Update: AMD has now released the fixed driver, Crimson 15.11.1 Beta. This release also contains several other fixes according to AMD's notes, including further game fixes and some Radeon Settings bug fixes.

Original: Last week we covered the launch of AMD’s new Radeon software known as Crimson. Crimson is a departure from the Catalyst name, offering an updated interface and promising a larger range of quality assurance testing moving into the new DX12 era. Part of this includes several new features, and it’s worth reading into Ryan and Daniel’s piece on the new software. Despite the best intentions, it happens that this new driver also comes with a few issues that are leaving some users concerned.

As reported in this Reddit thread over at /r/pcmasterrace, the new drivers are causing some graphics cards to adopt an abnormal fan profile, limiting the fan speed to a maximum of 20% by default. As a result, during workloads that require the graphics card, the components on the card are heating up faster than intended. It should be noted that the extent of this issue is hard to determine at this point, as a random spread of users seem to be affected right now.

Technically this should result in the GPU hitting thermal limits and causing the chip to reduce the voltage and frequency, though according to these reports it seems that some of the affected cards are failing, either as a result of VRM overheating or other board design issues relating to high temperatures, even if the GPU throttles down, because of the low fan speed. So despite the GPU throttling, the sustained power draw combined with the low fan speed still increases the temperature, and rather than trip some sort of fail-over giving a BSOD, some GPUs seem to have components that are susceptible to the temperature before a fail-over kicks in.

Some users are reporting that this is a global overdrive setting fixed in the software, which can be re-enabled by following these instructions to remove the 20% fan speed limit. However this hotfix requires re-enabling every time the system is restarted. The fan speed should also be able to be changed using third party software (MSI Afterburner, EVGA PrecisionX).

Instructions from /u/Mufinz1337: 'Make sure it states OFF if you want your fan speeds to be automatic'

We received an email late last night from AMD stating that the problem has been identified and an update to the drivers will be available at some point today, Monday 30th November.

The problem seems to revolve around system configurations that seem confusing to the initial release of the Crimson software, resulting in an odd initial fan setting that is fixed when the software initialises (although it seems to be a random assortment of GPUs affected, even for those with seemingly straightforward systems). Some users have reported their cards have permanently failed, although the exact causes as to why are unknown at this point. We have seen reports pointing to VRM quality of cheaper cards being poor outside the specified temperature window, though at this point we have not heard of any OEM releasing a statement regarding replacement – users with cards in warranty should under normal circumstances be able to get their cards replaced with their retailer, and it will be up to the retailer/OEM to manage the issue further up the chain with distribution.

For users affected, they can either do the manual fan adjustment each time they boot their system, roll back drivers via DDU, or wait for the driver update later today. We will post links here when we get them.

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  • SinxarKnights - Monday, November 30, 2015 - link

    Since the day the drivers were released i've had this issue. BTW it also causes the power limit setting to get stuck but memory and clock settings get reset upon a reboot. I am using an ASUS DirectCU II Radeon R9 280. Not to mention there is no longer an option to set the video dynamic range. I just love being forced into using the 16-235 color range. The washed out video is very pleasing!

    I've honestly never had an issue with any recent AMD drivers but this one really made up for those years of trouble free operation. I've tried tweeting AMDCare for assistance but I guess I am not famous enough to get support.
  • MrSpadge - Monday, November 30, 2015 - link

    Tweeting for support? Oh dear..
  • 0razor1 - Monday, November 30, 2015 - link

    :) could you link me to proof please ? Thanks !
    For a quick workaround ( pseudo fix) you should try the 16-235 -> 0-255 shader in media player classic.
  • SinxarKnights - Monday, November 30, 2015 - link

    Proof of what?
  • SinxarKnights - Monday, November 30, 2015 - link

    How else do can you contact them for driver issues? Been using the reporting form for a long time for a specific issue in a game. No hint of anybody even look into it, was never asked for more details and never told to get lost. Can only assume it is never looked at.

    On the site it says to tweet AMDCare with questions. Asked how to fix OC settings and how to enable 0-255 dynamic range... silence. But they sure do have a lot of time to reply to people with thousands of followers saying how awesome the new driver are, funny how that works isn't it?
  • madwolfa - Friday, December 4, 2015 - link

    Actually I found that tweeting gives the fastest response in most cases.
  • Wreckage - Monday, November 30, 2015 - link

    I have been reading a lot of reports of damaged cards. So far it looks like AMD is trying to ignore that part of the issue. Hopefully a website will look at the issue closer and shed some light on just how bad this is.
  • Refuge - Monday, November 30, 2015 - link

    I think they feel this is either a very vocal minority that can be handled by the sellers, or that it is just some people trying to get free replacement cards.

    Just like some of the other commenters, I have a very hard time believing that these are overheating and frying themselves before throttling down.

    Now who's to say that the undervolting isn't too drastic from the way insane temps that it could be reaching, and causing instability thusly some of the lines and flickering symptoms others were experiencing.
  • Arnulf - Tuesday, December 1, 2015 - link

    Yes, they are releasing a hotfix because they are "ignoring that part of the issue".
  • Arnulf - Tuesday, December 1, 2015 - link


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