Graphics card overheating

Technical Support

I've recently read the following on Teamliquid forums: "Anyone else have StarCraft II try to melt their hardware? Blizzard admits that it's a known issue and has a fix for you.

Apparently, the game's menu screens aren't framerate-limited. This means that when there's nothing else going on, your graphics hardware renders the bejeezus out of those screens, causing nasty overheating problems. The fix is easy, requiring players to add the following lines to your "Documents\StarCraft II Beta\variables.txt" "Documents\StarCraft II\variables.txt" file (nice catch, commenter LegolElf):


I've had one video card Overheat 1 month and a little bit ago and fry (Didn't know why at the time, but I'm now sure it was because of beta).

I have replaced the card and the new one has already started overheating. I am getting more and more problems every day due to the overheating. First it started with the flickering, now it's red artifacts. I know it'll die any minute.

I know for a fact that SC2 is the cause because while running HWmonitor I did notice temperatures getting really high on the menu screen (80 and climbing during menu, high 60's while playing)

Now my question for blizzard is will I be compensated for this? I had a 600$ video card die and now a 175$ replacement card dieing due to overheating caused by the starcraft 2 menu. We have proof the game caused the overheating, it's only fair I get compensated. I'm not made out of gold, it's getting expensive to replace the video cards every month.

I've had the computer running for just about 2 years now without a problem. I increased the fan speeds after the first one had signs of overheating and had a tech. take a look and see if all my cooling was working properly. No problem was detected, my cores are running at averages of 35 at peak.

I have an antec 900 gaming case
Both video cards are Geforce 8800 GTX

Lost my Geforce 480 GTX yesterday to this bug!.... thanks Blizzard!
Unfortunately, there is probably something in the user agreement that says Blizzard doesn't have to do anything. I haven't read the agreement in full, so I can never be too sure about this.

But I do recall downloading little random programs or tools on the net which state somewhere "we are not responsible if your computer blows up" in a joking way. But it looks like this little "joke" in the agreement is becoming reality.
LOL... hell will freeze over before blizzard shells out that much money.

Theres no wayyy for them to verify and would lose millions if they started reimbursing customers for their failed gpu
I'm glad I found out about this problem before it was too late. It sucks for all the people who've lost their video cards though.
Some people are so intent on seeing huge fps numbers. It's all fun and games till your video card welds itself to your motherboard. First thing I did back in beta before logging into the game was search the tech support forums for major issues and stumbles into the frameratecap information. Framerate has been set to 35 for both ever since and my video card run cool as can be.
i was told that this issue only exists in geforce 8000 and 9000 series cards.
@Warmonger: But does the game look smooth at frameratecap=35?
And did you tune down any of the other menu options-> graphics settings to make it play well but also look look good (like physics=ultra) ?

@anyone: It would be nice to have a list of optimal graphics settings since some of the eye candy is a bit distracting in the heat of a melee battle when (for example) I'm trying to target fire their Dark Templars before my Raven goes down.
Yep, I'm a victim of this too. Sure, it was just my 8800 GT that's worked fine for two years (and ran Crysis, Bioshock 1 & 2, and every other game under the sun with no problems...), but it's still very bad if a game is coded so that it will push the hardware to 100%, even in the menus. If that little piece of code is the solution, why wasn't it put in a patch, or at least a warning that could appear in the launcher before the game boots up?

My story:
-Got the game, and it worked fine for 7 or 8 story missions, playing for several hour sessions.
-Got the red artifacting bug in a cutscene. Rebooted my computer, dusted the inside of it, made sure the drivers were updated (then rolled them back when community members warned that the new drivers contributed to the problem!), increased the fan speed, and applied Blizzard's "fix"
-Game worked again! Played for 3 or 4 more missions, over several hours.
-Alt-tabbed the game. Red artifacts when I maximized it!
-Restarted my computer. Now I have artifacting all over my desktop (red lines across the screen at all times), my computer won't recognize my graphics drivers, and it appears to be at death's door.

Before anyone says "Oh, why didn't you have better cooling on your system?", I'll say that for an average, non-custom computer that has never had overclocking, extra cooling shouldn't be required. Again, I was able to push many games to max settings (e.g. Crysis), and this never melted my graphics card in a few hours.

