So far it hasn’t been smooth sailing for the launch of AMD RX 7900 series, which has been plagued by numerous issues such as an ab-normally high power consumption during hardware accelerated video playback, high idle power consumption which is prevalent when using high resolution and high refresh rate monitors (with reports that the issue is accentuated when connecting multiple monitors at the same time).
AMD has acknowledged these issues with their latest driver update Adrenalin 22.12.2, and seemingly has fixed the video playback high power issue, while working on fixing the others.
GPU Hot-Spot Hits 110°C & Thermal Throttling
But a totally new issue has now surfaced with multiple RX 7900 XTX owners reporting that there is a massive delta between the GPU temperature and the GPU hot-spot temperature which hits 110 degrees celsius, causing the GPU to thermal throttle under load and downclock its frequency, which in turn causes a drop in performance.
So far these reports are all relating to the MBA designs, meaning the reference cards made by AMD and not the AIB partners’ models with custom cooling / PCB designs, HardwareLUXX’s Andreas Schilling has taken note of the issue and conducted an investigation with colleagues from ComputerBase, and forum members of hardwareLUXX who own the RX 7900 XTX to confirm if the issue affects the MBA designs only.
As you can see from Andreas Schilling’s findings, the diagram above sorted by the temperature delta shows that indeed the MBA designs from AMD have the largest delta and reach the hot-spot temperature of 110 °C.
The highest temp difference seen was 53 °C (56 °C GPU and 109 °C hot-spot temperature), whereas the custom models from ASUS, XFX and Sapphire do not exhibit the same issue, with deltas maxing out at 20 °C, and a maximum temp of well below 100 °C.
Andreas concluded that when the hot-spot temp hits this level, the card starts to throttle, which is unacceptable for a high-end graphics card that costs more than 1,000 USD / Euros.
AMD Rejects RMA Requests for 7900 XTX Owners
Several RX 7900 XTX buyers who got affected by the throttling issue have taken to the r/AMD subreddit to share their frustration after having their RMA requests rejected by AMD where the company’s reply stated that such temps are normal.
As we know so far, quite a lot people have problems with the 7900xtx reference cards, reaching 110 junction temps, 100% fan speed and still losing performance due to downclocking .
I just got the reply of my RMA request (unchanged answer):
Thank you for your email.
The temperatures are normal if you there is any issue please, contact us back.
Thanks for contacting AMD.u/nero1338 on r/AMD Subreddit
There were some suggestions that the issue is caused by a horizontal mounting of the 7900 XTX, however, this doesn’t seem to be the case, as u/Cr3s3ndO shared his setup where he has the card mounted vertically in an open air case, and still reported a massive 40 degrees delta between GPU and hotspot temperature, the user also reports underwhelming performance even in CS:GO.
Roman Hartung from der8auer YouTube channel investigated this issue where he bough an RX 7900 XTX from a user that was affected by the issue with a GPU temperature of 67 °C, and hot-spot temperature of 110 °C.
The user disassembled the card and reapplied the thermal paste, and Roman then repeated the same process, and proceeded to test the card with Furmark and 3DMark software, and he found that the issue was resolved, with the hot-spot temp stabilizing at ~80 degrees and a delta of around 15 degrees.
Roman also noted that the user had his card mounted vertically, which is further proof that the card mounting orientation has no effect regarding this issue. He also tested the card after re-applying the thermal paste with and without the backplate mounted, and the results were the same with no issues detected. Finally Roman noted that the issue could be caused by an un-sufficient or bad mounting pressure.
AMD has taken note of the issue as it is currently being looked at by their GPU team.