StarCraft® II

Workarounds for Nvidia users on 10.6.4

Posts: 14
There's a nice sticky about how to cripple your settings for fairly reliable performance here:
http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/forum/topic/224842575

But if using these downgraded settings is frustrating, or you're still getting abominable frame rates, here's a few workarounds which I've been using. I'm running a MacPro 1,1 with the Nvidia 8800 GT and OSX 10.6.4, and have had the same massive drop in frame rates many users have reported.

[note-- one user reported no difference after resetting their resolution, so your milage on this trick may vary]

1) When loading into a new level, hit F10, change your resolution to something lower and hit accept. When it asks for confirmation, press No and go back to your original resolution. Performance should be restored to what it should be, and generally this should last you through the entire level.

2) After finishing a level, when you're on the Hyperion load screen, hit Command-M to toggle to windowed mode. The cut scene should be watchable, if smaller.

Just a note on the side, here's a tip clipped from a blizzard thread that can reduce some of the strain on your video card, particularly if it's a bit on the old or dusty side.
http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/forum/topic/13501356
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\variables.txt file and add these lines:
frameratecapglue=30
frameratecap=60


Hope this is helpful to those who haven't been able to revert to 10.6.3 and are struggling with performance issues. Here's hoping for update drivers soon!

Update: Crappykiller reports that when running at a resolution other than the native desktop resolution, the same reset effect can be achieved by switching to windowed mode and back. For those playing at the native resolution, switching to windowed mode mid-level can cause a reduction in frame rate, however.
Edited by Abhorsen on 8/3/2010 6:31 PM PDT
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Posts: 69
Thanks for this! I'll try them out. :)
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Posts: 8
Oh man, I was doing the exact same thing to get the game running smoothly and it definitely works. Kind of hilarious how by our own devices, we both independently came up with the same weird way of getting the game to run smoothly.

Unfortunately, on my system, the problem carries over to MP as well and as you might expect, wasting the first 10-20 seconds in MP changing resolutions and stuff has the potential to really screw you over. I ultimately had to install on bootcamp and it's been running ridiculously smooth.

I know some of this is Nvidia and Apple's "fault" but at the same time, the fact that we can restore performance by just tinkering with video settings without even making any permanent changes implies to me that there must also be some problem on the software side. Can't they just hard-code a screen resolution "switch" before each mission to get it to run smoothly? Or better yet, find out what aspect of switching resolutions back and forth fixes the stuttering problem and implement just that part.
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Posts: 14
Can't they just hard-code a screen resolution "switch" before each mission to get it to run smoothly? Or better yet, find out what aspect of switching resolutions back and forth fixes the stuttering problem and implement just that part.


I've been hoping Blizzard would put something like this in a patch, just to get us by until we get a fix from Apple/Nvidia. I've been avoiding multiplayer till there's some sort of fix, but eventually I'm just going to break down and buy an ATI card.
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Posts: 59
Hey the Command + M works on every level, you don't have to do the resolution thing. Whenever I start a match, and the frame rate is doing its weird thing, I Command + M to windowed then back to full screen, and it's been working on my iMac. =)
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Posts: 14
Hey the Command + M works on every level, you don't have to do the resolution thing. Whenever I start a match, and the frame rate is doing its weird thing, I Command + M to windowed then back to full screen, and it's been working on my iMac. =)


Are you running SC2 at something other than the native resolution of your iMac? If so, switching to windowed mode will alter your resolution, and trigger the same clearing mechanism.

My experience has matched minusTHEoso's-- switching to windowed mode mid-level has generally produced a decrease in performance, but I'm running SC2 at my native resolution (1920x1200).

If you can confirm, I will update my original post with that info, in case someone finds it useful.
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Posts: 2
I tried the work around and it didn't work for me on my MacBook Pro running the Nvidia 330m GT 512MB. :(
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Posts: 59
I run the game at 1280 x 800, but my display is at 1920 x 1200.. so yeah I suppose I do run it at a different resolution. =) It works for me, it does whatever it needs to get the frame rate nice and smooth.
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Posts: 388
but eventually I'm just going to break down and buy an ATI card.


That's probably your best bet.

Best decision I made was to get the ATI card instead of Nvidia in this computer. With vertical sync on keeping my framerate from going too high and overheating things, I'm simply not seeing any of the issues that are all over this forum. High throughput CPU/RAM combo (Xeon i7) plus stable ATI card = win on SC2.

Edited by Kesh on 8/3/2010 8:25 PM PDT
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