Question GPU crashes when under load. Never happened before.

Apr 1, 2021
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Hello folks, thanks for taking a look at my issue here, I am at my wits end.

Recently, my GPU has been crashing whenever it goes underload. At times it is instant whenever the game launches. For example, I tried running Superposition Benchmark and the moment it finished loading the run the screen went black, the music could still be heard but I couldn't do anything because the GPU stopped working. This also happened when I was playing Divinity Original Sin 2. I was on a Discord call, the GPU crashed, but I could still hear the game and the people on the call. This started about 2 months ago, if I recall correctly.

I've tried rolling back the drivers, undervolting, we even switched the GPU to my brother's computer and the same issue occurred so we know it's not the PSU, the MoBo, RAM, anything of the sort. We've run tests for everything (RAM, CPU, etc) but whenever we do a GPU test, whether it's a benchmark or a stress test it crashes. For a while we got it to work by underclocking the card but after a few hours it crashed again. Games that would work perfectly fine now don't make it past the loading screen and an additional thing that has come up is that my GPU has been having heart rate (frame timing issues) which we placated by lowering the FPS lock. I know that my GPU is an old one but even games that are old are causing it to crash (Minecraft, of all things).

My brother's computer is much higher-end than my own so we know it's not an issue of power or the lack of it. Any ideas as to what may be causing this? Maybe try and fix it? Placate it? I got the GPU from my brother from before this new crypto boom so I am aware that upgrading is nigh-on impossible right now, at least at MSRP.

Specs are as follows:

  • GPU: MSI RX 480 8gb.
  • MoBo: Gigabyte A320M-S2H V2
  • CPU: Ryzen 3 3100
  • 8gb of DDR4 Ram 2600mHz
  • 500 watt Silver Stone ST50F-ES230
 
Apr 1, 2021
3
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Are you monitoring temps for the card? Tried a good clean and repaste?
I'll ask my brother for help with both these things, it's been veritable years since he got the GPU and it's been worked hard all that time. Could be it's a paste issue... Good idea, I have some thermal paste laying around so I'll do that now and keep you guys posted.
 
Apr 1, 2021
3
1
15
0
Are you monitoring temps for the card? Tried a good clean and repaste?
It was the paste! Thank you so much for coming up with the idea.

We opened the GPU up and the thermal compound was missing on one half and the other half was dry and cracked. Must be from longevity, but we applied new thermal paste, did a few runs of Furmark (never crashed and not over 70 C). We even did Superposition (used to also crash instantly) and no problems. Then I ran Baldurs Gate 3 on Ultra (which used to crash in the main menu) and we are solid to go.

Thanks again!
 
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