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Detailed analysis of no-error PC crash: GPU utilisation issue?

by aelix6361
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Detailed analysis of no-error PC crash: GPU utilisation issue?

★★★ Novice

After quite a bit of reading and experimentation, I'm pretty sure that the frequent 'no error' crash to desktop that many PC users are experiencing is related to GPU utilisation being maxed out for extended periods. To be clear, this is a problem with Apex and not the user's PC since there is no good reason that 100% GPU load should crash a game as long as temps are fine.

I started getting frequent (every 2nd game, and basically every game that lasted more than 10 minutes) crashes to desktop with no error message after the 15/02 patch. I tried almost every step in the EA community troubleshooting guide, including:

 

  • removed GPU overclock

  • closed MSI Afterburner

  • closed Discord

  • closed every other background program I could including audio utility

  • run in compatibility mode (Win7)

  • run as administrator

  • the Easy Anti Cheat crashing fix listed on the front page

  • updated GPU drivers

  • rolled back GPU drivers to 417.71 which is supposed to be 'known stable'

  • changed NVIDIA control panel settings in line with front page guidance

  • lowered graphics settings in-game in various ways

  • disabled Origin in-game overlay

  • disabled Origin DVR

  • disabled Geforce Experience overlay

  • complete Origin and Apex uninstall and reinstall

None of these had any impact on the number of crashes I was getting. But in desperation I tried one other change: set every graphics setting to off/min, lowered resolution from 1440p to 1080p and capped my fps at 90 using +fps_max launch parameter. This should not be necessary since I'm running an i5-6600k/GTX 1070 system and was getting 80-120 fps on med-high settings before, but I was willing to try anything.

 

Since I took this step the game has not crashed once in about 20 games. I even undid a lot of the steps listed above (e.g. I restored my GPU overclock, ran MSI Afterburner, left all my normal background apps running) and the game was still fine. When looking at Afterburner after I finished playing, I noticed that my GPU utilisation at 1080p/min settings would fluctuate from 40-80 percent rather than staying at 100% the whole time, as it was on 1440p/med-high settings.

 

Importantly, I did manage to make the game crash one time by not using the +fps_max setting in launch parameters. When I looked at my GPU utilisation in Afterburner immediately after the crash I saw that even though I was on 1080p/min settings it was running at 100% all the time because it was trying to push out 144fps.

Under all the scenarios described above my GPU and CPU temps were fine (60-70c), and both my CPU and GPU overclocks are 100% stable in every game, application and even stress tests so I don't believe that's a plausible cause.

 

This conclusion (that the no-error crash is related to extended high GPU utilisation) doesn't allow for a quick fix because it appears to be a problem in the game's code somewhere. But if you are experiencing the same kind of crash I'd recommend getting Afterburner (or HWInfo64 or some other app that can monitor GPU utilisation) and then lowering your settings until your GPU utilisation graph stays below 100% all the time. That may enable you to at least play the game while waiting for Respawn to fix it.

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Re: Detailed analysis of no-error PC crash: GPU utilisation issue?

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@aelix6361 wrote:

 

This conclusion (that the no-error crash is related to extended high GPU utilisation) doesn't allow for a quick fix because it appears to be a problem in the game's code somewhere. But if you are experiencing the same kind of crash I'd recommend getting Afterburner (or HWInfo64 or some other app that can monitor GPU utilisation) and then lowering your settings until your GPU utilisation graph stays below 100% all the time. That may enable you to at least play the game while waiting for Respawn to fix it.


Thank you for the analysis on your experience troubleshooting crashes (and the workaround you posted at the end). We'll continue to make sure the teams investigating this are aware of how important this is to the community. 



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Re: Detailed analysis of no-error PC crash: GPU utilisation issue?

Community Manager

@aelix6361 wrote:

 

This conclusion (that the no-error crash is related to extended high GPU utilisation) doesn't allow for a quick fix because it appears to be a problem in the game's code somewhere. But if you are experiencing the same kind of crash I'd recommend getting Afterburner (or HWInfo64 or some other app that can monitor GPU utilisation) and then lowering your settings until your GPU utilisation graph stays below 100% all the time. That may enable you to at least play the game while waiting for Respawn to fix it.


Thank you for the analysis on your experience troubleshooting crashes (and the workaround you posted at the end). We'll continue to make sure the teams investigating this are aware of how important this is to the community. 



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Re: Detailed analysis of no-error PC crash: GPU utilisation issue?

★ Apprentice

@EA_Blueberry Please look into people stuttering, which is actually worse, sicne it affects every game and makes the WHOLE expereince unenjoyable. Crashing is i portant, but at least thos epeople can have a bit of fun.

 

I did a detailed analysis of stuttering and fullscreen issues, please read it.

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Re: Detailed analysis of no-error PC crash: GPU utilisation issue?

★★★★ Guide
Not necessarily a game code problem.. Not saying the game is without bugs.. But i was getting the issue too from the first version (2days after release) where my game was exciting to desktop and fixed it by repairing my visual c++ libraries and some other stuff I tried.. Next was create2d failure and error memory failure which were fixed after disabling samsung ssd rapid mode.. Thanks for your post but the issue is more complicatedStandard smile
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Re: Detailed analysis of no-error PC crash: GPU utilisation issue?

[ Edited ]
★★★ Novice

@aelix6361@EA_Blueberry 

I love you so much right now! After going through nearly everything in the troubleshooting guide and some bonus stuff I was nearly giving up.

 

The 100% gpu-utilisation rly seems to be the problem here! With an RX480 I have set everything to minimum and the fps-caps at 75 and my gpu-utilisation is pretty low this way most of the time and not hitting 100% in Apex. I did not have any crashes for 5hours of playing Apex and counting.

 

Since it's so important I will say it again: Use low settings and the fps-caps at the same time(!) - I have only used one or the other and it did not work! When I was setting everything to minimum without the fps-caps I just got higher fps and therefore my gpu was fully utilized as well!

 

It's interesting to see that this has nothing to do with AMD or Nvidia since we both experience the same stuff - which further hints on a problem in Apex itself.

 

On a side note: You don't necessarly need Afterburner to see the gpu-utilisation - just use the task-manager. It's under performance - bottom left is GPU - click on it.

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Re: Detailed analysis of no-error PC crash: GPU utilisation issue?

Community Manager

@oHnOo_was_taken 

That's really exciting to hear you finally came across a workaround fix so you can play the game (so far) without any crashes. I'm going to keep a close eye on this post and if there is anyone else out there that can confirm this works, please reply so we can mark this as a solution for visibility purposes.



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Re: Detailed analysis of no-error PC crash: GPU utilisation issue?

★★★★ Novice
You are the hero dude nice work.
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Re: Detailed analysis of no-error PC crash: GPU utilisation issue?

★ Apprentice

Nobody should have to play at low and force low fps if they don't want to. Not a fix

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Re: Detailed analysis of no-error PC crash: GPU utilisation issue?

Community Manager

@PluM_Diddler 

I'm going to marking this as a solution for visibility reasons. It's not a "fix" but a way for others to get into the game with their friends while our teams continue to investigate the reported crashes. 



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Re: Detailed analysis of no-error PC crash: GPU utilisation issue?

[ Edited ]
★★★★ Novice

another possible fix. i had crushes every 2nd game, a really bad case of it. 

i use 3 monitors.. the thing i did is: Windows key + P  > main screen only

yeh i know.. 3 days without a crash.

so ppl with 2 screens or more, try it Standard smile

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