Question R9 290 black screens only when there is no load (e.g. in Windows)

Apr 20, 2017
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4,520
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Hi guys,

for the last couple of months I have been black screens when using my Sapphire R9 290 Tri-X OC.
It is a very peculiar issue, because it only happens when I am outside of a game e.g. with an open browser (with hardware acceleration turned off), or other 2D applications, I believe it has only happened in game once or twice and that was when I had some 2D applications open as well as the game. I have noticed it often happens when I open Origin's client - it would crash within a few minutes - and that's how I tested the fixes I have tried that are stated below.
The screen goes black (but still on) and the PC hangs - I tried accessing it through TeamViewer from my laptop, but it appears offline, so it definitely hangs, it's not just a GPU driver issue. When I press the restart button on my PC it would sometimes do the loud buzz. The card never goes over 85 degrees Celsius, because of the gigantic cooler and the three fans - the reasons I like it so much. The fans don't even rev-up, cause I've got an intake fan just next to the GPU on the side of the case (an old CooleMaster case).
  • My PSU is the Seasonic M12II, I believe the 750W version and as mentioned the scrash doesn't happen under full load so I am sure it is not a PSU/power issue. I've tried having two power cables instead of one that splits
  • Since it started happening around the time I upgraded to Windows 20H2, I thought it might be a windows driver issue, but since I rolled back to 2004 and it is happening on that version as well
  • I've tried cleaning the drivers with DDU and installing different WHQL versions from the last year, including ones I am sure worked before
  • I tried swapping the GPU with a RX570 I laying around and it does not have this problem, so it is not the PCI-E slot or any other part of the system
  • I flashed a different BIOS from techpowerup and also tried the second bios on the card itself
  • I changed the drivers for the AMD High Definition Audio to the generic Microsoft ones, since apparently that could help, and also tried disabling it
  • Tried using the drivers with all the default settings (no custom res, no Radeon chill, etc)
  • Tried bumping up the power limit, I believe this was the only time the system managed to recover from the crash - the screen went black for a second and then came back to normal
I am now officially out of ideas, it seems like it's a voltage issue on the lower or lowest power stages, but I am just guessing. Would forcing constant voltage help? Should I bake the GPU in the oven :D ?
Has anyone had similar issues and know if I can revive this card? Or is it just dead for good?
 
Last edited:
Apr 20, 2017
18
0
4,520
2
full system spec? include make and model of the psu
My PSU is the Seasonic M12II, I believe the 750W version and as mentioned the scrash doesn't happen under full load so I am sure it is not a PSU/power issue. I've tried having two power cables instead of one that splits

Intel Xeon X3470 @ 3.3Ghz
Arctic Freezer 7 pro
KHX2133C11D3K4/16GX
Gigabyte GA-P55-UD5 rev1.0
Sapphire R9 290 Tri-X OC
2 x 120 GB SSDs in RAID 0
3 x 500 GB HDD in RAID 0
Seasonic M12II 750W(?)
 

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