Der8auer discovers damage on Ryzen 7000 non-X3D CPU
Roman “Der8auer” Hartung, a tech YouTuber very close to ASUS, has been able to share a statement from the company, which was among the first affected brands by the reports of broken Ryzen 7000X3D CPUs on Reddit.
This is a follow-up to our coverage of the issues with Ryzen 7000 CPUs. At least several users have now reported on damaged CPUs after using them with ASUS and Gigabyte boards. Motherboard makers were quick to respond to those reports by removing affected BIOSes and releasing a new version of firmware. This new BIOS restricts voltage manipulation for Ryzen 7000X3D CPUs, which is considered the root of the reported issues.
ASUS has finally released a statement on the damaged Ryzen 7000X3D CPU issues. The statement mentions AMD EXPO (memory overclocking profiles) and SoC voltages, which may require a new set of rules after ASUS and AMD define them. There are currently no more updates in terms of firmware or recommendations for users.
Interestingly, Der8auer took a closer look at its Ryzen 9 7900X (not X3D) CPU, which shows a visible bulge like the X3D CPUs in reported cases. This means that the problem might impact not only the X3D CPUs but also the X-series, although such cases (except this one) were not reported yet.
One of the commenters on Igor’LAB story yesterday had a good theory on the potential root issue. It looks like this is slowly finding its confirmation:
It is due to the EXPO parameters that AMD specifies. Asus and Gigabyte have implemented these 1:1 without paying attention to the new X3D CCD. While “X” cpus tolerate higher voltages, the X3D die off one after the other because they are much more sensitive.
As soon as Expo is enabled, the CPU SOC and CPU VDDIO/MC voltages increase to 1.36-1.4, sometimes boosting to 1.5V in Windows, causing instant death on the X3d. If you set all voltages manually to the correct values, there are no problems.
As mentioned by Roman, all affected cases had only one thing in common, the usage of EXPO. Users are advised to use the latest available BIOSes and observe their CPU voltages closely. Alternatively, users can manually force the SoC voltage to a lower level or stop using EXPO at this time. AMD is yet to release a statement.
Update: AMD has released the following statement (via AnandTech):
We are aware of a limited number of reports online claiming that excess voltage while overclocking may have damaged the motherboard socket and pin pads. We are actively investigating the situation and are working with our ODM partners to ensure voltages applied to Ryzen 7000X3D CPUs via motherboard BIOS settings are within product specifications. Anyone whose CPU may have been impacted by this issue should contact AMD customer support.