I am somewhat at a loss at this stage due to the constant crashing of my PC over the last few months, which has been so frequent, that I am unable to use my PC as my daily driver and have to resort to using an older computer to have a stable system.
I have isolated the issues my side to be driver or software related and not hardware as I don't get these crashes when running Ubuntu off a separate harddrive (ironically with the vastly inferior Linux drivers). I didn't get crashes previously and currently with the Crimson drivers in Windows 10 it is "crash-city" almost every day.
My system specs are as follows:
System type: Desktop
Operating System: Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Graphics card: Sapphire Tri-X R9 Fury 4G HBM
CPU: Intel Core i7 5820K
Motherboard: GA-X99-Gaming 5P
PSU: Corsair AX860
Memory: 32 GB
Display: 34inch (3440x1440) @ 60Hz Displayport
When and how does it crash?
The crashes result in the screen going black and the system rebooting immediately and this has mostly occurred when browsing the web in either Chrome or Firefox with no other custom programs running - Literally just a web browser running. I have also noticed a couple crash/reboot cycles after leaving my PC unattended for a short while and coming back to a system that had rebooted.
There are no major patterns I have noticed when it crashes. It has occurred shortly after a previous reboot, it has crashed after a number of hours have passed, it has crashed after numerous start-sleep cycles over a couple days, it has crashed while viewing a plain text/html page and has crashed after using a program/application.
What solutions have I attempted?
- I have restored Windows 10 to the Pre-Anniversary Update, along with the Anniversary Update - Still crashed
- I have both changed and removed all previously installed anti-virus software - Still crashed
- I have uninstalled drivers using the AMDCleanupUtility and DDU and reinstalled drivers - Still crashed
- I have checked system temperature, ventilation and updated BIOS and other system drivers - Still crashed
- I have tried different monitors and ports on the graphics card - Still crashed
- I have not installed the Raptr/Gaming Evolved app at any stage and I have deselected non-essentials (e.g. HDMI audio) from the install wizard - Still crashed
- I have tried to isolate it to a browser issue, with both Firefox and Chrome showing no difference when run independently - Still crashed
- I have tried to isolate it to a flash issue, disabled flash in Firefox, left Chrome as is (built-in flash), no difference - Still crashed
- I have tried a range of drivers thus far which have all crashed: 16.11.3, 16.10.2, 16.9.2, 16.7.3, 15.7.1 ... to name a few - Still crashed
- I have tried a different operating system (Ubuntu) with different drivers (default kernel drivers and AMDGPU-Pro 16.4) - No crash
What conclusions can be reached?
- Judging by the number of posts on this forum about "crashes/black screens" and the range of graphics cards affected, it is almost a certainty that it is a software - more specifically driver - related issue and not hardware
- Crashing has not been noticed on a different OS, using different drivers - so the fault lies with either Windows 10 or the Crimson drivers
- These issues seemed to have become more prominent/frequent with the release of the Crimson set of drivers running on Windows 10
- AMD is either not aware of the widespread nature of the problem or is unable/unwilling to fix the issue as this isn't a recent problem. There are posts/reports going back months now on here and other sites.
- AMD is releasing drivers more frequently than in past years, however the focus seems to be on providing support for new released games and not bug/stability fixes
As someone who has been buying ATI based graphics cards or systems containing them for the last 12 years, this is the first time I am regretting my purchase decision. I spent a fair bit of money a few months ago on what was then one of the top-of-the-line graphics cards, looking to be somewhat future proof, and instead I have system which has crashed more frequently in the last fortnight than all my others during their lifetime.
I will be keeping track of all the driver versions I have tried that crashed and will update this thread when I can, however judging by the fact the most recent driver (16.11.3) at the time of this posting is still crashing, I am not hopeful. I don't want to have to consider an alternative provider, however I don't know how long I can keep waiting for a fix.
Update Nov 21, 2016
Unfortunately I've not had much success since my original post.
Some more observations/solutions attempted since then:
- I installed 16.11.2 and had an uptime of around 2.5 days without "black-screening", before I uninstalled those drivers and updated to the newest drivers 16.11.4 which crashed a very short time later (~ 1-2 hours) while in Civilization 6
- I have done a bit of research into the Corsair AX/AXi PSU and there have been a few comments, specifically related to the AXi series and random reboots. My current PSU is an older model and not the "digital series", however I did toggle the fan setting from "hybrid" to "normal" to see if that would help and unfortunately I still got a black-screen-to-reboot cycle shortly after installing 16.11.4
- I have attempted to adjust the power and display cables (Displayport) for a snugger fit without success so far. I'll give HDMI a go the next time I get a crash, although my versions supports only 50Hz which is why I am using DP.
- At the moment the biggest change I've made is to swap out my new GPU (R9 Fury) with my previous GPU (HD 7970) which has served me well for the last few years. Currently my system hasn't had a single black-screen/crash/unexpected reboot since I switched the GPU. I'm using the current drivers: 16.11.4 and the system currently has an uptime of ~4 days. Since then I've run Civilization 6 for hours and hours without issue, currently I've got Prime95 running in the background while surfing the web (last few hours). At this stage I want to see if it does indeed crash again or not, which should hopefully isolate the issue to my Fury card and/or the drivers associated with the R9 series.