• This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

How to set up a Virpil VPC WarBRD base and Constellation Delta grip.

Recently I obtained a high-end joystick since I was tired of the plastics on failing on me.
While this does not warrant the price tag it does when you combine the tweaking/assigning buttons.
It does tend to take up time as well as you have to "learn" how to fly with every new stick you use.
You can find the Virpil product line up here: https://virpil.com/ remember to check the correct geolocation.
For my use, I opted for a joystick that could be placed on top of my desk, just easier and less hassle.
You could opt in for a full setup with the throttle or dual stick as well, adding more to the price tag, however.
There are also parts that allow for special mounts on your desk for a dual stick or stick and throttle.
WarBRD is an on top of the desk setup while the MongooseT-50 is for specialty mount attached to your desk.


Assembly.

When your package arrives you will notice bubble wrap and other packing materials.
You will have some spare parts like cams and springs, I use mine stock without changing anything.
What you will need is a CR-V #10 bit remember to have one on hands.

Next up is attaching the base to the Constellation Delta grip, there is a connection male plug in the grip.
Gently pull it out a bit so you have enough slack to attach it to the female connector in the WarBRD base.
Then align the grip with the base so it is centered and use the knob on the base to screw it in place.
Remember when taking off the grip to gently remove the connection cable.
The next part is attaching the base plate to the WarBRD base, there are 4 screws in one of the bags.
Take the CR-V # 10 bit and align the screw holes and put each screw in, do not screw them in 1 by 1.
Screw them in halfway down and then start on 1 corner, any corner you like and screw it down.
Then do the same with the opposite screw so the plate aligns correctly and the screw will fit in the flush.
Now tighten them all down to the base plate is firmly attached but do not exert too much force.
You will also find some M3 rubber pads in the box place them on the bottom of the base plate.
This concludes the assembly part, do a quick visual check if the Constellation Delta grip is correctly aligned.


Software Setup, Firmware update and Calibration.

Plug in the USB in your PC any 2.0 or 3.0 USB connection will do but use 2.0 as it frees up 3.0 connections for storage devices.
Head over to the Virpil website, or use this link https://virpil-controls.eu/downloads/software.html to obtain the software.
At the time of writing this article, there is only one software item linked, the VPC Configurator Software.
Unpack this in a folder on your desktop or other location you desire and run the VPC_JOY_SETUP.exe.
Head to the firmware section by click on the firmware button on your left-hand side.
Ensure you enter the correct firmware path, there is one file to look for a *.hexc file but it should be the only file listed.
Now click "Open firmware update mode", double check the firmware file path, then click "Start firmware update".
The right-hand side of the above buttons will see the software writing the firmware update and a final note it is complete.
Now click "Close firmware update" this will conclude the firmware update, below is an image for reference.
Firmware update

Next step would be to calibrate the axis of your joystick, remember you have several axes to configure.
DO NOT use the windows calibration tool as it may mess up your firmware files with faulty data.
Head over to the Axis section of the VPC software, you will see a button bottom right "CALIBRATE AXES".

You will see several sliders moving widely, start out by gently moving the stick all the way up and then down.
And then leave the stick centered by not touching it, this will align the Y axis for your stick.
Repeat the process as well by moving the stick gently all the way left and right and leave it alone centered.
Now your Y, X and Z slider stop moving violently, also do this for the twist Z axis to ensure alignment.

The rY and rX are the Analogue stick mounted behind the trigger on the face of the stick.
Repeat the same process for the rY and rX axis by moving them gently all the way up/down/left/right.
Let go of the analog stick for it to find it's center this will conclude the calibration process.

As you may notice the sliders do not perfectly align with the "center" of the slider bar.
This is the center relative to the mechanical parts/sensors within your Constellation Delta grip.
Click "Set center and Save to profile" you will notice the green indicator top left going yellow.
In order to save the settings, you need to click "STEP 3: SAVE DEVICE PROFILE" located in the center.
It will write and save the files and reboot your stick so the correct settings are in sync with a green "Sync".

There are many more options but those are for more advanced use, after this setup you will be able to use the stick.
Remember to make make a back up before touching any other settings in the VPC Configurator Software.
In the case of "bricking" the stick simply download the VPC Configurator Software or unzip from the previous download.

