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Graphics Driver Crash In Night Time Missions
Closed, ResolvedPublic


"Graphics driver has stopped responding and has recovered"

This crash started occurring since version 1.08 and it is still happening in 1.12.
I am not using any mods.

The crash happens only on night missions.
I can play daytime missions as long as I like without any problems.

According to the MSI Afterburner the GPU Usage is at 99% right before and during the crash. {F23078} {F23079} {F23080} {F23081} {F23082} {F23083} {F23084}


Legacy ID
No Bug
Game Crash
Steps To Reproduce
  1. Launch the game normally. Doesn't matter if you use windowed or -nobenchmark or not.
  1. Start a night time mission. I personally prefer the Headhunters as it can be played in multiplayer. [Minor Spoiler Alert] The second mission of the campaign episode "Adapt" which also is a night time mission works fine as well.
  1. (If playing Headhunters) 5-10 minutes into the mission, by the time you've got to the first enemy officer, the OpFor Ifrit GMG shows up and your squads AT soldier (hopefully) blows it up, it should've crashed already or will in the next 2 minutes.


Load Ballistic's Altis Sandbox, change the time of day to night using the laptop near the spawn and then proceed to try your luck flying a helicopter without crashing it or the graphics driver.
I never succeed in the latter.


In the campaign episode "Adapt" (the second, night time mission) the crash occurred after the AAF Checkpoint, when I entered the town and was about 50-100m away from the point I was supposed to drive to.
I've put a screenshot of the scene right before the crash in the attached rar file. I doubt it's helpful but who knows?

However, simply creating a new mission with the mission editor, changing it to night time and driving around in a Hunter apparently is not enough.

Additional Information

The Arma 3.rar in the attachments has both the crash reports from \AppData\Local\Arma 3\ and the dxdiag text file in it.
Also the screenshot about 2 minutes before the crash is also included.

"Your pc is not suited for Arma".
My systems specs (and pretty much everything else) can be found in the dxdiag.txt in the rar file I have provided. This is just a laptop I use for studying but it can run Arma 3 just fine with around 30 fps and I'm content with that.

Event Timeline

Jomppe edited Steps To Reproduce. (Show Details)Jan 21 2014, 8:15 PM
Jomppe edited Additional Information. (Show Details)
Jomppe set Category to Game Crash.
Jomppe set Reproducibility to Always.
Jomppe set Severity to None.
Jomppe set Resolution to No Bug.
Jomppe set Legacy ID to 4282229921.May 7 2016, 5:47 PM

Run a tool like MSI Afterburner on the side as you play the night mission, but make sure to enable hardware logging. Once your graphic driver resets, stop the tool you're using and then stop playing. Check your graphics card temperatures, temperatures at around 105 degrees or hotter for a longer period of time is usually the cause of what you're experiencing.

The interesting question here is though, were you experiencing this prior to 1.08 (version 1.05)?
Arma wasn't exactly made for laptops with an Intel chip and an i5-3210M, so it wouldn't be a surprise if this was a continuous issue. You'll have to keep in mind that Arma is an extremely taxing game where even a beasty GTX660 and an i5-4670k can sometimes run into problems - these specs are pretty much the complete opposite of what you have right now.

This is also not an ArmA3 related error as it's your graphics card overheating due to load.

Jomppe added a subscriber: Jomppe.May 7 2016, 5:47 PM

Thank you very much for your answer.

I downloaded and installed the MSI Afterburner but didn't find an option to monitor temperatures, only fan speeds and GPU usage.
However, what I did find is that the GPU usage stays around 30-50% when playing Arma 3 during the night mission and then it rises to 99% for the duration of the driver crash.

I uploaded the hardware monitoring file. It's just a text file as .hml files are not allowed to be uploaded here. It clearly shows the GPU usage rising.

To answer your question, No, I did not experience these crashes prior 1.08.
I was able to play fine since the Beta started (Alpha didn't work at all) for many hours.

I know that Arma 3 can be quite a challenge for my poor little laptop but I'm not sure if that's the issue here, as I was able to play this game nice and easy before 1.08 emerged. Something in that patch changed the game radically for my graphics driver.

Go into Settings, Monitoring and then enable GPU temperature, Usage, and framerate. Disable everything else.

Next time you start it up make sure to delete the HTML file beforehand as it caps at 10 MB. The biggest part is GPU temperature as usage shouldn't spike at 100% continuously.

1.08 and 1.10 has also seen the addition of a few graphic options (HDAO for 1.10), so general ArmA settings would be nice to have attached aswell.

downvoted, never experienced.

I uploaded a picture of my MSI Afterburner settings as well as 3 pictures of my Arma 3 settings. They're in the attachments now.

