Blizzard Offers Fix for StarCraft Computer-Melting Bug

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Blizzard Offers Fix for StarCraft Computer-Melting Bug

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StarCraft II is the hottest game of the season in more ways than one - but luckily, there's a fix to stop your graphics card from burning itself up.

Are you playing StarCraft II? Judging by the "approximately 1,000,000 people on Battle.net" I saw last night, you aren't alone. However, a small portion of the thousands upon thousands of StarCraft II buyers (including a staffer at GameInformer) have been confronted with a nasty problem - the game makes their graphics card work itself to death.

The issue deals with the game's interactive menu screens that pop up between missions, where Jim Raynor can explore his flagship and chat with crew. While the rest of the game has limits on what can be rendered, the menu screens have no framerate cap whatsoever, and some computers will interpret this to mean "go hog wild." Rendering framerates of over 200 frames per second for extended period of times means that computers with insufficient ventilation melt themselves into oblivion. And that means you can't play SC2, and we don't want that.

While Blizzard will be patching in a fix, there's a manual workaround that you can set up in the meantime - open your Documents|StarCraft II|variables.txt file, and add in the lines:

frameratecapglue=30
frameratecap=60

This will cap the framerate at a nice consistent 60 FPS and keep your computer happy and healthy while you slaughter the hell out of those nasty Zerg. Obviously, this isn't an issue that affects all computers or all hardware since hundreds of thousands of people are playing just fine - but there's no harm in taking a precaution or two.

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And here I was joking on how I probably couldn't play it because it would fry my ancient computer.

It's over two-hundreeeeeeeeeeeeddd!!!
Yowza...that would be a nasty thing indeed. Hope peeps get this feedback and know what to do before the computers start igniting in fires. :S

I think I smell something burning...

OMG!!!!

Wow. That's a pretty serious oversight. They happen, but... Ho-ly crap.

Well at least they were fast with fixing that, and thank god noone I know has had that problem.

Premonition:
And here I was joking on how I probably couldn't play it because it would fry my ancient computer.

And I was saying the same thing...

Ok, at least it has a manual fix for it...

Ouch, thank fuck I don't play StarCraft.

''i think i will leave my starcraft open till i come back'' walks away for 3 hours....comes home to a burning building

Now wait a minute...you're telling me that working a video card at maximum capacity for long periods of time is dangerous? Unless you mean "for days at a time," I think something's missing here...I've definitely had games run before that my computer couldn't *hit* a frame cap for (like Starcraft 2 :-P) for hours and hours at a time. I understand that part of the problem is ventilation, but I would think that people who play Starcraft 2 for a long time would also have played other games for equally long...

It'd be a huge problem for me probably... if I had a graphics card that could even work at 60 fps in the campaign... _ need...better...graphics card

*falls over laughing* Oh man, that's just priceless. "Dudes I'm having such an awesome winning streak in SC2. I"M ON FIRE BABY!!!"

"Uhhh...Bill...I think you're actually on fire.."

"Wha?...."

"There's smoke pouring out from your computer..."

"Oh that, naw Blizzard just put some code in the game that turns my computer into a toaster, isn't that just grand?"

But I have to ask what state the frying computers were in. Did they have a solid wall of dust covering their GPU?

Jeez, Blizzard, I thought you were flawless with programming. Forgetting the debacle of the Patch 3.2 graphical errors for WoW, this is the only oversight I have seen you make.

This will suck for those suckers that have GeForce 4xx series cards since they run hot as hell to begin with. LOL!!!!!!!!!!

I am astounded that this got missed though. I hope that Blizzard will replace those cards with better ones for the trouble.

TheTinyMan:
but I would think that people who play Starcraft 2 for a long time would also have played other games for equally long...

Tell that to the koreans.

I'm still waiting a couple of days until the first death.

TheTinyMan:
Now wait a minute...you're telling me that working a video card at maximum capacity for long periods of time is dangerous? Unless you mean "for days at a time," I think something's missing here...I've definitely had games run before that my computer couldn't *hit* a frame cap for (like Starcraft 2 :-P) for hours and hours at a time. I understand that part of the problem is ventilation, but I would think that people who play Starcraft 2 for a long time would also have played other games for equally long...

any hardware can fail, ESPECIALLY graphics cards, due to poor ventilation. it's just a matter of a GPU trying to do more than it's capable of, combined with the heat issue, can kill that GPU very quickly. not too unreasonable, although I'm a little surprised that this was missed... oh well, can't catch em all.

Mackheath:
Jeez, Blizzard, I thought you were flawless with programming.