Unplug your USB connection and plug it back in and repeat the firmware update portion.
Also, load the default profile by clicking "IMPORT PROFILE FROM FILE" located bottom left of the software.
Load the default profile "VPC WarBRD + Delta [PCBvLite].cnfLITE" matching your grip.
Then redo the Axes alignment calibration as described above to reset and "unbrick" your joystick.


Ingame use.

Now you will have to assign the buttons in your game, there will be a default setup.
But this will be almost certainly nowhere complete or up to your taste.
Remember you have a myriad of options be sure to assign buttons logical for you.
And make a back up of your config file for each game so you will most likely never have to redo this.
Below is an image of all button with the numbers you can find in the VPC software as well.
Virpil WarBRD Constellation Delta
This concludes this short tutorial on how to set up your Virpil WarBRD base and Constellation Delta grip.



Case Airflow: Case Study with a

Phanteks Enthoo Luxe.

In part I found here: the fundamentals of setting up a good air cooling loop.
The 3 basic set up positive pressure, negative pressure and neutral pressure for case airflow and the abbreviations common for air cooling.
For part II diving in deeper with a specific case the, Phanteks Enthoo Luxe using a wide range of fans and pressure setups.
While I prefer a negative pressure setup I prefer to go over the numbers on a case by case basis running the numbers per setup.

The Case; Phanteks Enthoo Luxe.

Recently upgraded to a Ryzen 5 1600 and decided to upgrade the case as well, my old Antec Dark Fleet 30 was not optimal for cable management.
This case is an Enthoo Luxe is a full tower model derived from the Enthoo Primo offering most of the features at a slightly smaller size.
For cable management, there is plenty of room, Steel chassis with Aluminum faceplates and room for 8 case fans and 2 drive cage fans.
If you are in the market for a new case look at the Phanteks line they have many features, also interesting to check out are Cooler Master cases.
But for this article, the fans are important since this is not a review but a specific study with the Enthoo Luxe.

Front: 1 x 200mm or 2 x 120mm or 2 x 140mm fans or 1 x 120mm 1 x 140mm setup.
Bottom: 2 x 120mm or 2 x 140mm fans or 1 x 120mm 1 x 140mm setup.
Top: 1 x 200mm + 120mm or 140mm, 3 x 140mm, 3 x 120mm or a mix of 120mm and 140mm fans.
Back: 1 x 140mm or 120mm fans.
Sides: None.
HDD Cage: 1 x 120mm fan per removable cage.
Case Diagram Negative Pressure.

The Fans.

While I normally like a uniform design, while doing some research I found some interesting fans I wanted to test.
Once I've settled on my fan setup I will buy more of the Phanteks fans and probably keep the high static Corsair fans in the front.

Phanteks: 140mm and 200mm high CFM fans for exhaust.

 Static Pressure.CFM.DB.

PH-F140SP

1.3382.119

PH-F200SP

1.04110.125

PH-F120XP

1.7261.627

Corsairs SP120: 120mm high static pressure fans for intake.

 Static Pressure.CFM.DB.

SP120

1.6057.426.4

Arctic F12 and F14: 120mm and 140mm fans for exhaust and intake.

 Static Pressure.CFM.DB.

F12

-5322.5

F14

 -7422.5



The Corsair SP120 offer better static pressure than current 120mm Phanteks fans, 120mm always offer better static pressure over 140mm fans.
Pressure is building up is higher due to air being pushed through a smaller diameter.
The Phanteks fans offered a high CFM making them perfect for exhaust fans, The Arctic fans I wanted to test due to the low price per fan.
140mm fans always offer a higher CFM over 120mm fans as they offer a wider tunnel and bigger fan blades to push more volume.
Large diameter allows for more air throughput at the loss of pressure due to fans limited capability of compacting the volume in a larger diameter.
There is the exception to the norm of course but this is a general logic you would, of course, check with your preferred brand for actual CFM and Static Pressure.

As time progressed and I went from a range of test with overclocks I ran into a problem with the F12 fans not working properly.
For some reason the F-12 did not spin up located on the back of the case in a standing position, this would mess with my RPM profile and create extra noise.
Due to this fact, this article has been delayed and I also decided to add an extra CPU fan since this has become more common.


