Question Games locking up, minimizing, and still running? Unable to fix. GPU Issue?

Jun 16, 2019
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Problem description: As of about a week ago, I've been having this issue pop up while running some games. I haven't tested it in many games but it first started while playing Outer Wilds and I confirmed it also happening in Final Fantasy XIV. I had been playing Outer Wilds just fine for a few days (including some very long sessions) with zero issue. Then about a week ago, I started trying to play it and after about five or so minutes, the entire screen would lock up for about 5-10 seconds, then it would look as if the game minimized. I could still interact with the game. I could hear the audio of the game and the sounds from the game recognizing my button presses. The game, however, appeared as if it was just minimized. When I would try to alt tab back into the game, nothing would happen. The only solution was to kill the application through task manager. I repeatedly tried to play but never made it more than 5-10 minutes into the game without this happening.

I tried playing Final Fantasy XIV as well and it would do the same thing, however, when the "crash" happened with FFXIV, it would say that "A Fatal DirectX Error Occurred."

Attempted fixes: My first thought was that my video card or something was overheating. We had a heatwave around the same time and it was very hot in my apartment and I did notice that my video card was running a bit hot. I bought some additional fans for my PC and the weather died down now. The situation became better, but it's inconsistent. Today, I played Outer Wilds for about an hour with zero issue. Then the "crash" happened and when I started playing again, I couldn't play for more than 10-15 minutes without the crash happening.

I've run all Windows updates, all GPU driver updates, I've installed the new fans. Hell, I even applied new thermal paste to my CPU for good measure. It's helped but not solved the problem. When the first started happening, I couldn't play for more than 5 minutes at a time, but now it's just unpredictable and inconsistent but still happening sometimes. I've been monitoring my CPU/GPU temps while playing and haven't noticed anything abnormal. If anything, with the new fans and thermal paste, everything running cooler than it ever has.

Recent changes: None at all.

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Operating system: Windows 10 Pro (Build 17763)

System specs:
Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 2600
Ram: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2 X 8GB) DDR4 3000
Video Card: PowerColor RED DEVIL Radeon RX 580

I've found a couple people suggesting similar issues, but they're all on forums for specific games (and the people are accusing the game of being the problem, which isn't helpful at all).

Everything else on my PC is running fine. I've noticed nothing usual with anything else. I haven't tried any other games to see if this happens but it all started with Outer Wilds and I was able to replicate it (although with the slightly different results mentioned above) in FFXIV.
 
What's the make/model number of your Power supply unit ? The latest Windows 10 OS updates might also be a culprit here to some extent. Have you tried doing a CLEAN and fresh install of the OS ? It would be MUCH better, if you can try playing few more games on your PC, apart from those two PC titles, to narrow down this issue..Rollback the GPU drivers, if need be.

How does the PC behave in DESKTOP mode ? Do you still experience the same problem on your screen ? What's the make/model number of your Monitor ? Which connection are you using, HDMI, DVI-D, DP etc. ? The crash which you are experiencing with FFXIV game has been a known issue, caused by DX11. Switching back to DX9 might fix the problem.
 
Jun 16, 2019
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Thanks for the reply and the helpful questions.

The power supply is: Seasonic FOCUS Plus 550 Gold SSR-550FX 550W 80+ Gold

I haven't done a clean OS install, but no updates happened before this problem started occurring. I had played my game earlier in the day just fine and then came back in the evening and started having the problem.

The thing is, this computer is completely piece-for-piece identical to my wife's computer (built them both at the same time) and she has no problems while gaming. I worried it was a heat issue (since it was hot in our apartment from a heat wave) and the GPU/CPU were running a little hotter than usual that day. Thus I went out and bought new fans for the case and monitored the heat issue from there (and the heat wave passed as well), and temperatures seem fine. GPU/CPU are now operating at normal temperatures and even performing better than they used to.

When it first started, the crashes would happen within the first 5 minutes of the game. Now, it's unpredictable. Sometimes, I can go for an hour, sometimes I can only go for 15 minutes, there is no way to know.

I had checked Windows updates as well as GPU driver updates after installing the new fans and the updates seem to have zero affect on what is going on.

