Pushing your PC to its limits has obvious inherent dangers; overclocking your CPU can definitely bust your rig if you push it too far. That being said, reasonable overclocking doesn’t actually carry too much risk – normally. Right before Christmas, one overclocker’s Gigabyte GA-X79-UD3 mobo crashed, then burned (literally) in the midst of a lightweight stress test . After he posted the video on YouTube (the fun stuff happens in the last 20 seconds), Gigabyte looked into the problem, and apparently, it wasn’t a case of crap luck. Yesterday, Gigabyte’s Chinese branch announced the faulty CPU VRM is a widespread issue and recalled the GA-X79-UD3, GA-X79-UD5, GA-X79-UD7 and G1.Assassin 2 mobos . US users, meanwhile, get a critical BIOS update.
"We have a few power users trying our new BIOS here and (they've) reported to us that new BIOS has enhanced the overclocking stability and performance," PR Manager Irene Huang said. "Therefore, it will not be a concern for reducing the overclocking ability with new F7 BIOS."
If you've already burned out your X79 mobo while pushing it to the limit, Gigabyte U.S. will send you a new one (the damage would fall under Gigabyte's 5-year warranty for X79 motherboards anyways, assuming you've registered the hardware). Meanwhile, the company is working with resellers and retailers to ensure as-yet-unsold boards are flashed with the new BIOS prior to ending up in customer hands.
Oh, and if you’re wondering, TechPowerUp says Gigabyte Taiwan blames the problem on a mixture of poor PWM components and bad firmware.
EDIT 4:20 P.M. EST: A representative from Gigabyte U.S. contacted us to say that the mobos are not being recalled in the United States. Here's what she had to say:
The Chinese announcement you have seen online was for the Taiwan region only not apply to NA America region. However, for NA America, we will provide any help that customers will need to for the BIOS update. The new F7 BIOS will easily fix all the issues and is ready for download on the website already , and we also provide swap service to users whose motherboard has been damaged due to extreme overclocking. (It only happens under some extreme overclocking settings, but it’s fixed by F7 BIOS).
Look for an official announcement to come from Gigabyte sometime soon. We've changed the headline and some details in the article to reflect Gigabyte U.S.'s response.