The first mentioned picture shows that there is no option to enable GPU temperature monitoring, only GPU usage, fan speed and the framerate twice, or it might be just me being completely blind.

The three other screenshots in the Arma 3 Settings.rar show that I have nothing special enabled (AO, Caustics, FSAA, ATOC, PPAA, Aniso. Filtering, Bloom, Blur).

Looking forward to your reply.

Can you upload your ArmA3.cfg as .txt file to the site please? It's located in Documents -> ArmA3 -> Arma3.cfg
It should be a lot easier to get an overview as it has all prominent graphics options aswell as a mod launcher list.

Also as for MSI Afterburner make sure you're NOT using the beta version of things. My version is 2.3.1, downgrade if you have to, it's the latest stable version so easy to find.

Arma 3.cfg uploaded as a .txt as .cfg is not allowed. Should be readable nevertheless.

The MSI Afterburner I installed is version 2.3.1 as well.

OK, sorry for the late response here, got caught up in a few other things.
I really think this is a case of your laptop just not being strong enough, although it certainly is weird that it never happened prior to 1.08 as you mentioned. It's most definitely a hardware issue.

With A3 you'll want to read up on the different options and optimal settings. Some settings strain the CPU more than GPU and vice-versa. It's not perfectly documented in A3 itself, however.

As a last suggestion, I'd say try out any other game. Most of them probably won't reach A3 in the level of workload etc but it's worth a try.

As for MSI, 2.3.1 should most definitely have a temperature reading setting. I've never tested it with onboard graphics but I get the option with my GTX 470. Does it recognize your graphics card and driver version in the main window by the way?

Thank you for your response.

I must disagree with you when it comes to my laptop being strong enough. To my mind the word "incompatibility" is more fitting. What's strange here is that it worked once but is not compatible anymore.
This might sound like a rant but updates shouldn't make a game unplayable as far as I know.

"It's most definitely a hardware issue. "
I agree.

If I remember correctly I haven't had graphics driver crashes in any other game or application.

Back to the MSI:
Suddenly, without any warning when I started up the Afterburner for the first time in 3 days, an option for GPU Temperature showed up and it was enabled by default.

I will upload information regarding the GPU temperature shortly.
Meanwhile here is a picture of the MSI main screen. As you can see there is no information of the driver version.
The settings there have not been changed at all. Both Core Clock and Memory Clock were maxed by default.

These options are pretty limited. As we can see it fails to properly recognize your onboard graphics. You have Intel HD Graphics 4000 according to your DxDiag but instead it recognizes an AMD Radeon HD 7670M, a completely different chipset.

It's good to see that MSI finally got the GPU temperature set up. That is the only useful thing in MSI Afterburner for you, apparently, as you're severely limited in other aspects. I'll wait for you to upload a new hardware monitoring file (delete your old one before testing! It turns off when the hardware monitoring file reaches 10MB in size) before saying anything else.

Now this is very interesting.

I couldn't crash the graphics driver on Ballitic's Sandbox where I normally could do it within 2 minutes, now I was able to fly steadily for quite some time. Temperature rose from the normal 50'C I have on desktop to something around 65'C.

I started feeling overconfident so I went back to campaign to drive a truck with some guerillas and I saw the temperature sit nicely at around 70'C but the GPU Usage was bouncing around 60-80%. Then it finally started rising to 99% where I decided to pause the game. It showed no signs of decreasing so I continued on with the game but stopped the vehicle and turned of its headlights.

The Usage started to drop.
It decreased to around 80% before I tried to carry on with the mission but the driver crashed shortly afterwards with the log stating GPU Usage being 99% again.

Max GPU Temp: 77'C
I am no expert but I think that's within safety standards.

It's probably just like my GTX 470 - if I end up running it at 110 degrees for a long amount of time it can end up frying itself, making the screen weird and eventually resetting itself. I believe this is what's happening here, your GPU is simply reaching maximum load and eventually resets to prevent damage.

Dropping GPU usage is something I experience aswell. I've tried this by going overkill and spawn 155mm shells around me for a few minutes - GPU usage went from 99 to 50. This was in high-pressure environments where stuff is exploding, but I imagine it's sooner for your laptop due to it having less strength.

I have no other ideas, but I highly doubt it's any other part than your Intel HD Graphics Card.

Thank you for your help.
I wouldn't have gotten anywhere solving this problem alone.

I'm going to try if I can reach the same usage percentages with any other graphically challenging games and maybe try disabling the Intel card somehow to see if it has any effect on gameplay and/or stability.

It seems the MSI stopped giving the option to monitor GPU temperature when I started it up today. I have no idea why but that's not a big issue anymore.

Not a game issue.