ASUS Says Latest AM5 BIOS Includes Dedicated Thermal Monitoring Mechanism To Avoid AMD Ryzen 7000 CPU Damage, New Updates For EXPO & SOC Voltage Also Coming
By: Hassan Mujtaba
ASUS has finally offered a statement on the recent cases of AMD Ryzen 7000 CPUs being damaged on its AM5 motherboards & why the older BIOS was removed.
ASUS Says New AM5 BIOS Features Necessary Mechanism To Avoid AMD Ryzen 7000 CPU Damage
Last week, we reported the first cases of damaged AMD Ryzen 7000 CPUs appearing over at the various hardware subreddits. The most prominent of the cases was an AMD Ryzen 7800X3D CPU bulging out of its contact pads and completely damaging itself along with the motherboard. It was discovered that the issue was related to the motherboard and more specifically its BIOS which did not have the necessary voltage restrictions to stop the CPU from pulling excess voltage. There was also full voltage control available to users on the Ryzen 7000 3D V-Cache chips which are fragile in design and cannot sustain higher voltages as that could lead to permanent damage to the stacked cache.
Now, ASUS has come up with the first response on the matter and they have the following to say:
The EFI updates posted on Friday contain some dedicated thermal monitoring mechanisms we’ve implemented to help protect the boards and CPUs. We removed older BIOSes for that reason and also because manual VCore control was available on previous builds.
We’re also working with AMD on defining new rules for AMD Expo and SoC voltage. We’ll issue new updates for that ASAP. Please bear with us.
As you can tell, the ASUS AM5 BIOS which we saw being removed earlier was due to the fact that they have full voltage control available and that could lead to improper behavior on the new AMD Ryzen 7000X3D CPUs. The unlocked voltage was even damaging the non-X3D parts which are able to sustain higher voltages due to far better overclocking capabilities. Almost all manufacturers had cases reported with ASUS being on the top of the list but Gigabyte and ASRock boards were also on the affected list though their cases were not as rampant.
ASUS also seems to be working with AMD in defining new rules for EXPO memory and SoC voltage. The board maker also said that enabling EXPO technically voids the warranty of the board meaning that it cannot be RMA’d. The same is the case with Intel’s XMP memory tuning technology though the company was generous enough to RMA the board for the user since the main issue wasn’t the memory overclock but the BIOS which led to the damage.
A user on the AMD Subreddit reported that he saw over 2V of voltage being sent to his AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D CPU on a Gigabyte motherboard. Though this could simply be a misreported voltage as a voltage this high can simply kill the CPU as Buildzoid states in his reply on the matter:
nope once the voltage gets high enough it just breaks through the insulators inside the CPU. Also software voltage monitoring is really slow.
— Buildzoid (@Buildzoid1) April 24, 2023
Meanwhile, MSI has been the first manufacturer to respond with a new BIOS that places voltage and power restrictions on its AM5 motherboards. We reported this yesterday. On the subreddit, users are tracking the issue and response from various manufacturers which can be seen below:
1.18 bios had a tendency to allow 3DCache chiplet to use up to 1.4V voltage on idle and empty instructions. 1.20 Beta with latest drivers from 31.03.2023 has it locked to 1.2V. Considering how many chips and sockets were burned in past few weeks on Asus(and one case on Asrock) motherboards it’s very important information. Bios uses lower voltages and boosts, so scores in for example Cinebench R23 will be lower. I recommend to use 1.20 for now.
Taking a close look at the damaged chip, Igor’s Lab discovered that the area that was affected by the burn was the CPU Core Power Supply or VDDCR. It looks like EXPO technology may also be a part of the issue as pointed out by an Igor’s Lab community member who states that for the AMD Ryzen 7000X3D CPUs, the specific parameters were not laid out and the same voltages used for the “X” chips were used for the 3D V-Cache parts which resulted in higher voltages and causing several chips to die.
It looks like ASUS and the other affected motherboard manufacturers missed out big time on the opened voltages and didn’t do enough QA which might be the reason leading to several cases now being reported of dead AMD Ryzen 7000 CPUs and AM5 motherboards. While new BIOSs are now being rolled out, the damage has been done. For Ryzen 7000 X3D owners, we’ll advise not to touch any voltage setting and if you are running an older BIOS, do disable or revert any voltage tunes and switch to the newer / updated BIOS if possible.