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The First Descendant out of video memory? How to stop it crashing

Based on the Unreal Engine, The First Descendant is another victim of Intel CPU instability, but here are some steps to help fix it.

The First Descendant is crashing with an out of video memory error

Are you having problems with The First Descendant crashing? Then you’re not alone. Several gamers are reporting crashes, with The First Descendant telling them their system is out of video memory, despite having a powerful GPU with no shortage of VRAM. This problem appears when the game is compiling shaders, and it’s one we’ve seen before. Rather than being a problem with your GPU, it’s much more likely to be down to you using an Intel CPU.

Released on July 2, The First Descendant is based on Unreal Engine 5, and this engine has proved to be particularly problematic for some of Intel’s best gaming CPUs, particularly the Core i9 14900K. Game crashes on Intel CPUs have been reported for a number of games based on the engine, often with similar errors relating to a lack of video memory when compiling shaders.

Indeed, even Nvidia is blaming Intel for the problem, and pointing gamers to the company’s tech support. Frustratingly, Intel has also recently admitted that it hasn’t yet found the root cause of the problem, but there are several steps you can take to reduce your system’s instability in The First Descendant, and other games based on the Unreal Engine.

Your first step is to update your motherboard to the very latest BIOS (firmware), which you will be able to grab from your motherboard manufacturer’s website. If you’ve never done this before, check out our full guide on how to flash your BIOS. Motherboard makers are currently issuing a round of updates for boards, which fix an Intel eTVB bug that the company recently identified as a contributing factor in the problems.

Once you’ve updated your BIOS to the latest version, your next step is to make sure your motherboard is running your CPU with the Intel baseline power settings. Another contributing factor to instability was motherboard makers running Intel CPUs beyond their recommended power limits so they would run at high clock speeds for long periods when boosting, causing them to run hot.

Arguably, Intel has to share some of the blame here, as it didn’t seem that worried about this when these motherboards were being sent out with the Intel CPU review samples and getting good benchmark results. Either way, Intel has insisted that motherboard makers now run its CPUs at the default baseline power settings. This should be enabled by default with your new BIOS, but if not, look for an “Intel baseline” setting in your BIOS.

If your motherboard doesn’t have a new BIOS update to fix any of the problems yet, Intel has also issued some guidance for various CPUs to fix these stability issues, which you can set in your motherboard BIOS yourself. We’ve listed all of Intel’s recommended stable settings for games such as The First Descendant in the tables below.

Intel motherboard settings

These are the recommended Intel default motherboard settings to stop The First Descendant crashing:

Parameter Value
CEP (current excursion protection) Enable
eTVB (Enhanced Thermal Velocity Boost) Enable
TVB (Thermal Velocity Boost) Enable
TVB voltage optimizations Enable
ICCMAX unlimited bit Disable
TjMAX offset 0
C-states (including C1E) Enable

Core i5 13600K/KF and 14600K/KF

Parameter Baseline Performance
ICCMAX 175A  200A
ICCMAC_App 150A 170A
Power limit 1 (PL1) 125W  181W
Power limit 2 (PL2)  143W  181W

Core i5 13700K/KF and 14700K/KF

Parameter Baseline Performance
ICCMAX  249A  307A
ICCMAC_App 200A  245A
Power limit 1 (PL1) 125W 253W
Power limit 2 (PL2)  188W  253W

Core i5 13900K/KF and 14900K/KF

Parameter Baseline Performance Extreme
ICCMAX  249A  307A 400A
ICCMAC_App  200A   245A 320A
Power limit 1 (PL1)  125W  253W 253W
Power limit 2 (PL2)   188W   253W 253W

Core i5 13900KS and 14600KS

Parameter Performance Extreme
ICCMAX  307A  400A
ICCMAC_App  245A  320A
Power limit 1 (PL1) 253W  320W
Power limit 2 (PL2)  253W 320W

If you make all the above changes, your Intel system should be much more stable when running The First Descendant, but this is undoubtedly a frustrating time for gamers with Intel’s latest CPUs, and reducing your CPU’s power limits will also make it run slower. Let’s hope Intel finds a fix for the root cause soon.

If you want to see if your system is otherwise up to scratch for running the game, check out The First Descendant system requirements, and read our guide to the Ultimate Descendants, to find out why you should add one to your roster.