AMD confirms a Radeon RX 7900 XTX throttling issue related to the thermal solution used in the reference design

AMD has confirmed that throttling issues in the Radeon RX 7900 XTX reference models are related to thermal resolution.

AMD confirms Radeon RX 7900 XTX thermal solution issues, is committed to providing a solution to affected users

Over the past week, users have started reporting a serious issue with their Radeon RX 7900 XTX “MBA” reference graphics cards that is causing overheating and causing thermal throttling. This made the reference builds perform worse since they were running at lower clock speeds, and while AMD’s initial response was that everything was ‘normal’ and refused a customer RMA, the company later softened its stance and asked affected users to contact the support team.

Now, after a few days of investigation, AMD still determined the root cause of the throttling and overheating issues but provided us with the following statement which more or less confirms that the problem may be related to thermal design which is something that hardware experts like Der8auer and Igor’s Lab have also pointed out.

We’re working to identify the root cause of unexpected bottlenecks some people experience while using AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX graphics cards made by AMD. Based on our observations so far, we believe the issue is with the thermal solution used in the AMD reference design and appears to be present in a limited number of cards sold.

We are committed to resolving this issue for affected cards. Customers experiencing this unexpected bottleneck should contact AMD Support (https://www.amd.com/en/support/contact contact).

via AMD

AMD states that the problem is present in a limited number of Radeon RX 7900 XTX graphics cards, but it appears that the actual number of affected graphics cards may be higher and in the 1000s range as stated by Igor Lab. Igor spoke with a few system builders/distributors who mentioned that the issues have been known for weeks and not just one batch affected but several (4-6 to speak). Here are some quotes from Igors Lab:

The problem has already been known for more than 2 weeks and is being communicated between AMD and distributors (internal).. How to notify the end customer of the problem has not been finalized. … AMD’s statement was supposed to be released on January 3, 2023 at 6pm CET, but has been delayed..

As assumed, the cause is the evaporator chamber…multiple batches affected. Currently, 4-6 batches and thousands of graphics cards are assumed. Only MBA cards are affected. (quote from email)

We had to return over 300 Asus MBA, Sapphire MBA, PowerColor MBA, XFX MBA graphics cards to retailers/warehouses/wholesales…
Entire systems must also be disassembled for this procedure. (quote from email)

End customers should contact the supplier or AMD Support directly. Distributors and stores should send affected graphics cards to wholesalers and warehouses. (quote from email)

Via Igor’s lab

There have also been reports that the problem appears within about two to three weeks of using AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX graphics cards, so more cases may appear soon if this is true. The Radeon RX 7900 XTX MBA “Reference” graphics cards were among the first designs to hit retail shelves and many users bought them since they were the only ones with an MSRP. But now, the graphics cards themselves are affected by thermal throttling and overheating issues which can lead to a major recall or RMA.

Do you think AMD should remember the Radeon RX 7900 XTX reference cards if they really had a design flaw with the cooler?

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