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New build, ROG STRIX B350-F Gaming + Ryzen 5 2600 freezing all the time

Level 7
Hi guys! I desperately need help!

After 10 years (yes, 10) with the same PC I decided to build a new one. I decided to wait for Ryzen 2000 and during the last weeks I was choosing and purchasing all the parts needed. On Friday I finally started assembling everything and installing Windows but, ****! The PC keeps freezing every few minutes! Something is really wrong. I'll give you some details:


  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 2600 at stock clocks.
  • Cooler: Scythe Kotetsu Mark II
  • Motherboard: Asus ROG STRIX B350-F Gaming
  • BIOS: 4011 (the online retailer updated it so it would be Ryzen 2000-ready).
  • RAM: Corsair Vengeance LPX 3000 (2 x 8 GB), running at 2133 MHz (I keep RAM settings in AUTO until I get the freezing fixed).
  • PSU: Seasonic G-Series 550 W
  • GPU: Sapphire Radeon HD 7850 (yes, it's old but I don't play demanding games at the moment, so I don't plan on upgrading anytime soon). It has been working flawlessly in my old PC for years).
  • Disk drive: Seagate EVO 850 500 GB

Error messages

  • I got twice a CLOCK_WATCHDOG_TIMEOUT error, but normally it just freezes. It can be browsing the net, installing something, or even sitting idle in the desktop.

Tests already performed

  • Software: it happens since Windows 10 was just installed fresh, so I don't think it's a software issue. All drivers are up-to-date (as far as I can tell).
  • I tried to install the Creators Update, but it freezes between 71 and 80%.
  • MEMTEST86 gives no errors (default test, 4 runs).
  • I tried with 1 RAM stick only, both sticks, but it does not help. When using one single stick I always used slot A2, as instructed in the manual of the motherboard.
  • CPU temperature is below 40 (it does not have the time to get warm before it freezes, LOL).
  • Other devices: I already disconnected the sound card, additional hard drive, DVD-drive, webcam and USB mic, but it does not help.
  • I checked all connections to the motherboard, all cables are tightly attached.

Everything I could test seems to be OK. So I'm starting to think that either:

  • I screwed something up. It's my first PC build; I had upgraded almost everything in my old PC without problems, and I think I assembled everything correctly in the new one, but maybe I overlooked something.
  • Some component is defective. But, which one??? Possibly not the RAM, as MEMTEST86 passes, so what else? CPUs almost never fail, right?

What do you suggest? Is there anything else I could try? Should I RMA the motherboard?

Level 7
OK, maybe it IS something memory-related. It came to my mind that the maybe the memory AUTO settings (2133 MHz, 1.20 V) were too far away from the specifications in the QVL (3000 MHz, 1.35 V), so I tried setting that manually. It froze again installing the Creators Update. But I performed a few tests more and now at 2933 MHz, 1.36 V it is A LOT more stable. It seems that I can browse the net and watch Twitch streams normally, but I started a Blend test in Prime95 and the system froze after a few minutes. So it is not perfectly stable.

What do you suggest to improve stability? Is there any other setting I should change in the BIOS, besides memory frequency and voltage?

Level 12
The B350-F is troublesome. For more info refer to the thread below. This deals mostly with Zen rather than Zen+ but I'm sure you'll find help there.
I'd like to deploy my troops in her country.

Troublesome? According to my research it's the less troublesome of the B350 motherboards...

Thanks for the suggestion, I'm going to post in that thread.

Level 9
If you are running more than 2 hardware monitor try to remove one. e.g. NZXT CAM + AI Suite 3 or HW Info + Ai SUite 3. It is the first step to check. Also check if aura sync is set to chage led colour as per cpu temp or not.

AniChatt wrote:
If you are running more than 2 hardware monitor try to remove one. e.g. NZXT CAM + AI Suite 3 or HW Info + Ai SUite 3. It is the first step to check. Also check if aura sync is set to chage led colour as per cpu temp or not.

I finally found out that one of the RAM sticks was defective. But thanks for mentioning the problem with monitoring software: I was experiencing deep freezing problems (even reset button didn't work) and I observed that it happened only if I had Hwmonitor open (and AI Suite opened in the background). Good to know! I was about to dissassemble everything again!