AMD Ryzen 7000 Burning Out: Root Cause Identified, EXPO and SoC Voltages to Blame
Over the past few days, multiple reports have been popping up on the internet about Ryzen processors burning out. The damaged chip swelled and overheated, not only was it desoldered, but it was also severely damaging the motherboard on which the chip was mounted. The issue and the scope of AMD’s planned fix. Our information is obtained from multiple sources who wish to remain anonymous, but the information from our sources is consistent with all significant technical details.
First, it’s important to know that this condition can occur on both standard Ryzen 7000 models and newer Ryzen 7000X3D chips. AMD will issue a fix soon, but the timeline is unknown. All motherboard brands including Biostar, ASUS, MSI, Gigabyte and ASRock were affected.
It was supported by ASUS’ statement to Der8auer, according to our sources. The problem comes from the SoC voltage It has been changed to an unsafe higher level. This can be applied from the pre-programmed voltages used in the EXPO memory overclocking profile or when the user manually adjusts his SoC voltage (for a little more memory overclocking headroom common practice).
Our source also added details regarding the nature of the chip failure. In some cases, excessive SoC voltages destroy the chip’s thermal sensors and thermal protection mechanisms, completely defeating their only means of detecting and protecting against overheating. continue to
AMD’s latest chips often run at thermal limits to squeeze out every last drop of performance within a safe temperature range. It’s not uncommon to run at 95C during normal operation. return to a safe temperature. In this case, the lack of temperature sensors and protection mechanisms allows the chip to receive power in excess of the recommended safe limits. This excessive power consumption leads to overheating and eventually physical damage to the chip. This includes the warpage seen on the outside of some chip packages and the desoldering reported by Der8auer.
The chip receives excessive current through the motherboard socket during this kind of death spiral, causing visible damage to the virtual core pin sockets and bulging of the chip’s LGA pads. However, the CPU SoC, CPU_VDDCR_SOC, and CPU VDD MSIC rails/pins also have very little visible damage. It just can’t draw enough current to leave a visible char as seen on the vCore pin.
We know that 1.25V is the recommended safe SoC voltage limit, and 1.4V and above certainly possibility of the state that is occurring. To be clear, running above 1.4V won’t burn out the chip for sure, but it’s more likely. Conversely, 1.35V looks “safe”. However, proceed at your own risk.
Our sources say that AMD is working on a fix involving a voltage cap or lock in the firmware/SMU, which should prevent EXPO memory profiles and simple BIOS operations from exceeding undefined limits. I have. It is also said that AMD cannot completely prevent voltage manipulation of her SoC as her VRM determines how much is fed to the chip. This is because, despite AMD’s lock, crafty motherboard vendors have left the means to allow voltage changes (this isn’t the first time). Motherboard vendors circumvent restrictions to provide rare features).
Some motherboard vendors such as ASUS and MSI have already issued new BIOS to fix some issues. However, we have also seen failures with boards from Biostar, ASRock, and Gigabyte, with all vendors affected to some degree.
As with all forms of overclocking, damage from using EXPO overclocking profiles is not covered under warranty, but given the circumstances, AMD or the motherboard vendor used the lack of warranted EXPO support to void the warranty. I don’t think so.
The advertised performance you get from the EXPO profile is also not guaranteed by the chip manufacturer. It’s also worth noting that AMD’s allegedly planned SoC voltage capping could lead to lower overclocking frequencies for stable memory. However, his DDR4-6000 in the sweet spot works fine within the suggested limits, so we don’t think it matters much to most of his Ryzen 7000 owners. However, extreme overclockers and those on the cutting edge of performance may find their overclocking limits lower. Time will tell.
For now, while we wait for an official statement from AMD, you can take some common sense approaches to potentially protecting your chip — however, consider our advice a 100% solution. Please do not (proceed at your own risk).
This condition means that EXPO profiles can cause physical damage to chips and motherboards, even at low odds. If you use the EPXO profile, you’ll need to check her SoC voltages in the BIOS or utilities like HWInfo. Anything above 1.4V should disable the profile and run the memory at standard stock settings. If you manually dialed in SoC voltages above 1.4V, dial back to a safer setting for now.
All that’s missing now is AMD’s official word on the matter. Update as needed.