What to do if your Intel CPU keeps crashing

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While touted as some of the top-tier processors available, certain high-end Intel CPUs have encountered a series of stability issues in recent months. Intel has launched an investigation into the matter, yet both the company and its motherboard partners have taken proactive steps to address the issue, implementing temporary fixes aimed at enhancing stability for high-end Intel CPUs — albeit with a potential performance trade-off.

It’s important to note that the fixes discussed here are temporary, and Intel is expected to release an official statement addressing the instability soon. Until then, it’s advisable not to speculate too much. Moreover, if you’re not experiencing any issues with your Intel CPU, there’s likely no cause for concern.

 

Identifying the Affected Processors

The reported instability primarily affects Intel’s latest and most powerful CPUs, notably the Core i9-13900K and Core i9-14900K. While there have been sporadic reports concerning the Core i7-13700K and Core i7-14700K, the problem seems concentrated on the higher-end models.

The instability tends to manifest itself during gaming sessions, with Oodle, a decompression technology commonly used in PC games, attributing the problem to “overly optimistic BIOS settings.” Affected users may encounter issues not only during gameplay but also when running standard benchmark and stress test programs. Symptoms include crashes accompanied by an “out of memory” error, despite the root cause being related to the processor.

Temporary Fixes by Motherboard Manufacturers MSI Motherboards: If you own an MSI Z790 motherboard, you can restore default settings within the BIOS to mitigate instability issues. Although MSI hasn’t released a BIOS update specifically addressing the problem, adjusting certain settings within the BIOS can help. Instructions for this process involve navigating to the overclocking section in the BIOS, adjusting the CPU cooler tuning setting, and changing the CPU lite load control.

 

Asus Motherboards

Asus has issued a BIOS update for its Z790 motherboards, introducing the Intel Baseline Profile, which can enhance stability at the expense of some performance. After updating the BIOS, users can enable this profile under the Ai Tweaker section.

 

Gigabyte Motherboards

Gigabyte has also released BIOS updates for its Z790 and B760 motherboards, incorporating an Intel Baseline Profile. However, it’s important to note that Gigabyte’s adjustments differ from Asus’, impacting performance differently.

 

ASRock Motherboards

ASRock recently rolled out a BIOS update for its B760 motherboards, enabling the Intel Baseline Profile. While there are currently no updates available for Z790 motherboards, users with B760 motherboards can download the beta BIOS to enable this feature.

 

A Temporary Measure

In the absence of a permanent solution, these BIOS updates serve as temporary measures to address the instability issues. Intel is expected to provide further guidance on the matter, potentially offering more definitive solutions. Until then, users may need to choose between enduring instability or sacrificing some performance, depending on their motherboard brand. However, the impact on performance in games appears to be relatively minor.