Ultimate guide to undervolt Ryzen 5000 zen 3 CPUs (2022)

March 06, 2021

Intro

I’ve spent countless hours recently, after having built my Small Form Factor PC, researching how I could improve the performance and temps. The solution to my optimization quest was what’s known as PBO2 or Precision Boost Overdrive v2. Coming from 15 years of Mac usage all of this was new. Nevertheless it was interesting to understand how processors function, and how actually every processor comes out of the box with basic performance levels that will ensure stable operation for each user but also allow a willing user to experiment (and even AMD provides a guide to overclock using PBO2) with the goal to find out the performance limits that their processors can reach while keeping stable operations and avoiding crashes. AMD and any CPU manufacturer for that matter, are unfortunately unable to optimize each and every chip at 100% of their performance due to the time it would take since every chip, even of the same model, is different and not binned to operate at those frequencies.

(Video) Ryzen 5000 Undervolting with PBO2 – Absolutely Worth Doing

PC Specs

Case: NCase M1 13~LCPU: 5900xGPU: Asus RTX 3090 TUFMotherboard: Asus X570-iCPU Cooler: NZXT Kraken X53RAM: Corsair Vengeance 64G 3600mhzPSU: Corsair SF750 Platinum

Undervolting

First of all remember to take note about your benchmark and temp data. I personally used Cinebench R23 each time I did changes and monitored my temperatures with Ryzen Master. Below you’ll find my results (I’m only giving you my multicore stats because I forgot to note my single core results but they increased and decreased at a similar rate):

Cinebench R23 room temp 23C degrees

best undervolt: 21k multicore | cinebench temps: 67C degreesoverclock: 22.5k multicore | cinebench temps: 84C degreesstock: 19.5k multicore | cinebench temps 80C degrees

Process

  • SKIP THE FOLLOWING POINT IF DONT WANT TO POTENTIALLY SPEND DAYS TRYING TO OPTIMIZE AND REACH THE BEST SETTINGS: Begin by downloading the Ryzen Master software from AMD, once opened click on Advanced View. Here you’ll be able to view your Best and Second fastest Cores under the Cores Section tab. Write down your best performing cores (with a gold star next to them) and your second fastest cores (with a dot). If you’re able to, try to monitor which cores are most used during light load. For me, even though my best and second fastest core were 1-6-7-8 I noticed that the most used cores in light CPU load were 1-6-8-9. This will turn out useful in the undervolting process.

  • Open the BIOS and proceed to Advanced - AMD Overclock - Precision Boost Overdrive. Here input the following settings:
Precision Boost Overdrive: ADVANCEDPBO Limits: DISABLEDPBO Scalar: AutoMAX CPU PBO: 0MHzPlatform Thermal Throttle Limit: Auto
  • Once this is done proceed to Curve Optimizer, here you will have two choices based on how much work and time you want to put in the undervolting process.

    (Video) How to UNDERVOLT Ryzen 5000 series CPUs (FULL Tutorial)

    • if you skipped the first step select All Cores
    • if you wrote down all your best cores and want to find the best optimization settings select Per Core.
  • All Cores will allow you to undervolt each core at the same negative offset. I’ve personally started by doing this. Change the All Core Curve Optimizer Sign to Negative and finally change the All Core Curve Optimizer Magnitude with a level from 0 to 30. Each unit represent around 5 millivolts. Setting a level of 30 will be the best undervolting scenario however if you encounter crashes you will have to dial it down until you find a setting that works for you. Remember that its going to be easier to undervolt a cpu like the 5600x with up to -30 due to the fact that CPUs like the 5900x and 5950x are already pushed to their limits out of the box.

  • Per Core will allow you to undervolt each core individually at different negative offsets. I would use this mode only if after having attempted the All Cores setting you found out that the CPU only handles a negative offset that’s lower than you would like without encountering BSOD or WHEA crashes (such as negative 15 in my case).

