News: AMD Seeds New AGESA Update to Mitigate Ryzen 7000 Burnout Concerns

AMD issues new AGESA update to mitigate Ryzen 7000 burnout concerns caused by EXPO profiles, confirms PBO functionality will remain unaffected.

AMD has responded to concerns over potential burnouts in the Ryzen 7000 series of CPUs by seeding new AGESA (AMD Generic Encapsulated Software Architecture) updates to board partners to help mitigate the issue. The issue was initially thought to be related to EXPO profiles, which could cause the SoC and VDDIO/MC voltages to spike, resulting in the death of both the processor and motherboard. However, AMD's clarification confirms that EXPO and PBO capabilities will continue to work as intended.

Reports of dead CPUs emerged over the past few days, with well-known overclocker Der8auer (Roman Hartung) noticing the issue on a Ryzen 9 7900X non-X3D CPU as well. This prompted board vendors to release BIOS updates workarounds to temporarily mitigate the problem. Affected users noted their CPU swelling up at specific contact points leading to the death of both the processor and the motherboard.

Using EXPO profiles technically constitutes overclocking, so users are left in a quandary when it comes to qualifying for an RMA under warranty. This is despite board vendors listing out specific RAM batches that are listed on the motherboard OEM's qualified vendor list (QVL).

According to Reddit user u/Speedrookie, Asus support informed them that because EXPO profiles were used, the CPU isn't covered by AMD's warranty. Hardware Busters found the Ryzen 9 7950X3D and the Ryzen 7900X spiking to 130 W and 109 W at idle when tested on boards from Asus, MSI, and Gigabyte.

Motherboard vendors have been quick to release BIOS updates that lower the operating voltage and allow only undervolting. For instance, MSI issued BIOS updates for its AM5 boards that only support negative offset voltages while disabling all manual voltage and frequency adjustments.

AMD has responded by releasing a new AGESA version to board vendors that restricts the SoC voltage to 1.3 V to prevent the CPUs from operating beyond their specifications. In a statement to AnandTech, AMD said:

"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 1.3 V. 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."

While it is not clear which power rails are being affected by this change, AMD has confirmed that EXPO memory overclock and Precision Boost Overdrive (PBO) will not be affected. However, enabling EXPO speeds indeed constitutes operating the CPU beyond its specifications. It is also not fully clear how widespread the problem is and whether AMD and its partners intend to replace damaged CPUs and boards.

For those running a Ryzen 7000 series processor, it is recommended to keep an eye out for new BIOSes based on the updated AGESA firmware on your board vendor's official support site. AMD has specified in its reviewer guides that DDR5-6000 is the sweet spot for Ryzen 7000 just like how DDR4-3600 was for the Ryzen 5000 series.

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