Athlon 3000G iGPU Overclocking

The integrated graphics on the Athlon 3000G are fed by SoC voltage. SoC voltage also feeds the memory controller, and can affect your memory overclock. Safety is also a concern as the memory controller part is less voltage tolerant. Though Ryzen Master offers a separate setting for iGPU voltage, according to AMD the iGPU voltage is derived on-chip from SoC voltage. That means it can be lower than SoC but not higher.

Because of this, we didn’t quite follow a normal process to overclock the Vega 3 graphics. Instead we set SoC and iGPU voltage to a fixed 1.2V, anticipating this would work well with the memory and get good iGPU clocks while staying safe. Normally it’s best not to jump ahead on voltage like this. Nonetheless, with 3DMark Night Raid Stability Test we found that an iGPU clock of 1600MHz seemed stable.

Test Log
iGPU/SoC Voltage Vega 3 iGPU Clock Test Result SoC Power
1.2V 1100MHz Pass 25W
1.2V 1300MHz Pass 26.5W
1.2V 1400MHz Pass 26.7W
1.2V 1500MHz Pass 27.5W
1.2V 1600MHz Pass 29.4W
1.2V 1700MHz Fail
1.2V 1650MHz Fail
Finding a Stable Vega 3 Overclock

Armed with an iGPU clock of 1600MHz at 1.2V we leapt into our benchmark tests… and crashed in PCMark10. This illustrates two things;

  • 3DMark’s “stability tests” are not stress tests. They don’t directly test if your system is stable, they aim to test frame rate “stability” as inconsistency.
  • Temperatures matter for iGPU stability. PCMark10 stressed the CPU as well as the iGPU, adding substantially more heat. At the higher temperature, an otherwise stable clock may have no longer been stable.

The inconvenient truth of overclocking is that fully validating stability can be difficult. Push one part of a system and suddenly others are loaded differently. This is especially true for an APU where graphics and CPU cores share a chip, heating each other up. However, the same problem can affect all systems to some extent.

Our practical solution was to run GPU stress test Furmark alongside three threads of Prime95 Large FFTs. This replicated the crash, and having backed off to 1550MHz we passed both this and our benchmark tests.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. I’m amazed by the fact that you got to DDR4 3800 CAS 18 on this combination of RAM CPU and Motherboard. I wonder if even faster RAM (if even possible) would make it go further.
    I’m interested in this chip not because I need a cheap PC, but cause I want a fun overclocking rig outside of my main PC.
    Although it wouldn’t make much sense monetarily, I was thinking on paring it with a mid range board, mostly for the SOC VRMs which might not be as stable as a 2 phase and would probably get quickly overloaded with higher power targets, also cause I’d like to use it with a Zen 3 APU down the line.

    • I managed DDR4-4000 CL18 using an MSI B450I GAMING PLUS AC with Crucial Ballistix Sport rated for 3000 CL15 (Micron “E-die”). Normally older gen AMD CPUs top out around 3600 with good memory so I’d be (even more) surprised if it has more in it than that.

      It’s a really fun CPU for overclocking and tweaking, but check compatibility carefully – sadly most X570 and B550 boards choose not to support the 3000G. This seems to be because it uses the older Zen 1 cores and is therefore classed as a “first generation” product – despite being numbered in the 3000 series!

      Unfortunately this creates a bit of a quandary when it comes to the upgrade path. I’ve written a bit about the compatibility situation at https://play3r.net/news/articles/b450-zen-3-compatibility-amd-bow-to-community-pressure/ but generally, a B450/X470 board fully supporting the 3000G has a lot of caveats when it comes to future processors. Hopefully that doesn’t put you off though, because it really is a fun chip to play around with.

  2. I’m forever grateful to this guide and review! You sir are an amazing tech guru for helping a novice like myself and I wish the best and the best for you.

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