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Why it matters: Hardwareluxx reports that some of AMD's Radeon RX 7900 and XTX reference models are experiencing serious thermal issues involving GPU hotspot temperatures, or the maximum temperature read by the sensor. Extremely high hotspot temps are not good and can result in lost GPU performance from thermal throttling or worse.
Reports indicate some reference cards are hitting hot spot temperatures of 110C. This is something you never want to see, especially from a $1,000 GPU.
It's worth noting that Hardwareluxx only shared temperature issues involving the 7900 XTX, so we don't know if the RX 7900 XT is suffering from related problems. Given how similar these GPU models are, it wouldn't be surprising if the XT model is also problematic.
Temperature problems are reportedly only affecting AMD's reference cards at this time, not aftermarket cards featuring custom cooler designs. But to be clear, it is a problem that extends to AMD models and partner models that sell the MBA model with the reference cooler design.
Hardwareluxx shared temperatures from several AMD RX 7900 XTX reference cards and more than one exhibited hotspot temperatures of 110C. Thermal gaps between the GPU average temps and hotspot temps were also high, up to 54 Celsius on the upper end.
The rest of the cards turned in substantially lower hotspot temps. Unsurprisingly, temperature margins were also reduced with a temperature delta between the average GPU temp and hotspot temp ranging from 22C to 28C.
In our testing of the RX 7900 XT and 7900 XTX, we saw much more reasonable hotspot temps. Our XT averaged 65C with a hotspot temperature of 77C after an hour of gameplay in a 21C room. The XTX performed similarly, maxing out at 67C average with a hotspot temp of 80C in the same environment.
The wide temperature variance appears to be completely random. We don't know what's causing the unusually high thermals, but suspect it could be a cooling issue where the baseplate on the reference cooler is not making full contact with the GPU die and the memory controller dies. This would result in heat getting trapped and cause hotspot levels to soar.
Hardwareluxx said AMD is currently examining the problem. With any luck, they'll get to the root of the issue soon and come up with a solution for impacted users.