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Okay so yes, the 14900K, not the Z790 Hero

Level 10

After many trials over three months, to the point of exhaustion and utter confusion, yes, as others here, both Silent_Scone and Vynra have pointed out.... it turns out in my case the Intel 14900K is faulty. Even at pure, CMOS-cleared, factory default settings, with Intel Turbo Boost Max 3.0 and Turbo Boost Enabled, the system just locks up on boot. With those off, and set to stock, it runs, albeit at 3.2GHz instead of the advertised capacity to run briefly up to 5.7-->6GHz with proper settings. So, RMA time.

I should note that I'm delighted to see that ASUS has released a new BIOS, new Chipset drivers, firmware updates and a slew of other things for the Z790 Hero, despite it being a relatively older motherboard now (by industry and ASUS' own standards). I have always had huge respect for ASUS Engineering, unlike some far more visible than myself on the internet, and their marketing is also spot on, for people like me. Every company, even an Intel or an ASUS, has quality control issues with batches of production from time to time. It's amazing how infrequently that happens, actually.

I will also say with no hesitation that ASUS Customer Support has been rational, informed and stellar in their responses to my inquiries, and very flexible, within absolutely reasonable limits, about helping me with my issues. As someone who was at one point in his career a Sr. Technical Architect for a large business intelligence corporation, I know how extremely difficult customer relations can be; I've handled them at the B2B level, and that's even more of a challenge, if your customer isn't a dweeb individual like me, but a Fortune 100 company relying upon your technology for very serious and important scientific research, or manufacturing, or national government work. ASUS I'm sure has customers at that level as well, and has deep, deep support foundations most of us out here haven't the faintest idea about.

Anyways, happy computing, no more noise from me here, have learned a lot in the process; Thank You, ASUS and Intel. Your stuff is beyond excellent!


Thanks, Alex, yes. There's a warning in the ASUS BIOS at POST failsafe or when first powering up after clearing CMOS about this, and that's a good thing. I do hope, though, that the risks are made a little clearer, and perhaps the BIOS can be updated to detect some things more automatically, such as making some default assumptions like that you are highly likely to be in Windows UEFI mode for boot, and highly likely to be running an Intel CPU on an Intel motherboard so MCE should be switched off, in Optimized Defaults, and SVID Behavior should default to Intel's Fail Safe. I am not a BIOS engineer, but I hope those changes would be possible?

I understand if a motherboard is being released into a corporate or server-based environment, or one where Linux and Linux-based operating systems are prevalent or the norm, that it might default to other assumptions. It's clear ASUS has a HUGE lineup of motherboards for a huge variety of purposes, and the engineering in all of them is universally excellent, whatever the grumbling might be. Given the scale at which they produce and ship and manage logistics, their QA is phenomenal, as well.

But perhaps it would be advisable to put the Linux assumptions behind for motherboards as advertised as for gamers. Unless you're running Steam Deck, or are a _very_ special part of the market, you're likely to be running Windows. Tech experts who know how to install PC-based games without Windows, a preferable idea ultimately (I come from a FreeBSD/Amiga/Apple history as well, so I get it....) should also know how to change these settings back for the kind of environment and OS they'll be running. I think it's probably harder the other way around, and since I've retired, I've lost a lot of my Linux knowledge, and Apple has obfuscated its Linux OS roots enough with the overall design of IOS that for even those of us with programming knowledge, it's grown rusty. So I game under Windows, for good or for bad, and this thus is my recommendation for the audience this mb is targeted towards.

Super Moderator

What did you even run to consume 250w in the time you’ve owned the CPU?

I ask this because games do not even draw a 13900K’s stock TDP. Remember voltage and current are intrinsically related. These “crazy” voltage are factory fused into the stock VID table by Intel, and some samples will be higher than others. The user is able to manipulate the SVID behaviour manually.

Sensationalism aside, if this issue did in fact pertain to your particular problem, it likely has nothing to do with the CPU degrading. Intel has yet to conclude anything themselves according to the article.


13900KS / 8000 CAS36 / ROG APEX Z790 / ROG TUF RTX 4090

Level 12

melina. ill respectfully ask you to please stop. you have no idea what your talking about and also you need to take a breather.

  • all cpus degrade overtime. if you overclock instead of having a 30 year lifetime you get 15-20.  if your cpu is faulty then it can break in a couple months. it happens. thats what happened to you. there is no reason for a call to arms
  • no no no no no. you do not want to enable undervolt protection,svid in bios to intel fail safe, and whatever else "advice" your giving. you do realize that is making you pump MORE VOLTAGE into your cpu FOR NO REASON. optimized defaults undervolts the cpu which in turn gives the cpu more life expectancy.
  • MCE only lifts power limits. it doesnt "add" dangerous amounts of voltage. for 13900k with no power limits my vcore is at 1.28v which IS EXTREMELY LOW. people overclock at fixed vcore at 1.35-1.4 for years and have no issues
  • this architecture is seriously a huge step forward. these cpus can handle a lot of voltage,amperage,heat no issue. in fact INTEL DESIGNED THEM LIKE THAT. intel worked with Asus on MCE feature.
  • that article you linked is an extremely vague "well it could be this problem and this COULD fix it maybe possibly" but everyone has a different issue.
  • you had a bad cpu. it happens. there is no reason to "change the architecture" because you happened to get a dud of a cpu.
  • im not even going to comment on the other ramblings you have

just stop. enjoy your cpu. stop giving advice please.

Hi Vynra, Silent_Scone. Okay I'll stop.

I turned on XMP and ran the usual benchmarks with my first CPU: 3dmark, Furmark, Cinebench23 and 24, and the XTU Characterization page. Would any of that damage the CPU? I didn't realize. Other than that, no, was just trying to run games and having them lock up, especially those using DX12. You have the whole history here, I won't waste space on this site to repeat it. Just trying to be helpful there.

Vynra: yes I will stop. You sound like you are either an ASUS or Intel engineer; if either is the case, I completely respect your information and will abide by it.

If I understand what you are telling me, I can take XTU off my system, turn MCE back on and set SVID to its default and my new CPU will be fine for the usual lifetime (15-20 years)? I'd love to do all that if it is so. It's all running whisper-quiet now. And I'd love to run the DX12 games that were locking up without the performance limitations.

Can I turn XMP on? And should I use XMP I, XMP II or the ASUS XMPI tweaked? I'm using QVL G.Skill RAM (also replaced) that runs at 8000MT, it's underclocked to 5600 now without XMP and seems to be doing fine. BTW it says it supports XMP 3.0; is that in the works for the Z790 ASUS BIOS motherboards? Just asking questions now, not declaring anything, since I've clearly been wrong.

I'm sorry if I 've misunderstood everything I've read on this issue; there must be quite a few bad 13900K and 14900K CPUs out there, which is the surprise to me. Of course as usual one always hears about the problem ones, the ones without problems probably dwarf those in scale, I get that.

What do I do if the CPU goes bad again? Keep RMA'ing it for another? Again, just a question. Or how can I tell if I got a good one this time, or not? I'd appreciate any help on that -- obviously I'm the noob here.

Please note I am not being sarcastic in any of the above, I'm truly surprised by this whole course of events and the results I've gotten in online info trying to resolve it. Everything seems wondrously fine with my new CPU now, and I hope it stays that way; I'm desperate after all the effort and pain and exhaustion this has put me through to believe that I'm not going to have to go through it all, ever again. I'm a big Intel and ASUS fan, have been since almost ASUS' inception, and have used AMI BIOSes since American Megatrends released them for Intel 486 machines (had a Northgate 486 as my first PC computer). I'm looking forward to seeing the MSI Claw, as I'm excited to see Meteor Lake in action, and don't agree with most of what has been posted about its performance (irrelevant to this thread though).

Thanks yet again for responding patiently. Any and all advice welcome.

I. Test the system at Optimised Defaults before enabling XMP.

ii.  Contrary to assumptions, XMP/EXPO doesn't ensure automatic overclocking. Tighter timings or higher frequencies may require manual adjustments for stability. Overclocking cannot be assured due to variance between parts when run outside manufacture specifications. XMP/EXPO success also greatly depends on the processor's Integrated Memory Controller (IMC) capabilities.

XMP/EXPO I - This is the validated board profile. Every time a board is validated with a particular memory kit, the memory vendor and ASUS use this profile to validate the kit for the QVL.

XMP/EXPO II - This is the default DIMM profile from the memory vendor and contains sub-timings stored within the SPD EEPROM of the memory module. 

XMP/EXPO Tweaked - 
This is the fastest profile and contains various tuned sub-timings and memory parameters. 

XMP 3.0 pertains to the Intel technology standard on DDR5. All XMP DDR5 memory kits and ASUS motherboards are XMP 3.0 compliant.

It seems you have an unnatural fixation with worrying about things, try to focus on the information being provided to you above and test the system.

13900KS / 8000 CAS36 / ROG APEX Z790 / ROG TUF RTX 4090

Think I’ll just run stock. Fast enough, whisper quiet, simple. Even leaving MCE to auto!

I’ll save my future hotrodding efforts for my Lamborghini Huracan. At least I understand the options there!

Thanks again All! Sayonara! 🙂