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AMD Crimson bug is locking fans and overheating GPUs

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AMD’s recently rejuvenated its Catalyst Drivers, giving the software suite a much-needed overhaul. It comes with a host of new features and a shinier overall presentation – but could also be responsible for the fiery death of a number of GPUs.

The latest, opt-in beta version of AMD’s Crimson driver set has been blamed for frying a few graphics cards. A number of threads on Reddit claim that Crimson has software-locked fans on select Radeon GPU’s, keeping them running at 20% regardless of temperature. While that’s fine for standard desktop usage, games would elevate temperatures well beyond standard operating temps – and without functional fans to cool them down, could end up toasting themselves.

“So, there is a bug with the new Crimson drivers that AMD released (not beta, final release) that lock your GPU fan speed and because of this, many users have reported playing for extended periods of time with their fans locked to 20%,” says one unfortunate AMD user.

“Others, like me, got their GPU burned, in my case it didn’t even reboot the PC, it just crashed the screen graphics (orange bars) and I had to manually turn off the computer. When I opened the case the GPU was so hot I couldn’t even remove it from the PCI-e and had to wait until it was cool enough.”

It’s not an isolated case, thou some reports suggest it’s only happening to non-reference cards that utilise soft-overclocking. It’s something AMD is aware of, and they’ve pledged to release a hot-fix this morning.

Until then, one user suggests changing a few settings to keep fans running, and GPU’s from overheating. Unfortunately, it’s something you’ll need to do every time you reboot, until AMD’s hotfix goes live.

“The new Crimson driver set keeps your fan speeds at 20% through the Overdrive profile. Now, you can turn each game to auto individually, and at this point it’ll increase the fan speeds as temperatures increase. However, for me, this doesn’t work and I need to do this in the global overdrive settings.”

You can see a guide on just how to do that here. Anyway, if you’ve been noticing some unusually hot temperatures in your AMD system lately, this is probably why.

Last Updated: November 30, 2015

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