Asus has modified its ROG Strix Radeon RX 5700 range of graphics cards – changing the cooler mounting pressure to achieve more favorable temperatures – and has warned owners of existing models that their thermal performance may not be up to scratch. And the GPU manufacturer is laying the blame for this at the feet of AMD.
In a post on the ROG website (spotted by OC3D), Asus said that all ROG Strix RX 5700 series graphics cards being shipped from January 2020 onwards have new screws which facilitate increased cooler mounting pressure. In other words, they’re tighter for a better contact between the actual GPU and the heatsink, which in turn delivers better cooling.
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Asus tells us that it followed AMD’s guidelines in designing these RX 5700 GPUs, targeting a mounting pressure of 30-40 PSI, whereas the manufacturer has now found that 50-60 PSI works better, and results in “improved heat transfer from the GPU to the heatsink”.
Asus noted that it investigated the ROG Strix models after “receiving user reports regarding temperature issues” – and more broadly, you might recall that after the launch of the RX 5700 XT, there was a fair bit of controversy about the thermal performance of the graphics card, which led AMD to confirm that the GPU gets hot – and that this is expected behavior.
At any rate, as the GPU manufacturer notes, those who bought ROG Strix RX 5700 graphics cards last year therefore have a potentially less reliable model, and so Asus will upgrade the product for free.
The company stated: “We would like to offer the same benefits of the new mounting screws to users that have already purchased an ROG Strix Radeon RX 5700-series graphics card.
“If you already have one of these cards and would like it modified to use the new mounting screws, please contact your nearest ASUS service center starting in March of 2020 and we’ll happily perform the upgrade for you.”
However, Asus further observes that the coronavirus outbreak – which is having a serious impact on the tech industry – may prove problematic for the relevant component shipments, so depending on exactly where you are in the world, you may have to wait a bit longer than March.
If you’re tempted to try a DIY fix – like tightening the relevant screws yourself, or adding washers – Asus (unsurprisingly) advises not to do this.
As to Asus essentially saying this is the fault of AMD, on the one hand, it’s obviously less than ideal if supplied design guidelines were erroneous as Asus claims. But is it fair for Asus to be effectively washing its hands of any blame here?
Surely during the initial testing process for the ROG Strix Radeon RX 5700 models, someone should have noticed something was amiss concerning the freshly revealed less than perfect thermal performance? The question many folks will find themselves asking is: why has this cooling mounting pressure adjustment only happened now, many months down the line after launch?
Particularly given that the ROG Strix GPUs are premium products, and command top-dollar asking prices compared to other RX 5700 flavors. If you’re paying that money, you can rightly expect the best in performance all-round – including cooling and thermals.
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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).