PC Building Simulator

PC Building Simulator

50 ratings
Silicon Lottery
By Mr. K
Information on PCBS silicon lottery.
What is the Silicon Lottery?
The silicon lottery is in reference to a chips quality determined by the silicon purity during manufacturing. Silicon is the material used by manufactures to make CPUs, GPUs, Memory DIMMs, and other chips used in electronics.

Several chips are printed on a single silicon wafer with the better performing chips located near the center of the wafer and lower quality chips towards the edge.

PCBS tries to replicate this by adding a variable to every CPU, Memory, and GPU component.
When Does the Silicon Lottery Come into Effect?
The silicon lottery does not effect stock settings. Running a stock Intel 9900K will run the same as another stock Intel 9900K. It is only when you change the frequency of a component will they start to differ.

When does the game add the silicon variable?
Once the delivery box appears.
Power Usage (CPU)
In PCBS, voltage acts as a threshold to how many watts can be used by the CPU. This is the same regardless of silicon lottery. The frequency to wattage ratio within these thresholds determines the quality of the CPU. The CPU will be stable as long as the increase to wattage doesn't exceed the threshold. If it does exceed the threshold, the PC will blue screen requiring an increase to the voltage.

For example. One 9900K can increase its clock by 10MHz and draw an additional 5W of power. Another 9900K increases its clock by the same 10MHz but draws 15W more. If the threshold allowed 10W of overhead the 1st 9900K would be stable while the 2nd 9900K would blue screen.

The wattage threshold Increases with higher voltages. As long as the frequency wattage requirement is under the threshold the CPU is stable (excluding thermal and system power limits). Better the bin quality, the less wattage usage per increase frequency.

Voltage to frequency is zeroed based on stock values.

For example. A stock CPU with a voltage of 1.35v and frequency of 4400 MHz will blue screen if you drop the voltage to 1.30v. This is because 1.35v is the bare minimum to support 4400 MHz for that processor. Dropping the frequency to 4399 MHz and the voltage to 1.30v will result in a stable system.

  • Increasing the voltage of a CPU without changing the frequency has no impact to wattage usage, heat output, or performance as long as the set voltage supports the configured frequency.

Power Thresholds (Intel i9-9980XE)
Measured at Highest Possible Frequency
* CPU 1 - High Quality Bin
* CPU 2 - Low Quality Bin
* In some instances the threshold numbers are different. This is due to the max frequency of a threshold not being configurable with available base clocks and multipliers.

Max Voltage Intel
Maximum voltage is split between three levels.
Exceeding the voltage limit will break the CPU.
  • 1.90 - Safe for 100% bin
  • 1.95 - 60% bin
  • 2.00 - 30% bin - Top Silicon
  • 2.05 - Death

Max Voltage AMD
Maximum voltage is split between two levels.
Exceeding the voltage limit will break the CPU.
  • 1.70 - Safe for 100% bin
  • 1.75 - Top Silicon
  • 1.80 - Death
*AMD has higher thresholds per voltage compared to Intel.
Bin Quality Comparison (CPU)
Overclocking (Intel i9-9980XE)
Highest Possible Frequency
* CPU 1 - High Quality Bin
* CPU 2 - Low Quality Bin

Underclocking (Intel i9-9980XE)
Highest Possible Frequency
* CPU 1 - High Quality Bin
* CPU 2 - Low Quality Bin

Interesting Note
Underclocking the high quality bin performs much worse than the lower quality bin.
Memory is free performance. It doesn't generate heat or draws additional power.
* Motherboards use a flat 30W of power

Max Voltage Memory
Maximum voltage is split between three levels.
Exceeding the voltage limit will break the Memory.
  • 1.80 - Safe for 100% bin
  • 1.85
  • 1.90 - Top Silicon
  • 1.95 - Death

How Many is Too Many
Memory is bundled with the CPU when it comes to 3DMarks scores. Adding sticks of RAM will increase your CPU score. But there is a limit.

Under the BIOS System tab you can see a section called Memory Channels. This is the max amount of RAM sticks that will increase your CPU score. Any more is just bragging rights but remember the set voltage and frequency is based on the worst binned stick.

Overclocking RAM is based on two values.
  • Base Clock
  • Memory Frequency

Base clock
Any value between 50 and 300.
* Your CPU frequency also changes with this value.

