RX 5600 XT Black Screen Issues
Tag: pc
Last Updated2020-05-22 (Fri) 19:47:01

I recently acquired a Gigabyte RX 5600 XT, hoping that the widely reported driver issues were an overreaction from a vocal minority. Unfortunately, this was not the case - I encountered several stability issues during normal use throughout my first few weeks of using this card. This post goes over some things I did to alleviate some of these issues.

Symptoms

The most common issue I experienced with this card is the infamous black screen, characterized by the following symptoms:

Diagnosis

System Memory Timings

When I first got this card, I happened to have slightly unstable RAM timings for my system memory (about 1 bit flip after 8 passes of memtest). The memory was running at 3000 MT/s 14-16-16-16-32.

I have since then loosened the memory timings to 2933 MT/s 16-17-17-17-35. So far, I have not encountered any further black screen issues, although time will tell.

Update: Still having black screen issues, even when running system memory within specification!

Other people in the community have reported similar issues. It seems these cards are fairly sensitive to bad memory timings, since I did not have any issues with these memory timings before with my old GTX 1050 Ti.

BIOS

You are probably already aware of the BIOS fiasco AMD sprung on its partners in order to make the RX 5600 XT more competitive. Gigabyte released two versions, F2 (stability) and FA0 (performance). I have not been able to achieve system stability with FA0, despite the only differences between them being VRAM speeds and power limits. You can replicate the FA0 performance solely with the F2 bios and Wattman.

Fan Curves

The default fan curves are inadequate, and will almost definitely lead to thermal throttling. The throttling did not seem to be aggressive enough to avoid system instability. I ended up ramping up the fan curve by 20% PWM.

Chipset Drivers

I had manufacturer chipset drivers, which were slightly outdated compared to the chipset drivers directly from AMD.

Adrenalin 2020

Some people have seen success from installing the display driver without the Adrenalin software (see this video). This would imply that there is some component of Adrenalin which causes these black screen issues. Given the amount of introspection into games that Adrenalin does (counting average FPS, number of hours played, etc.), it would not be surprising if some of this functionality is broken.

This would also explain why I have only experienced these black screens while playing games. All 50 or so of the black screens I have encountered were while playing a game.

Without Adrenalin, you can still apply overclocks with tools such as OverdriveNTool. I personally had issues with tools like MSI Afterburner, as they do not give enough control over voltage curves.

After fixing all of these issues, I was able to achieve the following overclock:


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Last-modified: 2020-05-22 (Fri) 19:47:01