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Old 03-05-2010, 03:38 PM   #1
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NVIDIA 196.75 kills video cards

NVIDIA 196.75 kills video cards
05 Mar 2010 at 02:26:09 by Tom Hernandez

Several StarCraft II beta testers have reported their PC or video cards have died after installing the NVIDIA 196.75 drivers. The large amount of reports have prompted Blizzard Entertainment to issue an official statement on the tech support forums after identifying the source of the problem.

Some players were blaming the StarCraft II Beta client's latest patch, but a Blizzard Tech Support representative quickly explained the issue is caused by the latest NVIDIA 196.75 drivers.

Blizzard recommended to uninstall the NVIDIA 196.75 drivers, and to downgrade to the previous driver version: 196.21. Starcraft II Beta is not the only application affected, thus this is a worldwide alert to every gamer out there. Blizzard concluded the fans control in this NVIDIA driver is not working properly.

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.

Some EVGA enthusiasts have been able to manually change the GPU fans speed settings using the EVGA Precision Tool to run their fans at 77% speed to compensate.

Blizzard Tech Support representative Datth, posted the following alert to all gamers:

We're getting reports where users are getting intermittent low FPS after installing these drivers. It seems that it is related to the fan control included in these drivers not working correctly and is causing the video card to overheat on 3D applications. This will affect Warcraft 3, World of Warcraft and StarCraft 2 Beta. Please uninstall the drivers and revert back to the older ones.

* Windows XP
* Windows XP 64-bit
* Windows Vista/7 32-bit
* Windows Vista/7 64-bit

More information can be found on NVIDIA forum threads such as this and this.

We reached NVIDIA tonight for an official statement concerning this worrysome issue, and they quickly replied within less than an hour. NVIDIA's response is:

We are aware that some customers have reported fan speed issues with the latest 196.75 WHQL drivers on Until we can verify and root cause this issue, we recommend that customers stay with, or return to 196.21 WHQL drivers. Release 196.75 drivers have been temporarily removed from our Web site in the meantime.

One of these gamers reported insane egg-cooking temperatures as high as 104'C. Among the complaints found in the Starcraft II Beta forums are the following:
My GPU is going almost 100% usage and my temperatures are at 104'C, 1C below max. I'm wondering if it's because StarCraft 2 beta REALLY is a demanding game, or if it's overusing my GPU . Fans are always @ 100% and side case is off. My normal temps for (halo, mw2, oblivion are 80-90C.) in Window mode or fullscreen, doesn't matter. - Velakan.velakan

While playing it has happened several times already. The screen freezes and then i get the msg: Nvidia driver stopped responding and then SC2 closes. I am using the latest video driver.- Aastu.pacemaker

So drivers broke my GTX 295. Who to blame? Blizzard or nVidia? - Sydarm.scwire

Hello, I have a Nvidia 9800GT. Well when I found the posts talking about the flashing of screens related to the New Nvidia Drivers, I realized that that was why my previous Video Card went. I spent a week in utter pain and misery wondering what was wrong with my PC. I had Dell send me a replacement video card and even spoke with Nvidia as well since my Direct X versions were all over the place. Well I will not be playing the beta period until I receive notice of a fix from you guys until it is resolved. Well Unfortunately for me the bottom line was StarCraft 2 burned out my PC. I hope you come up with a fix soon, I will be anticipating it so I can resume trying out the wonderful game. Thankfully I have the new card and it was under warranty, but I will resume playing Starcraft 1 until it is fixed Thank you for your time and support.

My specs are:
Dell XPS 420
6 GB Ram
Quad Core at 2.39 Ghz
483GB Hard drive
Direct X 11
Vista 32 Bit
Nvidia GeForce 9800GT- Sniperbwd.zerg

I just downloaded the New Nvidia Geforce Driver 196.75 Windows 7 64 bit version. Well, as soon as I start up Starcraft 2 the game begins to flicker on and off. It just keeps doing this every second or so until the game just crashes. I guess I'll have to resort to my previous drivers to play the game still, but can this be fixed?- Grandkinz.scf

