Starcraft 2 causing graphics cards to overheat?

One of the biggest game releases of the year is Starcraft 2, the sequel to one of the biggest games of all time. However there are numerous reports of issues, one of which that can destroy your graphics card in your computer.

Adam Biessener from Game Informer had his card "fry", saying this in his attempt at live blogging the game.

"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."

Blizzard has told people via their technical support Website, that they are aware of the issue, and seeking to solve the problem.

"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."

The bug is caused when the game gets to a menu, and then the game will continually render it over and over again. This is due to the fact that the game has no frame rate lock on the menu so it continually recreates the menu until your card fries.

Luckily, a quick fix is exactly that, a quick fix, go to the directory that you have installed Starcraft 2, and locate the "variables.txt" file. Possible directory may be this "Documents\StarCraft II\variables.txt".

Once you are at the .txt file, add the following:

frameratecapglue=30
frameratecap=60

Hopefully Blizzard can release a patch, to rectify the issue soon, so no more people have to have a dead card on their hands.

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Just a thought, but reading through @ the people who report no problems....they all seem to be Nvidia cards. I'm thinking that isnt a coincidence.

Im running a custom built PC, admittedly the graphics card needs to be swapped out now (Im using a 4850HD). I've had problems running Starcraft 2, Windows 7 shows the problem as a grahics card overheating problem. I have played GTA4 & Hawx that have both been mentioned in this thread as games that dont have limits placed on the menu screens and had no problems whatsoever. Starcraft 2 is the only game that has actually caused my graphics card to overheat, I've never known it happen before. I often play for 12 hours + continuously on the weekends, so you could say I'm a bit of a computer game addict. Just to be clear, the game has not actually "fried" my graphics card, thankfully my computer is clever enough to turn itself off when my card reaches an unsafe temperature. It seems to be quite an oversight on Blizzards part to not include those 2 lines in a text file considering the length of time that the game has been in the making. Lets face it, the game isnt the most demanding graphics wise that's ever been made, so it should never be pushing any of the components in my computer to 100% +. In my opionion the simplicity of the fix suggests that the problem is with Blizzard not testing sufficiently before release.

I would like to share my experience here as hopefully it will help other people.

I have a 2.5 year old Dell XPS with a Nvidia 8800GT that has been running quite nicely with other games till 2 days ago (Settlers 7, Battlefield, Crysis, etc.)

After installing Startcraft 2 two days ago and loading the main menu for around 30s, my card has now "fried".
It did not permanently failed at that exact moment, but it locked my PC and since that moment at the next 2-4 reboots it started producing errors in dell diagnostics (Error Code 5300: 0119) to a point where the card is now effectively dead.

I work in IT and I agree with all the comments posted above that a piece of software/game in **theory** should not be able to fry graphic cards (card and OS should prevent this).

Saying that in this case do we have an exception here??

I wouldn't believe this reports if I had read it on the web, but ... this it is too much of a coincidence - it happened to me and seems like many other people are experiencing the same problem?

PS: This will cost me £200 to get a replacement fix from Dell.

Sorry about your card, but it's freaking hilarious that they have this problem. Ooopsie? Hope they at least pay for a new card

I just bought a new PC 4 days prior to the release, should I be concerned? or not since i'm sure the stock cooling system does it's job and isn't cluttered with dirt and dust yet?

I have the GTX 480 and I was wondering why after like about 2 hours on single player mode it would start to lag really bad and then my computer would just be slowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. I had to let it cool down! I updated the drivers and it helped some but now that I read this I understand that this might be the culprit. I didn't think SC2 was all that intensive. I play at 2560 x 1600 and everything on Ultra and its not that major.

Crysis was not a problem so I was confused when this was happening for SC2.

So the quick fix is a good fix? Or should I wait? Don't want to fry these cards.

Is FUD.

A CUDA system is able to use a graphic card at full (all cores and all pipelines at the same time) during a lot of times without any problem.

Also, Starcraft 2 is not specially cpu and gpu intensive.

Most graphics cards come with just an "adequate" cooler. In this case, I think both card manufacturers and Blizzard are to blame. Even if the menus are uncapped and are refreshing real quick, your card should be able to run for an extensive period of time without malfunctioning or overheating...

Blizzard should issue a patch to prevent this, but I think its the cooling solutions that are barely adequate. I have been playing it with a brand new XFX 5850 Black Edition and the card is well within temp measure I have seen while playing more demanding games like Metro 2033.

Ehh,, just finished a marathon 20+hour session of SCII. No noticable issues with my PC or Vid Card and its just a nVidia GTS 250.... so yeah, I'm not buying that the game can/is frying video cards. I'm more inclined to believe someone was running the game on a improperly maintained and cooled PC and laptop.... speaking of which, why do people even attempt to run these higher end games on laptops in the first place.. bah.

Xionanx said,
Ehh,, just finished a marathon 20+hour session of SCII.

So did that 20+ hour marathon also include a big amount of time sitting in the menu?

Why does everyone think it's just the GPU and not the game? Why the hell would Blizzard come out about the game frying GPU's if it wasn't true? I think of all people they know what they are talking about and have tested it as well.

AJC. said,
Why does everyone think it's just the GPU and not the game? Why the hell would Blizzard come out about the game frying GPU's if it wasn't true? I think of all people they know what they are talking about and have tested it as well.

Maybe you should read it again:
"Screens that are light on detail may make your system overheat if cooling is overall insufficient. ..."

The issue is the GPU not properly taking care of overheating, the problem itself is just produced by running Starcraft 2, or any other game that stresses the GPU.

It's like saying the gun was the killer, rather than the person who wielded it.

Been playing for 3 days off and on for around 4 hours at a time. 8800GTX in SLi and no major problems yet. Settings set on Ultra in-game.

Blizzard, please don't change a thing in regards to this so-called "bug." It helps us separate the quality cards from POS cards, and will help hardware manufacturers design better hardware in the future. They could run StarCraft II during the testing phase of their development.

Hardware should be good enough to not fail no matter what software throws at it. Before any hardware burns-up safety mechanisms should be in place to cause a shut down.

It isn't Blizzards fault that you bought a cheep graphics card with inadequate cooling.

this thing on low nukes the crap out of my 7600gs ive got screen garble all over the place but its still a fun game to play

HoochieMamma said,
This explains my "nvidia driver has recovered" errors. Did this fix and played all day today and I didn't get it once

Your hardware recovered gracefully? IMPOSSIBLE, your entire street is on fire now.

I like all the people above saying that Blizzard did nothing wrong. If it wasn't Blizzard's fault, why would they claim it under a "known issue" and provide a temporary workaround that involved editing their game?

My software isn't the problem, but here's how to fix my software to fix the problem!

I think people are just so in love with this game that took forever to make that they can't possibly believe that it may have bugs.

Chrono951 said,
I like all the people above saying that Blizzard did nothing wrong. If it wasn't Blizzard's fault, why would they claim it under a "known issue" and provide a temporary workaround that involved editing their game?

My software isn't the problem, but here's how to fix my software to fix the problem!

I think people are just so in love with this game that took forever to make that they can't possibly believe that it may have bugs.

Or that in life and the real world, just because it isn't your business/problem doesnt mean you don't help fix the problem. We are always to point to one problem, but the truth probably is that it is a combination of bad hardware and software that don't account for bad hardware that is causing problems.

Chrono951 said,
I like all the people above saying that Blizzard did nothing wrong. If it wasn't Blizzard's fault, why would they claim it under a "known issue" and provide a temporary workaround that involved editing their game?

You don't edit their game, you instruct it to put a cap on the framerate, this wouldn't have been an issue if the user in question used vsync, and the hardware wouldn't be failing if the user in question had adequate cooling(Unless the hardware is at fault of course)

The thing is that it still doesn't matter, Starcraft 2 is involved in this issue, and if there's something they can do to fix this, then of course they should do it, if you witness a murder you will be offered free psychological help, does that mean the psychiatrist is the murderer? No of course not.

Blizzard is not the cause of the problem, but they can help it by telling the game to limit the amount of frames it will put out, this is not an issue that is being solved, but merely an improvement that takes into consideration that an user may not have an adequately cooled system and that this user have not enabled vsync which doubles as an automatic framerate limiter.

FISKER_Q said,

You don't edit their game, you instruct it to put a cap on the framerate, this wouldn't have been an issue if the user in question used vsync, and the hardware wouldn't be failing if the user in question had adequate cooling(Unless the hardware is at fault of course)

The thing is that it still doesn't matter, Starcraft 2 is involved in this issue, and if there's something they can do to fix this, then of course they should do it, if you witness a murder you will be offered free psychological help, does that mean the psychiatrist is the murderer? No of course not.

Blizzard is not the cause of the problem, but they can help it by telling the game to limit the amount of frames it will put out, this is not an issue that is being solved, but merely an improvement that takes into consideration that an user may not have an adequately cooled system and that this user have not enabled vsync which doubles as an automatic framerate limiter.


If v-sync was necessary to not overheat the GPU, Blizzard should have had it force-enabled. Did they do that? No. Meaning poor design at Blizzard's side.

Lamp Post said,

If v-sync was necessary to not overheat the GPU, Blizzard should have had it force-enabled. Did they do that? No. Meaning poor design at Blizzard's side.

"Poor" design, maybe. Their fault? No.

If you take care of your computer the overheat problem will not be a problem(vsync or not), it is only a problem because there are people who don't take care of their computers.

bottom line... i doubt the game is causing anything to overheat. if it does, odds are the GPU was plugged full of dirt which caused the GPU temps to skyrocket or maybe had faulty hardware etc.

i don't think it's possible for software to make hardware fail.

something like 'Prime95' (it's 'torture test') is designed to stress test a PC for stability and i doubt any game would push your system harder than that.

so if your system can withstand Prime95 for many hours then odds are your system is stable. (i know Prime95 does not stress test graphics cards but it tests just about everything else like CPU/PSU/RAM etc)

A bug in STARCRAFT II game causes the video card to literally meltdown and fry ... Now thats what i call a software bug b/w Its not noticeable if you are busy playing rather than lurking on the menus

Your system should be able to run at 100% (all components) for as long as you want without any problems. If you can't, then it's not stable. I blame crappy laptops and people who don't know how to overclock... Software shouldn't be able to break your hardware... unless it's something like Rivatuner ;p

GSDragoon said,
Your system should be able to run at 100% (all components) for as long as you want without any problems. If you can't, then it's not stable. I blame crappy laptops and people who don't know how to overclock... Software shouldn't be able to break your hardware... unless it's something like Rivatuner ;p

You really think this is how it works uh?

How about an application that flashes your screen on and off 1000 times a second? What to run one, and tell us how well your monitor holds up and then tell us that the monitor is just poorly made?

Check out what is publically available in hacker circles. There are many ways to physically damage hardware and especially hardware combinations if that is your intent or you write crap code that shoves data in ways not ever intended.

The trick to this story is you can take the latest, most stressing 3DMark and run it at 100% CPU/GPU usage for a week and not cause this type of damage on the same hardware.

Just last year there was a Flash bug that when triggered would stress any HT enabled CPU and cause an internal sync issue. And this was really interesting after running a 72hr 3DMark burn in, and watching a Flash ad or video on a web page drop a new Intel i7 to its knees, causing sync confusion and then sending CPU temperatures through the roof, often with the CPU and the mainboard unable to halt the system.

thenetavenger said,

You really think this is how it works uh?

How about an application that flashes your screen on and off 1000 times a second? What to run one, and tell us how well your monitor holds up and then tell us that the monitor is just poorly made?

Check out what is publically available in hacker circles. There are many ways to physically damage hardware and especially hardware combinations if that is your intent or you write crap code that shoves data in ways not ever intended.

The trick to this story is you can take the latest, most stressing 3DMark and run it at 100% CPU/GPU usage for a week and not cause this type of damage on the same hardware.

Just last year there was a Flash bug that when triggered would stress any HT enabled CPU and cause an internal sync issue. And this was really interesting after running a 72hr 3DMark burn in, and watching a Flash ad or video on a web page drop a new Intel i7 to its knees, causing sync confusion and then sending CPU temperatures through the roof, often with the CPU and the mainboard unable to halt the system.

You're joking right?
If you flash your screen on and off 1000 times per second you basically emulate a backlight inverter, great.

You told above you can write code that fries hardware, do it please. Write a piece of code that fries a GPU. The rendering in "light on detail" screens should not fry anyone's hardware. 80% of the GPU isn't doing anything, the 20% remaining are working 100%. If you really want to stress your GPU you try Furmark or something - I did not see SC2 beating Furmark on temps in ANY way in my logs...

And what is sync confusion? But then, I like made up words as well....

Still Blizzard's poor coding that made cards run at 100% when it wasn't suppose to anyways, so yes both parties are at fault. Personally my card never fried so I'm glad I stuck with my GTX 260. Still get bsods on Alien Swarm though...

There are many other issues regarding save and sound systems with 5.1/7.1 though they fixed the sound problem with me with the 1.01 update. Still... considering they had all that time to beta test from those that preordered and whatnot, you'd think they would've found these out before release.

Morisato said,
Still Blizzard's poor coding that made cards run at 100% when it wasn't suppose to anyways, so yes both parties are at fault. Personally my card never fried so I'm glad I stuck with my GTX 260. Still get bsods on Alien Swarm though...

There are many other issues regarding save and sound systems with 5.1/7.1 though they fixed the sound problem with me with the 1.01 update. Still... considering they had all that time to beta test from those that preordered and whatnot, you'd think they would've found these out before release.

I'm running an EVGA GTX 260 SuperClocked card. Not having any problems here. Ultra quality to! Running at a steady 50C for about 4 hours.

DarkNovaGamer said,

I'm running an EVGA GTX 260 SuperClocked card. Not having any problems here. Ultra quality to! Running at a steady 50C for about 4 hours.

Are you referring to AS or SC2? I don't have any issues either with SC2 except those listed above via savegame (but fixed after restarting and doing Brutal) and 7.1 surround (also fixed on 1.01 update patch). Only thing I have is a 10 points missing on my achievement list where I've completed campaign.

Morisato said,

Are you referring to AS or SC2? I don't have any issues either with SC2 except those listed above via savegame (but fixed after restarting and doing Brutal) and 7.1 surround (also fixed on 1.01 update patch). Only thing I have is a 10 points missing on my achievement list where I've completed campaign.

Sorry, misread what was originally said. I personally have been playing it on a laptop with the 8600M GT, my friend is playing it on my PC which has the GTX 260. Temp hasn't risen above 50C on it.

Morisato said,
Still Blizzard's poor coding that made cards run at 100% when it wasn't suppose to anyways, so yes both parties are at fault. Personally my card never fried so I'm glad I stuck with my GTX 260. Still get bsods on Alien Swarm though...

There are many other issues regarding save and sound systems with 5.1/7.1 though they fixed the sound problem with me with the 1.01 update. Still... considering they had all that time to beta test from those that preordered and whatnot, you'd think they would've found these out before release.

Not poor coding at all, the game has no framerate limit, and users refuse to use vsync, that's a PEBKAC error, not a coding error.

FISKER_Q said,

Not poor coding at all, the game has no framerate limit, and users refuse to use vsync, that's a PEBKAC error, not a coding error.

