There is a huge fuss lately about ASUS mainboards, keeping high SoC voltages which seem to be the problem of the Ryzen 7000X3D failures. As you will see, other brands also retained high SoC voltages, applying a minimum drop through the new firmwares, ignoring AMD’s guidelines.
I am not going to analyze the problem. You can check out this article at Tom’s Hardware if you want to learn about it.
Suppose you don’t have the time to read it. Briefly, the high VCORE_SOC voltage seems to be the culprit behind several CPU and, consequently, mainboard failures, so AMD issued a new firmware to reduce SoC voltages to 1.3V, which is safer. So according to AMD, the same maximum safe limit for SoC voltage is 1.3V.
According to recent findings by Gamers Nexus, although ASUS rolled out new BIOS which would allow for a maximum of 1.3 SoC voltage, this doesn’t seem to be the case, so I thought to give a go to a Gigabyte Aorus Master X670E mainboard that I have and share the results with you. I also have an ASUS mainboard, but since this is installed onto a test system, I don’t have the luxury to mess with it.
For my tests, I used the following parts:
- Mainboard: Gigabyte Aorus Master X670E
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D
- RAM: XPG CASTER RGB DDR5 DDR6400 (2 x 16GB, clocked @ 6000MHz)
- NVMe: XPG GAMMIX S50 Lite 1TB
- PSU: Super Flower Leadex VII Gold 850W
- Cooler: NH-D15S chromax.black
I soldered three wires to the mainboard, which I connected to a LabJack U3-HV, to monitor the following voltages at the same time:
I will measure the voltages in three different cases:
- With an older BIOS (F7) & EXPO disabled
- With an older BIOS (F7) & EXPO enabled
- With the newest BIOS (F10d) & EXPO enabled
Gigabyte states that the latest BIOS limits SoC Voltage to 1.3V max.
F7 BIOS Without EXPO
With the old bios and without EXPO enabled, Vcore_SOC and VDIMM are at low voltage levels. These readings are with the system at idle.
F7 BIOS With EXPO
Once EXPO is enabled, Vcore_SOC goes through the roof, reaching 1.42V. These readings are with the system running Prime95.
F10d BIOS With EXPO
With the new BIOS, which claims to limit Vcore_SOC to 1.3V, the screenshot above shows this is not true. The difference is 0.056V, with Vcore_SOC exceeding 1.36V. So I fail to see where the fix is that GBT promises in the F10d changelog. So ASUS is not the only one to “cheat” in Vcore_SOC voltage. If I test more mainboards, I will find several with Vcore_SOC exceeding 1.35V.
AMD’s newest statement in this issue is the following:
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. 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.
Some mainboard manufacturers don’t care about AMD’s fix, applying higher SOC voltage by adjusting the voltages on the mainboard VRMs.
Update 16/3/23: Measurements at the CPU Socket
Here is a list of affiliate links to get some good PSUs to use with Powenetics and/or your AMD system: