Now that everyone is finally figuring out that it’s not just Asus issue, we’ve finally found our own bugs regarding AMD’s AM5 socket blowout: The firm appears to have pushed its EXPO approval a little too aggressively. Note the infamous pic that started all the coverage:
If you opened the above image to enlarge it, you might have noticed on the right side of the photo that the damaged system is using the same memory as our AM5 launch article, and that’s neither a coincidence nor collaboration: AMD was so impressed by G.Skill’s ability to push DDR5-6000 at CAS 30 that it spread these kits far and wide in advance of that platform launch. That is, despite AMD’s original firmware listing 1.30V and above as the danger zone for VDD MISC.
We encountered the problem of “the fix” while working with an upcoming PCIe 5.0 storage solution: ASRock’s X670E Taichi supports G.Skill’s DDR5-6000 CAS 30 only when using 2022-dated firmware revisions. Following a development gap of several-months, ASRock published a its revision 1.18 on March 3rd to support Ryzen 7000-series X3D processors. Installing the new firmware breaks our G.Skill F5-6000J3038F16GX2-TZ5N’s EXPO, despite it showing normally on all BIOS screens. The board simply fails to boot with this EXPO configured, and after several minutes of failed attempts it boots using DDR5-4800 safe settings without notification.
TLDR: Our alternative Patriot test kit’s DDR5-6200 XMP works with the newer firmware, but at inferior performance due to the AMD platform’s use of UCLK=MEMCLK/2 at its 3100MHz clock frequency. The same kit includes a DDR5-6000 XMP, but it’s at the same lackluster CAS 40 timings as its DDR5-6200 rating. Since we don’t plan on manually configuring timings for every board we test, we’re back on the hunt for a new kit that might serve our AMD and Intel platforms equally well…say, something like DDR5-6000 CAS 32 at lower CPU interface voltage levels than those demanded by our current EXPO kit.
*Comments in this post are based upon real-world experience with ASRock X670E Taichi BIOS versions 1.09, 1.11, 1.18, and 1.21, using an AMD Ryzen 9 7950X with G.Skill F5-6000J3038F16GX2-TZ5N (EXPO) and Patriot PVVR532G620C40K (XMP) memory kits. Other hardware and/or test conditions may produce different results.