Memory Frequency
Determined by your motherboard. Some motherboards support more or less these frequencies.
* Base frequency in MHz (memory multiplier)
  • 2133 ( 2.666 )
  • 2400 ( 3 )
  • 2666 ( 3.333 )
  • 2800 ( 3.5 )
  • 2933 ( 3.666 )
  • 3000 ( 3.75 )
  • 3200 ( 4 )
  • 3300 ( 4.125 )
  • 3333 ( 4.166 )
  • 3400 ( 4.25 )
  • 3466 ( 4.333 )
  • 3600 ( 4.5 )
  • 3733 ( 4.666 )
  • 3800 ( 4.75 )
  • 3866( 4.833 )
  • 4000 ( 5 )
  • 4133 ( 5.166 )
  • 4200 ( 5.25 )
  • 4266 ( 5.333 )
  • 4300 ( 5.375 )
  • 4333 ( 5.41625 )
  • 4400 ( 5.5 )
  • 4500 ( 5.625 )
  • 4600 ( 5.75 )
  • 4800 ( 6 )

Memory Frequency = Base Clock * Memory Multiplier * 4 * 2

Easy Way
Enable XMP

Hard Way
Just some tips for GPU

GPUs cannot break by overclocking
  • Setting your power limit to max will not harm your GPU. I see no real reason not to max this unless you have limited PSU.
  • Like CPUs, increasing the power limit of the GPU will not change performance, power usage, or heat. These only increase when changing the core/memory clock speeds.
  • Performance per Watt, GPUs outclass CPUs when it comes to overclocking.

  • Single GPU prefer higher core clocks over memory clocks.
  • Dual GPU prefer tighter core clocks to memory clocks.
  • GPU power usage will peak during the third 3DMarks phase. If your PC blue screens here you are exceeding your PSU's power capacity.
  • When it comes to 3DMarks scores, overclocking the GPU yields the largest gains.
General Gameplay
Overclocking Jobs

My personal opinions. It's a game, play how you want.

Jobs I Would Decline
  • If a job requires an overclock higher than part I can buy. It is not worth binning CPUs and GPUs to find that top 1% part to meet a customers requirement.
  • Some GPU jobs are actually impossible to do. I have seen GPU overclock requirements higher than any GPU in the game can actually do at max core clock. Best to avoid or make sure you have a part capable of reaching the customer's requirement.
  • Nothing to do with overclocking jobs. But some water cooling troubleshoot jobs will have parts sticking out of the chassis. This is an automatic 1 star if you don't have a previous save.

3DMarks Score

Tips (Jobs)
  • GPU is worth more than CPU in 3DMarks. If you have limited funds buy a good GPU.
  • Remember that Memory is free performance. Brand does not matter and slot placement does not matter. Max out the memory channels and enable XMP profile or adjust with base clock/memory clock settings.
  • Minimal CPU overclock is needed for most jobs. You can get very far on just GPU and Memory overclocks. If the CPU needs to be faster then consider upgrading it instead of overclocking it.
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mlnhead1 Feb 23 @ 5:02pm 
I am curious if they didn't tie everyone's buying in the entire gameworld to the SL with the latest patch. I lucked out and found 5 6800xt's that will max out core and do +19 memory overclock. The day it launched I instantly tried the 6900xt and the 6800xt and found they were no comparison and started hitting the 6800xt hard. So I got 5 and I've sold many with maxed core and +18 memory overclock. A few days later, I cannot get one to hardly max out core at all...
Mr. K  [author] Nov 29, 2020 @ 10:13am 
Just remember in Free Play the parts disappear once you remove them.
PUC_Snakeman Nov 29, 2020 @ 5:31am 
Free Play has Silicon Lottery too. Every part instance of a CPU / GPU / RAM, gets its own curves, even in Free Build. You could test it yourself easily to confirm.
[SR] Redneck Nov 28, 2020 @ 11:57pm 
does this happen in free play or are they all the same and the best
Fate Nov 1, 2020 @ 2:25am 
Broke an 8600k with 1.8V
|9TH| GeneralDodanna Sep 8, 2020 @ 12:35pm 
This game imo is pretty high brow how deep they've gone on PC Building... its helping me relax and get my mind in the game for my next IRL build.... wether I break down and get the criticals preDDR5 or not XP
Evan Jul 12, 2020 @ 7:20pm 
Yeah I've hit 5.3 or 5.4GHz on a 9900k with 2V before. It was actually my first try, and I've never been that lucky since.
-=SBF=- sLaugher Jun 16, 2020 @ 2:49am 
Just broke a 8600k with 1,9 volts, memorysettings were just xmp
Lawrence May 12, 2020 @ 8:33am 
Nice guide my dude! did not even know this game had a Silicon Lottery.. Even after playing this game for around 180 hours...:csgohelmet: