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Upgrades Bug Graphics Games Hardware

NVIDIA Driver Update Causing Video Cards To Overheat In Games 155

After a group of StarCraft II beta testers reported technical difficulties following the installation of NVIDIA driver update 196.75, Blizzard tech support found that the update introduced fan control problems that were causing video cards to overheat in 3D applications. "This means every single 3D application (i.e. games) running these drivers is going to be exposed to overheating and in some extreme cases it will cause video card, motherboard and/or processor damage. If said motherboard, processor or graphic card is not under warranty, some gamers are in serious trouble playing intensive games such as Prototype, World of Warcraft, Farcry 3, Crysis and many other games with realistic graphics." NVIDIA said they were investigating the problem, took down links to the new drivers, and advised users to revert to 196.21 until the problem can be fixed.
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NVIDIA Driver Update Causing Video Cards To Overheat In Games

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  • by Manip ( 656104 ) on Friday March 05, 2010 @07:16AM (#31369308)

    The slot can be damaged by overheating cards, and if it is your only 16x slot then you could wind up throwing away the entire motherboard. Although typically this is more often seen when a card overheats multiple times causing the material to expand and contract until it eventually fails (as opposed to this case when cards just die).

    My only guess about CPU damage is unregulated power spikes but that is just conjecture. Plus if anything was going to get damaged by power spikes it wouldn't be the CPU it would be the RAM.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 05, 2010 @07:24AM (#31369358)

    And this is an additional problem since all decent GPUs can survive much higher temperatures then CPUs.

    Water cooling from the same reservoir & same cycle and such is fine, but a shared heatpipe would be questionable in most (but not all) cases. The difference in max operating temperature is just too high.

  • by L4t3r4lu5 ( 1216702 ) on Friday March 05, 2010 @07:37AM (#31369404)
    The shadows implemented with v3 crippled WoW graphics performance. I have an C2Q Q6600@2.8GHz, 4GB DDRII RAM, 8800gtx running everything at max settings except shadows (blob only), 1920x1200 with min 60fps. If I turn shadows up one level I get 40 fps, full shadows bring the thing to a crawl even in open areas like The Shimmering Flats.

    I can easily see the gfx being a bottleneck with the shadows up, but other than that I agree. Loading the other players in Dala is horrid.
  • by scalarscience ( 961494 ) on Friday March 05, 2010 @08:06AM (#31369550)
    This issue is related to automatic fan control not working due to improper registry keys, and so GPU's that run warm (9800 series for instance) can quickly overheat and potentially suffer damage. I'm having no issues with mine, but I set fan profiles manually as I'm using a machine that has a very hot MCH & fb-dimms (2008 Xeon) and don't want the gpu contributing more. However for anyone interested (and using a GT200 or at least G80/G92 on up) here's the fix: []
  • Far Cry 3 (Score:5, Informative)

    by Karem Lore ( 649920 ) on Friday March 05, 2010 @08:53AM (#31369820)


    Please do tell where I can get Far Cry 3....Unless bittorrent has seriously moved into time travel of course...

  • by mkairys ( 1546771 ) on Friday March 05, 2010 @09:35AM (#31370108) Homepage
    Spot on. My 8600GT started overheating in my laptop and while it survived, my CPU was hitting 105C and would shut down randomly and required the processor, motherboard and many other components to be replaced (the heat ruined the life of the battery). The GPU was holding out at the temperatures fine but because of the heat pipe it was connected to, it was cooking the CPU in the process.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 05, 2010 @03:45PM (#31374630)

    A lot of Laptops have their cooling fan controlled by the CPU not the GPU.

    For example the ASUS G1S which has no end of over heating problems thanks to incredibly bad internal thermal design (this is from ASUS! So others will have have it too). One tiny heat pipe connected to a GeForce 8600m GT which:
        a) Is made by nVidia - which means it will run hot.
        b) Is a know problem, it has a history of over heating.

    So it is quite easy to end up in a situation where the GPU is stressed out to the max and the CPU is idling - so the fan drops to quite and the GPU temperature starts to rises.

    I've seen 110*C on a G1S which was well ventilated (raised off the table) and was dust free inside - it had just come back from ASUS after being RMA'ed because the previous GPU had overheated and killed the laptop. It took them a month to repair.

    There is no tool, that I am aware of, that allows you to modify the BIOS of the GPU 8600m GT successfully, ie:
        a) Undervolt it (I'm sure nVidia purposely overstate the voltage requirement on their GPUs so that they can be overclocked successfully).
        b) Change the default clock speeds for Full and Idle loads.

    MMTools and NiBiTor comes closes but does not work (you can change the values re-flash the bios but they have no effect).
    No desktop application fan speed controller will work either.

    The best it gets is a cooling pad - which creates even more noise.

Never buy from a rich salesman. -- Goldenstern