Overclocking with Ryzen 5 is a practically identical procedure to that of Ryzen 7. The main settings worth tweaking for CPU overclocking are the CPU VCore, loadline calibration, and SOC voltage to aid stability especially with higher-speed memory kits. If your motherboard has the option in its UEFI, bumping NB voltage up to around 1.10-1.15V can aid stability.
With that said, the number of adjustable voltage options on B350 motherboards is far more limited compared to X370, based on our experience with the ASRock Fatal1ty AB350 Gaming K4. This motherboard had no options for loadline calibration control and SOC voltage adjustment was not clear. That’s not a major negative, necessarily, because the overclocking procedure is far more straightforward if CPU frequency and CPU voltage are the only worthwhile adjustable options.
Default voltage for manual tuning should start at around 1.3625V, according to AMD (though we noticed the Ryzen 5 1500X default to a lower voltage around 1.2xV in the UEFI). Users should be fine pushing to 1.40V with a decent CPU cooler and up to 1.45V with a high-end dual-tower heatsink or dual-fan AIO radiator. At 1.45V, however, AMD suggests that processor longevity could be negatively impacted.
In short, our final Ryzen 5 1500X overclocking settings using an ASRock Fatal1ty AB350 Gaming K4 motherboard were:
- 1.40V CPU VCore.
- Multiple Cinebench R15 multi-core runs to validate stability, as well as AIDA64 CPU stress test.
- DDR4-3200MHz 14-14-14-34 @ 1.35V (XMP).
The best frequency that we could achieve with these settings was 3.9GHz with 1.40V (1.376V under Cinebench loading due to a lack of loadline calibration settings on the ASRock AB350 Gaming K4 motherboard).
We could not reach 4000MHz while maintaining the voltage at the 1.40V that we deemed sensible for the Wraith Spire cooler.
The overclocking results for the Ryzen 5 1500X are a little lower than what our 1600X achieved with the same voltage level and test system. This is largely down to the silicon lottery but it is also a possible indication that Ryzen 5 1600X silicon is superior to that used on the quad-core 1500X. The reduced core count versus the 1600X does not seems to aid 1500X overclocking results.
Our superb kit of G.SKILL Trident Z DDR4 worked flawlessly at its 3200MHz C14 XMP settings on the ASRock motherboard. Temperatures were fine at a 1.376V load voltage even when using the bundle Wraith Spire CPU cooler, which is a decent unit in all fairness.