PC manufacturers offer potential fixes for Intel CPU crash issue

Falcon Northwest provides advice to help those affected by unstable Core i9 CPUs
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On Wednesday evening, boutique PC manufacturer Falcon Northwest offered a potential workaround to address random instability issues reported with some Intel 13th and 14th generation Intel Core CPUs (such as the Core i7-14700K and Core i9-13900K).

This mysterious issue has plagued countless PC gamers for months, with no apparent pattern or cause, but Falcon has provided some suggestions that may assist some affected users. The company posted BIOS adjustment recommendations to its X.com accounts.

Falcon Northwest owner Kelt Reeves stated in an email sent to the media, “As you know, Intel is investigating reports of crashes with 13th/14th gen CPUs.” “This is a real problem, and Intel is actively working on it, but it’s complex and taking longer than we would like.”


Intel previously confirmed to Global PC that it has been investigating the situation but, as of this week, has yet to disclose what the root cause might be.

Since video game tool developer RAD issued an advisory on January 11 advising gamers to lower the frequency of Intel Core i9 CPUs to address game crash errors, this situation has been in a lull for months. RAD’s advice somewhat mirrors Falcon Northwest’s adjustments, but the PC manufacturer offers additional tweaks it found effective, apparently without mandating significant clock speed reductions.

This week, when Nvidia sidelined Intel and suggested that those encountering “out of memory errors” should contact Intel instead of Nvidia, the issue became even more serious. This issue is not surprising for Global PC, as we documented issues with our most recent PC in a video. In the video, we were only able to resolve the Core i9 issue by swapping it out for another CPU.

It should be noted again that while Intel acknowledges an investigation is underway, the number of CPUs affected remains unclear, and most anecdotal reports uncovered by Global PC suggest the company has not been proactive in assisting customers seeking CPU replacements. Basically, there’s no need to panic—at least not yet.

Thus far, many reports seem to manifest during shader compilation in games. But not all issues occur during shader compilation. Our own CPU failure occurred during crashes in “Fortnite,” which we suspect is related to the game’s anti-cheat technology tripping and intentionally exiting the game. Last week, ZDNet Korea reported that “Tekken 8” gamers were experiencing crashes due to “out of memory errors,” with as many as 10 people returning their perceived problematic Intel CPUs within a day.


Falcon Northwest states that its suggestions are intended to assist those experiencing issues but labels these recommendations as “work in progress” and “beta” advice.

“We feel that while we’re still unable to provide specific answers or definitive solutions (those will need to come from Intel), we might be able to mitigate some issues through certain BIOS settings,” writes Reeves. “These are the results of long-term testing on many different CPUs, which have exhibited issues in our production and customer sites.”

Reeves notes that adjustments to the motherboard’s BIOS indeed fix most of the issues, but he states the company knows of two CPUs that are “too extreme” for the settings to be of help.

For these chips, clock frequency of the P-core multiplier needs to be lowered to 50, reducing the chip’s maximum clock speed to 5GHz, a considerable reduction. While it’s not a panacea, it at least allows these systems to boot up and run.


Falcon Northwest’s advice is applicable only to certain Asus motherboards, but the hope is that this advice can be applied to other brands and models and may be helpful to others.

“We don’t use many motherboard brands outside of Asus, but what we’re interested in is whether some of the settings we’re recommending are equivalent settings on other brands’ motherboards, and obtaining this information might be helpful to them.”

Again, the advice is marked as beta, work in progress, and not official advice from Asus or Intel. The company also points out that certain motherboards may not even have settings exposed to end users.

“It’s important to note that this is still a work in progress,” Reeves writes. “We have identified several other default BIOS values that are out of spec, and we are testing their impact, unfortunately, not all the settings Intel requires are applicable to all motherboards.”

To make adjustments, Falcon Northwest recommends updating the motherboard’s BIOS to the latest available version and then following the settings provided in the screenshots.FNW_3

On this UEFI page, Falcon Northwest recommends disabling Multi-Core Enhancement and setting SVID Behavior to “Intel’s Fail-Safe.”FNW_2

On this page, Falcon Northwest recommends enabling IA Current Offset Protection and SA Current Offset Protection.FNW_4

On this page, Falcon Northwest’s recommendation is to disable TVB Voltage Optimization, enable Enhanced TVB, and disable Overclocking TVB.FNW_5

Finally, on this page, the company recommends setting power limits for the stock Intel power settings. In this example, these are the settings for the Core i9-14900KS CPU.FNW_6

If you’re unsure about the stock settings for your Intel 13th Gen K, KF, KS, or 14th Gen K, KF, or KS processors, Falcon Northwest reports them here.

After making these adjustments, Falcon Northwest advises users to also adjust the power settings according to Intel’s specifications. Have they addressed the issue or prevented further damage? Falcon’s X.com post indicates that they are unsure, but these settings have been helpful for them, and they hope to assist those affected until more information becomes available.

 

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