Nvidia Pulls New Drivers - Warning!

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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.

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 NVIDIA.com. 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.