If you are lucky when it comes to overclocking, you will hit the silicon lottery and end up with a CPU that can race past its stock speeds without breaking a sweat. Appropriately enough, a vendor called Silicon Lottery takes the guess work out of the equation by pre-testing CPUs and then guaranteeing certain overclocked settings. As it applies to AMD's Ryzen 9 3950X
, the best chips are guaranteed to run at 4.15GHz on all 16 cores.
The Ryzen 9 3950X is AMD's flagship desktop processor in the mainstream category. That is a more of a technicality, though—there's hardly anything 'mainstream' about a slice of silicon with 16 cores and 32 threads. It's based on AMD's latest generation Zen 2 CPU architecture
built on a 7-nanometer manufacturing process.
At stock settings, the Ryzen 9 3950X features a 3.5GHz base clock and up to a 4.7GHz boost clock. In our own testing
, we were able to hit a modest 4.2GHz overclock (42x100MHz) on all 16 cores, which worked without incident. When we pushed it to 4.3GHz, it proved too much for our cooler to handle.
It's hard to know if press samples are indicative of what the majority will see when purchasing a processor on the street. That's where Silicon Lottery's data comes in handy. We don't necessarily recommend plunking down $1,499.99 for a Ryzen 9 3950X that is guaranteed to run at 4.15GHz on all 16 cores, as is the asking price. But as corralled by Reddit user kidwuf
, there is some interesting data to digest.
Here is what Silicon Lottery has seen so far....
- 4.15GHz @ 1.325V (1.200V VR Vout), Lowest LLC setting: 19 percent capable
- 4.10GHz @ 1.312V (1.187V VR Vout), Lowest LLC setting: 56 percent capable
- 4.05GHz @ 1.300V (1.175V VR Vout), Lowest LLC setting: 92 percent capable
- 4.00GHz @ 1.287V (1.162V VR Vout), Lowest LLC setting: 100 percent capable
This suggests there is a greater than 50 percent chance of getting a Ryzen 9 3950X that can hit 4.1GHz and be stable, though the small sample size tempers the stat.
Interesting, Silicon Lottery also sells a FCLK Edition that is guaranteed to hit a 1,900MHz FCLK at 1.10V SOC voltage. According to the vendor, just 12 percent of Ryzen 9 3950X processors it's tested is capable of doing this.
For those who are interested, the chips should be in stock sometime today, albeit at premium prices. Here's a breakdown...
For reference, the MSRP is $749, so you're looking at $100 premium on the low end, and paying double at the very top. That said, it's bit hard to find a Ryzen 9 3950X selling for $749. It's out of stock on Amazon, and listed at $899.99 on Newegg
. The 12-core/24-thread Ryzen 9 3900X, meanwhile, is $579.99 on Amazon
, if you're looking for an alternative that is not quite as hard on the wallet/purse.