AMD makes another blunder – what on earth is going on?

AMD makes another blunder – what on earth is going on?


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You’d be forgiven for thinking something has gone markedly awry at AMD lately, with Team Red seemingly stumbling from one mistake to another in recent times.

The latest in a noticeable catalog of errors from AMD is a mistake on the official website pertaining to the overclocking capabilities of the incoming Ryzen 7000 processors with 3D V-Cache on-board (X3D models).

As highlighted by HXL on Twitter (via VideoCardz), in the specs, AMD marked these X3D chips down as a ‘yes’ under the ‘unlocked for overclocking’ category. However, we’d already been told that these processors definitely aren’t unlocked for full overclocking duties (though it will be possible to tweak them somewhat via Precision Boost Overdrive, you just won’t be able to juice them up by pumping in more voltage).

With the error picked up by the media, AMD swiftly removed the entry from the specs of the Zen 4 chips, and it has now vanished. Overall, this is hardly a big thing, you’ll doubtless now be saying, and you’re right – in itself. But this seems to be part of a somewhat disturbing trend…


Analysis: Strange times at AMD

So, yeah, a website error, no biggie; but then it does apply to a crucial area of the spec for these processors (and it’ll probably have briefly got hopes up for fully-fledged overclocking with some poor would-be buyers). Also in recent times, AMD made another mistake with Ryzen 7000X3D processor listings, providing a release date on the official web page (February 14) which turned out to be an error.

Naturally, these are relatively small mistakes, but a couple of website mess-ups in quick succession doesn’t look very professional. You might expect this kind of thing from a lesser-known third-party graphics card manufacturing partner, perhaps, but not from AMD itself. And what’s more worrying is that this is kind of reflective of some bigger blunders which AMD has been subject to lately.

We’re talking about the early controversy – regarding wonky clock speeds, and unused code – around RDNA 3 graphics cards after their initial launch in December 2022, followed by a Windows 11 bug that randomly froze up PCs with AMD CPUs as 2023 began (which in turn came along after issues with the Windows 11 thread scheduler slowing down high-end Ryzen CPUs).

Then we witnessed a serious flaw in the firmware of the Ryzen 7600X that could cause boot failure (albeit there were others to blame in that saga, too – and admittedly it was beta firmware, with a fix applied swiftly).

Finally, the big thorn in AMD’s side since the RDNA 3 launch has been the revelation of the flagship RX 7900 XTX experiencing issues with temperature hotspots and throttling. Team Red eventually revealed what third-party investigations had suggested – that there was a problem with the vapor chamber (the cooling system) with some of these graphics cards. Specifically, not enough water had been placed in the closed system of the chamber when it was manufactured, meaning its cooling capabilities were lessened.

While AMD acted to replace any affected graphics cards swiftly, as you’d hope, this was quite a mistake to make, really. It’s absolutely one of the biggest GPU gaffes we can recall in more recent history, and one that makes the Nvidia RTX 4090 problems with power adapters melting look small-scale in comparison (albeit the latter issue was more severe by nature).

What’s worse for AMD is that it made a huge song and dance before the RDNA 3 launch, with snide references to power connectors indirectly throwing shade at Nvidia, only for Team Red to stumble haphazardly into its own next-gen GPU flaw: a big cooling error with a much more wide-ranging impact. Not a good look, really.

With all the mistakes seemingly coming thick and fast, whether small spec errors or plans for cooling solutions going seriously awry with some flagship graphics cards, we think it’s fair enough game to ponder – just what on earth is going on at AMD right now?

Whatever the case is behind the scenes, some deep breaths need to be taken, and eyes fixed more firmly on the proverbial ball, because what’s been happening over the past couple of months on multiple fronts at Team Red needs to stop, quite simply.

Tech

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January 24, 2023 at 03:22AM

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