Long story short: I upgraded from NVIDIA to AMD RX 5700 XT and instantly was not able to play any game due to constant crashing. It turned out my CPU was overheating that caused the games to crash and low FR.
The day finally came, I saved up, researched, and finally decided to choose team red over green. I decided to go with an RX 5700 XT mostly due to the slight edge it had over RTX 2060 Super, especially for the cost. I know AMD didn’t have a good start with their drivers and this GPU, but their recent updates seemed to have corrected all the issues. I also like that AMD has been setting the market ablaze with their last few CPUs and GPUs. The next question was, which brand? I pulled the trigger on a PowerColor Red Devil, mostly for the quality and the three fan design.
The new GPU install
It arrived I installed the current drivers and tested out the software. I liked some of the UI layout and the fact I could link it with my phone to monitor the load, temps, and other systems specs. It was late, so other than setting some basic settings, I never played a game and called it a night. The next day I went to play CoD, but I crashed soon after loading the game. Now and then, I could get into a match but would randomly crash over and over back to the desktop. Other games did the same thing or wouldn’t load at all.
I did the normal process, checked for new drivers, and oh look; there was one that came out the same day that mentioned it corrected the exact issues I was having, but still no luck. Thinking I had a power issue, I checked to make sure my system was still in the green zoon, and it was, I switched power cables from PSU to GPU, all with no luck. I used DDU to remove my previous NVIDIA drivers, AMD entirely, and just for the heck of it, even Intel (even thou I had no integrated graphics). I installed only the driver for the AMD GPU using windows device manager, choosing to leave out any additional software thinking that may have been the problem but still crashing.
At this point, I started to regret my decision. I decided to put back in my previous NVIDIA card, and sure enough, it worked fine. What the heck?! I was about to call it a bad card and send it back when I decided to look over my whole system and also try a clean OS install on another SSD to see if it would work under a fresh OS. While I was going over my system, I decided to check my CPU temp, and it was high, running over 68C or 155F with hardly any load. I was using a Liqtech TR4 gen one closed-loop water cooler. 360mm size and never had an issue. Touching the pipes, one was very hot while the other was cold. The CPU heat block and the pump were too hot even to touch. I could even smell the heat. GREAT! I probably killed my CPU. I placed some fans around the CPU while leaving the water cooler on and was able to run some more tests and found indeed it looks like the pump or liquid issues that plagued so many others with this Liqtech cooler happened to me as well.
A new CPU cooler
I contact the company, and they did send me a free replacement to their gen two models (I was way past the warranty, so I give them credit there). I want a cooler that heat block is designed to cover the whole TR4 CPU just not part of it or has some other plate. I decided to go with a traditional fan cooler instead, the be quiet! Dark Rock Pro – a massive cooler. It was quick and straightforward to install and now has my system running at a cool 26C with no load and 53C under full CPU load. Sweet!
As for the GPU and game crashing, the CPU overheating was the root cause I changed nothing else about my setup or OS install. Once I corrected the CPU cooling, I was able to all my games with no issues. For why the AMD caused my load on the CPU vs. NVIDIA card, I do not know—sharing to hopefully save anyone else with crashing some time or give them something else to check.
AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X
Radeon RX 5700 XT
ASUS ROG Zenith Extreme X399