Gigabyte Issues Emergency BIOS Update for Certain X79 Series Motherboards

Overclocking used to be a dark art reserved for a power users who didn't mind taking potentially catastrophic risks in order to squeeze a few more ounces of free performance out of their components. Things have changed dramatically in recent years, but lest anyone forget, overclocking can still be dangerous, even with all of the modern day safe guards. YouTube user "japan0827" found this out the unfortunate way when his overclocked system went up in smoke...literally (see video here).

He was using a Gigabyte X79-UD3 motherboard and narrowed the culprit down to a faulty MOSFET that couldn't handle the stress from the board's CPU VRM. Pictures are littered all over the Web on various forums, and they aren't pretty. Unfortunately, the problem is more serious than bad part on a single motherboard.

"It has come to our attention that certain X79 Series motherboards (see models below) may malfunction due to excess heat when performing Extreme Overclocking beyond the board’s limit. To address this issue and to ensure our product is being used as intended, we urge existing X79 users to either visit Gigabyte’s official website to download and update their X79 series BIOS, or contact Gigabyte’s regional service center," Gigabyte said in a statement.

Below is a list of affected boards with links to an updated BIOS:

Some early reports suggested Gigabyte was recalling the above models, but that's not the case in the U.S. Instead, Gigabyte is taking a three pronged approach to resolving the problem:

  1. Gigabyte will make its best efforts to ensure that all partners, distributors and retailers have the latest firmware (BIOS) installed on existing X79 Series Motherboard models.
  2. Gigabyte's commitment to service excellence will not be compromised. The GIGABYTE X79 Series Motherboards offer an unprecedented 5 year warranty, the longest offered in the industry. We encourage users to register for this FREE 5 year warranty here:
  3. If any existing user is still unsatisfied after the recommended firmware (BIOS) update of their X79 Series Motherboard, Gigabyte will offer an unconditional replacement of their X79 Series Motherboard (same model). No Questions Asked.

As to the BIOS update, there are reports that it throttles the CPU when pushed too far, which will prevent things from burning up, but also gimps the boards' overclocking potential.