God people like you are complete morons. People refuse to use VSync? I shut that **** off because 99% of games now a days VSync causes more problems. Mouse lag being the primary. So your blaming people for not using it? This is a Blizzard coding issue period.

necrosis said,
God people like you are complete morons. People refuse to use VSync? I shut that **** off because 99% of games now a days VSync causes more problems. Mouse lag being the primary. So your blaming people for not using it? This is a Blizzard coding issue period.

BS or isolated Software/Hardware issue on your part.

Oh and V-Sync isn't the issue here, so whether it's on or off the issue still isn't Blizzard, V-sync being on would just automatically have served as a fix (Unless your monitor have a high 3-digit refreshrate or your graphics card overheat just displaying 60 FPS)

FISKER_Q said,
Not poor coding at all, the game has no framerate limit, and users refuse to use vsync, that's a PEBKAC error, not a coding error.

The fix is the 2 second text file edit mentioned in the article and not a PEBKAC issue, so I can't believe this has 59 other comments arguing over who is at fault.

I have never used V-Sync and never will, I don't like lag slowing me down, if you do that's fine.

The fix has resolved the fan on my graphics card spinning at maximum speed when exiting the game which I'm assuming was down to the heat generated by this issue.

No overheating problem with my XFX Radeon 5970 Black Edition. The only problem I got so far is random cursor corruption that dissapears after 2-3 minutes, but it seems to be a problem plaging many Radeon cards judging by the threads on the AMD forums.

Hope they fix this issue soon!

Some other games have uncapped menus as well. I know HAWX does this, as well as GTA IV (fixed in a patch).

What a bunch of crap.

Junk hardware fails. Lots of games try to run "as fast as possible."

If your video card breaks, then it was junk. Either bad hardware, or bad cooling.

You cannot automatically condemn the hardware. Software can cause problems to hardware as well. Just because hardware breaks does NOT mean its the hardwares fault.

Yes, because the software runs the Half and Catch Fire OP code ehhh?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halt_and_Catch_Fire

If something fails, then it is the hardware's fault. Software can only assume they have complete access to all the hardware all the time and run within the constraints the hardware limit's it to. If those constraints lead to failure, you have to question the hardware. (Ambient temperature? remembering that it is summer in the US at the moment, Dust?, Adequate cooling?)

DarkNovaGamer said,
You cannot automatically condemn the hardware. Software can cause problems to hardware as well. Just because hardware breaks does NOT mean its the hardwares fault.
But this is about SC2 running a menu screen without a framerate cap... So it's the hardware's fault. Blizzard continues by claiming that there could be a cooling problem behind these fried cards, and I think they know their game best.

Northgrove said,
But this is about SC2 running a menu screen without a framerate cap... So it's the hardware's fault. Blizzard continues by claiming that there could be a cooling problem behind these fried cards, and I think they know their game best.
If they know their game best then why is this issue still in the game? Hell it was even plaguing the beta!

Blizzard is 100% to blame here not "inadequate cooling". That is just a cop out so Blizzard does not have to pay for people's fried hardware. The issue is unexpected, unknown to the normal user till it happens which can be to late. It puts the video card in a situation that is not expected or planed for.

No problems here either and I have a older 8800 GTS 512mb card....

Mind you my Antec900 Case has a 200mm fan and 3 x 120mm fans cooling it.

i see this issue more and more often in newer games and no amount of cooling seems to stop it, as i've seen posts from people with Wced systems complain about losing cards over it.
since it doesn't happen in every game i blame the devs of these games for it happening.
no it doesn't happen on every system; but the better a game sells that has it, the more common an issue it's going to be.
so it's a no brainer that a game that has sold as well as sc2, that has it, is going to have the highest complaints of this happening.
this might've been avoided with better hardware testing.

FIX for a good GPU:
1) Power off the PC.
2) Take the GPU out.
3) CLEAN!!!!, dust off, vaccum, etc. make sure that the heat sink is with a good air flow!!!
4) enjoy SC2

julianbl said,
FIX for a good GPU:
1) Power off the PC.
2) Take the GPU out.
3) CLEAN!!!!, dust off, vaccum, etc. make sure that the heat sink is with a good air flow!!!
4) enjoy SC2

Step #2 might be impossible on some laptops.

