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Easy Tweak to Avoid StarCraft II Overheating PC

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 67 comments

This is what happens when you have TOO much power.

If you've got StarCraft 2, we don't doubt that you've been enjoying it immensely over the past few days. Of course, like any other new product, there are a number of issues that you should be aware of.

For those of you with exceptionally fast systems but just barely adequate cooling, be aware that there are certain screens that make your hardware work pretty hard, and potentially cause overheating.

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 Beta\variables.txt file and add these lines:

frameratecapglue=30

frameratecap=60

You may replace these numbers if you want to.

Of course, if you're not having any heat issues, it's nice to know that you're not running with any sort of frame rate cap at all.

Other known issues at present time include:

The installer allows multiple copies of the game to be installed

Unlike previous Blizzard installers, this one will always let you install another copy of the game. It does not check for previous installations so be careful of how many folders you end up making.

Compatibility Modes will not work properly

Attempting to run StarCraft 2 on a compatibility mode (Windows XP SP3 from Windows 7, for example) will make it crash. Please run the game normally.

Black Screens

There have been multiple reports of black screen issues being related to the use of a Quick Cam webcam.

In some cases exiting out of the software has resolved the issue but others have reported a need to uninstall the software for the camera in order to resolve the problem.

There are also reports where some security programs like Comodo firewall can cause the game to start and stay on a black screen.


We have a list of known bugs that will affect StarCraft II's operations.

* A language pack error may occur under certain conditions.

      - Potential Fix – Ensuring your system clock is correct can help resolve the error.

    * Players can send voice but do not receive voice in game on Windows 7 machines with Realtek HD Audio sound cards when the Output Device on the Sounds Menu option is set to the Speakers.

    * Sound does not play properly on some hardware set to 7.1 sound on Windows Vista/Windows 7.

      - Potential Workaround – Change sound output speaker options to 5.1 or lower.

    * Changing the OS speaker mode on Windows Vista or Windows 7 while the game is running causes all sound to stop

    * Players that are attempting to download or install to a Hard Drive using the FAT32 file format will be unable to download or use the digital installer.

      - Workaround – Download or install the digital client to a NTFS formatted hard drive.

    * Mac version 10.6 – Occasionally a crash is occurring with Nvidia drivers.

    * Mac - Using a USB headset will drastically lower in game FPS.

    * There is a chance where multiple graphic issues may occur for units, structures, terrain, and transmissions.

      - This tends to be one set of objects (like a supply depot) or level of terrain where textures are swapped or look a bit psychedelic. It doesn't affect the whole game screen or cause any other visual oddities.

    * Galaxy Editor - Terrain editor lags when dragging the mouse around on the map.

    * Galaxy Editor - Changing certain values in the Galaxy Editor is causing a crash while in detail view.

    * Graphical corruption can occur when Paged Pool memory gets low.

      - Potential Fix – Close unnecessary background applications and restart client.

Discuss
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Top Comments
  • 33 Hide
    Ragnar-Kon , August 1, 2010 8:51 AM
    Quote:
    Mac - Using a USB headset will drastically lower in game FPS.

    HaHahahahaha.... classic.
    How the two are even related boggles my mind.
  • 10 Hide
    hardcore_gamer , August 1, 2010 9:45 AM
    I'm not having any issues...great game btw :D 
Other Comments
  • 9 Hide
    fyasko , August 1, 2010 8:47 AM
    better or more case fans maybe?
  • 33 Hide
    Ragnar-Kon , August 1, 2010 8:51 AM
    Quote:
    Mac - Using a USB headset will drastically lower in game FPS.

    HaHahahahaha.... classic.
    How the two are even related boggles my mind.
  • 0 Hide
    xyzionz , August 1, 2010 8:57 AM
    I don't know about all this bugs or whatsoever problems, but I think that starcraft 2 might just become the new furmark lol
    200 units each player in 8 player war hahaha, imagine that
    and clash in the center of big game hunter, wonder that map still around in sc2?
  • -5 Hide
    joytech22 , August 1, 2010 9:40 AM
    Fail on blizzards behalf, 11 years to work on a game and it's buggier than Crysis was when released, I think..

    Except it's the opposite, instead of requiring a massive system, SC2 negatively affects high-end systems! :o 
  • 10 Hide
    hardcore_gamer , August 1, 2010 9:45 AM
    I'm not having any issues...great game btw :D 
  • -7 Hide
    Tamz_msc , August 1, 2010 9:53 AM
    Is SC2 that much of a graphics intensive game that it is causing overheating problems?The graphics seem dated to me.There is absolutely nothing to justify such performance for what seems like 2 year old graphics.What was twelve years of hype for?SC2 is a good game but nothing as revolutionary as the original was.Maybe the original StarCraft set the bar too high for even its sequel to match.
  • 0 Hide
    bearracuda , August 1, 2010 10:07 AM
    "Sound does not play properly on some hardware set to 7.1 sound on Windows Vista/Windows 7."

    - Potential Workaround – Change sound output speaker options to SUCK or lower.
  • 3 Hide
    Reynod , August 1, 2010 10:16 AM
    Our preordered copy arrives tomorrow morning ... must be the last of the flipping 850,000 preorders I recon ... dead last.

    Jeez Blizzard ... we beta tested for two previous games for you ... you could have given me a freebee this time.

    I still have the music from Starcraft I going round in my head.

