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Some Ryzen CPUs are burning up. Here’s what you can do to save yours

If you already have one of AMD’s best processors for gaming, such as the Ryzen 9 7950X3D or the Ryzen 7 7800X3D, both your CPU and your motherboard might be in trouble.

Several reports of the processor burning up have recently surfaced. While AMD hasn’t made any statements, it’s possible that a new BIOS update might be enough to keep your gear safe.

u/Speedrookie / Reddit

AMD’s latest 3D V-Cache processors are real beasts, but it appears that for some poeple, that power comes at a huge price. Reddit users have been reporting issues related to the CPUs burning up and taking the AM5 motherboards down with them.

Reddit user Speedrookie posted the above picture on the AMD subreddit, and talked about their Ryzen 7 7800X3D. The CPU has a visible bulge and the motherboard has a burn mark. Both components no longer work.

“Came home to my system idling full fan and QCode of 00. Reset BIOS, play[ed] with memory, then take it apart to find the 7800X3D bulged out and took the socket with it,” said the user.

In a comment, the user elaborated a bit and said that the Ryzen 7 7800X3D had been running nonstop since the purchase, but that only means that it was on for a few days — the CPU was bought on April 16. Up until that point, it didn’t experience any issues with temperatures and performance.

Ryzen 3D V-Cache CPUs from this latest generation cannot be overclocked except for Precision Boost Overdrive (PBO), and this CPU wasn’t overclocked either — only the memory was through the EXPO 1 profile.

Speedrookie was not the only unlucky owner of a Zen 4 X3D CPU. Another user reported having issues with their Ryzen 9 7950X3D burning up, and they also haven’t overclocked anything. It’s not only the 3D V-Cache chips that seem to be struggling a bit here — dStruct714 replied to the original post and said that their Ryzen 9 7950X failed while the PC was idle with only the browser open. A common thread seems to be the use of an Asus motherboard in two of these scenarios.

Although The Verge reached out to AMD and Asus, neither commented on the situation. To the credit of both companies, they were quick to react and offer replacements to Speedrookie, but the user had already sent their components to YouTuber Gamer Nexus for analysis.

AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D held between fingertips.
Jacob Roach / DigitalTrends

The only official statement on the matter comes from MSI, which spoke about it on Reddit.

“Recently, there have been reports of the 7000X3D series CPUs being damaged, which may have been caused by abnormal voltage issues,” said the MSI representative. MSI noted that manual voltage and frequency adjustments are not permitted on the Ryzen 7000X3D. MSI has now also added new restrictions to the AM5 BIOS and the MSI Center.

“The BIOS now only supports negative offset voltage settings, which can reduce the CPU voltage only. MSI Center also restricts any direct voltage and frequency adjustments, ensuring that the CPU won’t be damaged due to over-voltage,” added MSI.

To make up for the loss, MSI has also added a new Enhanced Mode Boost in the BIOS that automatically optimizes the PBO to add some extra performance to Ryzen 7000X3D CPUs.

If you own a Ryzen CPU, especially a Ryzen 7000X3D chip, it’s better to be safe than sorry at this point. Update your BIOS if an update was made available to you, and if not, sit tight — Asus and MSI already rolled out updates, and other manufacturers are likely to follow.

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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…
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