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EVGA's GPU fans are trying to hit 200,000 RPM in New World, that might explain a fried chip or two

The EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 FW3
(Image credit: EVGA)
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EVGA's problem with its RTX 3090 graphics cards and Amazon's New World are maybe not limited to those GPUs. Or even just that game. After investigating the matter in detail, German tech site, Igor's Lab (opens in new tab), has discovered that the fans on affected cards are trying to hit ridiculously high speeds and that hardware monitoring is the most likely culprit.

If you run fan monitoring software on the affected cards, you'll spot some ludicrous fan speeds briefly being targeted. Igor managed to grab a shot of this happening with a GeForce RTX 3080 FTW3 Ultra, where the fan speeds briefly jumped up from their more regular 2,400RPM to over 200,000RPM. Gulp.

The fans obviously can't spin that fast, but that doesn't stop them from trying. With quite the whine for anyone in earshot. Something fundamental is clearly wrong here, and in case you're wondering, setting your own fan speeds, either manually or by creating your own fan profiles, doesn't seem to have any effect either. 

The only answer appears to be lowering the GPU's power limit to 50–60%. That way the card never pushes itself so hard that it becomes a problem. Like a serious, GPU destroying problem (opens in new tab)

At least EVGA has said it is replacing any affected cards (opens in new tab) if they've been bricked by the New World beta issues.

This fan problem isn't even reserved for the main menu of New World as previously thought, where you can hit frame rates in the thousands. It can happen when you're actually playing the game, too. Under normal circumstances, the user probably wouldn't notice these little blips, but save a log of your fan speeds and you'll soon spot the issue. 

It doesn't just affect New World either, as Anno 1800 also exhibits outrageously high fan speeds at times, particularly when opening the menu or accessing tooltips. These are times when the frame rate can potentially suddenly shoot up, though it bears mentioning that we've heard of no reports of RTX 3090s getting fried by Anno 1800.

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This does potentially point to the underlying issue with the hardware monitoring silicon on EVGA's cards. When you're hitting as much as 1,000–2,000 fps that means frames are being rendered in less than 1ms, which can be quicker than the monitoring chip can respond to. Fan speeds shoot up, power draw goes off the charts, and the card then fails.

The best solution would seem to be for EVGA to release a firmware update for the affected cards, something that Igor believes should be possible. We'll have to see how EVGA responds to these latest investigations, however. 

Alan has been writing about PC tech since before 3D graphics cards existed, and still vividly recalls having to fight with MS-DOS just to get games to load. He fondly remembers the killer combo of a Matrox Millenium and 3dfx Voodoo, and seeing Lara Croft in 3D for the first time. He's very glad hardware has advanced as much as it has though, and is particularly happy when putting the latest M.2 NVMe SSDs, AMD processors, and laptops through their paces. He has a long-lasting Magic: The Gathering obsession but limits this to MTG Arena these days.