Question Did I kill my 980ti by trying to underclock?

Sep 24, 2019
While playing borderlands 3 my game started crashing every 5-15 minutes. This was the first time I've seen a game behave this way with my 980ti. After searching for GPU crashes after 100% usage I found one mentioning to stabilize the GPU by under-clocking the core and memory speed by 50 until it was stable. That worked great.

However, me being stupid as I am decided to see if I could lower it by a less impactful amount to see if I could squeeze out more performance. From the small amount of research I did I figured the worst I could do was crash the driver so long as I didn't mess with voltage or let the stress test I was using raise my temps too high. The most "damage" I did was raise core clock speed by 50 but then going down to -40. The last stress test resulted in the artifact scanner of MSI Kombustor artifacting to hell and back before crashing. The maximum temp it hit was 65 degrees C.

Now my PC crashes when trying to boot windows so long as it's trying to output from the 980ti, I should mention if i look in device manager when running from my iGPU only device manager has an error 43 saying Windows stopped this device because it was reporting errors. Since it's stopped I can never get a look at it in afterburner either.

Things I've tried:
  1. using DDU to uninstall drivers (980ti then works until it tries to auto-install it's default drivers, then it kills the output)
  2. Resetting CMOS
  3. Changing GPU's power plug location on my PSU
  4. I also uninstalled MSI afterburner along w/ deleting the profiles when doing so
I did already order a 2080 to replace it (which hasn't arrived at this time) because I was planning on upgrading the rest of my system once I start my job in January and make a more stable income that allows it, but if I can fix this thing somehow I could at least try to sell it or use it as a secondary PC when I do upgrade.

Two theories I have are maybe my card was defective to begin with but no game has pushed it to the limit borderlands 3 has. Or my GPU's aging couldn't keep up with the boost clock and something with me messing around in afterburner killed something

Here are my Specs:
CPU: Intel Core i7-4790K 4 GHz Quad-Core Processor
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z97MX-Gaming 5 Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard
Memory: Corsair Vengeance Pro 32 GB (4 x 8 GB) DDR3-1866 Memory
Storage: Samsung 850 EVO-Series 500 GB 2.5" Solid State Drive
Storage: Seagate 2 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Hybrid Internal Hard Drive
Video Card: Zotac GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6 GB AMP! Video Card
Power Supply: EVGA SuperNOVA GS 650 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply
Last edited:
Aug 12, 2019
had this once on an older gpu...
what worked for me was booting with monitor plugged into the igpu with multi-monitor enabled in bios (with the dedicated gpu inside)
get msi afterburner, switch to the 980ti in afterburner n hit reset clocks button
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