Possible new title: Risk of Defects in All AMD Ryzen 7000 Processors and Mainboards

AMD Ryzen 7000: Risk of defects in all processors and mainboards

AMD Ryzen 7000 processors are facing a higher risk of defects than initially assumed. The problem is not limited to just one mainboard manufacturer, ASUS, but also Asrock, Gigabyte, and MSI. BIOS updates are being issued to resolve the issues. However, there are instances of Ryzen 7000 processors breaking without a stack cache, with scorched spots and bulges found on the underside of the CPU.

One cause for concern is the Extended Profiles for Overclocking (EXPO) which automates overclocking of the main memory. EXPO not only adjusts clock frequencies and timings but also increases internal voltages in the processor, thus increasing the SOC voltage. This increase can cause heat damage to the CPU cores or the I/O die.

Asrock, ASUS, Gigabyte, and MSI motherboards were compared with old and new BIOS versions, both with and without EXPO. The SOC voltage was increased with the loading of EXPO, in most cases from 1.1 volts to almost 1.3 volts. In the case of ASUS and MSI, the tested mainboards with EXPO also increased VDDIO voltage, which applies to the memory controllers in the processor.

Asus stated that AMD and the mainboard manufacturers are working on a revision of the EXPO specifications. Asus suggested that if users want to be on the safe side, they should look for BIOS updates on the product page of the mainboard used and set the SOC and VDDIO voltages manually. However, EXPO, like Intel’s XMP, counts as overclocking and, therefore, a breach of guarantee provisions.

To avoid any potential issues, c’t tests processors with main memory within the manufacturer’s specifications, i.e., without EXPO or XMP.

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