Athlon 3000G Overclocking: Is It Worth It?

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[section_title title=Game Tests and Conclusion]

Benchmark Results – Game Tests

Tomb Raider 2013 (720p Normal and 1080p High)

Tomb Raider 2013 is an older game now, but new enough to still look good. For lower-end PCs, this is the kind of game worth looking at. You get a good experience, and they’re often cheap. We’re testing using the built-in benchmark.

The Low detail setting looked pretty bad, but we found the drop to 720p helped performance a lot more than the Normal detail setting hurt it.

Athlon 3000G Tomb Raider 2013 720p Normal Benchmarks, Stock and Overclocked. Stock 41 min 51 avg fps, CPU OC 42 min 52 avg fps, CPU+RAM OC 44 min 55 avg fps, CPU+GPU OC 53 min 67 avg fps, All OC 59 min 73 avg fps

Overclocking everything took Tomb Raider 2013 from playable to good on the Athlon 3000G. 720p Normal is hardly the prettiest preset but looks reasonable considering the hardware.

We also tested on the prettier but “cinematic” 1080p High setting. Low FPS should be less of a concern in this game than some of the others we’ve looked at.

Athlon 3000G Tomb Raider 2013 1080p High Benchmarks, Stock and Overclocked. Stock 18 min 22 avg fps, CPU OC 18 min 22 avg fps, CPU+RAM OC 19 min 23 avg fps, CPU+GPU OC 24 min 30 avg fps, All OC 26 min 32 avg fps

At stock 1080p High is realistically pretty much unplayable. With an overclock, we have the average FPS over the magic 30 and minimum above 24. This is certainly a “cinematic” framerate but Tomb Raider 2013 is somewhat of a cinematic experience in general. Many will prefer high FPS, but this is a viable option with the overclock.

Grand Theft Auto V (720p Defaults)

GTA:V also dates back to 2013 but is still one of the most popular games on Steam. We tested at GTA:V’s default settings for the hardware, using the built-in benchmark.

Athlon 3000G GTAV Benchmarks, Stock and Overclocked. Stock 12 min 44 avg fps, CPU OC 12 min 45 avg fps, CPU+RAM OC 25 min 51 avg fps, CPU+GPU OC 22 min 49 avg fps, All OC 28 min 59 avg fps

We’ve excluded the first scene of the canned benchmark from our minimums. It produced very low FPS, and was also quite inconsistent. The minimum from the other scenes is reported.

GTA:V on the Athlon 3000G is interesting because it gains a lot from the memory overclock. This is the only GPU test where a memory overclock did better than an iGPU overclock. After pushing everything, the average was nearly 60fps and – excluding the first scene – minimums were tolerable.

F1 2019 (DirectX 12, 720p Lowest)

F1 2019 is included as a modern DirectX 12 game that’s nonetheless well optimised, and has a hope of being run by the 3000G. It’s also very interesting in the current situation, because the F1 promoters have been running esports on F1 2019 in place of F1 races cancelled due to COVID-19. We used DirectX 12 on 720p Lowest settings, with TAA checkerboard anti-aliasing, and ran the built-in benchmark.

Athlon 3000G F1 2019 Benchmarks, Stock and Overclocked. Stock 38 min 42 avg fps, CPU OC 38 min 42 avg fps, CPU+RAM OC 41 min 45 avg fps, CPU+GPU OC 48 min 54 avg fps, All OC 53 min 60 avg fps

Overclocking the core on the Athlon 3000G made almost no difference in F1 2019, but iGPU overclocking gained well. A racing game at low FPS sounds frustrating, so we were glad to see our tuned 3000G hit 60fps.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (DirectX 11, 1080p Lowest, FXAA, Trilinear Filtering)

CS:GO is the single most popular game on Steam by a long way. At time of writing, over a million people are playing. CS:GO lacks a built-in benchmark, so we’ve used uLLeticaL’s benchmark map from the steam workshop.

Athlon 3000G CS:GO Benchmarks, Stock and Overclocked. Stock 6 smoke 52 avg fps, CPU OC 6 smoke 52 avg fps, CPU+RAM OC 6 smoke 58 avg fps, CPU+GPU OC 53 min 677 smoke 68 avg fps, All OC 8 smoke 79 avg fps

Dense smoke in CS:GO makes the game really chug, and there’s a handy patch of it on the benchmark route. Our overclock was far from a cure, but took the edge off a little.

Rocket League (AA off, Performance render presets, 1080p)

Rocket League is a very popular esports game based on the Unreal engine. There’s no built-in benchmark, but the menu screen is rendered in-engine. In our experience menu FPS is fairly representative of ingame FPS, aside from chugging when the explosion for a goal goes off.

Athlon 3000G Rocket League Benchmarks, Stock and Overclocked. Stock 49 fps, CPU OC 49 fps, CPU+RAM OC 55 fps, CPU+GPU OC 55 fps, All OC 71 fps

Rocket League has a lot of fast movement, and we’re sure players would appreciate staying above 60fps. Our sample manages this well, once everything has been overclocked.

Conclusion: Is It Worth Overclocking The Athlon 3000G?

Overclocking takes time and is inherently risky. You might be unstable and suffer a system crash, and even at conservative voltages it technically shortens the life of your components. However, it can be very rewarding.

Looking at our game tests especially, we saw huge gains. On our Athlon 3000G we saw games going from unplayable to playable and from merely playable to good.

If you have an Athlon 3000G, and you want to play games, we recommend overclocking wholeheartedly. The boost we saw is equivalent to a hardware upgrade. You don’t have to do memory overclocking to see gains, just the iGPU makes a big difference, but memory tuning can be rewarding.

You can download AMD’s Ryzen Master software here to get started.

One final tip before you go – if the worst happens and the system fails to boot, don’t panic!  Often after a few restarts and some patience it will recover on its own. But if it comes down to it, you can reset on a hardware level by removing the “CMOS battery”.

The CMOS battery on a Gigabyte B450M-S2H is in a plastic holder between the PCIe slots, towards the I/O side of the board. The battery itself is smooth and a bit bigger than the tip of a thumb. Towards the IO side there are plastic tabs holding it in, and on the other side a spiky metal clip. You can push this clip with a nail to remove the battery, but be careful as it may pop out. When replacing it the completely smooth side should face outward towards you, and the side with the slight depression around the edge should face inwards. Before feeling around in a case, be very sure to unplug the PC and ground yourself by touching the metal of the case.
Circled: the CMOS battery on a Gigabyte B450M-S2H.

Motherboards need power from the CMOS battery to remember your settings, so by taking it out for a few minutes you can reset everything. This will also reset your system clock. The vast majority of panic situations when overclocking are fixed with this, as it were, one simple trick.

Happy overclocking!

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