Fresh reports suggest New World is again helping brick expensive Nvidia GPUs

EVGA RTX 3090 in New World
(Image credit: Future)

Update: Since we published the original story yesterday, multiple readers have been in touch to share their own experiences with hardware errors when trying to run New World. As we mention below, it's not just EVGA cards that are displaying problems running the game, but Gigabyte cards too. 

That said two of the struggling GPUs are EVGA RTX 3090 FTW Ultra cards—one which had already been RMA'd but had received the wrong revision of the RTX 3090 in the process—while the other is a Gigabyte RTX 3080 Ti. We also have a report from one user about it potentially causing a fatal error with their RTX 3070-powered Alienware M17 R4 gaming laptop.

A lot of the issues people seem to have been having surround the settings screen and the load the game puts the hardware under whenever something gets switched around in there. These errors are not necessarily always bricking the graphics cards in question, but there is a whole slew of folk on the New World forums trying to figure out ways to extend their playtime between crashes.

Though at least there are reports from admins that the New World devs are aware of certain hardware related problems and are working on it.

Original story: Uh oh, it looks like New World might be the catalyst for a few more bricked GPUs. During the recent ill-fated beta test it was discovered that a combination of factors were resulting in high-end Nvidia GPUs getting bricked while playing Amazon's MMO. And now there are anecdotal reports that it's happening again.

The original issue surrounded New World allowing uncapped frame rates in its menu screen, which lead to spiking power draw for big boi GPUs, and those, primarily EVGA-built cards subsequently popping their chips with a crackle and fizz. 

For its part EVGA fessed up, and said that some dodgy soldering on the MOSFETs of a small batch of cards was responsible, and that in reality it had only received around two dozen dead GeForce RTX 3090 cards as a result of the New World GPU catastrophe. Those were replaced without issue, as soon as the problem was reported, which is a pretty solid response from the company.

On the Amazon side, while it contended that "the New World Closed Beta is safe to play" it did quickly implement a patch which capped the frame rates in the menu screen anyways.

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So, it's strange to see reports that it's happening again in the final release. Our Alan has been elbow deep in the game's innards, testing New World's best settings and performance, and hasn't bricked any GPUs so far, though is seeing a few oddities.

Even with fps caps enabled in the Nvidia Control Panel, and in the game, players are reporting graphics card failures, and not necessarily on EVGA cards either. At the time of the closed beta there were a few reports of Gigabyte GPUs having a similar issue, and that seems to be rearing its ugly head again.

Winfuture reports that it's had issues with a Gigabyte RTX 3090 because of various trigger points that can reportedly put extra strain on the graphics card in your machine. It cites an spike in load when changing graphics card settings, and that in its case simply closing the game bricked its card. "The fans howl to 100 percent, the screen goes black, the PC says goodbye."

Not fun.

In our testing Alan has noticed that when changing the graphics settings the game does go through a hard refresh, where the engine seems to want to draw the whole scene again, from low poly models, adding more and more detail from there. That seems to put a lot of strain on your system, often hitting 100% GPU load just from switching around some graphics options.

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The Nvidia RTX 3070 and AMD RX 6700 XT side by side on a colourful background

(Image credit: Future)

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It does bear saying that we've not seen a card fall over in our experience yet, and a lot of people on the team have been playing New World out of morbid curiosity. There's also the fact that even under 100% load your GPU should be able to cope, which again speaks to potentially already existing, underlying factors in the manufacturing of the graphics cards that have actually bricked as a result of running the game.

This is something that we're going to need to keep an eye on, and if you've experienced any issues with New World and your graphics card please get in touch and let us know what's been going on with your setup.

Dave James
Managing Editor, Hardware

Dave has been gaming since the days of Zaxxon and Lady Bug on the Colecovision, and code books for the Commodore Vic 20 (Death Race 2000!). He built his first gaming PC at the tender age of 16, and finally finished bug-fixing the Cyrix-based system around a year later. When he dropped it out of the window. He first started writing for Official PlayStation Magazine and Xbox World many decades ago, then moved onto PC Format full-time, then PC Gamer, TechRadar, and T3 among others. Now he's back, writing about the nightmarish graphics card market, CPUs with more cores than sense, gaming laptops hotter than the sun, and SSDs more capacious than a Cybertruck.