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anoriel
Adept II

R9 270X TDR, black screen or hard lockup crashes in some games unless I downclock

Describe your system:

AMD Graphics Card: Sapphire R9 270X 2GB OC with 1070Mhz base clock and 1400Mhz memory clock

Desktop

Windows 10 64 bit upgraded from Windows 7 64 bit earlier this month

Radeon 18.5.1-may23, 18.6.1, 18.7.1, 18

Samsung S22B150 (1920x1080@60Hz) monitor

Motherboard: MSI Z170A PC MATE (MS-7971) (U3E1)

CPU: Intel i5 6500

Power Supply: Corsair 650W

RAM: 8GB

Problem:

For most of 2017 and 2018 I have been getting crashes in these games: Diablo 3, Heroes of the Storm, Dota 2, Warframe, Far Cry 4 Himalayas levels.

All of these have been crashing ever since the Crimson drivers were released and continue with Adrenaline drivers.

Overwatch crashed for me between 17.7.1 and 17.12.1

The only temporary solution is to use MSI Afterburner to downclock my computer. I do not want to go further back than the 16 series crimson drivers, but when I tested on the 15 series drivers I got the same crashes unless I downclocked.

Heroes of the storm and Dota will crash 10 or more times in a single game unless I downclock my graphics card all the way to 902Mhz core clock and 1100Mhz memory clock. The other games in my list above will run on 999 Mhz core clock and 1200 Mhz memory clock.

When I run Far Cry 4 at normal clock speeds the game runs fine until I go to the Himalayas at which point I get hard lockups. Other than that the game runs perfectly. When I downclock my card I have to run it on medium settings because on high I get small blue square artifacts on the mountains in the background. Diablo 3 and Warframe do not crash at all at 999 core, 1100 memory. I have not tested Dota 2 yet.

Reinstalling Windows or changing drivers seems to have little to no effect on the games that crash. Many games do not crash at all and run fine and many of them are heavy duty current generation games like Witcher 3, Metal Gear Solid 5, the new Doom, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Shadow of War and lots of other graphically demanding games like GTA 5, Arkham Knight, Dishonored 2, Shadow Warrior 2, Subnautica, Alien Isolation, Dragon Age Inquisition, Assassin's Creed Black Flag, Fallout 4. My card is not overheating and I often take my card out, clean out the dust and reseat it properly.

On Windows Event log I see - Display driver amdkmdap stopped responding and has successfully recovered.

On the AMD settings app I can see - Default Radeon WattMan settings have been restored due to unexpected system failure

With some crashes the Blizzard App will also crash, and for other crashes that does not happen.

Does this mean that my card is dying? Does AMD not support overclocked editions of older cards? Is it a power supply problem which is solved by downclocking? I am seeing many other users getting TDR and black screen crashes with the R9 cards.

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15 Replies
pokester
MVP

Re: R9 270X TDR, black screen or hard lockup crashes in some games unless I downclock

Increase the power limit slider to it's maximum. No they don't account for overclocked cards. Only the people that made your card can do that. The vanilla AMD drivers are set to reference card standards. So slide that power limit slider all the way to the right, it should accomplish the same result as underclocking, without the performance loss.

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anoriel
Adept II

Re: R9 270X TDR, black screen or hard lockup crashes in some games unless I downclock

Is this overvolting or undervolting? I am not very confident in my PSU to try and get more power out of it. I have a 650W corsair power supply but I have many drives connected to my PC. I don't want to do something that will fry my graphics card or PSU. Is there a guide somewhere around here on doing this?

AMD drivers used to work in the past on my graphics card and now they still work on most games. But on some games the R9 270X just crashes whenever there is a lot happening on screen in some multiplayer games. I am not sure what leads to a graphics card using more power but these games cause TDR errors when I do not underclock. It is unusual that more demaning games like Doom or Witcher 3 do not give TDR errors at all. If I crank up the graphics settings I get low FPS, but no TDR errors. If I downclock to 900Mhz core clock and 1100 Mhz memory clock no game crashes, and 999Mhz core and 1200Mhz feels safe for most games that were crashing.

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pokester
MVP

Re: R9 270X TDR, black screen or hard lockup crashes in some games unless I downclock

Neither really as it is just allowing the gpu to access the upper range of what is considered normal for that card. So many of the overclock additions of these cards should really be set there by default but are not. This is not the same as a voltage increase, but yes it does allow the card to receive a bit more power under load. If that doesn't get you stable you can do a combination of both, leave the power limit set at max and down clock the card a little bit till it is stable, this typically should not be needed though. Also remember that the power used is dynamic so raising that power limit doesn't mean it uses that power all the time. It is just giving it more headroom when needed. A 650W corsair should be plenty to run that card. It certainly is not impossible the PS could be faulty, it happens. Run OCCT from OCBASE_COM and test your power supply and gpu.

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pokester
MVP

Re: R9 270X TDR, black screen or hard lockup crashes in some games unless I downclock

You can reply back with a  DX diag report too from a game crash and we can see exactly what the game is crashing from. Worth trying too is disabling the AMD user experience program, in Radeon Settings, we have recently seen it linked to crashes in DX diag reports.

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kingfish
MVP

Re: R9 270X TDR, black screen or hard lockup crashes in some games unless I downclock

anoriel
Adept II

Re: R9 270X TDR, black screen or hard lockup crashes in some games unless I downclock

I ran OCCT for a few minutes and it seemed normal. I just ran heroes of the storm on low settings with 953Mhz Core clock and 1200Mhz Memory clock with power limit % at +10. Temperatures were normal and I didn't crash. The base clock and memory frequency of this card is 1000Mhz and 1400Mhz. I'll try the game again on medium later on. I am hesitant to increase the power limit all the way if this has a risk of doing damage.

Should I be touching the memory clock at all?

I am sure the black screen and TDR problems on older cards with the new drivers are because of clock speeds and power. I do hope AMD fixes this problem because not everyone will be able to use something like Afterburner or Wattman.

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anoriel
Adept II

Re: R9 270X TDR, black screen or hard lockup crashes in some games unless I downclock

The card is well past it's warranty so I don't really need to worry about that. But I do not want to fry my card on purpose.

I'm using Afterburner to downclock my card to make it more stable. If increasing the power limit helps with that I will try it. I don't like erratic black screen and TDR crashes and they seem to be linked to clock and power settings. Much of the advice online is to either reinstall windows, upgrade to windows 10 or use a very old driver. None of them have any effect on R9 card stability issues and resulting black screen crashes. The only thing that helped getting it to work was downclocking.

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kingfish
MVP

Re: R9 270X TDR, black screen or hard lockup crashes in some games unless I downclock

Here's a new one for you....and I won't post the dozens of identical posts.

Get rid of Afterburner..or any other third party graphics controller. They conflict with AMD Wattman settings. Then reinstall the AMD driver of your choice Clean Install AMD Graphics Drivers

RX480 FPS drop in all games

Could anyone make the R9 Fury work using Oculus Rift CV1 with any driver newer than 16.11.xx? Please...

anoriel
Adept II

Re: R9 270X TDR, black screen or hard lockup crashes in some games unless I downclock

Afterburner is what is making my graphics card usable with downclocking. I've tried many other drivers and I do clean installs every time and on the games I listed my graphics driver crashes with TDR errors.

Afterburner isn't the problem, it's the solution to most TDR errors on R9 and other older cards.