There are reports that the Adrenalin software for AMD’s Radeon graphics cards has inadvertently changed the Precision Boost Overdrive setting on systems with Ryzen CPUs. The fact that it does so without the user’s consent is the problem. Automatically enabling PBO when applying a GPU profile may cause problems for overclocked stable users.
News of the issue comes from Igor’s lab After investigation. It says the integration of AMD’s Ryzen Master CPU software and Adrenalin Radeon software by default allows programs to change CPU overclocking parameters without the user’s consent.
This issue is not dangerous, but it can cause system instability, especially if the user manually adjusts the overclock near the stable edge, at which point any additional CPU configuration changes can crash the system.
Modern CPUs have extensive protection mechanisms built into them, and AMD’s Precision Boost settings are generally conservative, so it’s unlikely to cause any CPU damage. These changes only happen on systems with AMD Radeon GPUs and Ryzen CPUs. Systems with Intel CPUs are not affected, as AMD software apparently cannot access Intel CPU settings.
If you’re concerned that overclocking might be affected, there are some workarounds. The first might be obvious. Save your BIOS configuration file to easily re-enable it. The second option is to download a 3rd party application called Radeon Software Slimmer, which has the option to remove the Ryzen Master component from Adrenalin software. Doing so removes the possibility of any CPU manipulation.
An easy-to-use, stable and reliable automatic overclocking tool is actually a good thing, but only if the user is aware of the changes and licensed. If AMD is more transparent in its future Adrenalin releases, there’s no reason not to keep this feature. Changing settings without the user’s knowledge is the real problem. AMD must allow users to opt out of any type of automatic OC without explicit permission.