PWM Signal, PWM Hub, and Heat Managment:

You might want to consider making RPM profiles or setting RPM ranges in the BIOS this would require either 4 pin PWM connectors or a PWM hub.
A PWN hub will allow for 3 pin as well as 4 pin connectors to be used but will read the PWM signal and set voltage accordingly to all connecting fans.
If you have a wider assortment of 4pin PWM connectors splitter cables could work just as good but it would require you to tune each PWM/RPM profile.
The PWM hub in the Phanteks Enthoo Luxe is included there are aftermarket PWM hubs you can buy, be sure to check your motherboard specs when adding fans.
In my case, the ASUS Prime B350 Plus has 3 x 4pin PWM headers, all giving a PWM signal some cases the 4 pins might not offer a true PWM signal.
Check again if these are 4pin PWM connectors or normal 3pin connectors and that all if not some offer a true PWM signal from the motherboard.

There are 3 more options for setting your fan RPM, a program called Fan Speed what works great if your motherboard is supported.
However, not all motherboards are included and I could not get it to work with the AMD Ryzen platform it will simply not read the BUS info correctly.
The 2nd option would be setting your fan speeds through your bios a common workaround if no software offers a good solution.
Simply reboot and head into your BIOS settings and look for Q-Fan settings to set your fans accordingly.
The 3rd option is installed a Fan Controller in one or more of the front panels slots and offers full control that way, a good option for Q-fan or Fan Speed.
I go into greater details regarding the above-mentioned options in my first article if you are unsure what your best option would be.

My current setup is my back 120mm fan is a PWM fan with 4 pin connector straight to the motherboard.
My fan hub is connected to the CPU PWM connector and has the pull fan on the first hub connection followed by the push fan on the second connection.
Then I have 4 connections left for 6 more fans with the front 2 x 120mm fans as well as 2 x 140mm top on splitter cables.
Leaving me with 1 PWM connector from the motherboard I am considering using with testing a CPU water cooling setup for my next article.
A caution here though since connecting to many fans to a hub might lower the RPM since that is regulated with voltage, each hub as a total voltage output.
Going over the total output will not fry your hub merely limit the RPM due to the total voltage ceiling your hub has to ensure your fans stay under the total limit.
Either use a 2nd PWM HUB or use more of the PWM connector you might give on your motherboard to prevent limited cooling performance.

Also, an important note is that the motherboard PWM signal relays the temperature from the chip socket, not the chip diode!
The socket diode will always show a lower temperature measurement then the CPU diode since the CPU diode is closer the heat source.
For a proper temperature measurement use the program called HWiNFO64, or use more advanced measurement tools if you have those at your disposal.
CPU (Tctl/Tdie) is the diode located inside the chip, CPU is the diode in the socket, below a screenshot to illustrate with red outlining.
Further more the diodes are not optimal calibrated so temperatures could be off slightly from chip to chip, nothing can be done about this.
It will not harm or damage your CPU or motherboard since there are safety thresholds in place to prevent that.
HWiNFO64_Diodes

For my personal preference, I want little to no noise when listening to music, typing, browsing or doing some editing on my web page.
There for my ASUS Suite 3 RPM profile is set in such a way that within a certain temperature range the fans will spin at low speed.
And will ramp up the fans when putting the system under load when gaming, rendering or performing tests with Prime95 or similar programs.
As with finding the low noise limit under no to little load, the noise limit in your gaming sessions is also important to ensure your fans offer enough cooling.
But with either a headset or speakers the noise of your fans will be hard to hear unless they ramp up to 100%, in this case, find the median temperatures.
And set your fans RPM accordingly, this will take some time and I have been tinkering with my settings for weeks now.

Ambient Noise.

As mentioned above noise generated by your fans is where you trade between cooling performance and ambient noise.
Besides using your ears there is a wide assortment of apps for mobile phones and even better equipment if you happen to have access to that.
Below is a sample of some of the noise ranges with different workloads with
The Idle and light load is nothing running in the background after a (re)boot or doing some browsing or typing on my PC.
A medium load would consist of a gaming session an easy way to mimic this is running a game that comes with a benchmark.
The heavy load is running Prime95 with Small FFT's to generate the maximum amount of heat or a video render using all cores.
Measurements were taken with the phone application on the mouse mat and on top of the case close to the fans giving an appropriate range noise, where as one measurement is where the end user would sit and the other measurement is as close to the source as possible.
No special materials were used in terms of padding this could lower the amount of noise generated.

