The issues may be tied to excess voltage from overclocking.
Photograph of a CPU and motherboard showing burnout spots presumably from excess voltage.

Some users on AMD's new AM5 platform have started to report that their new Ryzen processors have burnt out. Users across Reddit and other social media sites have shared their stories showing visible damage to both their Ryzen 7000 CPUs and to the motherboard socket. These issues have not been limited to any single motherboard vendor.

The burnout issue seems to be most common on AMD's Ryzen 7000X3D processors, the ones with the 3D V-Cache. A new bios update from MSI put a restriction on increasing voltage when using Ryzen 7000X3D CPUs. ASUS also released a new motherboard bios update today.

After several days of silence, AMD issued a public statement on the matter, as shared by AnandTech.

"We are aware of a limited number of reports online claiming that excess voltage while overclocking may have damaged the motherboard socket and pin pads. We are actively investigating the situation and are working with our ODM partners to ensure voltages applied to Ryzen 7000X3D CPUs via motherboard BIOS settings are within product specifications. Anyone whose CPU may have been impacted by this issue should contact AMD customer support."
This is far from a concrete description of what the issue is, but it does seem as though AMD believes this is related to excess voltage being sent to the CPU due to overclocking.

The bios updates from MSI and ASUS specifically "limits the SoC (System on a Chip) voltages applied so that these critical limits aren't breached when users enable AMD EXPO memory profiles on supported DRAM." AMD EXPO is AMD's take on Intel's XMP that "overclocks" DDR5 memory. Some also speculate that manually overclocking or even using the automatic PBO2 overclocking feature could lead to these burnouts.

A caveat here is that at least one Reddit user, skyfishjy, experienced this burnout simply by flashing their BIOS to the latest available version. They claim that all they did was boot into their system BIOS after assembling their computer. They kept the factory settings, did not overclock, and did not enable EXPO. They then flashed from BIOS version F2 to F5a. Once the update hit 100% the screen went black and the PC shut down. They took out their CPU to discover a spot that resembles the burnout issue others have reported. The F5a BIOS they flashed to was dated March 23, 2023, which predates most of these reports.

If this user's report is true, there may be something else going on besides being directly tied to enabling EXPO or applying higher voltages through overclocking.

For now, all Ryzen 7000X3D users should take extreme caution when using their systems. As the initial belief is that this issue is tied to excess voltages, it would be wise to disable EXPO and any overclocking. It would also be wise to check your specific motherboard vendor for new BIOS releases. These links are from Reddit. Those not on any of these specific vendors should consult their vendor's website for any BIOS updates, especially if you use prebuilts from companies like Dell, HP, Lenovo, and more.

(Image via Speedrookie on Reddit)