AMD has launched an investigation into reports of USB problems in the 500-series motherboards and it is asking affected users to sound off on the problem. It’s also invited users to contact it directly by opening a support ticket. The company says it’s engaged in root cause analysis which quite a few users who post information within the appropriate Reddit thread may be contacted later to supply additional details.

The trouble with potential X570 and B550 board stability was indirectly raised by PowerGPU earlier this year. We reported on the PowerGPU situation cheap reported RMA rates using their company retailers don't match the failure numbers PowerGPU saw. The company has since removed its initial tweet and says it's working with AMD to solve what may have caused its problems. But nevertheless there is no public proof that AMD CPUs are failing, AMD X570 and B550 motherboards both seem as if they've already some problematic tendencies. AMD’s Reddit post states:

AMD is aware of reports that a small number of users have intermittent USB connectivity problems with 500-series chipsets. We've analyzed the cause and also at this time around would like to ask the community for assistance with a small selection of additional hardware configurations Within the next few days, some r / Amd users may be contacted directly by an AMD representative (u / AMDOfficial) through Reddit's PM system having a request for more information.

Reports in the requisite thread are varied as to the cause and potential solutions. Multiple users are reporting that heavy USB bus activity seems to trigger problems, and VR headsets are generally mentioned. Other users report that they have to plug USB devices in according to a particular order, or that literally only one port on their motherboard works for VR. I had similar issues getting an Oculus Rift to operate with USB 3.0, but which was years back, and that i was dealing with an old X79 board having a third-party, first-generation USB 3.0 chip. Modern motherboards, specially those designed for high-end gaming, ought to be immune to this kind of risk. Other users have reported onboard audio crashes or even the failure of third-party DACs when connected via USB.

Presently, the X570 and B550 may take a hit. This is an Asrock board, but the problem is not known to be specific to the manufacturer.

One potential solution, quoted by multiple users, is to just use PCIe 3.0 signaling speeds for your video card. Motherboards should provide the option to use PCIe 3.0 GPU signaling without shutting off PCIe 4.0 SSD support. Quite a few users believe the issue was actually present in the X470 family while others report having previously owned stable X470 rigs before upgrading to either B550 or X570 which the issues occurred just once they updated.

Sometimes, while you're reading through a tech thread, you can get a sense of what’s happening and what might repair it. The recommendation to drop back to PCIe 3.0 definitely works for many people, but not others. One user claims they merely encountered the issue on 500-series boards, another person counters it started with 400-series boards. Some claim issues go as far back to launch, others have said the issues only began some time ago. The PCIe 4.0 fix works for a lot of people, although not for everybody. Whether these users are experiencing unrelated USB issues or have a different variant of this common problem is unknown.

One Reddit user, Darklaunch357, reports that deactivating global c-states in UEFI cuts down on the disconnect rate from every Ten minutes to roughly every 30. He additionally reports:

Update (2/21): After a little monitoring and studies, I’ve discovered that having PCI Express 4.0 enabled results in high DPC time on “asmtxhci.sys” (ASMedia xHCI Host Controller Driver) based on LatencyMon, and a distinct mistiming resulting in high latencies consistently within the 54 ms mark (with eventual spikes to 240-310 ms) as reported by DS4Windows’ latency measurements on the wired DualShock 4. Such spikes coincide with other general malfunctions like the keyboard freezing and the sound stuttering.

So far, the only real reliable workaround is forcibly disabling PCI Express 4.0 by setting PCIEX16_1 to “GEN 3” within the BIOS. The sporadic “DRIVER_POWER_STATE_FAILURE” BSOD that may occur every now and then (with a root cause in ntoskrnl.exe) should also be fixed by that workaround.

This is the greatest review of the issue as it is understood up to now. I’ve recently built myself a system with different B550 TUF motherboard from Asus, so I’m going to actually try and replicate some workloads on the rig to higher test its behavior.

If you have problems, sound off below, especially if you can share a timeline on once they started.