To use an analogy, saying "overall cooling is inefficient" when the game tries to push the graphics card beyond reasonable limits is like saying "it's not our fault that your house burnt down, your fire extinguishers are inefficient" when someone torches the place with a flamethrower!
is it frameratecap=60" or frameratecap=60
@Warmonger: But does the game look smooth at frameratecap=35?
And did you tune down any of the other menu options-> graphics settings to make it play well but also look look good (like physics=ultra) ?

It's perfect, no staggering or video lag. I allways configure my games to cap the framerate at 35-40 fps. Human eye can only see something like 32 fps, plus it's alot easier on your card.

All my graphic and sound setting are max, ATI Cat settings are maxed for quality. The game looks incredible. On that mission where you have to fight off the infested things during the nightime while in brutal mode I was seeing hundreds of shadows from them things at my base and when my hellion force was out and what was cool is the shadows would get short while they under the light and real long as they moved away from the light. Real friggin cool. Video was a solid 35 fps the whole time (which is what I have my frameratecap set to). The problem with letting your framerate race is for simple rendering it race to like 140 fps then suddenly it has to work and it drops to like 40 in order to do the work. IMO, that is not good.

i must admit, this game is beautiful. Good job Blizzard, now you just gotta get your code to work with other vendor or vise versa.
Guncannon, if your card is on deaths door and you have given up all hope, I have heard of people putting thier video card in the oven and cooking if for a while and bam it comes out like new. But be prepared to buy a new one.
^ what he said.

What happens is when the card heats up, the solder can loosen from the contacts. You can put it in an oven for 10-15 mins at a certain temp to fix it. Don't go just tossing it in the oven. Go search youtube "bake video card" for help. I've done it before and it worked perfectly.

Use at your own risk! (always)
FYI: here is a new, good cheap ($90) card with good cooling that will run SC2 on high or ultra (it's the one I chose after considerable research):

HIS Radeon HD 5670 512MB (model H567Q512)

All the HIS "IceQ" cards have excellent cooling so search at newegg, amazon, tigerdirect for the best price. You don't have to spend more than $100 for a card that will run this game perfectly, assuming you have at least a dual core CPU, more than the min amount of RAM, and decent internet speed. The game is beautiful even at low and medium graphics settings. Some of the special effects can even be distracting, so I'm figuring out which ones I can turn down.

btw: Pay attention to if the card requires the extra power plug from your PSU (the one I recommended does not).

@Conner: no final quote -> frameratecap=60
I have a HD3200 I Know its crap i just wanna play. what should i out my frame things at for smooth gameplay on low settings ? ?

mine died too. :'(

Now I'm out of a desktop for weeks and some money.

As disappointing as having your graphics card overheating/breaking is, Blizzard isn't liable. Take a look at section 14 of the End User Agreement and they make it clear as day. Therefore, you won't be compensated.

I've had the same overheating issue as well. I just sent my laptop in to get the fan checked out to make sure it's working properly. When I get it back I'll make sure to add in those framerate limitations. Hopefully that takes care of it. If not, I bet Blizzard is working on addressing this problem in an upcoming patch.
I just had my laptop die of this... It's about a month old. It's specs are: core i7 q720 / 8gb ram / 1gb nvidia graphics card / 500 gb 7200rpm drive... It was set to DEFAULT settings... good thing I have two of these computers...

Anyways here is why I think a class action lawsuit is possible... They have this in their End User Agreement, but I was unable to view this End User Agreement until after I had already purchased and opened the game, making it impossible for me to return it after it was opened. This is an issue for many software companies, and does not end up well for the company, as this was a known issue... and it just destroyed my 1200 dollar laptop.

Also: I don't plan on playing starcraft II any more, because it will likely destroy all my computers, and want a refund for this and my laptop. I see a class-action suit coming.
OP am i on the same boat as you? please, i cant find a solution or a response and want to see if this is a common issue not only to me

(i have flickers not on the cutscenes, but ingame zerg units and high templars)

heres a random picture of one (note: it strobes and reflects at different angles)
My computer and game was fine yesterday, but today it's giving me a white screen when I boot it up. Could it be the same problem or would I have noticed it slowly doing?

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