HWInfo exposes X570 motherboard’s cheat feature that reduces Ryzen CPU lifespan

HWInfo introduced a new feature which exposes underhanded methods in some X570 motherboards, eventually shortening the lifespan of the AMD Ryzen CPUs. The new feature reports “CPU Power Reporting Deviation”. This works on any platform and shows the deviation when you run a multi-threaded test.

Findings showed X570 motherboards are intentionally misreporting voltage measure specifically for the Ryzen processors. Because of this misreporting done by the motherboard which feeds the data to the processor, it boosts performance. While it does ‘trick’ the CPU to provide more performance, it is done at the expensive of the processor’s lifespan. Allegedly, this practice is pressured on the manufacturers by AMD. Whether the reduction of lifespan is known by both parties is unknown for now. The other issue is that there was no way for users to know about this clandestine setting.

The findings are posted by the one of the prolific overclockers ‘The Stilt’ on HWInfo forums. He was able to find this issue pertaining to X570 motherboards. He said:

I’d like to stress that despite this exploit is essentially made possible by something AMD has included in the specification, the use of this exploit is not something AMD condones with, let alone promotes. Instead, they have rather actively put pressure on the motherboard manufacturers, who have been caught using this exploit.

Isn’t this overclocking?

In practice, it sounds like overclocking, It isn’t since the voltage bump is done at stock settings. Under default settings, Turbo speed is kept enabled by default. As a result, CPUs are forced to consume more power and generate more heat. Both factors help to reduce Ryzen CPU’s lifespan, unknown to the user until now.

The Stilt provided an extensive report in the forums. He explains how the exploit works:

Some motherboard manufacturers intentionally declare an incorrect (too small) motherboard specific reference value in AGESA. Since AM4 Ryzen CPUs rely on telemetry sourced from the motherboard VRM to determine their power consumption, declaring an incorrect reference value will affect the power consumption seen by the CPU. For instance, if the motherboard manufacturer would declare 50% of the correct value, the CPU would think it consumes half the power than it actually does.

As of now, there is no comment from AMD or any of the motherboard partners. The updated utility can be download in HWInfo’s website. 

About Author