AMD’s Ryzen 9 7900X3D and 7950X3D processors are about to hit the market. Reviews of both CPUs can now be perused in length. The short version is that the X3D chips beat both the Core i9-13900K and its KS variant while being substantially more power efficient. Although the multiplier remains locked, the Ryzen 9 7950X3D and its sibling can be overclocked using Precision Boost Overdrive 2 and its various features.
SkatterBencher has an excellent overclocking guide if you want to try it out. We’ll just gloss over the bullet points. The easiest way to overclock the Ryzen 9 7950X3D and the 7900X3D is using PBO 2 and its curve optimizer. The basic idea is to exploit the opportunistic behavior of the boosting algorithm.
You reduce the target voltage at different frequencies, allowing the CPU to boost higher. This increases the operating clocks as the voltage limit no longer obstructs the boosting algorithm. SkatterBench optimized the voltage-frequency curve for each core, resulting in an effective overclock of +200MHz.
By increasing the Fmax Boost Overdrive by 150MHz, the Ryzen 9 7950X3D boosted to 5.9GHz, up from its stock limit of 5.7GHz. It’s worth noting that while the V-Cache cores don’t cross the default clock of 5.25GHz, the vanilla Zen 4 cores boost well past their factory offset. The resulting performance benefit can be as high as 10% in multi-threaded workloads.