AMD’s CPU Overclocking Surprise
Shame About That Warranty, Eh?
The past few releases of AMD’s Radeon Adrenalin GPU drivers incorporated the same features as their standalone overclocking tool, Ryzen Master, which allowed owners of a system with an AMD CPU and GPU to overclock from the same interface. While easy CPU overclocking is something many appreciate, not too many appreciate surprise CPU overclocking which they did not configure. Unfortunately that is exactly what the new Adrenaline GPU drivers have been doing.
There are a number of problems with this, not least of all the amount of time it has taken AMD to admit this issue exists as well as their lack of a permanent solution. Those that used Ryzen Master in the past were presented with a warning that overclocking their CPU would void any associated warranty and required you agree to this before proceeding. This does not happen when Adrenaline overclocks your CPU, which suggests that you could have some serious problems with trying to RMA a faulty Ryzen CPU. There is no way for AMD to tell if a CPU was purposefully overclocked or if it was done without the users knowledge or permission, so it will be very interesting to see how AMD deals with this fallout.
The last reason is simple stability, if you didn’t build a system with overclocking in mind this could mean you have been dealing with random system issues for some time now. There would be little reason to check Precision Boost Overdrive in your BIOS, and from the sounds of it there is no guarantee you would be able see that in the BIOS as the Adrenaline software would apply that after it launched.
For now, if you haven’t been suffering you can continue to take advantage of the surprise overclock or you can download Radeon Software Slimmer to delete all Ryzen Master components from your Adrenaline driver. Stay tuned for more.
AMD has confirmed to Tom's Hardware that a bug in its GPU driver is, in fact, changing Ryzen CPU settings in the BIOS without permission. This condition has been shown to auto-overclock Ryzen CPUs without the user's knowledge.