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Making a case for not attempting to run games at max settings

Recent news about a game destroying hardware have surfaced in the last 24 hours…

Apparently Amazons New World is physically destroying higher end GPUs…

Lots of speculation around the possible causes and how any software could even bypass physical protections in GPU cards to be able to destroy them in the first place…

Apparently the devs have now implemented FPS limits in the game (specifically in menu settings/ load screens) to prevent the GPUs from maxing out and basically dying.,…

Moral of the story…

  1. Dont trust software
  2. Dont assume that your hardware is capable of handling what the software can throw at it in a graceful manner…
  3. Leave some headroom/breathing space for your hardware to handle unknown events…
  4. Yes, you paid for a high end GPU, but why redline it all the time - you wouldnt do this with your car… why do it with your PC?

References for more information…

And an interesting video by Linus Tech tips about trying to max out games…

Impressive!

I’m with you. Fetishizing FPS and maxing out graphics settings is a weirdly commonplace attitude that I have never understood. Good luck getting anybody to listen though.

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If one has spent a lot on one’s pc/gfx card, it’s not entirely surprising to want to be able to have their games look pretty as well as silky smooth (higher fps).

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Thats what I dont understand…

When spec’ing any sort of hardware/machinery/power, it is common practise to get something a little higher performance/capacity than is actually needed for day to day use.

Budgetary requirements aside, this is done to ensure longevity of the hardware and to give you capacity in moments where additional performance is needed for short durations.

If you buy a Ferrari, you dont drive it with your foot down every single time you use it to drive down the strip. Yes, it can and is designed to burn rubber and go like a bat out of hell, but not all the time.

If you buy a truck, you dont fill the loadbed to its maximum capacity every time you use it without expecting to need new suspension or tires…

If you buy water pump you dont run it at its maximum capacity all the time without expecting something to explode or leak.

I honestly dont understand the logic in people maxing out hardware and then using at this maxed out level for hours/days/weeks at a time not expecting anything to go wrong… CPUs have built in throttling just to prevent this exact issue but why do people want to push things to what is actually a breaking point instead of running the engine at less than its max for much much longer without problems…

The more expensive price of hardware I see as value of the longevity you are buying… not value of short term performance before it breaks.

I understand peoples need to get the most out of thier money, but in this case it really makes no sense to me really…

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The converse is also true, you don’t buy a Ferrari just for the weekly trip to the shops. If I buy/put together a decent pc (as I did last year some time), I’ll want to see evidence that it’s better than my last one (it is) & work out what settings to maximise the prettiness/FPS factor.

GPUs also have built-in throttling to make sure they don’t get too hot for too long, it’s not as if most people are (hyperbole aside, do you know anyone who’s running a graphically intensive game on their pc 24/7 for weeks at a time even while they’re asleep) seeing if they can crank it up as much as possible to watch it burn (some may & if they have the spare cash to overclock the nuts off their dual 3090s, more power to them). I’ve not watched any of those videos, but from the titles, that sounds like it’s a very strange software issue.

That said, people have been complaining about LE making their 3080s run very hot & that’s not a game with massive graphical chops, or at least, it’s not in a genre that people expect to be able to challenge their gfx card with.

This particular problem seems to be software related so its only partially relevant here in that not putting some sort of limits in place, leaves you and your expensive hardware at the mercy of things out of your control (and sometimes understanding)…

Re the general concept, I get what you are saying but I still dont agree with the general concept of maxing out hardware…

You buy a new PC and expect a certain level of performance from it but I dont expect it to perform at 100% load every time I use it and play games for a 10h stretch or render a 3d animation over multiple days without putting some sort of preventative measures in place to prevent damage… People overclocking are an entirely different kettle of fish… thats purely for egos imho and has no place other than belonging to a that proverbial “mines better than yours club”.

To use another analogy… driving a F1 or Nascar around the track … sure you want the best bang for your buck and you want to win the race so you need the best performance and expect the best performance, but you still cannot (or expect to) drive the entire race with your foot pressed in the floor without the engine overheating, blowing up or the brakes burning out or the tires melting before the race is complete.

Regarding LE… Yes… from the technical forum section its obvious that if you dont restrict it in some way (lower settings or limited fps) LE can push GPUs… And yes, it shouldnt really be doing that considering the visual nature of the game vs more intensely graphical games (like New World.)

What is interesting is the ability for software to cause such damage - it shouldnt really be possible with the built in throttling/power protection circuits etc. Sure if you want to run prime95 or furmark for days at a time without any cooling then “software” will break things but just changing settings in a game shouldnt be able to do that - especially because of poor developers/program code…

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From what I got about that topic, the cards were melted during loading screens or the menu when there was no fps limit and the cards went through the roof.

So this particular problem was not caused by the player pushing their hardware to the limits.

I’m also someone who has the highest possible graphics settings. Because that is what I buy the hardware for. If I buy a high end graphics card, I want to literally see what I paid for.

I don’t think that your analogies fit very well. Gaming PCs are meant for high performance. It’s a waste of money if you don’t push it to the limits.

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Well yeah, but that’s not the part that I don’t understand.

It’s when some people seem to treat the FPS counter on their game screen as like, a report card or something, whether or not they can even tell a difference between X FPS and Y FPS. Or when they want to slam the settings up as high as possible and refuse to compromise on that no matter how poor the performance gets as a result. That’s what I don’t get.

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Fair enough. Maybe that’s the assumption that because they’ve spent a “lot of money” on a pc/gfx card, that they should be able to run anything at max with unreasonably high fps. I remember someone who had a ~10 year old gfx card that said it was “high end” (when it was released, maybe) so therefore it should be able to run LE on max with good fps. But I suspect that’s an entirely different kettle of fish. Though I think it still stems from the same unreasonable expectation.

