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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

elesde
Level 10
Maybe ASUS support can provide you with a newer bios version. At this point I would bet on a faulty card though.

No problems here with my 290x on 14.12 btw. (AMD reference design).

Retired
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I've just checked the shop I bought the card at, and this particular one has higher than average failure rate than similar cards (15% vs roughly 8%). I was shocked when I checked the 290x version - 25% failure rate! I think something might be horribly wrong with this product line, specifically for Asus.
I'll probably RMA the card in near future and see what happens. In the worst case I'd have to do 3 times to be eglible for getting the money refunded.

elesde
Level 10
In my personal experience the AIB custom designs were getting worse and worse over the last couple of AMD GPU generations... using ultra cheap components and cutting corners wherever possible. Now if only AMD started selling those reference designs with a better cooler or extended the warranty to include custom cooling 😄
GL with the RMA, hope you'll get a flawless card this time.

Retired
Not applicable
What's AIB?

Btw, my card has Elpida memory. According to tons of results I get from Google, it is problematic for a lot of people. I guess I will contact the support and ask for a statement, and possibly whether different memory is being used now.

elesde
Level 10
AIB as in add in board, forgot to put partners in there...
AIB partners like ASUS, Sapphire etc. usually make custom circuit board designs after a GPU family launches to differentiate their products.
Some of them are supposed to be improved versions like ASUS Matrix/ARES or Sapphire Vapor-X but imo most manufacturers design new boards to cut costs.

Read that too about Elpida memory and UEFI bios causing the most black screens. Is there any difference on your card when you use the Bios switch to change from silent to performance mode btw?

Retired
Not applicable
Hm, I am wondering, since one of the BIOSes has different fan profile, what happens if I flash a newer version over it? That would be lost, wouldn't it, and both would be exactly the same?

heichalot
Level 7
Octopuss wrote:
Hm, I am wondering, since one of the BIOSes has different fan profile, what happens if I flash a newer version over it? That would be lost, wouldn't it, and both would be exactly the same?

I really dont recommend you flashing gpu BIOS unless it is really the only solution

one of the risk from getting a "factory overclocked" card, is insufficient voltage, because all cards do not overclock equally.
screen (display) freezes or failures could be caused by undervolting, even if it is on "stock" (as advertised)

try using default core clock (and voltage) and memory clock, but this time, try increasing the memory clock voltage by 0.020
do some gaming,
if it freezes again, then run default memory clock (and voltage) and core clock, but increases the core voltage by 0.020 this time
and do some gaming again,
if it shows artifacts or crashes, that means your card cannot handle anymore (since the card is already factory overclocked) overclock, which means you'll have to run things "below" advertised clock.

you may want to leave both core & memory voltage at default,
and then reduce either core clock or memory clock by 5%. do some trial and error while gaming
chances that (my guess): you'll need to run your memory clock around 5% or more below default memory clock (but still, test both)

hope that helps
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"
-me


LG 60UN5400 Asus Rampage V Extreme Intel i7-5930k Haswell-E Kingston HyperX DDR4 2800 16Gb (4x4)
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

Retired
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The trouble is I can't increase memory voltage because I use MSI Afterburner and this card is not supported 😞 I can only increase core voltage and the usual clocks, but not memory voltage.

And btw I never over or underclocked the card in any way.

I think I once tried setting memory clock to AMD default 1250MHz instead of Asus's 1260, but was still getting the black screens. That was some time ago, so I'll try again I guess, this time with different Catalyst version.

Octopuss wrote:
The trouble is I can't increase memory voltage because I use MSI Afterburner and this card is not supported 😞 I can only increase core voltage and the usual clocks, but not memory voltage.

And btw I never over or underclocked the card in any way.

I think I once tried setting memory clock to AMD default 1250MHz instead of Asus's 1260, but was still getting the black screens. That was some time ago, so I'll try again I guess, this time with different Catalyst version.


isnt your card is Asus' ? why dont you use gputweak instead?

well for now dont do anything with the voltage then,
why dont you try reducing your core clock to 950 mhz with 1250 mhz memory clock, just to see if that change anything.

ps: using final driver is always better than betas, since betas are made specifically for new games compatibility
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"
-me


LG 60UN5400 Asus Rampage V Extreme Intel i7-5930k Haswell-E Kingston HyperX DDR4 2800 16Gb (4x4)
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

Retired
Not applicable
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.