Motherboard software bug can accidentally kill AMD Ryzen X3D CPUs
A license to killBy Shawn Knight 20 comments
In brief: An apparent bug has been discovered in the motherboard management software from several leading board vendors that makes it incredibly easy to fry your X3D-based AMD CPU. We do not yet have a timetable for when safeguards will be installed so until then, be very careful when tinkering around in motherboard management software with these chips. One mistake and poof, your CPU could become a shiny desk ornament.
Igor's Lab recently stumbled upon the issue while tinkering around in MSI Center. Using an MSI B550 Unify board with an AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D processor, Igor noticed the software was seemingly detecting the chip as a standard Ryzen 5xxx, which does not have 3D vertically stacked L3 cache.
The extra cache is known to boost gaming performance but its physical presence also negatively impacts heat dissipation, which is one reason why it ships with slower clock speeds than the standard 5800X.
With the software unable to detect an X3D chip, it treats it like a standard Ryzen 5xxx and allows largely unfettered manipulation of the core multiplier and core voltage. Intrigued, Igor fiddled with the voltage settings and managed to kill the CPU in short order. He did not mention how much juice was fed to the chip to take its life but Tom's Hardware notes that core voltage can be set all the way up to 1.55v.
Worse yet, the apparent bug has since been discovered in similar management software from ASRock, Asus and Gigabyte.
Just last week, renowned overclocker der8auer tried his hand at overclocking and overvolting the AMD Ryzen 7950X3D. Even with liquid nitrogen, the chip instantly died when the core voltage was set to 1.55v. der8auer barely made it out of the BIOS (and without any significant load) before things went south. Needless to say, he was surprised it died so quickly.
At the very least, it sounds like these extreme core voltage options should carry a firm warning before users are allowed to apply risky settings.