Nobody is flawless in programming. If anyone says they are flawless, they are lying, and you are entitled to smack them upside the head with an Amiga.

OT: This oversight is both hilarious and upsetting. Mostly for the same reasons, though. The thoughts of someone's rig spontaneously combusting into flames after nuking the enemy into oblivion...wait, no. It's just hilarious.

Reminds me of Trine. Trine works my graphics card to death despite not being a very demanding game. The temperature just rises and rises until the card shuts itself off due to overheating.

"And at that moment, Korea became a wasteland of melted computer parts"

A cpu won't work itself to death in those cases unless it's forced by the user because he doesn't mind a sheet of dust bigger then the graphicscard itself >.<
Most old games don't have framelimitations. I get 35000 frames in most 2d menuscreens, the graphicscard doesn't do that normaly.
Blizzard just made it even more idiotprove. Though the machine will still get fried once it plays another game for long enough.
But weird after two years of testing. When was a game last tested as much as starcraft 2?

uppitycracker:

any hardware can fail, ESPECIALLY graphics cards, due to poor ventilation. it's just a matter of a GPU trying to do more than it's capable of, combined with the heat issue, can kill that GPU very quickly. not too unreasonable, although I'm a little surprised that this was missed... oh well, can't catch em all.

Sure, any hardware can fail. I've got a degree in this stuff. :-) I'm just questioning if it was really a flaw in the code or configuration of Starcraft 2, since, as you said, any time the GPU tried to do more than it was capable of, heat damage might occur. My first thought is, "are these GPUs that are never used?" But if this happened to a game reviewer, I would assume not.

John Funk:

The issue deals with the game's interactive menu screens that pop up between missions, where Jim Raynor can explore his flagship and chat with crew. While the rest of the game has limits on what can be rendered, the menu screens have no framerate cap whatsoever, and some computers will interpret this to mean "go hog wild." Rendering framerates of over 200 frames per second for extended period of times means that computers with insufficient ventilation melt themselves into oblivion. And that means you can't play SC2, and we don't want that.

200fps? That's it?
Counter-Strike: Source frequently runs at 300 and nothing has ever fried.
And I don't know if it was an issue with the frame counter, but Oblivion used to go crazy in the menus and show 1000fps...

Seems like a pretty poor bug, someone left out two lines of code and *bam* melting systems.

This is why it pays to spend the money and effort to build your own cooling systems and ventilation. Use Heat sinks and fans correctly people. Your computer will run a thousand times better if you do.
I've seen things that people have done to "cool" their computers. When you see a red hot heat sink and molten plastic dripping they have done something very wrong.

no wonder people say starcraft 2

*puts on shades*

...is the hottest pc title on the market.

YYYYEAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!

I was wondering why my graphics card fan is permanently at 100% even with litte graphics on screen.

Do people who already had their card die get a full refund? After all, it's Blizzard's coding that wrecked their system, not themselves. Glad there is a quick-workaround posted. Keep up the good work!

Ah, just wait for the law suits.

Whoa. I am suddenly so glad I got the three-day delivery instead of the extra overnight deal. My computer would be loooong gone. Now I just gotta wait for it to finish installing to actually FIX it.

It's really not Blizzards fault if your graphics card overheats at 100% load, it's either the PC manufacturers fault, or your own fault if you built it yourself. I always stress test my setup at 100% CPU and GPU for 12 hours when I've made some significant changes or have a new build.

I was wondering why a voice in the back of my head was telling me to wait on getting my copy. But then I do keep my PC clean inside. I've heard plenty of horror stories on how bad the inside a case can get.

samsonguy920:
I was wondering why a voice in the back of my head was telling me to wait on getting my copy. But then I do keep my PC clean inside. I've heard plenty of horror stories on how bad the inside a case can get.

Having filters really helps, my case has 2 intake fans in the front and both are filtered, since I got that case I haven't had barely any dust on my components at all.

dochmbi:

samsonguy920:
I was wondering why a voice in the back of my head was telling me to wait on getting my copy. But then I do keep my PC clean inside. I've heard plenty of horror stories on how bad the inside a case can get.

Having filters really helps, my case has 2 intake fans in the front and both are filtered, since I got that case I haven't had barely any dust on my components at all.

Ya but you gotta keep the filters clean or that will clog up the ventilation as well. A can of air does the job well enough for me, though I need to lug the case outside to do the job.
Kids, most times if you hear someone saying their PC has gone to crap, it is because of poor maintenance. Gotta take care of your PC like it were your child, or it will go into a sulk and not work. No fun for anyone then.

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