Hot Starcraft II is Frying Graphics Cards, Blizzard Issues Temporary Fix
August 1, 2010 1:20 PM
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Starcraft II is overheating some users GPUs, but Blizzard has released a temporary fix.
Starcraft II fans beware, your graphics card may get Zerg rushed
StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty
, the first game in Blizzard's highly anticipated real-time strategy sequel trilogy
launched on Tuesday
. Unfortunately, the blockbuster PC title -- which is expected to sell 10 million copies or more -- had some bumps during its launch.
There were a number of minor bugs, but nothing show stopping at first. Then the reports of melting GPUs hit.
Among those affected was Adam Biessener of
whose card melted while he was live blogging about his game experience. He bemoaned, "Three hours of cursing later, I'm posting this from my wife's laptop because both my graphics card and my work laptop appear to be fried."
The problem appears to be located in the main menu, where an uncapped frame rate maxes out the GPU, in some cases pushing it to overheating and potentially permanent failure.
Blizzard has issued a response on its support site, acknowledging that it was aware of the issue, and offering a quick fix. The company
Certain screens make your hardware work pretty hard
Screens that are light on detail may make your system overheat if cooling is overall insufficient. This is because the game has nothing to do so it is primarily just working on drawing the screen very quickly. A temporary workaround is to go to your Documents\StarCraft II Beta\variables.txt file and add these lines:
You may replace these numbers if you want to.
For eager customers who already lost a graphics card, though, that fix may prove too late. Blizzard has
announced any plans to replace the lost hardware of victims who experienced the bug.
Many customers are outraged at this.
one victim Lorsaire:
Why was this not addressed already before release, and why were there no breaking news warnings or updates to fix this before people started having damage done to their hardware? My Nvidia GeForce cost me more than $300 to get a good card that was great for gaming... Blizzard are you doing anything or have plans to compensate people for the damage you've created?
Of course some of the cards may be covered by manufacturer warranties. And while it does appear a bug (uncapped framerates) is partially to blame for killing off the cards, a card pushed to the max would generally not die instantly were it not for poorly engineered and/or defective cooling. It appears that the cards ultimately were done in by the double blow of both a software bug (in
) and hardware issues.
The game features intensely addictive multiplayer gaming between three diverse races -- the Zerg, the Protoss, and the Terrans. It also features a single player campaign in which you play a Terran rebel.
Heart of the Swarm
Legacy of the Void
will included Protoss and Zerg campaigns, and possibly deliver new multiplayer features as well. Just beware the uncapped framerates.
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RE: So who's fault is this?
8/14/2010 10:56:29 PM
The SCII software bug either stops or tricks the GPU into NOT spinning it's fan up to cool the card.
Play Crysis maxed out and really stress the GPU and the fan spins faster. Play SCII's menu and the fan idles at a very low speed. The fried GPU's have all been able to cool themselves adequately, even if over clocked. But the SCII software bug has stopped them from functioning properly and thus they are frying.
My GTX280 fried, it was not OC'd and my PC has so much cooling it's insane. Yet within 2/3 days of SCII too I began to get strange artefacts and crashes, and now the card is completely dead.
I read that during the beta this occurred and blame was placed on 196.xx nvidia drivers. Well my card fried with 256.xx drivers. And after the first initial problems I rolled back to 185.xx drivers and the fan still did NOT spin up during the menu.
From my experience it is not the drivers, but instead SCII is bugging or convincing the GPU that it does not need to spin the fan any faster, when really the unlocked frames are stressing the card dramatically.
End result, fried GPU.
Obviously the hotter running cards, GTX280, 8800GT etc will fry first as they already ran hot, although not hot enough to warrant frying. So I would suggest all users to use the solution in this article. For all you know your card is slowly cooking too.
I read one report of a 5870 user who claimed his card ran at 70 degrees in the SCII menu, he manually cranked his GPU fan to 100% and then he achieved 38 degrees while in the menu of SCII.
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