AMD’s graphics driver has been observed to mess with certain CPU settings according to fresh reports, in what can only be described as a very odd affair.
This comes from Igor’s Lab (opens in new tab) (via Tom’s Hardware (opens in new tab)), with the German tech site pointing out that the apparent problem was highlighted by a reader, and Igor subsequently managed to reproduce the issue in one case (with AMD hardware owners detailing their further findings on Reddit (opens in new tab)).
To sum up the current speculation around this – and remember, this is still just speculation, so let’s be cautious about what we can conclude here – the theory is that the integration of AMD’s Ryzen Master tool into the Adrenalin version 22.3.1 graphics driver (or later) is causing the issue, whereby a Ryzen CPU is witnessing changes to boost settings unknown to the user.
As we said at the outset, this is certainly a strange state of affairs, though it only happens to those who install the Radeon driver who also have an AMD Ryzen CPU (Ryzen Master is an overclocking module designed to allow for pepping up the processor’s performance in a user-friendly manner, in case you weren’t aware).
What’s supposedly happening is that when the new Adrenalin graphics driver is installed on a system, when applying a GPU profile the software can apparently change the PBO (precision boost, or overclocking) setting in the BIOS, putting it back to the default (if the user previously altered it).
Or so the theorizing runs, anyway, and this could obviously be problematic in some situations, and as Igor points out, could lead to the PC crashing. As mentioned, a further issue is that the user isn’t told about these changes being applied, so they could end up pretty confused as to why they’re suddenly having trouble with their system.
Analysis: Multiple workarounds have been floated
This is an unfortunate situation, of course, and hopefully, AMD will now be investigating these reports, and Team Red will subsequently be able to take appropriate action.
Meanwhile, there are a few ways that you can work around the problem. The first and most obvious is simply to head back to your BIOS post-installation of the new graphics driver, and reconfigure your old settings (or for those who run default settings anyway, just disable PBO).
Another suggestion in the above Reddit thread is not to load older profiles, but to create a new tuning profile for the graphics card instead. Electrical-Bobcat435 advises: “It’s a small headache, reproducing clocks and fan curves, but once done, it won’t reboot/change bios PBO settings. It's absurd that AMD did this but there’s the workaround.”
Finally, as Igor’s Lab and again someone else on Reddit suggests, there’s the Radeon Software Slimmer (opens in new tab) utility which can be used to remove Ryzen Master from the Adrenalin driver, thereby stopping the tool from interfering with the CPU. However, this is a third-party program, so it’s installed entirely at your own risk.