Yesterday, AMD issued a statement surrounding the burnout issues some users have been experiencing with their Ryzen 7000X3D processors. The problem, reported in multiple Reddit subforums, includes some Ryzen 7000X3D CPUs burning out part of the chip, and damaging the AM5 socket in the process. This morning, AMD has released a second statement regarding the issue, including what it is doing to rectify the problem and put Ryzen 7000 processor owners at ease.

The official statement from AMD is as follows:

"We have root caused the issue and have already distributed a new AGESA that puts measures in place on certain power rails on AM5 motherboards to prevent the CPU from operating beyond its specification limits, including a cap on SOC voltage at 1.3V. None of these changes affect the ability of our Ryzen 7000 Series processors to overclock memory using EXPO or XMP kits or boost performance using PBO technology.

We expect all of our ODM partners to release new BIOS for their AM5 boards over the next few days. We recommend all users to check their motherboard manufacturers website and update their BIOS to ensure their system has the most up to date software for their processor. 

Anyone whose CPU may have been impacted by this issue should contact AMD customer support. Our customer service team is aware of the situation and prioritizing these cases."

To counteract the problem, AMD has apparently identified an issue with specific chip voltages going too high when users enable AMD's EXPO memory profiles. A new cap on SoC voltages looks to be the primary change in the AGESA firmware rollout.

However, AMD's broad statement mentions that the update will address multiple power rails, which implies to some degree that the issue may be more than just the SoC power rail – or at least, that AMD isn't taking any chances. So what this entirely means is still a bit up in the air, as AMD hasn't specified in detail what it's doing outside of SoC power limits to prevent Ryzen CPUs from exceeding their specification limits.

Technically speaking, enabling EXPO memory profiles is a form of overclocking – i.e. operating the processor outside of specifications – as AMD's Ryzen 7000 family only officially supports DDR5 memory up to DDR5-5200 speeds. So going past this is putting additional stress on the memory controller in terms of clockspeeds; but the greater concern is how the various voltages on the chip are being adjusted to keep up with the demands of higher memory speeds.

One interesting point about AMD's statement is that it doesn't allude to whether or not the issue is just on its Ryzen 7000X3D processors, or whether it affects all of its Ryzen 7000 processors entirely. Regardless of the Zen 4 chip that users may have, AMD is ambiguous in its language, and it seems to be that AMD is recommended that all users with a Ryzen 7000 series processor should update to the latest firmware.

In practice, enabling EXPO memory profiles on compatible DRAM does seem to push SoC voltages beyond AMD's safe spot on the Ryzen 7000 processors, which AMD is treating as part of the cause of the burnout issue. AMD does, however, state that the changes it has made to their AGESA firmware, once flashed, shouldn't affect the user's ability to apply EXPO memory profiles on compatible kits of DDR5 memory. Which does raise the question of why motherboards were increasing SoC voltages in the first place, as presumably this shouldn't be needed if AMD's new caps won't limit EXPO memory overclocking.

In any case, AMD is actively working with its motherboard partners to release a new AGESA firmware with the new voltage limits, which they say has already been distributed. AMD claims that all AM5 motherboard vendors and models should have a new BIOS version available to them within the next few days, and is recommending all users to update their BIOS at their earliest convenience.

Image source: Speedrookie/Reddit

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  • stephenbrooks - Friday, April 28, 2023 - link

    I'm pretty sure the whole GPGPU (using GPUs for science etc.) only exists because of the multi-billion-dollar gaming industry.
  • abufrejoval - Sunday, April 30, 2023 - link

    It's a classic synnergy, as science cannot be separated from child's play and vice versa: neither could have done without the other.
  • FunBunny2 - Tuesday, May 2, 2023 - link

    " multi-billion-dollar gaming industry."

    well... the PC-gamer market isn't the same thing as crypto-mining (a truly wagering experience) or FanDuel and the like. I suspect that the Big Boys run on IBM Big Iron running linux, not a bunch of PCs running Netware.
  • Oxford Guy - Saturday, April 29, 2023 - link

    Productivity is more than a waste of time; it’s destroying the biosphere.
  • abufrejoval - Sunday, April 30, 2023 - link

    Each of those three could have turned me off PCs, if I hadn't been completely smitten by then and running Microport System V release 2 on my 80286, porting code.

    It was Visicalc, WordStar and Vulcan aka dBase II for me from the very start on CP/M on my Apple ][ clone with a Z-80 softcard, all those 2nd and 3rd runner-ups just made things worse.

    I yielded to M$ office after GEM lost, but tried every alternative from Nico Börries, since he sold the Turbo-Text-Toolbox as a WordStar replacement (that's LibreOffice today, in case you don't know your Personal Computer history).
  • TheinsanegamerN - Tuesday, May 2, 2023 - link

    Those damn gamers and their *checks notes* willingness to buy our products! How DARE they!
  • Silver5urfer - Thursday, April 27, 2023 - link

    I still wonder why this issue surfaced after all these months 6 months+ of Ryzen 7000 series AND X3D refresh being a month + already present in the market. There should be more for this. But I still cannot think how can AMD and Mobo partners can skip the SoC voltage specification. This is exactly why I always mention AMD needs to provide datasheets. Intel does it and they have voltage specifications for a lot of variables. Esp given the fact how this is EXPO related or at-least it makes that like it.

    So many reviewers and OCers and everyone ran these processors with EXPO. AMD should really need to put focus more perhaps.
  • HarryVoyager - Sunday, April 30, 2023 - link

    It sounds like this is more a case that the X3D is uniquely vulnerable to over-voltage and pver-current conditions but the conditions were still there on the non-vcache chips.
  • Jeff72 - Thursday, April 27, 2023 - link

    7800X3D here with Asus X670E-A motherboard and Corsair VENGEANCE 32GB (2x16GB) DDR5 DRAM 6000MT/s C36 AMD EXPO Memory Kit SKU CMK32GX5M2D6000Z36. I updated to BIOS 1202 recently but now see "Beta" BIOS 1301 which i'm personally not installing for now. I did turn my memory EXPO II BIOS setting back to Auto until they work out this apparent over CPU Voltage issue with EXPO memory set. I did notice that with EXPO II setting on the memory (I was using the memory BIOS EXPO II (3000 MHz) setting until yesterday when I turned it back to Auto (2400 MHz)) my 7800X3D CPU VDDR_SOC Voltage went from EXPO II Max seen of 1.340 V to Auto Max seen of 1.020 V.
  • krypto1300 - Thursday, April 27, 2023 - link

    I updated to 1301 and my SOC voltage dropped from 1.35 to 1.24 with EXPO. Performance is much the same in CB, Timespy and gaming.

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