About 2 weeks ago I finished building my first PC. I've had two problems related to my GPU, and I've fixed one but not the other. I'm using 64-bit Windows 10.
Problem 1: Fans Maxing Out (resolved)
Everything was fine and dandy for the first week, except occasionally the fan would randomly max out in RPM, even without any games running. There was no consistency to these fan speed spikes, but if a game was running, oftentimes the game would crash when the fans spiked. Before anyone asks, my card isn't having thermal issues. It rarely ever reaches 70 C, even while playing demanding maxed out games. I've never seen it reach 75 C. I used EVGA Precision to monitor card and its fan speeds. I capped my fan speed at 50%, but that didn't fix the problem at all. EVGA's monitors showed that the fan speed remained at 50%, but the fan RPM showed it spiking to over 3000rpm and slowly crawling back down. I did a couple things and ended up fixing this. I reseated my GPU and used a screw in the back corner (JayzTwoCents did this in a video) to help fix some of my GPU sag, though its still sagging a decent amount. I checked the connections on my power connectors and I also moved them to the other VGA ports on the PSU (I'm using the 6+6 to 8pin connectors that came with the GPU, the 6+2's from the PSU are loose if plugged into the GPU). I also switched to MSI Afterburner instead of EVGA Precision, and the fan issues have completely gone away. I haven't had them freak out at all like they did before, and MSI's monitoring shows that the RPM and fan speed % are pretty much in sync. I'm not sure which of these changes fixed the fan issues, but they were very very frequent, and I haven't noticed it once in the few days since.
Problem 2: D3D Crashes (unresolved)
I had also began playing more demanding games like ARK, Subnautica and Warhammer Vermintide 2 after around a week. With these games I get very frequent crashes. They are always D3D device lost crashes, oftentimes within the first 5-15 minutes of playing. Increasing the TDR Timeout in Windows Registry didn't help. The card came factory overclocked, I believe around 2025 or 2050 MHz, so I decided to see if underclocking -25 MHz would solve the problem. I didn't have any crashes yesterday at -25MHz. This was a good sign, because I had been able to play ARK and Vermintide 2 each for a couple hours without crashes, where previously in ARK I couldn't make it 10 minutes. But today in my first game of Vermintide 2, I got the same exact D3D crash. I've done the basics, like updating my drivers and checking game caches. I also updated my BIOS but that didn't change anything. I know that there's gotta be a problem with my system, but it's weird that I was able to fix the fan issue but I'm still getting these crashes in demanding games. It's also weird that the crashes appear to be less frequent when underclocked, though I haven't played since my most recent crash to test. Obviously I can keep trying to underclock and see if its stable at some point but that testing is very time consuming, and even if that works I'd want to exchange the faulty card anyways. I have yet to try a fresh Windows installation, but I will if there's any chance that's the issue. I just haven't yet because it'll take a long time to fix all the settings and changes I've made. If I reinstall Windows, do I have to wipe my SSD containing game files (not the NVME Boot Drive)? It took me forever to download everything.
Obviously this shouldn't be happening with my $2700 system. This was my first build so I'm still learning, but it seems that the issue is with the GPU or the PSU. What further steps should I take to diagnose and repair the issue? Thanks in advance, and sorry for the long post.