BIOS Profiles and Settings
The Boost feature of the AMD processors, being somewhat complicated to use as a test method, is not how we will test with this CPU. Therefore, our approach to this system is more old-school. We start with the base clock as our "stock" profile, where all cores run at 3.8GHz. Our "overclocked" profile is an all-core OC, where we control all of the variables, and both of the first two profiles utilize PWM functionality to control the fans.
There is one last profile, where we adjust the motherboard fan controls, setting everything to its maximums, allowing fans and or pumps to run as best as possible. Below is a rundown of our BIOs settings and what we changed to get our profiles, which we saved, once tested stable!
In the above paragraph, we referenced "profiles," and this image explains what we meant. Under tools, you can select ASUS User Profiles, and save settings, across the board, for up to eight profiles. For our CPU cooler reviews, we need only three, so that we can keep consistent settings between each cooler. Keep scrolling for the explanation of parameters in each profile.
The 3600X STOCK profile has the CPU set to 3802MHz, the RAM is at 3602MHz, and the Infinity Fabric is at 1801MHz. We had to select Manual in the Ai Overclock Tuner tab, which allows us to lock the BLCK to 100.0625, ensuring we get to the 3.8GHz using the 38.00 CPU Core Ratio we have set. We also manually set the RAM frequency rather than opting for the DOCP profile.
The second part of an OC is stable voltages, and in this image, you can see what we are using to achieve an all-core setting at 3.8GHz. To do so, we did manually set the CPU Core Voltage to 1.225V for stability. We passed testing with slightly less voltage but added three bumps to the voltage using the "+" key in BIOS to do so. When parts age, we are ahead of it with a tad more voltage already applied.
On all three of our profiles, our RAM and timings stay the same. While at 3602MHz, we found the 18-19-19-39 1T timings to be best with this 4000MHz, four-stick, 32GB, set of Corsair Vengeance LPX. We also manually set the DRAM voltage on all profiles to 1.35V.
In both the 3600X STOCK and 3600X OC profiles, we allow the motherboard to control the fans via PWM, using the default setting that you will find in the Q-Fan Configuration. As we move from CPU air coolers to Liquid cooling solutions, we will ensure that we do change the settings of the Water Pump+ Control and AIO Pump Controls to their PWM options.
The 3600X OC profile is our all-core overclock, where we were able to get our 3600X to 4.2GHz. Still using the 100.0625 BCLK Frequency, and at 3602MHz on the memory, the only change is to the CPU Core Ratio, where we have entered 42.
We did have to add some CPU Core Voltage to achieve this, to the tune of 1.275V, again with a few bumps to the voltage for age, beyond what it can run stable right now. In doing this, watching what the motherboard did in reaction to our changes, our Crosshair VIII Hero Wi-Fi does change the 1.8V PLL Voltage to 2.1V. Other settings for RAM and fans match the 3600X STOCK profile settings.
We call it the 3600X OC12V, virtually our 3600X OC profile, but with all of the fan controls maxed out. Rather than show multiple images of the fan settings changes that were made, as we exit the BIOS, the changes are listed neatly. We go from PWM to DC mode and set the profiles manually down the list. We adjust the thermal levels so that the fans spin faster at all levels, set the duty cycles to 100-percent where applicable, and have addressed the Water Pump+ controls.