Idle/Light Load20 Db25 Db
Medium Load30 Db40 Db
Heavy Load40 Db50 Db

The latter sounds like a wind tunnel and I highly doubt the average user will ever need their fans to run at 100% unless they are benchmarking their system.
I overall satisfied with the results after weeks of tinkering in-between work and gaming sessions, and yes I have spent more than I usually want to spend.
But in the spirit of writing this article, I did some extra test and made sure the hardware I am using works and works on demand.
If you have any questions or feedback, would like me to test a different setup or some hardware please feel free to contact me here: Contact Me

For my next article, I have purchased a Coolermaster Master Liquid 240 to test partial liquid cooling combined with air cooling and what yield the best results.
Remember that this is based of the hardware I use in combination with a full tower case the Phanteks Enthoo Luxe you could have slightly different results.
However, results should not vary by much if they do read me previous article located here or contact me and I will do my best to help you on your way.

- Paul Ripmeester


PC utilities, Monitoring, Burn-in Tests and Maintenance.


In past articles I have mentioned some program I use to overclock or do other misc work on my rig.
Any PC needs a bit of maintenance and love and at times when you tweak your settings and go into overclocking you need to run tests.
Therefore I thought it would be wise to write this short article covering my favorite utilities that I frequently use.
The programs I list will be free of charge, no trial period or similar sales tricks.
I do use paid programs to run tests at times but those are far and few in between but are very good.

 

3DP Chip.
>> http://www.3dpchip.com/3dpchip/index_eng.html

A little free tool that allows you to check for outdated drivers.
While 3DP Chip does not offer 100% coverage it will find most drivers, I run it roughly once a month.
Be aware of the adds it try's to install just decline that request, security software could flag this program because of that.

ASUS Real Bench.
>> https://rog.asus.com/rog-pro/realbench-v2-leaderboard/

ASUS released this toolkit using open source program some are covered in this article, however, this program combines several.
It can be a bit time consuming to run the program it offers a benchmark setting and a stress test setting covering the full range of hardware.
Mainly used by ASUS ROG users but it is for every system, test your PC performance or subject it to a stress test.

CCleaner.
>> https://www.piriform.com/ccleaner

PC cleaning and optimization it offers a full version for free with an option to upgrade to a pro version that offers more automating features.
In its core, the free version cleans your browser(s), various hidden or hard to find folders that tend to collect junk files.
Keeps your registry free of empty and dead links that will consume resources or even causes errors and crashes, startup program management.
Very useful and easy to use tool to keep that rig running at peak performance with little to no effort on your part.

CPU-Z.
>> http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/cpu-z.html

The go to program to find out what hardware you are running with numbers, data, and specifications.
Offers some benchmarking and validation must need if you wish to partake in overclocking contests.

DiskMax.
>> https://www.koshyjohn.com/software/diskmax/

DiskMax is a handy free disk and windows optimization tool that I use to supplement CCleaner.
It looks for a range of files such as windows cache, windows event logs and sorts files for faster access through windows.
This is by far the best program to keep your windows from unstable and clutter your hard drives with random junk.

FurMark.
>> http://www.ozone3d.net/benchmarks/fur/

The go to GPU benchmark and OC stress test tool, ensuring your freshly overclocked GPU is up to the task.
Furmark uses intensive OpenGL fur rendering algorithms to measure GPU performance due to that heavy load it is ideal for stress testing.
Because of that, it offers several modes, a benchmark setting, and a stress test / burn-in test either in full-screen or in a window.

HWiNFO64 / 32.
>> https://www.hwinfo.com/download.php

System and monitoring for your hardware with options to make reports/log files for overclockers a useful tool to monitor temperatures.
Anything from CPU clock speeds, RAM clock speeds and timings to in depth temperature reading from all motherboard sensors.
Furthermore, it reads the voltages of various installed hardware and fans speeds vital for stable and safe overclocking
For Ryzen this program at this point in time offers the most accurate temperature readings.

