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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  • Jeff72 - Friday, April 28, 2023 - link

    1303 BIOS now available
  • Jeff72 - Friday, April 28, 2023 - link

    I'm now updated to 1303 BIOS and re-enabled EXPO II settings (DDR5-6000 (3000 MHz) memory).
    CPU VDDR_SOC MAX is 1.240 V like you had with 1301 BIOS. That seems reasonable.
    I'll run at this and see how things go.
  • Jeff72 - Thursday, April 27, 2023 - link

    In addition, I noticed these 7800X3D Package Temps (after gaming a little):
    EXPO II memory BIOS setting: 72.0 C Max
    Auto memory BIOS setting: 66.4 C
    Note: all my data is found using CPUID HWMonitor in Admin mode
  • krypto1300 - Thursday, April 27, 2023 - link

    My temps are also lower with auto memory settings becasue voltages are lower.
  • alufan - Friday, April 28, 2023 - link

    What we have here is Mobo suppliers pushing the limits to get to the top of the charts knowing full well the blame would be focussed totally on AMD, its not surprising that the majority of failures seem to be related to (but not confined) ASUS who are seen as a halo brand with ROG and need to maintain that position and justify the premium they charge.
    AMDs failure was in trusting the Mobo makers to be sensible rather than implementing a hard cap which they have now done, perhaps the refresh later this year can take the voltage without error we will find out later i guess but for now just update the Bios
  • Oxford Guy - Saturday, April 29, 2023 - link

    AMD didn’t learn from previous iterations of motherboard maker shenanigans, like ASRock 970 boards — ostensibly rated for the 9000-series FX chips that caught fire and ASUS’ penchant (via the Crosshair Formula Z) for underreporting the vcore.

    Of course, AMD should have been tarred and feathered for the 9000 series in the first place.
  • abufrejoval - Sunday, April 30, 2023 - link

    For me this is AMD's FDIV-bug moment: they either come out now and promise "life-time" replacement warranties, or there will be far too many current owners wondering if they should now burn up their potentially damaged CPU to get a known-good replacement.

    And let's get rid of that silly notion that PBO/EXPO activation kills warranties while they are at it. It's an advertised feature and using that may not affect warranties: you make it safe to use or you leave it out.
  • Keith63 - Saturday, May 6, 2023 - link

    I have to say nothing really excites me about this motherboard chipset. They obviously use way to much current/wattage which is what is causing this problem. Maybe instead of simply making things faster they should focus on making them energy efficient. I could say the same for graphic cards. When we approach using over 500 watts of constant power just to feed the beast I say we have gone too far. I wouldn't want the monthly electric bill.
  • Shlong - Saturday, May 6, 2023 - link

    A few days ago, my 7950X unexpectedly failed. I had kept all settings on Auto, except for enabling XMP DDR5-6000. Initially, I experienced random reboots, but they became more frequent over the past week. Eventually, the system failed to boot into Windows, resulting in a blue screen.

    I suspected that the issue might be related to my Windows installation or M.2 drive, so I attempted to boot from a USB Windows Installer. However, it would get stuck right after the POST. I tried various USB bootable media, but only MEMTEST86 would launch. Running a test revealed thousands of errors before crashing.

    To troubleshoot, I replaced the 7950X with a 7600X from my secondary system and everything worked flawlessly. When I put the 7950X back into the secondary system, it exhibited the same issues, unable to boot into Windows or USB media. Upon inspection, I noticed some darker gold markers beneath the 7950X where the memory controller is located.

    In my 30 years of building PCs, this is the first time a CPU has failed on me. As the push for smaller nanometers continues, AMD should exercise greater caution with voltages as the CPUs seem to be a lot more fragile.
  • Shlong - Saturday, May 6, 2023 - link

    I also submitted an RMA request 3 days ago, but AMD hasn't responded to it yet.

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