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R9 290 black screens of death

Retired
Not applicable
I originally thought it was caused by some Catalyst bug(s), but after googling it further, I am not so sure anymore.

Symptoms: screen randomly turns black, and within a second the system completely locks up, leaving you with hard reset only. The only interesting thing is it never happens when playing a game (but it happened a moment after closing one down once). It always happened to me when doing random work on the desktop (as in not when idle, which is the other, much more known, black screen problem).

It originally started (or so it seemed) with Catalyst 14.9 and got much worse with the later betas, BUT recently I got a few of these lockups with 14.4, which led me to more googling, and I found posts describing the same problem with even older versions. R9 290 was mentioned in some of them, so I am thinking, could it be a problem related to specific cards?

Has anyone experienced anything like this as well?

My card is R9 290 DC2OC (with the latest BIOS available to date).
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36 REPLIES 36

Octopuss wrote:
GPU Tweak sucks, and I will never install it again. Last time I did, I had to reinstall Windows, because it's so ****tily coded. There's no failsafe option built in it, and if you over/under volt/clock, and have it configured to start with Windows, you're basically screwed. I wrote a post about that situation some time ago.

Besides, I need/want to use Afterburner for its other features. OSD, video/screen capture, you know.


GPUtweak definately not the best with the way its UI customized compared to msi AB, also it is very boring looking as well, also RIvaturner is a nice thing to have compared to gpu monitor.
however, it is very powerful tool given if your card compatible with it (asus rog cards)

first of all, no gpu control software should load BEFORE your card's driver, in this case is CCC (catalyst). reasons are:
1. hardware reading; PC will decide which details are the priority, and it will be decided on which information comes first. so no gpu controller should be set on windows start, because it will load earlier (light software) and crashed with CCC, which then causes hardware conflicts between gpu and mobo (and then crashing the system).
if it doesnt crash, it will screw voltage intake and causes artifacts (instability), which later going to crash eventually on 3D-2D clock switch.
2. voltage controlling; you want CCC to decide default voltage and then use gputweak to "modify" it. if you have CCC load later, it will overlap and usually crashes when you make changes (voltage) on gpu tweak (voltage spiking). this is the cause for your PC unable to load windows.

secondly, true, there is no failsafe UI on gputweak. but you can always start windows on safemode, and then uninstall GPUtweak.
after that, you can reinstall it again but do NOT reboot just yet. start gputweak, set it not to load on windows start up, apply, and then finally reboot

how about you give it another try,
but make sure you get the latest version.
if you dont want to tinker with the voltage, I think MSI AB should be enough for you

btw, have you tried testing your card with the latest driver?

ps: English definately not my first language, so yeah... excuse me if there is any confusion due to my writing
Aristo, an Enthusiast Gamer
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jab383
Level 13
After a little while using Afterburner, I switched to GPUTweak. The ASUS program will let me increase GPU core voltage more and does a better job of expanding the overclocking range of the reference R9 290X card. The result was higher scores in benchmarks. (Note that I'm cooling the GPU with chilled water, so I don't have heat problems.)

Having read other threads, I don't let GPUTweak start at boot.

Whether the software will do it or not, it is a very bad idea to increase memory voltage on an AMD GPU card. Very little overvoltage - varying just enough to be unpredictable - will blow out the GPUs memory controller. There's a reason tweaking software doesn't usually give that opportunity with an AMD GPU.

Jeff

Retired
Not applicable
I'll just keep using AB. It's not worth the possible conflicts and a mess of running 3 programs that all touch something about a GPU (I might uninstall CCC as I don't need it though).

I haven't had a single black screen yet, but whether it's because of lower memory clock I cannot tell (last time I tried it didn't work; AMD has since claimed to have fixed _some_ black screen problems, so... who knows).

Octopuss wrote:


I haven't had a single black screen yet


thats good news
Aristo, an Enthusiast Gamer
Play on Steam? Add me http://steamcommunity.com/id/heichalot/

"Everytime my setting passes HyperPi or Prime95, I get a boner"
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Asus RoG Ares II no. 789 & 179 Corsair AX1200 NZXT Kraken x60 Bose Companion 5 Sennheiser HD600 Logitech G13 Corsair K95 Logitech G500 Logitech HD Pro C920 Coolermaster Haf X

Awesome_Donkey
Level 7
The random black screen crash issue happens to me with my ASUS Radeon R9 290X DirectCU II OC card running the 14.9 and above drivers. What's strange for me is the issue began with 14.9 - 14.7 RC3 and below are actually stable with no black screen crashes.

Does ASUS have an updated vBIOS for this card that we can contact them for?

Retired
Not applicable
More or less the same observation here regarding the driver version.
I seem to get little to no black screens when I don't undervolt the card (just the core, not even the memory) at all.

gupsterg
Level 13
Any update on your issue? I was reading your thread to assess if I should open and use the Asus R9 290X DCUII I have sitting on my shelf.

I currently use a Sapphire R9 290 Tri-X so do visit their forum and bios updates have resolved the issue for many, they are not available on Sapphire site or forum but owners receive by raising support ticket. Now forum members are sharing them privately as Sapphire forum doesn't allow links for the updated bios or any other releases really.

Have you asked Asus support for a bios?
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