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Extreme Overclocking: 10 Ryzen CPUs Under LN2

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AMD’s Ryzen processors offer a compelling price/performance ratio right out of the box. But despite their many overclocking-friendly knobs and dials, most enthusiasts struggle to take the CPUs beyond 4 GHz. Given that we know the ins and outs of extreme overclocking, though, we have a solution. It’s time to break out the liquid nitrogen!

Allow us to take you on a cryogenic journey, where we’ll explore Ryzen’s behavior when it’s cooled to -196°C. Our experiment will allow us to correlate frequency scaling to temperature, voltage, and core count. We also have some tips on hardcore modding, such as lapping (sanding smooth) the processor.

If, after reading through everything, you have questions about your own overclocking endeavors, don’t hesitate to ask them in our comments section. We’ll be keeping an eye out in order to help however possible.

Test Configuration

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We don’t want to limit our quest to just one sample, or even one model. Thanks to AMD’s generosity, we were able to get our hands on every SKU in the Ryzen family. Here’s what we have access to for today’s overclocking adventure:

  • 2x Ryzen 7 1800X
  • 1x Ryzen 7 1700X
  • 3x Ryzen 7 1700
  • 1x Ryzen 5 1600X
  • 1x Ryzen 5 1600
  • 1x Ryzen 5 1500X
  • 1x Ryzen 5 1400

The processors used for this test are different than the chips used for our previous article on overclocking with air and water cooling. Therefore, we expect to see different results.

In the interest of truly torturing these CPUs, we surrounded ourselves with some of the best hardware available for testing:

The motherboard we’re using is Asus’ Crosshair VI Hero, equipped to facilitate extreme overclocking. The only feature it’s missing is a second BIOS, which could have come in useful for recovering from a corrupted configuration.

This ROG-series motherboard is armed with two sticks of G.Skill Flare X DDR4 memory. These modules were specially developed for Ryzen. Furthermore, they are equipped with Samsung B-die ICs, known for their overclocking headroom.

Last of all, we use a Cooler Master MasterWatt Maker 1200 power supply.

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