HWMonitor.
>> http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/hwmonitor.html

Does exactly the same as HWiNFO but from the same website that offers CPU-Z.
Different people will like different programs for hardware monitoring, temperature, clock speeds and fan speeds so people will advice one of these.
Another small difference is that a pro version is on offer that allows for remote access, graph generator, and custom labels.

Project Mercury.
>> http://www.techcenter.dk/

An unconventional program Project Mercury will optimize your PC resources multi-core processors may that be Intel or AMD.
Consider this a more advanced program and go to the info tab to see what the features can do for you.
Among the features is disable core parking, disable standby on CPU load, no multi-core stutter etc.

Recuva.
>> https://www.piriform.com/recuva

A file recovery program that will allow you to recover deleted files from any hard drive or even overwritten files.
For this reason, drive wiping programs with DOD standards always rewrites up to 32 times so no files can be recovered.
But for the regular users, this program can be a life saver if you deleted files or want to attempt a recovery from an old hard drive.
Recuva can even offer hope when a drive has been damaged although this depends on the severeness of the drive if that will be successful.

Speccy.
>> https://www.piriform.com/speccy

A system information tool like CPU-Z and temperature readings like HWMonitor and HWiNFO.
It has a far easier interface than other tools I listed but as a general tool, it offers less in-depth reporting.
Easy when you have a friend or relative with hardware problems you can guide them and find the information you need to resolve the problem(s).

Unigine Valley Benchmark,
>> https://benchmark.unigine.com/valley

A performance and stability test for various PC components that are related to your GPU.
It offers realistic rendering load on your GPU and components related to your GPU as the cooling and PSU.
I normally test with FurMark then use Valley to check performance under a realistic load to confirm a stable overclock of my GPU.


This concludes this short article on some of the utility software I frequently use on my PC's or tests and troubleshooting for others.
Programs like this will save you time and effort or offer you better-overclocking capabilities and stability overall to keep that rig at peak performance.
It is by no means a final list but these programs are the most common others will point out if you are searching the internet.
All the programs I listed are still supported and receive frequent updates from the developers.

- Paul Ripmeester


Case Airflow, Cooling the right way.

While venturing on the internet looking for some tips on airflow and to see if cooling is done by air, for the most part, has changed I was disappointed.
The lack of good material or even bad material was stunning so I decided to contribute with a fellow overclocker showing good cooling practices.
Nothing really has changed it remains pretty much the same while fans have greatly improved and so does the fan assortment.
For this article, there will be 2 examples a Ryzen based system and an Intel based system with different cases.

The Basics.

1. When placing fans in your case or even other hardware ensure that airflow is in the right direction.
In any case, this means cold air goes in and hot air goes out, common mistake what will result in higher temperatures or even hot air blowing in your face.
Even if it is extremely hot outside the air will still have a lower temperature than inside your case, this also goes for liquid cooling solutions.
Intake Fans: the front and the bottom of your case,
Exhaust Fans: the back and the top of your case.
Very important to note is that hot air rises and the rear of your case is confined especially on enthusiast builds with a big CPU cooler.
And the overall trick for the best cooling solution is that cool air is not mixed with the hot air but that air on the intakes has enough pressure to reach the center,
so that the hardware fans on your GPU and CPU will be able to scoop up the cold air to cool the components and then push hot air towards the exhaust fans.
Below is a looped video of my new Phanteks Enthoo Luxe case that depict the flow of air, stage 1 intake, stage 2 hardware picks up air, stage 3 hot air exhaust.


2. Always have a negative pressure inside your case by having more exhaust fans than intake fans or by calculating your CFM and high static pressure.
You can opt for over pressure if your system does not generate excessive amounts of heat but this is only with budget setups without overclocking.
Also important to note that especially with negative pressure to use dust filters on your fans where you can, either pre-installed or aftermarket filters.
The general rule for fan placement is that high static fans are used as intake fans while high CFM fans are used for exhaust.
For those who are new CFM stands for cubic feet per minute and high static pressure the ability to overcome obstacles and travel distance.

