Skip to main content

This is how you can accidentally kill AMD’s best CPU for gaming

It turns out that one of AMD’s best gaming CPUs, the Ryzen 7 5800X3D, can accidentally be killed if you try to overclock it, and it’s all because there are no limitations as to how far you can push the processor.

Igor Wallossek of Igor’s Lab found that the software used for overclocking and overvolting Ryzen CPUs currently doesn’t impose any limits when you try to ramp up the voltage. And that’s a recipe for turning a fun performance boost into an overclocking nightmare.

Someone holding the Ryzen 7 5800X3D in a red light.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

AMD’s Ryzen 7 5800X3D is still among the fastest gaming processors to date. While it’s no longer the only chip sporting AMD’s proprietary 3D V-Cache, it’s a powerhouse that can run the most demanding games seamlessly. The CPU has a massive 96MB of L3 cache combined with eight cores and 16 threads. The boost clock goes as far as 4.5GHz.

Newer 3D V-Cache chips, such as the Ryzen 9 7950X3D, allow some degree of overclocking through Precision Boost Overdrive (PBO). However, AMD has previously stated that the Ryzen 7 5800X3D was not fit to be overclocked. Doing so will most likely void your warranty. Of course, people have been overclocking the CPU anyway and increasing its maximum clock speed, but messing with the voltage can end badly, as has been proven by Igor’s Lab.

If the CPU is not meant to go beyond a certain voltage, it makes sense that any supporting software would block the user from trying it. However, Wallossek discovered that this is not the case, and it appears you can overvolt the chip to your heart’s content.

Having found this out, Igor managed to adjust the voltage once before finally pushing the chip beyond 1.3v and killing it for good. The computer immediately shut down and the chip is beyond repair. “Rest in peace, and let this be a reminder that there is now one more keychain in this world,” he said in his report.

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D.

If this was a problem with just MSI Center, it might have been less significant, although not any less perilous for the chip that paid the price. However, it has now been discovered that ASRock, Asus, and Gigabyte all allow this kind of overvolting in their respective software, meaning that the whole platform might be affected by this problem.

What does this mean for those who own the Ryzen 7 5800X3D? Not much beyond what AMD already said, which is that you shouldn’t mess with the voltage on that particular chip. It’s unclear when this might be fixed. Until then, many Ryzen 7 5800X3D owners can still kill their CPU at any given time, and it’s easier than ever.

Editors' Recommendations

Monica J. White
Monica is a UK-based freelance writer and self-proclaimed geek. A firm believer in the "PC building is just like expensive…
AMD quietly slashes the prices of some of its best CPUs
AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D socketed in a motherboard.

AMD has just quietly lowered the prices of several of its best processors, including the gaming champion Ryzen 7 5800X3D.

With these price cuts in mind, the CPUs are now an even more attractive option if you're looking to build a solid rig without spending too much.

Read more
AMD, please don’t make the same mistake with the Ryzen 7 7700X3D
AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D socketed in a motherboard.

AMD's Ryzen 7 5800X3D launched about six months ago. I gave it a rare Editors' Choice badge in my Ryzen 7 5800X3D review, and I stand by that assessment. But AMD made a big mistake with the Ryzen 7 5800X3D, and I hope it doesn't repeat that mistake with the Ryzen 7 7700X3D (or whatever name AMD ends up going with).

Next-gen 3D V-Cache processors are on the way; AMD has already confirmed that. It's no secret that AMD's 3D-stacked cache is a winning strategy to top the charts of the best gaming processors, but if AMD holds the Ryzen 7 7700X3D as long it held last gen's version, it's going to be tough to recommend.
Outclassed in an instant

Read more
AMD 7000X3D V-Cache CPUs could challenge Intel at CES 2023
AMD 3D V-Cache chip is shown over a coppery background.

New AMD 7000X3D V-Cache CPUs could be shown as early as January 2023 at next year’s CES, promising big gaming performance gains and potentially wrestling the title of best gaming chip from Intel once more.

The latest news comes from a supposedly leaked internal road map that reveals AMD is planning to unveil its next-generation 3D V-Cache CPUs based on the Zen 4 architecture at CES 2023. This information comes from Wccftech which has a good track record of uncovering insider information. The report goes on to suggest that there will be two 3D V-Cache chips announced at the event, which is notable.

Read more