New World: Bricked GPU Causes and How to Prevent Them

Is New World still bricking high-end GPUs? Here's what you need to know about this problem.

New World GPU
Photo: Amazon Games

Reports of New World “bricking” certain GPUs have many PC gamers with high-end graphics cards wondering if it’s even safe to start playing Amazon’s hit MMO.

If this all sounds a little familiar, that’s because the first reports of New World bricking certain GPU models started to appear during the game’s recent closed beta period. At that time, the New World team issued a statement in which they assured users that these failures were statistically rare and that they had decided to “cap” the game’s menu framerate as a precaution to help prevent further issues.

Shortly thereafter, GPU manufacturer EVGA confirmed that some of the bricked GPUs they received from New World players were actually at least partially caused by manufacturing issues related to the smoldering process. They pledged to replace the broken GPUs that were returned to them and assured New World players that the issue seemed to impact less than one percent of units related to the GPU models in question.

While that seemed to be the end of the issue at that time, New World players are now reporting that the retail version of the MMO is still bricking their high-end GPUs. An already worried fanbase became even more frightened when PC manufacturer PowerGPU and other official sources seemingly confirmed that users’ GPUs were still failing while playing New World.

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So what’s actually happening? Well, based on the information that’s currently available, here’s what you need to know about the New World GPU bricking problems.

Which Models Are Affected by The New World GPU Bricking Issue?

At the moment, the EVGA RTX 3090 FTW Ultra and Gigabyte RTX 3080 Ti seem to be the two GPU models most commonly affected by this issue. That being said, RTX 3090, RTX 3080Ti, RTX 3080, RTX 3060 Ti, and RTX 3000 laptop users have all reported having their GPUs bricked while playing New World. That’s not necessarily a comprehensive list of GPUs that have been affected so far, but as you can see, it does sound like higher-end RTX cards are at greater risk of failure at this time.

So while we are going to discuss some of the potential causes of and solutions to this problem, it’s important to note that anyone who plays New World on one of those GPU models is currently doing so with some amount of risk. How much of a risk is debatable, but the consensus seems to be that anyone who intends to play the game with one of those GPU models needs to be aware of this issue and will want to take all possible precautions.

Why is New World Bricking GPUs?

This is a bit of a difficult question to answer definitively at this moment, but there seem to be a few major “culprits” at this time.

First off, as noted above, EVGA has already admitted to hardware problems with some of their GPUs that were contributing to this issue, so we can’t rule out the possibility that many of the bricked GPUs reported so far may have simply been defective. If that is the case, then you could argue that New World is exasperating the issue rather than outright bricking otherwise perfect GPUs.

It’s also worth noting that there doesn’t seem to be a “universal” experience in this instance. In other words, there doesn’t seem to be one specific series of steps that causes this problem, and, as we mentioned above, playing New World on select GPU models at the moment means that there is potentially at least a small chance of failure no matter what you do. Of course, that also means that there isn’t a guarantee that playing New World on one of those GPUs will result in your graphics card getting bricked. Indeed, there does seem to be a low overall number of reported failures so far (though those statistics are obviously a cold comfort to those who have been affected by this issue).

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However, the most common in-game culprit at the moment seems to be New World‘s settings menu. Many New World users have reported that their GPUs were bricked after they tried to change certain New World graphics settings. PC Gamer and other outlets have since discovered that changing New World‘s graphics settings can cause surprising GPU usage spikes which, in turn, can lead to GPU failure. Ideally, these cards shouldn’t be outright failing under such strain, but when those spikes happen often enough (or if they impact inherently defective GPUs) then these kinds of problems are certainly more likely to happen.

Again, though, it’s worth emphasizing that the exact cause of this problem hasn’t been proven beyond a reasonable doubt and that some of these issues could still be related to specific hardware problems. The point is that there is still a lot about this problem that we just don’t know for sure at this time, which is all the more reason to proceed with caution.

How Can You Prevent Bricking Your GPU While Playing New World?

Again, the best method of prevention in this instance is to avoid playing New World altogether if you’re worried about possible hardware failure (especially if you’re using one of the GPUs that seem to be most commonly impacted by this issue). We suspect that either the New World team or GPU manufacturers (perhaps both) will announce a longer-term solution to this problem in the near future, and the absolute safest thing to do is wait until we’ve reached that point.

However, if you’re trying to play New World as safely as possible, then it seems like the best thing you can do at the moment is cap your in-game frame rate. There’s a bit of a debate at the moment regarding what your specific settings should be, but you should certainly not let your framerate go above 60 FPS. Honestly, 30 FPS may even be the “safest” option at this time regardless of your other settings. You should be able to set your “Max Frame Rate” to “Off” within the settings for your Nvidia GPU if you want to minimize your risks so far as that goes.

In fact, while we’re on that subject, it’s generally advisable to refrain from experimenting with New World‘s in-game settings menu if at all possible (at least for the time being). Given that “GPU strain” seems to be one of the biggest issues here, you may just want to set your New World graphics settings to “low” across the board via your GPU settings menu (rather than the game itself). Setting everything to “low” may not be the best long-term solution, but it does seem to be the best short-term option at this time.

You may also want to contact your GPU manufacturer and ask for their advice regarding optimized settings, preventive measures, and what the best course of action is in the event that your GPU is damaged while playing New World or any other game. While we don’t know exactly what’s caused every bricked GPU so far, we do know that EVGA has already confirmed that New World seems to be exposing problems with inherently defective GPUs, and that seems to be the most likely overall explanation for this issue at this time. That being the case, it’s a good idea to start communicating with your GPU manufacturer now just in case the worst happens while you’re playing the game.

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