Its a different mindset entirely and while I understand your comment, it just doesnt make any sense to me. F1 cars are made for performance but they have to finish the race to win…

When I spec a gaming PC, I get what is practical and performs for the types of use its going to get… I never run my systems at max… I run them at 80% load to ensure they last and dont have component failure due to secondary things like thermals and power delivery… And I spec this into the system design - i.e. if I know I want a system to run AAAs at 4k with 120fps at high settings, then I get something that can do that at 80% load… not something that can do that at 100% load… but thats just me.

I think that I have just grown up learning that reliability and stability in any technology is far more important than maximum performance. I think this is partly related to living in a third world country where things are hard to get, even if you have the money available. This also extends to problems replacing things due to running them at maximum and breaking down vs. taking a conservative approach and having things last much longer…

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OK, but what limits?
I used to play Last Epoch with all settings to max. Now I changed the settings to medium. The result is that I have a bit more fps stability, my PC is not a whirlwind anymore, and the game… looks the same. If I lost some quality, I’m not able to see it. In that case, why push all to the max?

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I see this a bit differently. I should be able to use everything at 100% load without any issues.

For example, I’m working in the automotive industrie. About 10 years ago robots were programmed to just go at 80% speed to reduce tear and extend longevity. Today we would always go at 100% to have max performance. And the manufacturer guarantees that. The robots are designed to be able to go at 100% with maximum load.

So I’d expect this from every system. If my raclette grill has a controller that let’s my regulate the heat, I’d think that it would not catch fire if I set it to 100%.

100% should always be ok. I00% should be set to a level that the product is able to handle. If not it should not be 100%.
If your rig will be destroyed at 100% load, but be stable at 80%, somebody set the levels wrong. Your 80% should be the 100%.

Why is the hardware not able to protect itself from blowing up? Your car will automatically limit your engines’ rotation speed if you go full throttle without a gear put in.

Graphics Cards blowing up on loading screen because the fps goes mad is really bad product design.

That would be true if hardware was not overclocked by default. This means you’re not running at 100%, but rather at 120%. :wink:

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I’m still of the opinion that if the game kills your gfx card before you even get to the menu, it’s a software issue, not a hardware issue. If it were a hardware issue, it’d be alot more common. And the hardware makers would fix the problem.

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I run most games I play on the maximum settings that seem reasonable and have been for… 15 years? I’m not about to stop now because a GPU manufacturer or a game developer had a hiccup.

My friend right now has issues with motherboards, and most of my computer issues were related to PSUs. It’s all too random for me to care. How many of y’all own a surge protector?

This is probably going a more philosophical route now so possibly off topic for some.

I think this is something to do with life experience and general trust issues… on my part at least…

I have never been able to bring myself to trust the manufacturers claims of 100% load/usage being safe… From experience, every time I have allowed myself to do this, something has failed. Every single time… Everything from industrial Speed Queen top loaders for boarding houses drive belts failing, Netscape SUN Servers hardware crashing for a website getting a million hits a day in the early days of the Internet and Pentair pool pumps dying because they couldnt run all day at their maximum head height.

For me there is a difference between something with a knob that says low medium and max - like a grill with three bars… I’d expect it to be able to run on three bars because its physically limited to three bars and cannot run any higher no matter what you do - you cannot turn the knob to 4 bars. But things like servers that say they can handle X number of transactions per second but when you do that they fail if that is sustained for 20 minutes… So yes… they CAN run at 100% but NOT forever…

Your automotive robot example makes me think that those particular manufacturers have pulled a very common marketing ploy… Spec something at X performance, but market/sell it at X-5% so that the customer thinks they are getting 100% performance when the widget actually has a little performance hidden away… This is very common practise - at least in my experience… and it explains why things can be pushed beyond their advertised limits without breaking immediately…

Will the hardware not protect itself… Maybe… but you can still blow up an engine or gearbox if the failsafe cannot kick in fast enough or it has failed because it is worn out from being pushed too many time in the redline… something will always give out… at least in my experience.

Graphics Cards blowing up on loading screen … well, this one is more complicated - especially in this recent New World example as there is the card design, the drivers and the software all involved and controlled by different entities… Can you really design a piece of complicated tech like a Graphics card that can handle every possible eventuallity that might be able to break it - while still being profitable? Even when you dont design the software that it could be exposed to or maintain the drivers that control the hardware… That ones really hard…

I suppose this is more of a philosophical difference in opinion than anything else - coloured obviously by each persons own real life experiences…

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@Revenchule Obviously your approach is just how you personally want to do things and live your life…

And this is the fundamental difference between you and I… Nothing wrong with either approach, we are just different… based on our own lives, cultures, financial situations and general upbringing and what we place value in.

I do care why things break and I have a surge protector and separate UPS for each of the 4 computers I have in my home and more for my NAS, APPLE TV (arggh) and raspberry pi cluster… :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Are power outages common in the US? I’ve had two in ~30-40 years.

Lol… I am not in the USA but I suppose the Texan/Californians might say Yes…

I am in South Africa… We have power outages very often due to an abysmal parastatal power monopoly that is rife with corruption & incompetence and a government that has ignored the simple fact that power supply is linked hand-in-hand to economic progress and hasnt built new generation capacity to meet demand. We had a nationwide power cut / rolling blackout last night from 4pm to 9pm because the cold weather (-5 to -9 deg C) spiked demand that could not be met.

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