Instability Issues with Intel 13th/14th Generation Processors During Unreal Engine Gameplay

PCs featuring Intel's 13th and 14th generation processors, such as the Core i9-13900K and Core i7-14900K, have been reported to experience instability, particularly when running games built on the Unreal Engine. Collaborative investigations by Epic Games, Nvidia, and various game studios have pinpointed the high-performance capabilities of Intel's processors as the primary cause of these crashes, often resulting in a "Video Memory Exhausted" error.

Further analysis indicates that the instability mainly arises from BIOS settings that permit the processors to exceed their standard operating frequencies and power limits under intense workload, leading to system instability. This issue is particularly pronounced in games using the Unreal Engine, attributed to the Oodle data decompression's rigorous integrity checks, a technology from RAD, an Epic Games subsidiary. Moreover, similar problems have been noted in other intensive applications like CineBench, Prime95, and Handbrake.


Game developers, including Fatshark, have recognized the issue, recommending interim solutions such as slightly lowering the performance core speed using Intel Extreme Tuning Utility, which has helped reduce crash incidents in some cases.

Examination of motherboard default settings revealed that often, power and current limits are set to "unlimited" by default, aggravating the instability. Manually adjusting these to more conservative levels has been found to enhance stability. These insights suggest that techniques such as underclocking, undervolting, or setting stricter power/current limits can effectively prevent these crashes.


This underscores a broader challenge with managing the power of Intel's Raptor Lake CPUs under certain conditions and raises questions about finding the ideal settings for these processors that balance stability and performance. The precise way these adjustments mitigate the issue is still being studied, underscoring the complexity of modern CPU architecture and power management. Users facing such instability may need to tweak their BIOS settings or use tools like Intel's Extreme Tuning Utility to maintain stable system performance during high-demand tasks like gaming.


Sources: ithome, tomshardware (image credit)

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