If you’re trying to extract the most performance out of your CPU, you’ve probably considered overclocking it. As exciting and fun as overclocking can be, you need to make sure all your other hardware is capable as well. Your motherboard is especially important, and should be taken into consideration.
If you’re new to overclocking, and the AM4 platform, you’re probably wondering “are all AM4 Motherboards overclockable?” The short answer is: No, not all AM4 Motherboards offer overclocking support. But most do.
Below, we’ll try to help you understand what overclocking is, why you may want to try it, which motherboards are overclockable, and what to look for in a good motherboard for overclocking.
What is Overclocking?
Overclocking is taking a component and pushing its frequency higher, or timings tighter than what that component is rated at from the manufacturer. CPUs and GPUs are the most popular components to be overclocked, followed by RAM. The focus of our discussion today, however, is CPU overclocking.
Which AM4 Motherboards Support Overclocking?
A320 and A520 chipset motherboards, as well as some non-retail business chipsets lack any sort of CPU overclocking capability.
The rest of the lineup, including; B350, B450, B550, X370, X470, and X570 motherboards can all do CPU and memory overclocking. Though there are also other considerations to take into account.
Here is an article with reviews of the best 11 AM4 motherboards that I think you may find useful. It has the best motherboards for overclocking amongst other things.
Choosing a Good AM4 Motherboard
If you’re serious about overclocking, you’ll not only want one that supports overclocking, you’ll want a board that’s good at it. The most important consideration when looking for a good motherboard to overclock with is VRM implementation and VRM thermal performance.
The best way to ensure this is to look at 3rd party reviews from reputable reviewers. Always check reviews before buying.
Is Overclocking Worth the Risk?
As long as you stay within safe voltage and temperature thresholds. Overclocking is safe and there is very little risk. For AM4 CPUs, temperatures should ideally be kept under 80c, and CPU voltage under 1.38v for 1000 and 2000 series CPUs, or 1.325v for 3000 and 5000 series CPUs for best longevity.
For performance gains, you can usually expect around 8-12% on average for AM4 CPUs, possibly more if you also tweak your memory. Though how far you can overclock will also depend on other factors.
Cooling, PSU, and Other Considerations
Aside from a solid motherboard, other things you’ll need to be able to overclock well are;
A Good CPU Cooler
Sufficient cooling will help keep your temperatures low, giving you more thermal headroom to push your overclock, and ensuring the longevity of your CPU. What cooler you’ll need will depend on how many cores you have and how far you want to push. A good high-end air cooler or a 240mm or larger liquid cooler would be a good place to start.
A Quality, Appropriate Wattage PSU
A stable and reliable source of power is important not only for overclocking, but to ensure the safety of your entire PC. A quality PSU will provide stable power to your system as well as offering proper protections in case anything goes wrong. We’d recommend at least a 650w 80+ Gold rated PSU.
Case With Good Airflow
Your CPU cooler won’t be as effective if your case doesn’t allow it enough cool air to dissipate heat effectively.
Low airflow also negatively affects VRM temperatures, which may lead to instability or thermal throttling in the worst-case scenario. Make sure to choose a case that offers good airflow and adequate cooling options.
Whilst on the subject of AM4, follow the link if you would like to know my opinion on how long AM4 will last.
Having delved into the topic of overclocking, we hope we’ve satisfied your curiosity. The answer to “are all AM4 motherboards overclockable” is a simple “no”, but most boards worth buying come with the capability to overclock.
Only ultra-low budget and business-oriented motherboards lack the capability. Just about any B or X series chipset motherboard will give you the ability to overclock your CPU.
If you’re buying new, or have an existing motherboard and are just getting into overclocking; you now know what boards can and cannot overclock, and what supporting hardware you’ll need should you decide to pursue higher frequencies.
James Cosgrove has been the lead writer at GizmoFusion since 2019. He has a huge passion for the latest technology and gadgets. He loves to talk and write about this interest. He hopes that visitors to the website will find his reports informative and helpful when it comes to making the best choices for their needs.