In this case start by setting a Negative 13 (you can change my suggested numbers to what you think would suit your CPU best) to all the Best cores (with a gold star based on the first step), then a Negative 16 to all Second Fastest Cores (with a dot) and if you noticed another core being used regularly that wasn’t your best or second performing core set a Negative 16 to that too. Usually the cores that cause reboots are the best cores. For all other cores you can set a Negative offset of 24 if you want higher chances of stability. Or Negative 30 if you want to test more (or feel lucky). And remember I was using a 5900x, might be different for you, especially if you are using another model.

(Video) CPU Undervolting Guide | AMD Ryzen 7 5800X | Step by Step How To Guide | Ryzen 5000 Series

  • If after restarting and having used your pc for multiple hours you didn’t encounter any shutdown/crash/errors you can evaluate if you’d like to increase the Negative offset or just enjoy your undervolted pc.

  • If instead you have Blue Screen Of Death or other crashes, open the BIOS and experiment by lowering down your Negative values.

Again, every chip is different, therefore someone might be able to undervolt up of a negative 30 while other Ryzen owners might only be able to do it at negative 10 without experiencing crashes.I’ve initially attempted with a negative 23 for all cores which ended up giving me multiple crashes while I was playing Doom Eternal or while working. I’ve tried a negative 30 at some point hoping for it to work but in that scenario I would get WHEA errors and BSODs when idle or under light load.

(Video) AMD am Limit! Der XXL OC-Guide für Ryzen 5000 feat. @der8auer - 30K Abonnenten-Special 🥳

Crashes explained (credits)

Once the CPU reaches low loads it has more headroom to clock at higher frequencies without exceeding thermal thresholds, therefore it proceeds to do so. In heavy workloads that use all cores so you’ll get a nice sized boost, but the boosted clock speed for all core is still lower than the old boost speed for single core. Consequently it is running stable and within power/thermal limits. But with lighter workloads you have a lot more thermal headroom, so it pushes the single core boost higher than it would usually handle and that causes the crash.

For example, say your 5600x has a base clock of 3.7 GHz and a boost max of 4.6 GHz. Most likely it’s going to be a single core boost max of 4.6 GHz and an all-core boost max of 4.3 or 4.4 GHz. Now let’s assume that you have a pretty nice chip and it could potentially be overclocked to a max of 4.8 GHz single core while being stable. If you run through the PBO and CO settings you’re running cooler, which will allow all-core max boost to go to 4.6 GHz, a speed that we know the chip can accommodate because it is within the max boost range. But in single core you have a lot more power/thermal headroom, which could see your system trying to boost the single core to 4.8 or 4.9 GHz, depending on power/thermal conditions. If your CPU is only stable up to 4.8 GHz and it tries to boost it to 4.9 GHz because there is sufficient power/thermal headroom to do so, then you’re going to get instability and crashes just like we would in the old days of overclocking.

This is the reason why usually your system doesn’t crash while benchtesting, but on very light workloads.

(Video) Curve Optimizer - Ryzen 5000 per-core "smart" undervolting

Follow on twitter if you have questions: @joseph__to

FAQs

Can undervolting a CPU damage it? ›

While undervolting doesn't damage your CPU, overdoing it can make your system unstable (though it's easy to reverse). Overvolting, on the other hand, can damage your CPU if abused, but used carefully, can allow you to overclock your CPU to higher speeds. (We won't be covering that today.)

How do you Undervolt Ryzen processor? ›

How to UNDERVOLT Ryzen 5000 series CPUs (FULL Tutorial)

Does undervolting reduce performance? ›

Undervolting a CPU will cause a decrease in performance. It will cause the CPU to work with less power, thus decreasing the clock speeds that the CPU works at. In return this will cause the CPU to be slower and give off less heat.

Should I Undervolt my Ryzen? ›

It's always good to undervolt any processor. As long as it's still running stable and smooth. Undervolting it makes it create less heat and therefore able to hold a boosted clock speed/overclock for longer without starting to thermal throttle.

What happens if I Undervolt too much? ›

If you happen to undervolt your processor too much, your computer may experience instability, crashes, and lowered performance. Most common issues include the blue screen of death (BSOD) and freezes.

