I recently did a long overdue upgrade from a Core i5 2500K (by the way, this forum gave it to me!) that has served me more than well forever (best platform ever, I'm going to miss it!), and now I have a Ryzen 7 3700X. Windows 7 support was gone, new consoles are coming, and most pressingly, my prior 16 GB of RAM wasn't cutting it. So, I decided last last year/early this year to finally stop putting it off, so here I am. Everything... everything, is different.
From what I've come to understand over the last few months of trying to educate myself on what's changed...
1. Modern CPUs now boost on their own by default? They take into account voltage and thermal headroom and boost beyond their base clock, and the extent of this boost also depends on how heavy the load is (how many cores are utilized).
2. Modern CPUs are therefore clocked/clocking closer to their ceilings than before.
With those two things, it seems gone are the times where you'd (usually) reliably get several upon several hundred MHz of performance. I went from 3 GHz and 3.33 GHz to 4 GHz on my last two CPUs (Core 2 Duo E8600 and Core i5 2500K) but it seems this won't be possible. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, and the me of today is more prone to just want it to work with less maintenance and hassle needed over the long run (so I tend to settle for milder overclocks, also for noise and temperature reasons) instead of having to spend dozens or hundreds of hours between the BIOS, monitoring programs, stress tests, and potential program or PC crashes to dial in a perfect balance. That being said... I'm not at all opposed to spending the needed time if it's worth doing more than "leave everything on default". Besides setting D.O.C.P., that's basically where I'm at right now. I'm just a bit conflicted on how much overclocking (or tuning) is even warranted now.
So I am looking for some pointers. I'm a bit lost with some things, namely, voltage. I was shocked when I first booted into the BIOS (and the mouse is so laggy there compared to my previous motherboard...) and saw voltage North of 1.4V on this 7nm CPU when my 32nm Sandy Bridge had far less (1.2xV if I remember right, because I remember everyone back then saying "stay below 1.4V"). I was shocked to see my DDR4 RAM using the same voltage my DDR3 RAM did. So... I'm getting the feeling there's a combination of more researching that I need to do to learn more combined with possibly tuning some things and not leaving it all to auto since, in the past, auto tended to overcompensate, but with CPUs boosting in accordance with voltage, I've read you don't want to undervolt it much either, as while this can help temperatures, it also potentially hurts single/lighter core boosting performance if you drop it more than a small amount? I'm... a bit lost, but I'm trying to get a hold of it all.
Here's what I'm using.
ASUS ROG STRIX B-550F Gaming
Ryzen 7 3700X
64 GB DDR4 G.Skill RipJaws V
I am currently using the stock boxed CPU heatsink that comes with the Ryzen 7 3700X, but I'm planning to get a Thermalright LGMRT. Since I have the motherboard, CPU, and RAM now, I wanted to make sure it all worked as I can change the CPU cooler later (and I need to reinstall my OS and adjust to Windows 10 too...).
I also learned there's "motherboard topology" that comes into play, namely when using a greater amount of RAM modules? I've no idea what mine is (or what exists as potential topology) but I've used 4 modules for my last 3 platforms without ill effects. That being said, I've never got super fast RAM; I tend to set X.M.P. and call it a day.
I'm still trying to learn voltages, as in Windows I'm seeing 0.488V at idle and just over 1V at all core load (so I'm not sure what the 1.4V+ was in BIOS but it seems to max there too in Windows, so... maybe lighter loads or spiking before Vdrop/Vdroop?). Is this much voltage dangerous for Zen 2, or at least, borderline too much? Does anything look off, or a reason to manually set something in the BIOS?
I appear to be getting near the "up to 4.4 GHz boost" advertised, and with all cores loaded, it's around 3.7 GHz (100 MHz higher than base clock), so... everything is in order? I'm a bit confused as to the score being lower than reference (single thread was higher though at 520). Is there additionally steps I need to (and should) take for better results? I just had HW Monitor and CPU-Z at hand during the Windows install, so any other software I should fetch for this?
I'm a bit worried about whatever that 78 C reading is too, and it seems to move seldomly whether at idle or load.
Thank you in advance for any help, and sorry for the dozens of questions. It's just been so long and so much has changed (also my first time back on AMD since before Core 2 days).