To aid in finding the right cooling solution use this excel sheet Case Cooling CFM, Static Pressure, and Watt Calculator located on Google Drive.
In order to use the Excel sheet download and open excel sheet or move a copy to your own Google Drive.
Simply enter the numbers of your fans located in your case, above the column is a note that this part is either intake or exhaust.
With the exclusion of hardware and internal fans who are calculated with hardware CFM/mmH20 for a different calculation.
Now you can see there are different results, CFM Rating(+ or - airflow), Case vs Hardware actual CFM, Case vs Hardware optimal CFM.
Also included are watts and decibels, PWM hubs and Fan controllers have ratings if want to buy one check if you are buying the right one.
Noise generating can be indicated, not taking into account acoustic deformation of the room or any noise reducing padding your case might have.

CFM Rating(+ or - airflow): takes the intake CFM and deducts it with the Exhaust CFM this will either give a positive or negative result,
this will indicate whether your fans will generate a negative or positive pressure inside the case and you can adjust accordingly, removing/adding fans.

Case vs Hardware actual CFM: Weighs the CFM by deducting Hardware Total CFM from Case Total CFM to give indicate surplus CFM.
Useful to indicate if you installed too much or too little fans, too many fans could create too much turbulence making it harder for hardware fans to scoop up air, and that could great stall pockets of hot air increasing the temperature overall.

Case vs Hardware optimal CFM: This will calculate the CFM of your Hardware CFM vs your Case CFM if the amount of airflow is too much or too little,
the throughput of your hardware CFM is an indicator when cool air is pushed in and then hot air pushed out if the airflow can be used efficiently by your installed hardware.
Normally 25% ~ 50% on top of your Hardware CFM is optimal, here I used 25% so anything above it should be sufficient.

3. When shopping for fans ensure they are of good quality even if that means paying a bit extra, cheaper fans means less performance.
When cooling your system you want the best CFM and static pressure at the lowest noise levels to fully enjoy your build.
High-end fans are money well spend and will offer the best airflow scenario for your build optimal cooling temperatures.
As mentioned above you want to generate negative pressure by generating more exhaust CFM then intake CFM.
The difference between static pressure is merely air that travels at higher speeds than the actual volume that translates in CFM.
There for by ensuring you the cubic feet per minute(CFM) is higher with the exhaust fans then the intake fans you will generate negative pressure.
High statics pressure fans are always fitted with less but bigger blades generating a lower CFM and higher CFM fans always have more but smaller blades.

4. PWM, PWM Hubs, and Fan Controllers are vital for regulating your fans speed and the noise they generate.
However you can only use one even if there are several PWM connectors with most motherboards, check your manual to ensure you can use multiple PWM signals.
You will either use your PWM signal that can ideally has enough signal strength to support 6 to 9 fans at a time through PWM hub.
Or use a fan controller that controls the fans speed through its own PWM signal setting the RPM, or using the in or decrease of watts.
Motherboard PWM signals are more accurate and will react better to heat fluctuations over a fan controller since the heat sensors will interact with the motherboard.
A fan controller will detect temperatures through a series of sensors you have to place around your case, closer to a heat source the better.
But a fan controller allows you to tweak your RPM better with smaller steps over a the motherboard pwm signal + motherboard software.
Also important to note that fans have steps some have more as others that is usually more costly with more steps but offer more control.

5. In order to make a fully informed decision regarding what type of cooling flow you want to use here are some of the basics.
While it remains true that negative pressure will result in the best cooling when setup correctly there are other options you could try out.
Positive Pressure: More combined CFM on intake fans and/or more intake fans, this will result in far less dust attracted to your cooling loop.
Negative Pressure: More combined CFM on exhaust fans and/or more exhaust fans, will attract more dust to your cooling loop there for filters are a must.
Neutral Pressure: Roughly the same combined CFM on your intake and exhaust fans with a balanced fan setup.
To give you a more accurate picture below is a video painting an accurate picture of what the above setups will do in terms of airflow with pros and cons.

