In April 2023, we reported on a major issue with AMD’s Ryzen 7000-series processors, which were randomly burning out and sometimes even taking the attached motherboard with them. The issue, caused by excessive SoC voltages running to the CPU, was affecting both the Ryzen 7000X3D and regular Ryzen 7000 CPUs, though more the former than the latter.
Asus is offering support to users who installed beta versions of its motherboard BIOS software, by extending its warranty period for its AM5 motherboard. According to PC Gamer, the manufacturer confirmed its warranty includes both the XMP and EXPO memory overclocking profiles.
AMD did fix the problem rather quickly through a timely AGESA firmware update for the 600-series AM5 motherboards that support next-gen CPUs, with said update limiting the voltage to the chip to 1.3V. The manufacturer also released an official statement, stating that “anyone whose CPU may have been impacted by this issue should contact AMD customer support.”
The problem is that at that time it was unclear whether AMD would honor warranties for this particular issue. As we pointed out in a previous article, that statement concerning reporting to customer service could be for data-gathering purposes as damage caused by hardware overclocking is explicitly not covered in Ryzen product warranties.
TechRadar has reached out to AMD for clarification regarding this situation and will update this story with any statements given to us.
Asus is stepping up to the plate while AMD is striking out
When looking over the evidence it’s clear that the AMD EXPO memory profiles are the main culprit. The memory overclocking setting in the motherboard BIOS is what's leading to the overvoltage of the chips, and it's not expressly stated that the users overclocked the chips themselves, just the RAM, which has manufacturer-provided presets.
However, Asus isn’t entirely faultless either. As Gamers Nexus noted when investigating this issue, Asus motherboards were still running EXPO memory profiles beyond 1.3V, which is supposed to be the SoC voltage cap set by AMD. And while this is a huge oversight on Asus’s part, it did own up to this defect and is compensating buyers, while AMD hasn't said one way or the other.
The fact that Asus is covering for a problem that’s the fault of both AMD’s own Ryzen 7000-series chips and Asus’s motherboard is absolutely bonkers. Regardless of whether or not it normally covers overclocking-related incidents, this is clearly the fault of both companies. AMD EXPO is AMD's own creation, after all, so it can hardly blame Asus entirely.
Overclocking is a very common practice for gamers and tech enthusiasts alike, to the point that manufacturers will almost always list overclocked specs for their components and even provide tools to overclock their hardware. The idea that AMD did not make a clear statement of intent to rectify that issue when it really should be covered under warranty is a terrible business practice.
Hopefully, AMD will fix this by honoring warranties for replacement CPUs, since its own AMD EXPO technology appears to be the root cause of all these problems and buyers having to replace such an expensive chip on their own budget is unfair.