Why Amazon’s response about New World's GPU issue is NOT OKAY

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·Senior Games & Tech Producer
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And this is probably what a forum thread brought to life in New World would look like... (Screenshot: Amazon Game Studios)
And this is probably what a forum thread brought to life in New World would look like... (Screenshot: Amazon Game Studios)

Unless you've been hiding under a rock the last couple of weeks, you'd know that Amazon Game Studio's New World is the latest hit in the massively multiplayer online game market.

While the game recommends at least a GeForce GTX 970 or an AMD R9 390X, you might also be aware that, in some situations, New World also required a new graphics card. Specifically, required by some players who had the misfortune of having their GPUs fried while playing the game.

Well, Amazon recently came out to officially address the issue of failing GPUs while playing New World. Speaking to PCGamer, Amazon said in a statement:

"We have received a small number of reports of players encountering issues with GeForce RTX cards. After a lengthy investigation, we have verified that there is no unusual behaviour from New World that causes these issues. [Card manufacturer] EVGA has previously acknowledged manufacturing issues on some GeForce RTX cards. New World is safe to play, and we encourage players who have encountered a hardware issue to contact the manufacturer.”

According to Amazon’s response, New World is safe to play on any kind of GPU as they haven’t detected any kind of behaviour from the game that could damage them. If you do experience any kind of issue, it’s not their fault, look for your GPU’s manufacturer.

In our previous article, I talked about some odd behaviours with the game’s power draw from personal experience, and even tech YouTuber JayzTwoCents has highlighted in his video about the game’s abnormal power draw.

I mentioned that this was not a cause for concern for well-made graphics cards, and I stand by that statement. Somewhat. If your GPU is well-made, you will not experience any kind of hardware failure... for the time being.

Why the power spikes are a cause for concern

When I wrote the previous article, I had this hopeful vision of Amazon reducing the power draw of New World eventually, after optimising the game. After Amazon’s response, I am not too sure. 

Simply put, if this kind of power draw persists for the game, your GPU will take the brunt of it, eventually, no matter how sturdy it currently is.

I highlighted in my previous article as well that the game crashes when there is a power draw spike. These crashes are very much like the crashes you get from a bad overclock on the GPU. 

If you overclock your graphics card too much, the programs that you run will crash because the card cannot sustain the overclocks — because it is unstable.

For the uninitiated, overclocking your graphics card requires some very delicate tuning of the chip’s frequencies, voltage, power draw and memory chips for more performance than the rated performance of the GPU. 

If any of these factors are overtuned or imbalanced, crashes and freezes occur in graphical applications, such as games and 3D rendering. 

When overclocking, you are also enabling your GPU to draw more power to give it the boost it needs to achieve the higher performance. The same theories apply when you try to overclock your CPU.

But the caveat about overclocking is that it reduces the lifespan of the parts that are powering the CPU and GPU. 

When you constantly pump high wattage into your computer parts, there is a degradation of the components, especially the power delivery of the systems.

For your CPU, the power delivery of the motherboard will be at risk, and for your GPU, the GPU board itself will take the hit.

That is why expensive motherboards made for overclocking exist for CPUs. The boards are built with premium parts that are designed for overclocking and to last longer. 

In the same vein, that is also why there are more expensive versions of a graphics card from the same manufacturer. There is a difference in power delivery and board design for something like a Asus TUF RTX 3090 versus a Asus ROG Strix RTX 3090 (normally a few hundred bucks difference, but in GPU-starved 2021, who knows).

That is why there is also a difference in power limit for these GPUs — to avoid the card pulling power that the board is not designed to handle in the long term, even if you hit some good silicon lottery with your GPU chip.

The “safe” side of CPU overclocking is that you are able to swap out your motherboard if you somehow fry your system trying to push its limits. For the GPU, however, there is no way to transplant it onto anything else if the components on the “motherboard” of the GPU get faulty from the overclock (unless you are a master technician, in which case, could you build a 3090 from spare parts).

Which is why, as I put in the title, Amazon’s response is NOT OKAY. 

The game constantly spikes the GPU's power draw for no reason, and what takes the brunt of it? The power delivery, chokes, capacitors and transistors in the GPU. 

While the GPU may currently able to handle it now, it will reduce the lifespan of the card's components in the long run. 

As I mentioned earlier, the power limit of the cards is there for a reason. If the game is constantly pulling power that is way beyond the specified power range of the GPU, it will lead to a shorter lifespan for your card.

For example, if your GPU could have lasted five years before breaking down, these constant power spikes may reduce it to two to three years, if you do decide to continue to play the game as it is. 

And since New World is supposed to be a long running, live service MMO, there will be people that will be playing this every day for a year, or maybe two, or even more. 

If this power draw issue isn't addressed and fixed, there is a possibility we may see GPUs failing from playing the game in the long run. 

So, again, Amazon’s official statement says, “After a lengthy investigation, we have verified that there is no unusual behaviour from New World that causes these issues.” 

Does that mean, to Amazon, the power spikes are... normal? If anything, in most cards, potential problems are likely not to be immediate, and not limited to any one manufacturer or chip maker. Amazon's statement addresses GeForce RTX cards; as I said in my earlier article, I use an AMD one.

For now, the safest way to protect your GPU, even if you are not experiencing problems at the moment, is to reduce your GPU’s boost clocks and power limit when playing the game. But really, Amazon, we shouldn't have to. 

Dominic loves tech and games. When he is not busy being toxic in VALORANT or watercooling anything he sees, he does some pro wrestling.

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