News outlet hardwareluxx has received an official statement from Amazon regarding GPU deaths surrounding its recently released MMO New World. Amazon says they have detected no game-breaking bugs in New World that would cause the game to kill RTX GPUs. Instead, it reiterates and confirms that it's a problem with GPU manufacturers and poor graphics card build quality.
This news was also confirmed by custom PC builder, PowerGPU, who told us it has only dealt with customers using older model EVGA GPUs that were dying from New World, including RTX 3090s, a couple of RTX 3080s, and a single 3080 Ti.
"In the last few days, we have received few reports from players who have had problems with their GeForce RTX cards. After extensive investigation, we were unable to identify any unusual behavior on the part of New World that could be the cause of these problems. EVGA has already confirmed errors in the production of some GeForce RTX cards. New World can be played safely. For players who have encountered a hardware failure, we recommend that you contact the manufacturer." —Amazon, via hardwareluxx.de
While some might say that of course Amazon would deny culpability, New World should not be blamed for all the GPU deaths despite what everyone might be telling you. EVGA has already confirmed that its first batch of RTX 3090 cards built a year ago had faulty solder joints, which caused the cards to die under the strain of New World — and if it wasn't New World, it would have been some other game or application.
We believe New World's game engine inadvertently stumbled upon some code sequence that allows certain Ampere cards to draw more power than they should. This would explain why only a handful of cards are dying from New World. If the problem was indeed from New World in general, then graphics cards would be dying left and right, including RTX 3070s and RTX 3060s, and Amazon would be able to replicate the issues.
There's also the fact that no gaming laptops have been confirmed KIA from New World either. Laptops of necessity tend to have better power regulation and don't push the limits as hard as factory overclocked desktop cards. There's also something to be said for any hardware design that allows the hardware to be killed by software. If the code can execute, the hardware should constrain any power or thermal loads so that nothing fails.
Frankly, believing Ampere graphics cards — particularly early models — are the main culprit isn't all that difficult. Let's not forget about the issues surrounding poscaps back when the RTX 3090 and RTX 3080 were first released. Many Ampere cards that didn't have enough MLCCs were crashing to desktop thanks to power filtering issues from poscaps. This forced Nvidia to create a new driver update that reduced GPU boost frequencies to stop the graphics cards from crashing while gaming. Future models came out with improved power circuitry, but some of those first run cards are still out in the wild.
What we currently don't know is what other models of RTX 3090s and RTX 3080s met with similar manufacturing defects. We've seen mention of a couple of Gigabyte RTX 3090s cards dying (while playing New World), and according to JayzTwoCents, one Zotac 3090 caught fire while playing the game. PowerGPU, a system builder, also says a single RTX 3080 Ti died, but that's it. All other brands, including MSI, don't seem to have any dead cards at all.
There are supposedly some other cards, including RTX 3080 Ti and RX 6000-series GPUs, that have died from New World. However, that could just be the usual small percentage of cards that inevitably die for one reason or another. Make a million graphics cards and there will always be a few that fail within the first year or two, even under relatively tame use. Basically, correlation doesn't equal causation, and there doesn't appear to be a continued spate of GPU failures while playing New World.
If one manufacturer does end up with unusually high numbers of GPU failures, it will need to take care of its customers. Thankfully, it appears more recent EVGA cards no longer have soldering issues. If you do have a GPU fail while playing New World, though, please reach out to us and we'll continue to follow the story. But for now, it looks like New World isn't the source of the GPU failures but merely a catalyst in pushing a small subset of flaky hardware to the breaking point.
Update, October 8, 2:20 p.m. ET: Buildzoid from the YouTube channel Actually Hardcore Overclocking, has a Gigabyte RTX 3090 Vision that died while running New World and found the death was from a faulty power stage. He disconnected the bad power stage and the card became operational again.
He doesn’t know if the power stage was faulty, or if there is some other defect with the card. Either way, it further confirms that the card is at fault and not New World. Buildzoid thinks it could be a defect with the 3090 design because most graphics cards today use the same power stages that the Gigabyte RTX 3090 Vision uses.