That's why I'm completely stumped. I'm worried that there may be a problem with the GPU itself, but I don't know how I would find out. I built these computers back in late January and have had zero issue with any of it until just now.
 
Jun 16, 2019
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I’m still having no luck and I’m wondering if something is wrong with my video card but I wouldn’t even know how to begin to find out.

My computer runs just fine when I’m not doing anything graphically intensive. I can browse the Internet, watch YouTube, anything like that just fine.

I haven’t had a chance to check any other games but Outer Wilds and FFXIV both run fine initially but it is unpredictable how long it lasts. It can be 5 minutes. It can be 45 minutes. But the crashes always come and it is never able to last an hour.

I’ve been monitoring the video card temperature and it never gets extremely high. I think it runs somewhere about 70C.

The fan will start to get loud and then the games crash but I never see the temperature spike or anything.
 

Satan-IR

Honorable
Those temps are not too high for an RX 580; also this time of year when ambient temps are a bit higher too.

The irregularity of the crashes might suggest a probable PSU issue; although it's a very good quality unit.

As you said the systems are identical I'd suggest you swap the PSUs. See if your system works without crashisng with the PSU from your wife's PC. If that's the case you don't really have to look for other issues.
 
Jun 16, 2019
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I'll be checking the PSU tomorrow and switching those out and trying it, but I do have another curiosity.

When playing games, the sound of fans and everything seems normal until right before the crash when the GPU fans seem to kick into overdrive - or at least it seems like they do. Does this mean anything?
 
Jun 16, 2019
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Update - May have found a solution but will need to test further.

When the crashes have happened yesterday and today, a new thing happened, I started seeing the error message "Default Radeon Wattman settings have been restored due to an unexpected system failure."

Did some searching based on that and came across two things.

First - the recommendation was to disable fast startup:


There was a second recommendation as well:

Actually these crashes are usually related to the the power ceiling on the card not being high enough. Unfortunately the default drivers are set for the default speeds of reference cards. Most cards sold however are sold with factor OC's that these drivers don't account for. So just as the speed is set a little higher you need to raise the power ceiling a bit in the driver. To do this, and to add it is perfectly safe and common to do this. Go to Radeon Settings, Gaming, Global Setting, Global Wattman: Look for the "Power Limit" Slider. Now slid it all the way to it's maximum increasing the power ceiling for the card. This should help with your stability issues.
So far, I have disabled fast start-up, shut my computer down and rebooted it and the problem seems to have gone away (though I can't be sure, but I was able to play for an hour with no crashes in Outer Wilds). I'm about to try FFXIV for a bit and see if that is affected. If it is, I'm going to try the power limit slider. Crossing my fingers this works so I don't have to spend all day disassembling computers and swapping parts.
 
Jun 16, 2019
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Well, the "fast startup" thing didn't make any difference so I tried raising the power ceiling in the driver.

Now everything is broken in a different way.

Previously, when playing, the game would just freeze on the screen for a few seconds and then in the case of Outer Wilds, it would faux-minimize, where i can still interact with the game but I'm looking at the desktop. With FFXIV, it would lock up and and then just crash and give a directX error.

Now, I've been able to play Outer Wilds for almost an hour two times (short break in between). The first time, I had zero crashes. The second time, it ended with both of my monitors going black and my entire computer locking up and I was forced to restart.

With FFXIV, the screen locked up, both monitors went black, then after a few seconds, I was back into the game. Then a few seconds later, this process repeated. The process repeated about four times and then the entire game crashed and spit out a directX error.

No clue what is happening. Guess it's time to rip open the computers and start swapping PSUs and GPUs.
 
Jun 16, 2019
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Welp. I figured it out.

Swapped the PSUs. Crashes still happened.

Swapped the GPUs. Crashes stopped.

I've never had a video card fail? in this way, but it's certainly the video card.
 

Satan-IR

Honorable
OK then.

I would check the other GPU with the original PSU as well; to definitely rule out your PSU having problems too (don't know if you did this or not) but after your test it is almost certainly the GPU failing.

Not saying this is definitely the case (small probability) but if the PSU has problems that might have damaged the GPU; as the first victims of faulty PSUs are usually motherboards and VGAs.
 

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