6. Dust is your enemy, where dust accumulates it well hamper cooling performance, less cooling when dust sits on your filters or heatsinks.
Cable management is also very important, dust will stick to most surfaces so having wires in the airflow path beside hampering the airflow altogether.
Investing in a good case that has cable management features will have a better look, better airflow and less surface for dust to settle.
Besides dust filters and a solid tight fitting case placing your rig on your desk will reduce dust intake by 80%, never place it on the floor or carpet.
And make sure your PSU is modular try to use the least possible amount of cables for a clean look and fewer places for dust to accumulate.


Closing Notes:

This concludes an introduction the best cooling practices, covering the basics of setting up a proper airflow with some guidelines to get you going.
The first step towards setting up your own cooling showing that air cooling and getting the right airflow is a skill, as much as water cooling.
Make sure to test out your setup and move some fans around to gain experience and the perfect solution for you own case, each case is different.
Stay tuned to this article and website since 2 more articles will follow soon with 2 case by case examples of setting up an airflow.

- Paul Ripmeester

 


AMD Ryzen 5 1600 overclocking guide.

When looking to upgrade a good friend on steam pointed out the new Ryzen series, while being at the time an Intel user I was intrigued.
Throughout the years AMD never was on my shopping list and being an AMD user was more of a cult thing, much as the PC vs Console debate.
But still, the specs and chatter on the internet were very much positive and that AMD wanted to provide the same performance but at a lower cost.
As time passed I spend some time researching Ryzen vs Intel chip and came to the conclusion that Ryzen would be better for me.
I will not bore you with the research but in short using your PC for more things than gaming, such as editing video/graphics and using programs like PS.
A Ryzen would perform better, Intel still does better on a single core but Ryzen is making headway with multi-core performance.
This guide will be an overclocking guide for the setup listed below, I will not go deep into explaining the basics and will only list volts and numbers.
I am assuming you have done this before I am writing this to supplement AMD Reddit and other AMD overclocking sources.

My Rig.

  • Case: Phanteks Enthoo Luxe.
  • Motherboard: ASUS Prime B350-Plus.
  • CPU: Ryzen 5 1600 Retail.
  • RAM: Corsair DDR4 LPX White 16 GB 3000.
  • GPU: MSI GTX 960 4GB.
  • PSU: Sharkoon 600 Watt semi modular.
  • OZC Agility 3 256GB C Drive, WD Green/Blue 1TB storage drives.
  • Cooling: CoolerMaster 212 EVO and AMD Wraith Spire.
  • Case fans: 2 x 120mm and 1 x 140mm push fans, 1x 120mm and 3 x 140mm pull fans.

A medium range setup, nothing really fancy for a workstation but it works like a charm.
My Antec 650 Gold PSU went bust and I replaced it with a Sharkoon what was on hands, will either go back to Antec or a Corsair PSU ASAP.
This rig will run programs like Photoshop, some recording with Nvidia shadowplay, gaming, some web page editing, music, browsing etc on a daily basis.
While I could get away with not overclocking Ryzen shines when you push it and get the best results performance wise.

Getting Started.

Skipping the part of installing all the hardware in your case since that should be covered in the manuals.
Do ensure that you apply the RIGHT amount of thermal paste so that your CPU cooler will work as it suppose to.
When booting up the first time make sure to go right into your BIOS and update the BIOS to the latest drivers this will enhance stability from the get go.
Also, memory and other hardware support will be in the latest BIOS version if feeling brave use a Beta release BIOS but that might not be wise.
The updating BIOS in the ASUS motherboards can be done inside the BIOS, in the worse case you need to use a flash drive.
Boot up your system one time to see if you installed the components correctly and make a baseline performance test with Passmark or Cinebench.
Restart and boot back into your BIOS, ensure that you have the latest drivers and updates for stability and support purposes!

ASUS Prime B350 Plus BIOS version

BIOS Settings.

Make sure your RAM profile is set to 2133mhz, not DOCP/XMP/A-XMP max 3000/3200mhz and up, just the basic 2133mhz all DDR4 runs on.
Set the optimal RAM clocks speed after achieving a stable CPU overclock since Ryzen still has some compatibility issues.
What RAM MHz you can pick also has to do with the die quality of the components, Samsung allows for the best results anything else will be lower.
You can check your die quality with THAIPHOON BURNER and see for yourself, manufacturers have a list but this tool is far easier and quicker.

