AMD's Radeon RX 7900 XTX reference graphics card appears to have a major defect in its cooler design as pointed out by Der8auer.
AMD's Reference Radeon RX 7900 XTX Cards May Have A Faulty Vapor Chamber That Causes Overheating & Leads To Thermal Throttling
Over the past week, users started reporting a serious issue with the Radeon RX 7900 XTX 'MBA' reference graphics cards that caused overheating and resulted in thermal throttling. This made reference designs perform worse since they were running at lower clock speeds and while the initial response from AMD was that everything was 'Normal' and declined an RMA to a customer, the company has now softened its position and asked affected users to contact the support team.
Now in the second video published by Der8auer on the overheating issue, the tech expert states that he has so far received 48 such confirmed cases and a few users even sent him their cards for further evaluation. While it was previously thought that removing and reinstalling the cooler and applying proper pressure might fix the issue, that doesn't seem to be the case anymore and it is actually far worse.
Der8auer tested the cards with a horizontal mounting, and a cooler mount to increase the pressure and even tried replacing the spacer bolts and washers which is something that Igor's Lab had proposed a day ago in his own findings. But it looks like neither of these fixed the overheating issue and the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX reference graphics cards still hit 110C Junction temperature. The flip method didn't even work either.
All of this makes Der8auer conclude that the problem on the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX graphics card isn't a simple mounting mistake but a fault within the cooler, more specifically, the heatsink that utilizes a vapor chamber. Der8auer theorizes that the vapor chamber could either have a design or a material issue that is preventing the liquid within it from correctly flowing around the card. Der8auer seems quite confident that the vapor chamber is the issue and that he will have a follow-up video where he dissects the block to see how the vapor flow is handled by it.
Now if it really turns out to be a design flaw within the cooler itself, then AMD might potentially have to recall all Radeon RX 7900 XTX graphics cards since they definitely aren't designed within spec and also aren't operating under 'Normal' spec. AMD made quite a buzz around its Radeon 7900 coolers being small and easy to upgrade to but it seems like they overlooked a major flaw within the heatsink itself.