Igor’s Lab has discovered a major glitch in the MSI Center Windows app that allows AMD’s best CPU for gaming, the Ryzen 7 5800X3D, to be overvolted and overclocked beyond its limits. At first glance, this looks like a win for enthusiasts and overclockers. However, the application bypasses all artificial voltage and clock speed limitations altogether, turning this into a real danger for imprudent 5800X3D owners. To make matters worse, this issue was also discovered in Asus, Gigabyte, and ASRock software, marking this as a platform-wide issue.
Igor of Igor’s Lab was able to demonstrate the danger of this bug with his own 5800X3D. After overvolting the chip to 1.3v and beyond with MSI Center, the 5800X3D reportedly died almost immediately. We don’t know how the chip died specifically, but apparently Igor pushed the core voltage past 1.3v after two manual adjustments. The PC immediately shut down after the second voltage adjustment and never booted back up.
For the uninitiated, AMD’s Ryzen 7 5800X3D is the first CPU to feature AMD’s game-boosting 3D-VCache technology. The tech adds a 64MB slab of L3 cache right on top of the Zen 3 die, boosting the chip’s L3 capacity to 96MB. However, this additional L3 cache severely affects the CPU’s heat dissipation, forcing the chip to operate at lower frequencies.
The problem is significant enough that AMD previously blocked overclocking of the chip entirely and reduced the maximum core voltage from 1.5v down to 1.35v. AMD says the voltage restrictions are due to voltage limitations of the added cache, however, our testing indicates that the limitations almost certainly have something to do with the chip’s heat dissipation issues.
To verify Igor’s discovery, I went into MSI Center on my personal rig — featuring an MSI B450 Pro Carbon AC and Ryzen 7 5800X3D, and found the same unlocked capabilities in the “User Scenario” sub-section. I found the manual core voltage can be increased as high as 1.55v, and the core multiplier is completely unlocked. I didn’t find out what the multiplier limit was, but I was able to input a multiplier number of 80 (for 8GHz).
Of course, I didn’t apply any of these settings because I would like to keep using my CPU. However, based on the fact I can input these settings at all, without any limitations or greyed-out tabs does verify this is a big problem.
We have no deadline for a possible fix, but we are confident AMD will get to the bottom of this as soon as possible — especially since YouTuber Der8aur killed a 7950X3D while fiddling with similar settings less than two weeks ago.
Whether the fix will come in a new AGESA microcode update, chipset update, or software-side change is unclear. For now though, if you own a Ryzen 7 5800X3D, just be cautious when rummaging around your motherboard’s overclocking software, and don’t tweak any overclocking settings.