Fake ESP32 modules?

Having a really strange issue today. Have been using these ESP32-WROOM-32U modules for over a year now with no issues running 8 outputs. I ran out of a lot that was purchased last fall. The new ones arrived today, and I can only have up to 4 outputs. Outputs above the 1st set of 4 have intermittent flickering. I’ve verified it’s not a hardware issue with the pixels or the PCB that has level shifting and voltage regulation, etc. However, I’m suspecting it’s an issue with the new batch of ESP modules. The new ones do not have the ESPRESSIF logo on them. The old ones that work just fine do have the ESPRESSIF logo. Has anyone run into counterfeit/defective ESP32 modules like this that seem to work with up to 4 outputs, but beyond that they are glitching? Any suggestions of things to try? Have tried firmwares from 0.13.3 all the way to the latest 0.15 beta release all with the exact same outcome.

what are you using for a level shifter?

Using a SN74AHCT245 for level shifting.

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If you are using 3 core wire try adding a 33Ω resistor to the beginning of the data lines after the shifter. If using separate wires try like a 249Ω.

Did you try these new Esp’s with an old working setup to see if it’s the new Esp’s with the issue? To rule out it being just something different with the environment of new projects.