AMD Crimson Driver Update Released, Should Fix Fan Throttling Issue
AMD has released the update to their Crimson Edition driver that should resolve the fan throttling issue. This is where the fan profile was somehow stuck at around 20% or below, leading to overheating that might be the direct or indirect cause of damage.
AMD's fan bug was a result of reverting to a manual fan profile, and is now resolved.
The issue, according to the change log, seems to stem from AMD Overdrive resetting itself to a manual state when exiting an application that makes use of the GPU, even if you already have a manual profile or curve set for your card to stave off heat related issues.
This particular fan issue wasn't necessarily widespread and didn't seem to effect all of AMD's cards either. Users via Reddit noticed the issue as their GPU's of various makes and models hit extreme temperatures without proper intervention by the fan.
Theoretically internal firmware controlled thermal limits should prevent any permanent damage to the GPU silicon itself, but the resultant heat might negatively effect the surrounding components or the PCB itself, causing GPU failure. It's certainly a serious issue that needed to be attended to, especially hot on the heels of the release of their new Radeon Software driver GUI and platform.
In this hotfix are actually slightly more fixes than just the fan issue (which is issue 82671). General quality of life improvements and some problems that were encountered with Star Wars Battlefront, Fallout 4, Just Cause 3 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 are also inside.
You can grab the drivers from here and hopefully have that issue fixed. Let us know if it still affects you in the comments. Testing of those thermal controls will continue with an old Sapphire 290 Tri-X.
Resolved Issues with AMD Radeon Software Crimson Edition 15.11.1 Update
-  Star Wars™: Battlefront - Snow flickers in a few locations in the game
-  Star Wars™: Battlefront - Sky rendering may be broken in some game locations
-  Fallout 4 - The compass may flicker during gameplay on AMD Radeon R9 390 series products. We continue to investigate the issue with AMD Radeon R9 290 and AMD Radeon R9 295X2 series products
-  Star Wars™: Battlefront - Shadowy textures are visible around hills/structures/caves
-  Just Cause 3 - Texture corruption may be experienced during gameplay
-  Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 - Poor AMD Crossfire™ performance may be experienced
-  The driver installation may fail while installing the ACP component
-  The font size in Chinese language installations may be too small
-  The label range values in some AMD Freesync™ installations may be incorrect
-  The Radeon Settings dropbox does not close when it is clicked on a second time
-  The AMD Overdrive™ fan settings is always set to ON after first edit on reboot
-  Language shows up as Chinese Simplified when Chinese Traditional is selected in Windows® 7
-  Radeon Settings crashes on the Display tab when cloning a display via HDMI on some notebooks
-  Overdrive™ fan speed is reset to Manual on exiting from a 3D game or application
-  Radeon Settings does not get upgraded in some install scenarios
-  AMD Overdrive™ cannot revert to default settings in some situations
Known Issues with AMD Radeon Software Crimson Edition 15.11.1 Update
-  Total War™ : Rome II : Choppy gameplay may be experienced
-  Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 - Frame freezing during gameplay may be experienced
-  Just Cause 3 - The system may hang when task switching on systems with AMD CPUs and GPUs
-  Just Cause 3 - Flickering may be experienced during gameplay and on menu screens
-  Anno 2205 - Water splatter may flicker during in Ultra high mode on 4K displays
-  Fallout 4 - Gameplay may be choppy in AMD Freesync™ mode in Ultra mode at 1440p resolution