A recent issue caused Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 graphics cards to die while playing Amazon’s New World. The problem largely affected models manufactured by EVGA. Although some users blamed the game, EVGA announced that it found the cause behind the problem, tracing it down to faulty soldering.
The issue was first reported in July when gamers who tried out Amazon’s New World beta ran into problems with their RTX 3090 graphics cards. Some users reported that the game was bricking their GPUs. Although the term “bricking” can be used for temporary issues, this was not the case — the affected cards were often broken beyond repair. The problem occurred even during less intense areas of gameplay, such as the game menus, which had an unusually high frame rate.
As the graphics cards in question were mostly EVGA models of the RTX 3090, the manufacturer looked into the problem. Over the last few weeks, EVGA conducted thorough research and testing on more than two dozen RTX 3090 GPUs. The cards that were tested were all models returned by customers. This allowed the brand to pinpoint the problem, and it seems that it was not caused by a fan controller as some had suspected.
EVGA announced that the reason why some of its RTX 3090 cards died during New World gameplay was caused by a rare soldering issue. To find the malfunction, EVGA performed an X-ray analysis of the affected cards. During that process, the manufacturer found signs of poor workmanship in the card’s soldering, most significantly around the MOSFET circuits responsible for powering the GPU. Further analysis showed that only cards produced in 2020 suffered from this problem. Although the company did not disclose how many GeForce RTX 3090 graphics cards it sold, EVGA stated that the problematic batch amounts to less than 1% of total sales.
In August, EVGA released a firmware update that addressed the fan controller issue. This was the first suspect behind the dead RTX 3090 GPUs. The initial suspicion was raised by third-party applications, such as HWiNFO and GPUZ, which pointed to the fan controller as the root of the problem. However, EVGA has now stated that the fan controller was not at fault, and although there was a noise coming from it, it had no effect on the cards’ performance.
While the problem with New World seems to have been limited to a hardware issue, Amazon’s game studio has issued a patch to limit the frame rates in the game. EVGA has offered replacement cards to customers who were affected by this problem while it still persisted.
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