What are the cons of undervolting? ›

Con: It is possible to apply incorrect settings, and while physically your GPU may be OK, you can have poor performance as a result. If the voltage to the GPU is too low and not properly applied, it can cause instability and lower frame rates.

Does undervolting CPU reduce temperature? ›

If undervolting is done in the optimum amount, then it not only decreases the temperature and power usage but also improves the longevity of the system. So, let's learn more about undervolting a CPU and the way to do it for different CPUs.

How much power does undervolting save? ›

Yes underclocking / undervolting reduces heat and power consumption (e.g. I've cut ~35% power consumption and 20°C load temps on my Folding@Home + HTPC, but that's a better-than-average result because it has a very inefficient Phenom 9950 CPU).

Does undervolting void warranty? ›

No, undervolting the CPU will not void the warranty and is perfectly safe to do. Here is some tips: Undervolt slowly, to see how low your machine is capable of going before the system become unstable, and crashes.

Why should you Undervolt? ›

Reducing power consumption is a good reason to undervolt and this is why it's popular on laptop computers. Since it can make your battery last longer by drawing less power from it. Reducing heat is also important since it can curb thermal throttling, allowing a processor to run at higher clock speeds for longer.

Does undervolting CPU increase battery life? ›

In our experience, undervolting can deliver as much as a 20% increase in battery life, which means almost an additional 20 minutes of battery life for a laptop that typically lasts 3 hours.

Can you Undervolt and overclock at the same time? ›

No, just means that the motherboard decided to feed it a little more juice. Just run stability tests like any other overclocker if you're concerned about stability. Undervolting is fine, OC while undervolted is much like OCing at stock or anything else... eventually you run into the limit.

Is AMD a ThrottleStop? ›

ThrottleStop is only for Intel CPUs. ThrottleStop does not support any AMD CPUs.

How do I Downclock my CPU? ›

How to Turn Down CPU Speed with CPU Multiplier
  1. Turn on the computer, and press the BIOS setup key to launch BIOS.
  2. Search through the BIOS menus for the "CPU Multiplier" or "CPU Ratio" adjustment option. ...
  3. Select the "CPU Multiplier Clock" option, and change the value to the next lower numbered option. ...
  4. Save and exit BIOS.

How do I Undervolt in BIOS? ›

Find the CPU Vcore value in your BIOS and start with small decrements. Start with an offset as low as -10mV and go up to -150mV. Of course, with every adjustment, you need to boot into Windows, do a few Cinebench runs, and write down the values. Write down idle values, too, if you want.

Is undervolting GPU risky? ›

Broadly speaking, the risk that you'll damage your computer through undervolting is effectively zero. It can be distressingly easy to kill a CPU or GPU by putting too many volts through it, but the opposite should be harmless.

What does CPU undervolting do? ›

Undervolting is a process where voltage to CPU is reduced in order to reduce its energy consumption and heat without affecting performance. Note that most desktop motherboards allow tweaking CPU voltage settings in BIOS as well.

Can undervolting fix artifacts? ›

2- Underclocking your Graphics Card

Higher clock speed is one of the reasons a graphics card shows artifacts. Therefore, underclocking or running the clock at stock speed as set by the manufacturer can fix this issue.

Can you damage your GPU by underclocking? ›

Doing so shouldn't damage it in any way. If anything, underclocking the GPU might actually extend the life of your graphics card. If you notice any issues after you underclock your GPU, you can always change it to perform at its base rate.

Videos

1. How To Lower Temperature Of Ryzen Processor - The Ultimate Undervolting Guide/How To Undervolt Ryzen
(ThatDude)
2. Zen 3 Undervolting, Memory, Overclocking, And AGESA Support
(WccftechTV)
3. AMD Overclocking - Curve Optimizer Explained
(Unhinged Systems)
4. PBO, die Wahrheit durch Undervolting und festem Takt mit PES,2600X Effizienz und Leistung verbessert
(Dennis TeCheXperience)
5. AMD RYZEN PBO: bajó la TEMPERATURA de mi 5950X (video remake)
(acaele)
6. How to undervolt your CPU for cooler temps
(JayzTwoCents)

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