    I must have smoked too many cubans with my motorbike helmet on while playing the game eh?
  • 9 Hide
    compprob237 , August 1, 2010 10:35 AM
    Graphics intense?
    I got a Pentium IV 2.4ghz (northwood, 800mhz FSB) with 2gb ram and a 6600GT running it without much trouble. Albeit, it's at almost all minimum settings but... that's a 7 year old system (3-4 years for the GPU)?

    Some of these issues I can understand. Some of them though, Some companies just CAN'T test for every single hardware configuration. Hence why they release patches/fixes later on. Think of it like this: if they're releasing patches/fixes at least they're trying to fix the problems. (eyes a certain company that starts with an A that decided to fix the problem only after people started complaining)

    Also, most of these "issues" sound quite minor (except for the Mac issue sounds like driver/interface related and possibly a minor code tweak will fix it).
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , August 1, 2010 11:29 AM
    on my setup the sound is ONLY in stereo mode. in EACH and EVERY other game i can have 5.1 without any troubles, both analog 5.1 and trough digital dolby pro logic. both do not work in starcraft2. (win7 64, i7, 6gb)

    and yes, it is f.. incredible, that the least pretty the screen, the more fan noise i can hear.
  • 7 Hide
    devorakman112 , August 1, 2010 12:00 PM
    the overheating issue is no joke, i beta tested the game since day one, and on my exceptionally dated geforece 5500fx, it ran decently on minimum settings, but temps did go up a bit (not unexpected)

    many, many people complained of video cards actually becoming damaged from this problem. i cannot believe blizzard didnt install some kind of auto cap on menu screens, this problem should have been forseen.
  • 6 Hide
    MF Doom , August 1, 2010 12:02 PM
    I'm pretty sure you mean "Documents\Starcraft II\variables.txt" No "beta" involved, otherwise you'll be looking for a file that doesn't exist for a great while.
  • 1 Hide
    nukemaster , August 1, 2010 12:21 PM
    compprob237, So your saying having issues with Realtek cards(not hear in game voice?) that are in 90+% of Windows 7 system is not a big issue. I am sure this should have been caught in the Betas.
  • 0 Hide
    ap3x , August 1, 2010 12:24 PM
    Tamz_mscIs SC2 that much of a graphics intensive game that it is causing overheating problems?The graphics seem dated to me.There is absolutely nothing to justify such performance for what seems like 2 year old graphics.What was twelve years of hype for?SC2 is a good game but nothing as revolutionary as the original was.Maybe the original StarCraft set the bar too high for even its sequel to match.


    What are you talking about SC2 is exactly the same as SC1 but with some new units and a new story and a whole lot of spit shine. It is just that it is not being compared to more current RTS's that kick it's ass at everything except for the stuff Blizzard does well at. COH, SupCom to name just a couple. There is nothing revolutionary about either game. The first one was just great for it's time but even then you had Total Annihilation that was revolutionary.
  • 8 Hide
    demonhorde665 , August 1, 2010 1:11 PM
    bearracuda"Sound does not play properly on some hardware set to 7.1 sound on Windows Vista/Windows 7."- Potential Workaround – Change sound output speaker options to SUCK or lower.



    5.1sound does not suck .. only a rich a-- spoiled baby would think otherwise .. seriously who has room for 7 sat's most people i know barely manage to fit 4.1 or 5.1 sound set ups on thier desk. heck 2.1 if it's teh right quality adn wattage sounds just fuckign awsome even (logtech makes a rather awsome set of 2.1's) , what's more ,no game actually outputs true 7.1 audio any way , every thing is on 5.1 so what sucks about audio with less than 7.1 speakers ???
  • -7 Hide
    HTDuro , August 1, 2010 1:21 PM
    hmmm dude lol alot of ppl play on home LCD TV now , and ppl have home theater audio plugged to it .. you see more of those setup right now. but directly on pc .... if you got a dedicated room for pc like me, you will have a 7.1 :p  trust me
  • -1 Hide
    randomroger , August 1, 2010 1:44 PM
    So, the GPU works harder when each screen is easier to render? Is drawing a lot of easy frames quickly harder than drawing less hard frames? Either way, it sounds like it would push the GPU the same as there's no cap...
  • 2 Hide
    topcold , August 1, 2010 1:52 PM
    In the *BETA* folder? Why beta?
  • -1 Hide
    JimmiG , August 1, 2010 3:00 PM
    randomrogerSo, the GPU works harder when each screen is easier to render? Is drawing a lot of easy frames quickly harder than drawing less hard frames? Either way, it sounds like it would push the GPU the same as there's no cap...


    I guess there's less holding the GPU back during simple scenes - less PCI-E transfers, less VRAM-GPU transfers, less work for the CPU to do. etc. So it's just spitting out frames.

    The scene that Furmark draws doesn't look very complicated either, but it pushes the GPU much harder than Crysis etc. When the 4870 VRM's started overheating when running Furmark, many were concerned that this might happen in real games too. ATI's response was that no game pushes the GPU as hard as Furmark. But maybe they didn't tell the whole truth?
  • 6 Hide
    tayb , August 1, 2010 3:19 PM
    This was beta tested for months by thousands and thousands of people and blizzard ignored almost all of the comments except for those pertaining to balance and gameplay. I mentioned almost all of these sound problems back in April on the sc2 forums and I was definitely not the first or the last to do so. What a shame. Blizzard has been aware of these issues for months.
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