I'm having new issues after properly installing the new drivers from Nvidia located here: (I am using win7 x64). When I launched the game, a black screen appeared and after two minutes the game crashed and generated a report. When I Relaunched the game I got up to the SC2 Loading screen and the game flickered a lot, eventually crashing around 50% of the way through. The 3rd time the game loaded fine, but when I alt tabbed to the desktop and went back into the game the game proceeded to flicker very fast, eventually slowing down to a still image. What else can I include to narrow this problem down?-

I posted this on the general forum and someone suggested that this should be posted in the tech support so that the blues will know about it. This is regaurding the latest nvidia drivers that were released today. Several people including myself have stated that these drivers causes crashes and in my case, the screen flickers in fullscreen mode, once every second. Reverting back to previous drivers solves this problem. Just a heads up. - Strike.exia
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Old 03-07-2010, 06:24 PM   #2
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I'm somewhat glad the notebook updates are behind the pc updates. But I do see a decrease in my notebook's performance since I downloaded the newest patch

Edit: So I downgraded and 2 days later I get my first gfx card error, thank you nvidia.

Last edited by NeonLight; 03-11-2010 at 11:02 PM.
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Old 03-13-2010, 02:44 AM   #3
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The drivers are fine for me i use them, only issue i have heard of is the fan speed doesn't go up as the card heats up while gaming, good thing i crank mine up manually to about 75% and it stays nice and cool for games. But ye i would suggest if you use a program like evga precision or any tool like it crank speed manually if not just roll back drivers to 196.21 i think it was?

Last edited by EquilibriuM; 03-13-2010 at 02:45 AM.
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Old 03-21-2010, 04:44 AM   #4
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A few links at the above URL
Nvidia admits GeForce drivers responsible for fan problems, issues updates
By Scott M. Fulton, III | Published March 18, 2010, 4:14 PM

Version 196.75 of Nvidia's GeForce/Ion drivers were indeed responsible for fan overheating problems reported by users. That's the verdict from Nvidia, which in a second round of responses to customer concerns has released version 197.13, which it assures users doesn't have the problem.

According to a frequent contributor to Nvidia's support forum, the problem was with the release version of the driver (other contributors reported no such problem with the beta). Specifically, version 196.75 ran the on-board graphics chip fan at 40% speed like it's supposed to. But when the card got hotter, the speed boost failed to kick in.

As one tester verified, "Up to 72 [Celsius], the fan remains at 40%. At 73 it increases to 41%, at 74 to 42%, and at 75 it varies between 44 and 45%."

To its credit, Nvidia's response has actually been quite swift. Over the past few days, registered driver users received e-mail messages advising them to roll back to an earlier version. One Dell XPS M1730 customer tried that, only to find that certain data left behind from a simple uninstall made it impossible to reboot his computer except into Safe Mode -- where, after a short time, it would freeze. A volunteer pointed out the M1730 is a laptop...and the 196.75 drivers were for desktop PC cards.

Other volunteers suggested the use of driver cleaning utilities such as Guru3D Driver Sweeper. Meanwhile, they advised others to use manual utilities to monitor their processor temperatures.

Though some long-time forum members were prematurely lamenting about how long they'd have to wait to see software fixes, they actually did come within a few days. But that wasn't good enough for some who complained they lost their cards entirely. Over the weekend, prior to Nvidia's announcement, one forum contributor commented, "I have filled out an error report form and it seems that all I (we) can do now is wait. The possible fixes I have heard include: RMA video card for a new one; buy a new video card. These seem like rather poor fixes."

Sensing the onset of a possible customer revolt, forum contributor ImNutz4NvSLI (who, we can assume, is nuts for Nvidia SLI) attempted to put out the flames: "Paying attention to your GPUs temps is your responsibility. I can't imagine a situation in which my GPUs would get to over 100c and I wouldn't know about it. I am not trying to be cruel or insensitive, I am just stating it like it is. In this world today people are always looking for something for nothing, and looking to pass blame and not take responsibility for their own actions. While this driver may have broken automatic fan control on some users GPUs, certainly not all, fan control was still there to use and was working, all you had to do was pay attention to the temps."

The contributor pointed to a thread he set up last Saturday, containing illustrated instructions for setting up manual temperature monitors in Windows. Utilities such as EVGA Precision, for instance, show little temperature indicators in the Windows system tray, and can even overlay game screens with temperature monitor information on-demand.
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