A while back, it was reported that AMD’s WHQL graphics drivers may be damaging the RX 6000 series GPUs. Multiple Redditors had claimed that their Radeon RX 6800 XT/6900 XT graphics cards died shortly after installing the Adrenaline 22.11.2 WHQL driver. KrisFix-Germany, a YouTuber known for bringing dead hardware back to life, received similar units.
He received 61 Radeon RX 6800 and 6900 series graphics cards this month. Out of them, 48 were unfixable due to electrical damage to the power railings. Kris determined that the SoC, memory, and memory controller rails on these cards were fried, something that you wouldn’t expect from a simple driver update.
Two weeks after the report, Kris is back with an update. According to the YouTuber, the affected Radeon graphics cards show signs of severe wear and tear, the kind you’d expect from mining hardware stored in extreme environments.
There is a very good chance that these graphics cards were all part of the same mining farm which operated 24×7 in less-than-ideal conditions. Post the mining crash, all the units were dumped onto the reseller market, from where they made their way into individual gaming PCs.
Of course, there’s no way to prove this for sure but it’s certainly more plausible than a driver update causing damage to the power railings. Radeon users should be assured that updating their graphics drivers won’t result in their beloved GPU breathing its last.
With that said, before buying a second-hand graphics card, NVIDIA or AMD, be sure to have a look at the condition of the PCB and power connectors. Cards used for prolonged mining usually show visible signs of wear and tear around these parts.