AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX reference models may have a defective vapor chamber causing overheating

AMD’s Radeon RX 7900 XTX reference graphics card seems to have a major flaw in its cooler design as pointed out by Der8auer.

AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX reference cards may contain a defective vapor chamber causing overheating and thermal throttling

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 client RMA, the company has now softened its stance and asked affected users to contact the team the support.

Now in the second video that Der8auer has posted about the overheating issue, the tech expert says that he has so far received 48 confirmed cases like this and a few users have submitted their cards for further evaluation. While it was previously thought that removing and reinstalling the cooler and applying proper pressure might solve the problem, this does not seem to be the case anymore and is actually much worse.

Der8auer tested the cards with a horizontal mount and a cooler mount to increase the pressure and even tried to replace the screws and washers, something Igor’s lab had suggested a day earlier in his findings. But neither of those things seemed to solve the overheating issue and the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX reference graphics cards still hit the 110C Junction temperature. The flip method didn’t work either.

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All of this leads Der8auer to conclude that the problem with the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX graphics card is not a simple installation error but rather an error within the cooler, more specifically, the heatsink using a vapor chamber. Der8auer hypothesizes that the vapor chamber could have a design or physical issue preventing the liquid inside it from flowing properly around the card. Der8auer seems pretty confident that the steam chamber is the problem and he’ll have a follow-up video where he dissects the block to see how the steam flow is handled by it.

Now if it turns out to be a design flaw within the cooler itself, AMD will probably have to recall all Radeon RX 7900 XTX graphics cards because they are definitely not built within spec and don’t perform as well to “normal” specs. AMD made a lot of fuss about the Radeon 7900 coolers being small and easy to upgrade to but seems to have overlooked a major flaw within the heatsink itself.

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