AMD’s ongoing X3D chip crisis has another wrinkle: AMD is now placing additional guardrails on AMD Ryzen 7000 as well as Ryzen 7000X3D processors, preventing them from being overclocked via a new BIOS update.
If you own a Ryzen 7000 or Ryzen 7000XD processor and don’t overclock it, this tweak shouldn’t really affect you—though you’ll soon be receiving a new BIOS update anyway. If you do overclock one of those chips, AMD’s follow-up will be more significant. Specifically, AMD said in a statement that the company is distributing a new AGESA revision that caps the SOC’s voltage at 1.3V, regardless of whether the associated PC memory is being overclocked.
AMD touted its Ryzen 9 7950X3D as the “ultimate processor for gaming,” and our recent review of the 7950X3D chip proved that out—mostly. Unfortunately, the chip lost out in a few tests to Intel’s rival 13th-gen Core chips, which is sometimes the impetus to overclock it. Doing so, however, actually burnt out a few of the chips. In response, MSI placed greater restrictions on overclocking the chips via an additional BIOS update. It appears that other motherboard makers will soon follow suit.
AMD is issuing a new AGESA update that essentially blocks the CPU from operating beyond 1.3V, and is asking all of its motherboard partners to issue new BIOS updates, too.
“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,” AMD said. “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.”
“We expect all of our ODM partners to release new BIOS for their AM5 boards over the next few days,” the statement continued. “We recommend all users check their motherboard manufacturers website and update their BIOS to ensure their system has the most up to date software for their processor. Anyone whose CPU may have been impacted by this issue should contact AMD customer support. Our customer service team is aware of the situation and prioritizing these cases.”
Overclocking the CPU and the memory is complicated by the fact that both the memory controller and the CPU live in the same package, which means that increasing the voltage of the memory controller increases the CPU voltage as well. That came into focus in 2021, when Intel began allowing memory overclocking on locked CPUs. Both AMD and Intel adopted a sort of “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, though, tacitly allowing it even if their warranties don’t cover it.
“AMD’s product warranty does not cover damages caused by overclocking, even when overclocking is enabled via AMD hardware and/or software,” AMD said then. “This would include any form of memory overclocking.”
AMD’s latest statement, of course, implies that AMD will cover any costs caused by overclocking—even if AMD is now clamping down on overclocking both the Ryzen 7000 and Ryzen 7000X3D processors.
But the message here is clear: If you own a Ryzen 7000 or 7000X3D chip, overclocking the CPU is a no-no until further notice.