Udedenkz said,

Step #2 might be impossible on some laptops.

True... but you can clean the heat sink of the laptop too. At least, use a vacuum cleaner on the fan.

Udedenkz said,

Step #2 might be impossible on some laptops.

I think his example of #2 is simply for the cleaning. For laptops, you can do a equivalent by making sure the vent ducts are not clogged full of dust bunnies. You can take a can of compressed air and just spray it in there to get the fans to spew out the dust that's been gathering around it.

Additionally, for a lot of poorly designed laptop, a user can try offsetting the bottom of the laptop so that there is some airflow below it or purchase a cooling pad.

Yes, well programs like 3DMark will probably only run for 20-30 seconds max when crunching maximums. Running a simple runaway process as described by the bug report would be like telling your graphics card to add 2+2 together a huge number of times, and for minutes at a time. That will not only max it out, but push it through so efficiently that nothing ever bottlenecks (causing slowdown, and thus, natural heat reduction). Not only that, but programs like 3DMark will generally test using algorithms which are not exactly simple strings such as described. The trouble isn't in calculations, but in the fact that it's grabbing the data that's /already been processed/ and redrawing it at full speed. Looks like Blizzard is zerging peoples' video cards w/this one.

Is this for real? Who approved this article? Seriously, this is retarded...obviously if your graphics card is overheating then you are either 1. running the game settings too high, 2. not properly cooling your GPU, or 3. both 1 and 2.

Elessar said,
Is this for real? Who approved this article? Seriously, this is retarded...obviously if your graphics card is overheating then you are either 1. running the game settings too high, 2. not properly cooling your GPU, or 3. both 1 and 2.

This.

Elessar said,
Is this for real? Who approved this article? Seriously, this is retarded...obviously if your graphics card is overheating then you are either 1. running the game settings too high, 2. not properly cooling your GPU, or 3. both 1 and 2.

Reading comprehension fail.

Elessar said,
Is this for real? Who approved this article? Seriously, this is retarded...obviously if your graphics card is overheating then you are either 1. running the game settings too high, 2. not properly cooling your GPU, or 3. both 1 and 2.

Ok, again, you need to read the article and actually research how this works and why it is a dangerous flaw. Check with hacker sites if you still think this is just a system failing by poor design.

Elessar said,
Is this for real? Who approved this article? Seriously, this is retarded...obviously if your graphics card is overheating then you are either 1. running the game settings too high, 2. not properly cooling your GPU, or 3. both 1 and 2.

This ^ is why I can still win some games on StarCraft II

mrmckeb said,
Hilarious, so now we have to replace our Crysis meme with "But can it run StarCraft II?"

More like...

"Does it still run after running StarCraft II?"

It's stupid people trying to blame Blizzard for this, the problem is graphics cards running at max speed with rubbish or cheap cooling, after all if a GPU can't run at it's max speed without melting then it's at fault. They should be sending hate towards the hardware company, not Blizzard. Although it's still right of Blizzard to patch this to minimise damage if they can.

This is almost as fail as people blaming <insert new 360 game here> for killing their 360's back when the RROD was a major issue and getting all angry with the game company, when the root cause was inadequate cooling/bad solder in the 360.

DrCheese said,
It's stupid people trying to blame Blizzard for this, the problem is graphics cards running at max speed with rubbish or cheap cooling, after all if a GPU can't run at it's max speed without melting then it's at fault. They should be sending hate towards the hardware company, not Blizzard. Although it's still right of Blizzard to patch this to minimise damage if they can.

This is almost as fail as people blaming <insert new 360 game here> for killing their 360's back when the RROD was a major issue and getting all angry with the game company, when the root cause was inadequate cooling/bad solder in the 360.

Um, ya, you have no clue about how this works and how the code can affect even the best system.

