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Journeyman III

R9 390X while gaming, 3 monitors crash, 2 or 1 monitor is fine.

After a month of troubleshooting some GPU issues and GPU crashing during games, I have found only one pattern and that is that if I use 3 monitors (no Eyefinity just 3 separate screens) my GPU will eventually crash within the next hour (if not right away) when gaming. However, if I use 1 or 2 monitors no crash while happen.

I have the XFX R9 390x-8256 GPU. It has 2 DVI, 1 HDMI, and 1 DP.

I have a triple monitor setup.

  1. 2560x1440p (HDMI to HDMI) [Main gaming monitor)
  2. 1920x1080 (DVI to HDMI)
  3. 1920x1080 (DVI to HDMI)

I have tried DisplayPort to DisplayPort with the main monitor and I have also tried using all three connections (DVI, HDMI, and DP) at once for the main and side monitors.

I have clean installed my drivers twice now and this issue originally started in early December. The first time it occurred I was using a R9 290x, and this artifact'ed my GPU and it would no longer POST. Luckily, I had a lifetime warranty and was given a new R9 390x which arrived January 18. The GPU immediately had the same symptoms and crashed within a few minutes of playing a game. Thankfully, this GPU still POSTs fine, but has crashed about two dozen times since then. Again, removing any of the monitors would resolve all issues immediately.

During the RMA, I used my integrated's motherboard slots for two monitors and had zero issues (albeit couldn't play high-intensity due to it being an integrated card).

After the immediate crash on the new R9 390x, I spent DAYS worth of time trying to debug everything as I presumed I wouldn't have two back-to-back bad GPUs.

  • Re-seated components 3-4x.
  • I clean uninstalled drivers, including using DDU.
  • I ran 2 iterations of memtest86 to verify RAM was fine.
  • I ran several of Windows built-in scanning and file-checking tools.
  • I tried turning on and off the power saver option in AMD control center.
  • I have tried the +50% Wattman fix in the AMD control center.
  • MOBO is SLI compatible, so I have tried both PCI-e slots as well.
  • I ran CPU stress tests and watched temps to ensure nothing was wrong there.
  • I tested voltage on PSU and wall outlet, and ran PSU stress testing, to ensure no issues there.
  • I also have been monitoring GPU temperatures and this also seems fine from what I have read about its temps (usually 70c - 85c), doesn't every go above 85c, will hover low 80's on high-end games. I also have done higher stress testing with just two or one monitor and pushed it beyond this fine with no crashing, while triple monitor will crash on 70c's easy, so I do not think it is temperature related either.

Anyways, during all of this, and after multiple output configurations and such, the ONLY pattern I can find is 1-2 monitors versus 3. I feel like this has to be somehow driver related?

Again, I have probably spent over 50 hours now on testing this past month because I want my setup to be working, and I am starting to get very frustrated with this whole ordeal, three monitors should be running fine and either I am missing something very simple or there is an issue with the driver(s).

My system specs are:

  • XFX R9 390x-8256 (GPU)
  • Intel i7-4790k (CPU)
  • GIGABYTE Z97x-SLI (Motherboard) - I also tried both PCI-e slots
  • EVGA 850W B2 (PSU)