Starcraft II overheating blamed on poor cooling

Blizzard has responded to complaints about Starcraft II melting graphics cards by blaming the issue on poor PC ventilation.

The hotly-anticipated game has drawn fierce criticism on user forums after a number of gamers reported overheating GPUs which in some cases led to permanently fried graphics cards.

The company has admitted that there is a problem with a frame-rate cap which causes some graphics cards to get all hot and bothered, ironically when rendering simple scenes.

"Screens that are light on detail may make your system overheat if cooling is overall insufficient," said a spokesblizz, passing the buck. "This is because the game has nothing to do so it is primarily just working on drawing the screen very quickly."

Blizzard has offered a temporary fix for PC users which involves editing the variables.txt file to implement the missing frame rate cap.

To prevent your card from going bang, you should add the following lines to the file which can be found in Documents/StarCraft II Beta if you used the default installer.

frameratecapglue=30

frameratecap=60

If you are still experiencing overheating problems the numbers at the end of each line can be reduced, though naturally that may impact performance.

Technically, uncapped frame rates should not cause a properly-ventilated graphics card to overheat unless, of course, they have been deliberately overclocked beyond the manufacturers' specifications.

Giving your PC a good clean could be rather a good idea, as dust build-up can severely affect air intake and cooling.

Blizzard has been roundly criticised for not catching the bug before the damage was done, and it's not yet clear if the company will compensate affected users possessing permanently-damaged hardware.

We strongly suspect that they'll play the poor maintenance card, fix the bug in an upcoming patch, and hope the whole issue goes away quietly.