Does Overclocking The AMD Athlon 3000G Require A BIOS Update?

I just finished building my new test PC and tried to overclock the AMD Athlon 3000G processor out of the box. The Asrock B450 Pro4 ATX mainboard came with BIOS version 3.60 (08/06/2019) installed. That version supported the 3000G — except for one small detail. No matter what changes I make in the BIOS to overclock the processor, the settings revert to stock speed at 3.5GHz after reboot.

We’ve seen this behavior before when the Ryzen 3000 BIOS updates removed the unofficial feature for overclocking the Athlon 200GE. I updated the mainboard to BIOS version 3.90 (12/16/2019) and easily overclocked the 3000G to 3.9GHz. The main selling point for the 3000G was the ability to overclock the new $50 USD budget processor on any Ryzen 3000.

Does the 3000G need a BIOS update to overclock?

The 3000G is in a weird spot in the marketplace. AMD announced the 3000G in early November and shipment began in late November. The 3000G was reportedly widely available in the European Union. B&H was the only North American retailer that offered a pre-order page. Several viewers commented that Micro Center sold out their entire stock on Cyber Monday. I placed my pre-order at B&H the day before Thanksgiving and received my 3000G the day after Christmas.

As of today, seven weeks after AMD announced shipping the 3000G, it’s available from B&H, Micro Center and a third-party re-seller at Newegg. Only Micro Center has the 3000g at $50 USD, everywhere else has it for $60 USD. Amazon still doesn’t have a listing. Since the 3000G isn’t quite widely available yet, there are no reports of BIOS incompatibility issues.

Gamers Nexus, Hardware Unboxed, and Paul’s Hardware did reviews of the Athlon 3000G in November and December. Although Steve at Gamers Nexus didn’t show the mainboard that he tested the 3000G on, he generally prefers MSI mainboards for testing. Steve at Hardware Unboxed used the MSI Tomahawk mainboard. Paul at Paul’s Hardware used the Gigabyte Aorus mainboard. None of them reported BIOS issues when they tested and overclocked the 3000G. That’s probably because they updated the mainboard BIOS to the latest version prior to testing the 3000G.

The Asrock B450 Pro4 mainboard shipped with BIOS version 3.60 that came out in August. That update was notable for fixing the gameplay performance of Destiny 2, a major issue with the new Ryzen 3000 processors. It also supported the unannounced 3000G processor without overclocking enabled. All the mainboard manufacturers probably shipped new Ryzen 3000-compatible mainboards with this update.

Flash forward (pun intended!) to November, AMD announced the 3000G as an unlocked processor for overclocking. That meant all the mainboard manufacturers had to come out with a new BIOS update.

  • MSI came out with a BIOS update after the processor announcement.
  • Gigabyte came out with a BIOS update after the processor started shipping.
  • Asrock came out with an update before Christmas and B&H pre-orders started arriving direct from AMD.

Depending on what BIOS version your new mainboard shipped with, you may need update the BIOS to overclock the 3000G.

Please note that the BIOS issue only applies to overclocking the processor speed on the 3000G. I had no problems overclocking the G.Skill 8GB 2666Mhz memory kit to 3000MHz with the shipped and latest versions of the BIOS. If you’re on the fence about getting a 200GE or 3000G, get the 3000G since the memory clock isn’t locked.

With processors like the Athlon 200GE and 3000G dependent on a BIOS update for overclocking, you need to be careful about updating the BIOS. For the 200GE, the latest version removes the ability to overclock. For the 3000G, the latest version enables the ability to overclock the processor. With Ryzen 4000 coming out this year, hopefully the new BIOS updates won’t take away the ability to overclock the 3000G.

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