A couple weeks ago my XFX R9 390 graphics card died after giving some puzzling symptoms. I thought I’d share my observations for other troubleshooters out there across the internet.
Early Signs of Trouble
I bought this graphics card new in July of 2015. It had a light overclock and was happily running Davinci Resolve and some light gaming… then one day the graphics card started Black Screen Crashing when it was under load video editing. It seemed like it was overheating, but manually putting the gpu fans on full blast didn’t make a difference. According the Afterburner the gpu temps never got high while this was happening.
After about five black screen crashes, things got worse. The graphics card would black screen crash immediately at the Windows Login… Oddly when I unplugged my second monitor the graphics card would run normally again though. With a single monitor I stress tested the gpu with no issues… but any time I plugged in more than single monitor it would immediately black screen crash.
This graphics card was working great up till then and I was motivated to save it if I could. Thinking that my problems were heat related, I stripped down my gpu for a full cleaning job and even replacing the thermal paste and heat pads.
The card ran a little cooler, but none of that made a difference with my dual monitor crashing problem.
From there I spent a lot of time testing older Radeon drivers and wondering if it was related to a bad Windows Update. Then I swapped the 390 with an older radeon gpu. The old gpu could run dual monitors in Windows 10 no problem.
Three days after my original Dual Monitor problem, I started getting black screen crashes on a single monitor under load. After three instances in a row I formally pronounced my 390 dead and got a replacement.