency’ settings, which we set to 125.00. Then configure the ‘CPU SOC Voltage’ to ‘Manual’ and set the ‘VDDSOC Voltage Override’ to 1.2 volts. Note that because we are using a higher reference clock of 125, we need to use a lower the CPU Core Ratio to 32.00. This allows the CPU to remain at 4GHz CPU (i.e. 32 x 125 = 4,000). Crucially however, the higher reference clock also allows us to reach a higher DDR4-3000 memory speed.

Press F10, reboot and return to the OS. Now we can reassess our benchmark scores.

  • Y Cruncher 1B: +35%
  • HWBOT x265 1080P: +28%
  • Geekbench 3 Single Core: +12%
  • Geekbench 4 Multi Core: +28%
  • Resident Evil VI: +26%

As you can see the scores using the higher reference clock, and a DDR4-3000 configuration has resulted in the best scores across all five benchmarks.

Thanks for joining us for SkatterBencher#9. Make sure you check out our YouTube channel where you will find many more video guides that show you how to get the most out of your system with the minimum amount of fuss.

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