The Radeon RX 7900 XTX continues to be one of the best graphics cards on the market. Unfortunately, some reference models have been suffering from overheating. Independent analysis points to a faulty vapor chamber, and today, AMD has publicly acknowledged that the thermal solution is probably the issue behind the Radeon RX 7900 XTX's thermal throttling problem.
"We are working to determine the root cause of the unexpected throttling experienced by some while using the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX graphics cards made by AMD. Based on our observations to-date, we believe the issue relates to the thermal solution used in the AMD reference design and appears to be present in a limited number of the cards sold. We are committed to solving this issue for impacted cards. Customers experiencing this unexpected throttling should contact AMD Support (opens in new tab)." an AMD representative told Tom's Hardware.
For obvious reasons, AMD didn't divulge how many MBA (Made by AMD) units are affected. "A limited number" is as vague as it can get and could mean anything from a bad batch to a couple of batches. The number will probably tally up to the thousands. On the bright side, the flawed thermal solution doesn't affect every reference Radeon RX 7900 XTX graphics card, only those unlucky ones from specific batches. Since custom designs don't use AMD's reference cooling solution, they're free of the problem. In addition, AMD has confirmed that the flaw only affects the Radeon RX 7900 XTX, so the Radeon RX 7900 XT is unaffected.
In AMD's defense, the chipmaker doesn't manufacture the Radeon RX 7900 XTX's thermal solution. The slip-up is probably due to AMD's supplier not performing proper quality control on the final product. However, it seems strange that an entire batch or batches came out defective. At the end of the day, it's AMD's product, so the company is responsible for its functionality, whether it was a mishap on the manufacturer's part or not.
What's important right now is that AMD works with its supplier to narrow down the affected batches and issue a recall. Luckily for AMD, only a "limited number" of Radeon RX 7900 XTX graphics cards present faulty cooling, so while the chipmaker will lose some money over the fiasco, it's not like it's the end of the world.