Crimson Drivers bugged?> Overheating killing Graphics Cards

It seems that a lot of GPU problems revolve around specific versions of drivers. Though AMD has their own support structure, you can often learn from information reported by others who fold.

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Crimson Drivers bugged?> Overheating killing Graphics Cards

Postby Dr.G » Mon Apr 11, 2016 11:32 pm

I think my experience may be important to share with the FAH community.
I would value other users reports for confirmation of the Crimson driver GPU overheating issue, and I hope this helps other FAH enthusiasts:
I am a loyal AMD supporter, but there appears to be a bug in some of the new Crimson drivers...

I recently upgraded to the new AMD Crimson drivers. After this upgrade my computer crashed regularly a few times a day while folding. Finally a few days later one of my Graphic cards 'died'! :cry:
For 3 years(!) I had run my two R9 290X (x2 GPU) cards system at stock speeds, no overclock, windows 7, folding 24/7 - 365 days/year, AMD Catalyst 14.9 driver.



After this, I replaced the dead card with an identical model (Gigabyte GV-R929XOC-4GD), but the problem recurred. I systematically tried everything to identify the problem, including cleaning fans and case, RAM check, Motherboard bios update, GPU bios update, Windows update etc etc -
I tried endless combinations over 48 hours; nothing helped- same problem: regular crashes (& possibly throttling).

I then ran MSI Afterburner while folding: I found GPU temps of 95 degrees C and the GPU fan speed 'locked'!!

Sadly it appears locked GPU fans and resulting overheating is a known bug with some versions of the new AMD Crimson drivers.
Apparently the drivers sometimes 'lock' the GPU fan speed, and because of the huge load placed on the GPU by folding and the heat which is generated in some cases the cards eventually burn out because the fan speed does not automatically increase with rising temperatures. I can only speculate as to why the usual inbuilt protection mechanism of the card did not function to protect from overheating.

The Fan settings are at: AMD Settings==>Gaming==>Global Settings==>Global overdrive (I don't game or overclock- so never would have looked at and checked these settings!!??)

See below


I have found the following links on the topic:

Of course I may have just been unlucky- but I think there is a fair bit of evidence to suggest the new crimson drivers may have resulted in overheating and possibly killed a graphics card.
I am going back to CCC 14.9 drivers for folding, even though the latest release of Crimson apparently has resolved the 'problem'.

Your thoughts, ideas and experineces are welcome!
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Re: Crimson Drivers bugged?> Overheating killing Graphics Ca

Postby jrweiss » Tue Apr 12, 2016 12:30 am

I tried the Crimson 15.12 driver on one of my 7750s a while ago, and got several crashes, all overnight. I didn't bother trying to troubleshoot, but went back to the Catalyst 14.9.
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Re: Crimson Drivers bugged?> Overheating killing Graphics Ca

Postby Bryman » Tue Apr 12, 2016 2:58 am

I've noticed that when running folding@home my gpu doesn't underclock, thus it prevents throttling

Also, you should check the temps every once in a while just in case.. I do it like every 30 minutes lol, but there's no need to do it that often

Your GPU should of shut itself off to protect itself if it got really hot... mine does it at 104... also the firmware should of forced the fans to 100%, not sure why that didn't work

I'm using the Crimson drivers and they seem to be working perfectly fine... but going back to 14.9 doesn't reduce PPD that much at all, if any

Don't remember if I ever tried 15.12... but I think I did... right now I'm using 16.3.1
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Re: Crimson Drivers bugged?> Overheating killing Graphics Ca

Postby road-runner » Tue Apr 12, 2016 4:28 am

I didnt have any luck with them either borked the WUs couldnt get it to fold it loaded the gpu but the percent just crept along like 2 hours per frame. I tried AMD uninstall utility end up just formatting put winders back on and 14.9 drivers. This was on 7970s
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Re: Crimson Drivers bugged?> Overheating killing Graphics Ca

Postby 7im » Tue Apr 12, 2016 6:00 am

Upgraded to Crimson with each release on an HD 8570. No problems folding, overheating or crashing in Win 7 (yet?).
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Re: Crimson Drivers bugged?> Overheating killing Graphics Ca

Postby Dr.G » Tue Apr 12, 2016 6:22 am

Hi people,

Interesting to hear you've had some overheating problems too; thanks for the rapid feedback!

I suggest we all check GPU temps and fan speeds under load (i.e. when folding) if using Crimson drivers. :evil:
My card initially kept artefacting and then the computer crashed. Now I have one burned out R9 290X graphics card because of the problem.

See AMD website Tweet acknowledging driver bug locking fan speed:

or just Google " amd crimson drivers problem overheating "

AMD users need to watch out for a bug issue in AMD’s crimson graphics driver, which directly affects the fan profile of the graphics card, and has reportedly lead to bricked or damaged cards. Basically the issue starts off when the card’s fan speed becomes locked to manual, which is at a very low percentage, this leads to overheating. The bug is likely to be initiated when the overclocking utility is triggered, and this might also start when a third party OC utility is being installed.

The latest Crimson driver is preset at 20% for fan speed by the Overdrive profile.

So here are the steps to alter your fan speeds to fix the problem.

Step 1: Open AMD Radeon Settings and navigate to Global Settings and then click on Global Overdrive Settings.

Step 2: Scroll down and navigate to the title “Fan Speed”. Next to it you will see the ON button, click on it. You will see that it has been set at the 20% level, which is the standard fan speed. Note that once you set it to ON, then at the specific fan speed percentage it will be locked.

Step 3: Now turn off the fan speed option by clicking on the button next to it. Once you do that the button will state OFF, ensure it does indeed says that if you wish to keep your fan speed at automatic speed levels. To confirm whether or not it is stated as OFF, you can also confirm this by seeing the Fan Speed title showing in brackets “Auto”. However, if you do not wish for your fan speed levels to be adjusted to the temperatures automatically, then you can simply leave it to be set to ON as previously.

Sad realy- we shouldn't have to check temperatures and fan speeds, we should have sensible driver fan profiles to keep temps down!
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Re: Crimson Drivers bugged?> Overheating killing Graphics Ca

Postby Bryman » Tue Apr 12, 2016 6:29 am

Sad realy- we shouldn't have to check temperatures and fan speeds, we should have sensible driver fan profiles to keep temps down!

Yeah... about that.. lol

My fans were messed up from the start - only one fan would run unless the fan speed was above 80%...

Then one day my fans just randomly started turning down... they were quiet enough (only had it set to 40%) that I really didn't notice it... my temps were about 5°C hotter that day and now I know it's because the fans kept turning down

Then the next day it got really bad... the fans would go to a really low rpm and just stay there... temp would hit 97°C and afterburner would show fan usage was set to 100%, but still... nothing... and folding@home prevented underclocking on my video card so my video card kept hitting 104 and shutting itself off :/

I um... am not sure what the point of that story was lol, I guess basically... you can't rely on the fans working 100%

I ended up just taping a case fan to my GPU, problem solved... lol

I had a trick to get them working again... but they would only work for a few seconds and then go back down again...

Basically, I would use my finger to stop/slow down one of the fans for a split second and then they would go back up to 100%... but it only stayed there for a few seconds...
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Re: Crimson Drivers bugged?> Overheating killing Graphics Ca

Postby toTOW » Tue Apr 12, 2016 2:15 pm

I had this issue (fan locked at 50% on my 290X) with the first version of Crimson drivers ... but it was bypassed by Afterburner easily.

The problem was fixed on next Crimson drivers release ... and then I sold the card, so I don't know how it evolved.
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