For a chip that is supposedly "locked," the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D (opens in new tab) seems to spend a lot of its time since release being overclocked. The latest comes from MSI's internal overclocker, TSAIK, who has managed to push the chip up to 5.14GHz using the MSI X570 Godlike motherboard. And it's that $699 motherboard that looks to be key to the latest impressive overclock.
In case you missed it, the AMD's Ryzen 7 5800X3D was released last week and is an intriguing CPU. While it isn't a slam dunk as a buying recommendation for most gamers, the underlying 3D V-Cache technology is exciting and promises good things for Zen 4 (opens in new tab), assuming that the technology appears there too. And at this point, we've got to assume that will be the case.
If there is a downside to the 5800X3D it's that it doesn't officially support any overclocking (opens in new tab). Not only is the multiplier locked, but it also doesn't support underclocking, undervolting, or any extra performance from Precision Boost Overdrive, which is AMD's own automatic overclocking technology.
The reason for this lack of overclocking support is down to that 3D V-Cache technology, which sees the L3 cache tripled by placing the cache on top of the CPU. This extra cache doesn't play nicely with higher frequencies or voltages though, with the latter forcing the chip to be limited to 1.35V as opposed to the 1.5V of other Ryzen 5000 chips.
That hasn't stopped tinkerers overclocking the chip using the base clock (BCLK) though. By upping the base clock to 104MHz, SkatterBencher managed to hit 4.74GHz with the chip (opens in new tab), complete with a YouTube video of how to do it yourself. Be warned though, overclocking using the BCLK can throw the stability of the system, as it affects other elements of your system, including RAM, USB ports, PCIe slots, SATA drives, and NVMe SSDs.
This latest overclock is a little more interesting than previous overclocks though, because not only has MSI's resident overclocking, TSAIK (opens in new tab), managed to push the chip over the 5GHz barrier (via Wccftech (opens in new tab)), but they've managed to do it while keeping the voltage down to just 1.2V. It's worth noting that this was achieved with a single 8GB stick of RAM running at 1205MHz, proving that this isn't an overclock you'd want to use on a daily basis.
There are plenty of things that are unknown about this overclock, including what the cooling setup was, but potentially more importantly, whether a new BIOS was used for the overclock. One of the beauties of working in-house at MSI is that TSAIK potentially has access to BIOS versions that we mere mortals do not. Will we see a BIOS update for the X570 Godlike that lets others hit such dizzy heights? We'll have to wait and see.
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There's also the question as to whether you should overclock the $450 chip yourself at all. Semi-accurate (opens in new tab) suggests that overclocking the chip could cause a catastrophic failure due to the bond between the CPU and the 3D V-cache breaking down when out of spec.
The post also suggests that the chip shouldn't have been released to the public in the first place, which is a strong take for sure. The underlying message that overclocking the chip could cause problems is worth listening to though, especially if you can't afford to brick a $450 CPU.
I'm sure this won't stop tinkerers pushing the Ryzen 7 5800X3D harder and harder though, and while we're unlikely to see overclocks as high as those seen by the straight Ryzen 7 5800X, which topped out at 6.1GHz, I suspect this 5.14GHz record won't stand for too long.