Disclaimer: Overclocking your CPU technically can damage your CPU. TweakTown and the writer of this guide take zero responsibility if you damage or kill your CPU. There is also a chance that AMD will not replace a CPU damaged by overclocking. AMD states that "The limited warranty does not cover damages due to external causes, including improper use, problems with electrical power, accident, neglect, alteration, repair, improper installation, or improper testing".
Have you Overclocked Before?
If you have overclocked before and understand hardware selection and the basics of overclocking, you should skip to the next page. The first part of this guide is for those who want to know what to do before overclocking.
Where do I start?
Ryzen Overclocking Guide Systems
CPU: All Ryzen SKUs can overclock
Motherboard: You will need to use an X470 or B350 motherboard to overclock your CPU. A-series motherboards are designed to maintain standard reliability, so overclocking is locked on those motherboards. When looking for a motherboard to overclock with, the main limitation on the motherboard will be the VRM. Our reviews extensively cover motherboard VRM and we thermal test every motherboard, so look to our reviews.
DRAM: AMD and motherboard vendors have greatly improved DDR4 compatibility and speed potential, but we still recommend buying a kit off your motherboard's Qualified Vendors List (QVL). AMD's AGESA 126.96.36.199 code greatly increased DRAM overclocking potential, and increased maximum memory multiplier up to 40x, but so far most people are seeing 3200-3600Mhz as their limitation. There are also many vendors that have memory certified for AMD Ryzen; I highly recommend those kits. Also, you can look at the memory we use in our Ryzen reviews, as that exact kit has been validated by AMD to work at the speed of the profile of the kit.
Dual-rank modules are harder to find these days, but if you do come into possession of them don't expect overclocks similar to single rank kits. Single rank kits overclock much easier. Dual rank kits are typically double-sided modules.
Cooler: High-end air coolers or all-in-one watercoolers are recommended.
The maximum frequency of your CPU will probably be 4.1GHz, and the way voltage scales on the platform means that increasing cooling to crazy levels probably won't get you up to 4.1GHz. That means that even mid-range air coolers are good enough for most Ryzen overclocking.
PSU: I would leave about 150-200W aside for a nice overclock on an Ryzen 7 1800X.
You enter the BIOS/UEFI by hitting delete or F2 (on most boards) during boot up. For most boards you have basic and advanced modes, I always skip to the advanced mode and tend to navigate with the keyboard. To enter a setting you either type (or delete and then type), use +/- keys, or you click and scroll. Then you have to "Save & Exit" the BIOS/UEFI for the settings to apply.