ASUS Prime B350 Plus BIOS, RAM Base Clock

Now it is time to set the Ryzen 5 clock, in ASUS it is called CPU Core Ratio, MSI calls it CPU Frequency.
Each chip Intel or AMD Ryzen will behave differently, the OC community phrase would be "silicone lottery" and it is winning or losing.
That said any Ryzen should be able to reach 3800mhz or I would recommend a refund and replacement with a better chip.
They can go as high as 4000mhz or even higher but that is winning the silicone lottery or being blessed with an engineering sample.

DIGI+ VRM Settings.

These settings help with achieving greater overclocks and stability of the overclocks, setting this in the BIOS over AI Suite is better since it might reset.
Setting them to extreme will only affect power consumption do make sure to set the VDDCR CPU Switching Frequency to 350 MHz and not higher.
You can tinker with these setting once you have achieved a stable overclock, see if you can reduce power consumption, this is a starting point, not the end.
ASUS Prime B350 Plus BIOS, DIGI+ VRM

AMD CBS.

Here you can find some settings, for now, leave everything on Auto but turn of Core Performance Boost, this will hamper stable overclocking if left on.
ASUS Prime B350 Plus BIOS, AMD CBS

CPU Core Volts.

There are several volt ranges you need to consider, for those who are new to overclocking voltage and CPU core ratio/frequency will attribute to your overclock.
The ratio of your clock should be seen as x multiplied by 100, mostly 99.9 and 99.8 what then translates into overclock speed, higher ratios need more volts.
The voltage will result in more or less heat being produced there for you need cooling, the voltage can be different per chip due to the silicone lottery.
Lower volts is always better but is not always possible, and will set a limit how far you can overclock combined with the CPU core ratio/frequency.

  • AMD Recommended Voltage: 1.350 and 1.375 volts.
  • Community Recommended Voltage: 1.400 and 1,450 volts.
  • Absolute max and not recommended: 1.500 and 1550 volts.

Here we start with a overclock speed of 3800 MHz, set CPU Core Ratio to 38.00, disable EPU Power Saving mode and OC Tuner.
Now it is time to adjust the CPU voltage, VDDCR CPU Voltage in this BIOS also to note this offers an offset and not a manual mode.
Set the CPU Voltage to Offset Mode, Offset Mode Sign to + and Offset Voltage to 0.13750.
Exit the BIOS and save these settings, you can also opt to save as a profile under the Tool section of this BIOS and reboot.
ASUS Prime B350 Plus BIOS, voltage offset

Unless the silicone lottery hates you it should reboot and now you use Cinebench and Prime to run a quick stability test.
If your settings are stable and they should be you can try to lower the CPU Offset Voltage to lower your temperatures.
As shown in the picture the increments are 0.00625 volts use that to lower the CPU Voltage while remaining stable in Prime95/Cinebench.
Make sure to keep an eye on those temperatures for that I would recommend HWMonitor, no individual core temperature programs are updated yet.
You can also set your XMP/A-XMP/DOCP profile above the basic 2133 MHz, I was not blessed with a Samsung die so mine, for now, is set at 2666 MHz.

Here is my CPU-Z validation link for my 38.25: https://valid.x86.fr/z9ia69

My Absolute Max, 3900 MHz.

I spend days reading up on Ryzen and the overclocking potential I have not touched my DDR4 RAM yet, waiting for some BIOS update.
Temperatures even with the stock cooler are acceptable but the core voltage are above the AMD recommended value.
There for I opted to go back to my 38.25 clocks what yielded me to best results, with BIOS updates I hope this will become more viable.
ASUS Prime B350 Plus BIOS, 3900 MHz

ASUS Prime B350 Plus BIOS, 3900 MHz Offset

The new AMD Ryzen CPU chip is amazing especially considering the price, with a good overclock you can take on CPU's double in price.
Happy I took the plunge and invested in a Ryzen 5 chip with my upgrade, Intel better steps up its game because this is stiff competition.
With that I conclude my small guide, i hope this has helped the readers and saved them some time.

- Paul Ripmeester


Operation PitchFork Strategic Battle-plan. Introduction:My own initiative to ponder on the options based on current data taking into account assets as described on the Operation