I could write an application that even on the best system could fry the CPU, GPU, HD, and probably even pop your monitor.

There are many ways to do stuff like this, everything from isolate and disable failsafes, to over stress operations that don't raise overall chip temperature (running code through one physical section of the CPU/GPU), or even create heat inconsistency and by shutting down one physical section of the chip and stressing the other parts.

If you ever move in the intelligence community or hacker crowds, concepts like these are known and exploitable on virtually all OSes and hardware.

PS... No the XBox Red Ring flaw had nothing to do with any specific game, as just poor ventilation and hot/cold fluctuations were the cause and any game could meet this level of performance, even the dashboard...

thenetavenger said,
Um, ya, you have no clue about how this works and how the code can affect even the best system.

Maybe it can, his point is that it shouldn't, and no, it really shouldn't affect any system, a system should be able to run at a 100% load, with stock cooling, and a case with good air flow.

The problem is users, they're so busy drooling over their 3-digit fraps counter in the upper right corner that they forgot there's no point in having screen tearing, had these users bothered to use vsync they wouldn't have this problem.

FISKER_Q said,

Maybe it can, his point is that it shouldn't, and no, it really shouldn't affect any system, a system should be able to run at a 100% load, with stock cooling, and a case with good air flow.

The problem is users, they're so busy drooling over their 3-digit fraps counter in the upper right corner that they forgot there's no point in having screen tearing, had these users bothered to use vsync they wouldn't have this problem.


Stuff ain't designed to run on 100% load constantly. Blizzard should know this, but they screwed up.

Lamp Post said,

Stuff ain't designed to run on 100% load constantly. Blizzard should know this, but they screwed up.

The GPU load isn't even 100%, as someone else said furmark is way worse, but even if it shouldn't run on 100% the hardware has to stop it, not the software.

Any decent programmer and piece of software at the hardware level needs to have built in fail-over and prevention.

Any one who's taken a class in computer science knows this. This is no different then the underlying drivers turning off the computer instantly when the CPU is detected to go over a certain preset tjunction to prevent overheating. This isn't rocket science.

This is an epic fail for whichever manufacturer created these graphic cards. Any professional SQA team for the company should be doing stress testing before release.

DrCheese said,
It's stupid people trying to blame Blizzard for this, the problem is graphics cards running at max speed with rubbish or cheap cooling, after all if a GPU can't run at it's max speed without melting then it's at fault.

I agree. This may be poor programming, but Blizzard isn't at fault for any frying graphics cards. The article even states "if cooling is insufficient".

thenetavenger said,

Um, ya, you have no clue about how this works and how the code can affect even the best system...

+1

Tikitiki said,
This is an epic fail for whichever manufacturer created these graphic cards. Any professional SQA team for the company should be doing stress testing before release.

+1
This is a game, the objective of the code is not to fry any hardware, if you are overclocking the hardware that's a different story, but under the normal settings, it should NOT cause overheating.
If hardware is failing do to usage, then it's not properly designed and it doesn't have the required amount of cooling.

Udedenkz said,
So, then, their graphic cards would also fry running something like 3DMark...?

No. In this case the graphics card renders as fast as it possibly can--at 100% throughput which even 3DMark can't hit--while doing basically nothing. 3DMark renders complex screens which take a lot of time to render (comparatively) whereas this renders extremely quickly. On the menu screen you would be getting 1000+ FPS whereas you would rarely exceed 100 in 3DMark.

trag3dy said,
Wouldn't those 2 lines just do the same as turning on v-sync? Or am I missing something here?

No, Vertical sync waits for the vertical draw lines to be synchronized so that you don't get tearing. If you don't have v-sync enabled, but you activate those 2 lines, you'll still get tearing, but at 60 frames per second. Think of it like a printer printing out a whole page at once (like a stamp). That's v-sync. Non-v-sync (and interlaced) is where the printer prints out every other line down, then scans back up and prints out every other line it missed.