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AMD Adrenalin can reportedly change CPU settings without telling users

PSA: Customizing how PC components operate always carries a certain amount of risk. However, if parts vendors are going to provide the software with which to do this, they should always inform users of what exactly those tools do. It seems this isn’t always the case with AMD’s Adrenalin GPU drivers.

A reader recently informed Igor Walllossek of Igor’s Lab that the Ryzen Master CPU configuration module in AMD’s Adrenalin GPU driver version 22.3.1 had altered their CPU’s settings without informing them. Walllossek’s own investigation successfully reproduced the issue.

If a user has manually altered an AMD CPU’s settings in the BIOS – in order to underclock it in the reader’s case – Adrenalin might fail to load a custom GPU profile, forcing a reset. The reset then causes the Ryzen Master module to change some CPU settings without informing the user. This can cause crashes if a user tries to load a GPU profile they tuned around specific CPU settings without realizing those settings have changed.

Unfortunately, the patch notes for the Adrenalin 22.3.2 hotfix make no mention of the problem. Walllossek’s solution is to disable the Ryzen Master module by installing Radeon Software Slimmer and selecting Post Install > Scheduled Tasks > AMDRyzenMasterSDK. One Redditor sidestepped the issue by building an additional GPU profile.

This behavior only seems to occur in PCs with AMD CPUs and GPUs. It hasn’t been observed when Intel CPUs or Nvidia GPUs are involved.

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