Reportedly MSI Z790 Motherboard Failures Linked to Cracked Chipsets (Update)

Recent reports have emerged of MSI Z790 motherboards encountering operational failures, with users experiencing boot issues. Investigations have revealed that the Platform Controller Hub (PCH) chipsets on these motherboards are showing signs of cracking, rendering the devices non-functional. The issue has been discussed across various online platforms including Reddit, and has been observed by repair technicians who suggest that the problem may be more prevalent than initially thought.

Intel's Z790 motherboards, which support 12th, 13th, and 14th Gen Core CPUs, have been on the market since the fourth quarter of 2022. The reports of failures began surfacing on online forums only a few months later, indicating that what was once considered an isolated incident might be a broader manufacturing defect. Some users had encountered similar issues over a year ago, leading to MSI issuing replacements for the affected units.

A detailed examination by a repair technician, showcased in a video by Joshi Repair, highlighted a Z790 Tomahawk WiFi motherboard with a cracked PCH chipset. The technician proposed that the crack might have originated from a manufacturing error. The affected motherboards exhibit failure to power on or get stuck in a loop during the Power On Self-Test (POST) phase.

Further analysis revealed that what appeared to be surface scratches were actually cracks in the chipset, visible upon removing the PCH heatsink and applying thermal imaging techniques. The consensus among enthusiasts and repair professionals is that these defects could stem from the soldering process or the installation of the chipset heatsinks, though the exact cause remains speculative.

These issues have, so far, been identified specifically in MSI motherboards, suggesting a problem unique to MSI's manufacturing processes. Reports indicate that several hundred units shipped to Poland might be affected. This raises questions about the quality control measures in place and how such significant defects went undetected.

As of now, MSI has not officially commented on these failures nor announced any recall plans. The lack of official acknowledgment and action plan raises concerns about the resolution process for affected customers.


MSI has officially recognized a defect in a small number of its Z790 motherboards, which led to issues such as failure to power on or problems during the Power On Self-Test (POST) process. This acknowledgment came after user reports and YouTuber Joshi Repair's investigation, which linked the malfunction to cracks in the Platform Controller Hub (PCH) due to a flawed heatsink screw design used in production.

In response, MSI stated, "A minority of Z790 motherboard units may exhibit a non-functional PCH, leading to potential Dead on Arrival (DOA) situations. Our investigation traced the problem back to the heatsink screw design previously employed. We have since revised the design and incorporated it into our manufacturing process to prevent further incidents."

MSI has committed to rectifying this issue by offering replacements to affected customers through its regional service centers. The company encourages customers experiencing related problems to seek an RMA replacement for their Z790 motherboard. This move comes after reports and social media discussions highlighted instances of the Z790 Tomahawk WiFi model failing due to the identified defect, with some cases dating back nine months.

While MSI has focused its statement on the Z790 Tomahawk WiFi model, it remains unclear whether other Z790 models could also be affected by this issue. The exact number of motherboards shipped with the defective component has not been disclosed.

MSI's proactive steps to amend this production fault and its offer to replace affected units demonstrate the company's effort to maintain quality standards and customer satisfaction.

Source: tomshardware

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