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Does Your AMD FX Platform BSOD with Steam? Read This.

You just purchased a new AMD FX processor and a 900-series motherboard. You load up your Steam games and sit down to enjoy hours of gaming when this happens:

Take some solace in the fact that you don't seem to be the only one having this issue with your AMD FX processor. A reader of Tom's Hardware, Scali, brought this problem to our attention. Scali wrote a nice little blog post about this BSOD back in October of 2011, which still seems to be plaguing users to this day. AMD quietly released a KB article that acknowledges the problem and recommends users update their firmwares to the most recent version, or, at minimum, the one listed in the article. AMD lists four platform vendors and links to specific motherboard models and their related BIOS updates.

Minimum BIOSRecommended BIOS for AMD FX Platforms
Asusv1102 or V0901Crosshair_V_FormulaSabertooth_990FX
GigabyteRev F7GA-990FXA-UD7
MSIRev 11.6990FXA-GD80
ASRockRev 1.5990FX Extreme4

Tom's Hardware reached out to AMD, Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, and ASRock for feedback on this reported problem with Steam games and the FX processors. AMD states:

"We had identified an issue early on and provided the fix to all motherboard manufacturers. The application was attempting to check a register, which caused the instability. We modified the BIOS to resolve the issue as the most efficient way of providing a solution to users with no degradation in performance. Most motherboards would not have experienced the issue at all as their shipping BIOS would have included the fix."

As represented by the KB article, the fix was not in place for all motherboards prior to the FX launch, prompting the updated firmware roll-out. In addition, AMD says, "We would certainly be interested in knowing any instances where this is not the case, so we could work to resolve that issue for our customers."

Communication coming from the motherboard vendors themselves paints a slightly different picture than AMD's KB story. They confirm that the problem affects all 900-series platforms, and not just the ones listed by AMD. Because the problem involves FX itself, any machine with a Bulldozer-based CPU and without the fix could be impacted. All four vendors assure us that their most recent releases include the necessary fix, recommending all users install the most recent BIOS from their support sites. Is there still a chance you could buy a new motherboard without a fixed firmware? Sure. The manufacturers weren't able to tell us when supply of affected boards will turn over completely. 

If you are currently running the latest firmware for your motherboard and are still having issues, or your noticed a performance hit after updating, please let us know in the comments section under this story and we'll pass on your feedback to AMD. Moreover, we will post an update to this piece if we hear anything new!

UpdateAMD contacted us after our story went live to clarify that, one, the issue is limited to the Steam engine and does not affect local games or other applications. Secondly, AMD assured us this is not a potentially widespread issue but a long resolved issue through the available update, it’s easily countered with, what AMD says is no impact on performance. AMD is willing to help try to resolve the issue for those who may encounter it for any reason.

  • SteelCity1981
    Well at least this is not another one of those TLB issues where Bios vendors had to issue a patch that would result in a big performance loss like on the first gen Phenoms.
    Reply
  • tical2399
    Man its just gettin worse for AMD lately, with the under performing bulldozer, the latest top flight nvidia cards besting the high end HD 7xxx series, and now the mobo issues, things aint looking great for AMD at the moment
    Reply
  • eddieroolz
    My god, this just reminds me of the TLB issues in the Agena core in 2008.
    Reply
  • mobrocket
    tical2399Man its just gettin worse for AMD lately, with the under performing bulldozer, the latest top flight nvidia cards besting the high end HD 7xxx series, and now the mobo issues, things aint looking great for AMD at the moment
    i used to be a big AMD fan, but switch both platforms GPU and CPU cus of AMD just not competing
    Reply
  • geekapproved
    I'm sure Intel had a hand in this, they have a history of cheating to gain market share.

    AMD can't compete in GPU's? LOOL, until the GTX680/670 came out, Nvidia was getting trounced by AMD for the last 5yrs. Get real noober.
    Reply
  • I get that from time to time. I run a 1055T and a Sabertooth 990FX. I thought it might be my hardware, but after reading this, I think it's the BIOS. Good thing I still have my i3 2100 handy.
    Reply
  • Achoo22
    I've read all the KBs, but I can't find any indication of what the actual issue is. What, specifically, is Steam doing that causes BSoDs on AMD platforms?
    Reply
  • geekapprovedI'm sure Intel had a hand in this, they have a history of cheating to gain market share.AMD can't compete in GPU's? 1st part, I really doubt Intel has anything to do here..
    2nd part AGREED

    LOOL, until the GTX680/670 came out, Nvidia was getting trounced by AMD for the last 5yrs. Get real noober.AGREED... that dude is probably from another planet
    Reply
  • machvelocy
    abandon ships!! i hope this is not the main reason many key figures are leaving amd
    Reply
  • Murissokah
    As if we needed any more reason to skip the current AMD CPUs.
    Reply