Here’s something most of us missed. AMD’s Ryzen 3000 processors were very limited in terms of overclocking capabilities at the time of launch. Most chips were barely able to get +100 or at best +200 on the core, while the rest didn’t overclock, at all. Things seemed to have improved significantly by now though. As per a test conducted by Benchmark.pl, newer Ryzen 5 3600 chips can be easily pushed to 4.4GHz with a voltage of just 1.36v.
In the beginning, most parts needed their voltages to be increased to 1.4v+ to even get to 1.2v. The chip tested was fabbed in 2020, while most review units were made in the second quarter of 2019. TSMC’s 7nm yields seem to have increased significantly over the last year. This also explains why AMD decided to go ahead with the Matisse refresh. The Ryzen 5 3600XT, 3800XT and the 3900XT are, after all, overclocked variants of existing parts.
AMD likely isn’t having much difficulty clocking newly fabbed chips at higher than spec frequencies which explains the reason behind the Ryzen 3000 refresh. They’re basically selling the same chips with a factory overclock and a faster Fabric, resulting in considerably better gaming performance with little to no increase in manufacturing costs. This also explains why the newly launched Ryzen 3 CPUs are much better overclockers than their older siblings.
You can verify your Ryzen 3000 part’s manufacturing date by checking the numbers below the model number. The above chip is the Ryzen 7 3700X we got for review a couple of weeks before the public launch. The second line: BF 1923 means that the CPU was labeled and sent out in the 23rd week of 2019. That means the first week of June, around a month before the launch. Our sample was barely able to hit 4.7GHz with a voltage exceeding 1.45v.
However, newly made chips should be able to reach 4.7-4.8GHz quite easily and even touch the 5GHz mark with the same amount of voltage. If you recently bought a Ryzen 3000 processor, try this out and share the results.