How to use Ryzen Mas­ter

Ryzen Mas­ter is a pow­er­ful, yet easy to use tool for over­clock­ing AMD’s pro­ces­sors, writes Thomas Ryan

PC Advisor - - CONTENTS -

The long-awaited Ryzen CPUs are fi­nally here and AMD’s new hard­ware ar­rived with help­ful soft­ware in tow. Fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of the Wat­tMan over­clock­ing tool for Radeon graphics cards, the Ryzen Mas­ter over­clock­ing tool is aimed at giv­ing you com­plete con­trol over your new Ryzen chip, al­low­ing you to push your pro­ces­sor to the bleed­ing edge of its po­ten­tial per­for­mance. Want to crank volt­age higher, fid­dle with clock speeds, mon­i­tor tem­per­a­tures, or even com­pletely dis­able some of your chip’s cores? AMD’s over­clock­ing soft­ware en­ables all that and more.

Ryzen Mas­ter di­rectly re­places AMD’s Over­Drive app. That said, it only works with AMD’s new AM4 moth­er­boards and Win­dows 10, so if you have an older AMD pro­ces­sor and moth­er­board you’ll need to use Over­Drive.

Pre­par­ing to mas­ter Ryzen

First things first, Ryzen over­clock­ing is only en­abled on moth­er­boards with the X370, X300, or B350 chipsets. As­sum­ing you have a com­pat­i­ble moth­er­board, go to the Ryzen Mas­ter land­ing page (tinyurl. com/zdrgwv6) and down­load the app to get started on the path to mas­ter­ing Ryzen. Un­like Wat­tMan, which comes bun­dled with the Radeon Set­tings tool along­side AMD’s graphics driv­ers, Ryzen Mas­ter is a stand­alone ap­pli­ca­tion. As such it has its own in­staller and desk­top icon.

In or­der for it to show you ac­cu­rate real-time graphs of volt­ages and clock speeds, you’ll need to run the HPET.bat script in the Ryzen Mas­ter in­stall folder to make sure you have HPET (High Pre­ci­sion Event Timers) en­abled in Win­dows 10. If you don’t have HPET en­abled you’ll be greeted with an er­ror mes­sage when you try to ap­ply your over­clock­ing pro­file. Af­ter run­ning the script and restart­ing your sys­tem, Ryzen Mas­ter will work nor­mally.

Win­dows up­dates may dis­able HPET, so if the app starts pop­ping up warn­ings long af­ter you’ve over­clocked your sys­tem, run the script again.

Learn­ing the art of Zen

The most im­por­tant thing to un­der­stand when you’re over­clock­ing Ryzen is that the chip has two modes of op­er­a­tion: Nor­mal Mode and OC Mode.

Chang­ing val­ues in Ryzen Mas­ter will put your chip into OC Mode, which dis­ables the Pre­ci­sion Power and Ex­tended Fre­quency Range (XFR) over­clock­ing fea­tures na­tive to Ryzen in stan­dard us­age. Our Ryzen re­view (page 54) de­tails those fea­tures and other fresh tech found in AMD’s chips.

Al­though AMD won’t guar­an­tee that your chip will reach spe­cific clock speeds, a com­pany spokesper­son told us that most Ryzen chips should be sta­ble at 4.2GHz us­ing 1.45 volts. They also sug­gested that dis­abling cores and si­mul­ta­ne­ous mul­ti­thread­ing could en­able Ryzen to reach even higher clock speeds – al­beit by sac­ri­fic­ing cores and threads. But there’s a life ex­pectancy trade-off that you’ll be mak­ing at th­ese volt­age lev­els. Ac­cord­ing to AMD’s in­ter­nal mod­el­ling, go­ing over 1.35 volts for sus­tained pe­ri­ods of time can neg­a­tively im­pact the life­span of your chip.

Us­ing saner volt­ages, early Ryzen chips mostly seem to have no prob­lem hit­ting 3.8- or 3.9GHz over­clocks, with some hit­ting 4GHz and a rare few achiev­ing 4.1GHz. AMD’s push­ing the high-end £500 Ryzen 7 1800X to the very edge of per­for­mance, in other words, the £350 Ryzen 7 1700 looks much more en­tic­ing when you con­sider that the chips can flirt with 1800X’s per­for­mance with the help of a de­cent af­ter­mar­ket CPU cooler.

One thing to con­sider is that since Ryzen Mas­ter dis­ables Pre­ci­sion Power and XFR, if you don’t over­clock your Ryzen at least up to 4.1GHz – the top XFR state for the Ryzen 7 1800X we’re us­ing – you could po­ten­tially see per­for­mance de­cline in strictly sin­glethreaded bench­marks like Cinebench R15. The per­for­mance boost in other ap­pli­ca­tions could make up for it, how­ever.

Know­ing your Ryzen

The core of be­com­ing a Ryzen Mas­ter is know­ing ex­actly what your chip is do­ing right now. To that end, there’s a real-time graph of per-core clock speeds and the CPU’s tem­per­a­ture at the top of the Ryzen Mas­ter in­ter­face, ac­ces­si­ble by click­ing the tiny ‘>’ icon in the up­per-left. It’s es­pe­cially use­ful

What hap­pens if you try to use Ryzen Mas­ter with HPET dis­abled

You’ll have bet­ter suc­cess over­clock­ing with a beefier CPU cooler, like this EKWB Preda­tor 240 close-looped liq­uid cooler

The tem­per­a­ture and clock-speeds graphs at the top of Ryzen Mas­ter

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