AMD's figured out why Ryzen CPUs were burning up, BIOS fix already rolling out

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D processor
(Image credit: Future)

AMD has confirmed an issue that saw some users Ryzen 7000-series CPUs burn out, and says a fix is on the way from its motherboard partners in the "next few days," if it's not already available.

"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 1.3V," the statement from AMD says. 

"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."

That last bit is crucial, as the issue had previously been linked in a statement from Asus to EXPO memory profiles. These memory profiles allow for easy overclocking of memory kits to their advertised speeds, and require an increase to SoC voltage in order to run sufficiently stable. It's this SoC voltage that is likely the cause of the issues some users have since reported, including the damage seen to user Speedrookie's CPU, as seen in the picture posted to Reddit below.

While EXPO memory profiles are considered overclocking, and thus are not covered by any warranty, AMD has said that any user affected by the issue should get in touch with its customer support.

"Our customer service team is aware of the situation and prioritizing these cases," AMD says.

That hopefully means any affected chips will be replaced without the user having to fork out to replace the poorly parts.

You can see significant heat damage to both CPU and motherboard socket in this photo. (Image credit: Reddit—Speedrookie)
Board walk

(Image credit: MSI)

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If you're not affected by the issue but have any AMD Ryzen 7000-series CPU, be extra vigilant for any new motherboard BIOSes made available on your motherboard manufacturer's website. It's especially important to download that update and flash your board, just to be on the safe side. These updates should arrive imminently, including new AGESA code from AMD with the relevant fixes and checks. 

"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."

Asus already has a new beta BIOS available for its AM5 boards, which include the fix "for Ryzen 7000X3D series" chips. Gigabyte and ASRock have new BIOSes to download, which don't make explicit mention of the fix but are likely one and the same, and we're still awaiting a newer BIOS from MSI.

Jacob Ridley
Senior Hardware Editor

Jacob earned his first byline writing for his own tech blog from his hometown in Wales in 2017. From there, he graduated to professionally breaking things as hardware writer at PCGamesN, where he would later win command of the kit cupboard as hardware editor. Nowadays, as senior hardware editor at PC Gamer, he spends his days reporting on the latest developments in the technology and gaming industry. When he's not writing about GPUs and CPUs, however, you'll find him trying to get as far away from the modern world as possible by wild camping.