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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
01-24-2010, 01:17 PM
For those that can't understand why they can play some "graphics intensive" games with no problem but this one causes overheating, here's the deal:

A computer has a lot of different components: CPU, GPU, memory, etc... Each of those components may have a lot of subcomponents. (e.g. GPU has geometry shaders, vertex shaders, pixel shaders, memory, maybe a physics coprocessor, etc...).

When you run a particular game at its highest framerate, it is very unlikely that it will run all of those components at their highest load. In fact, many may not be used at all. Instead, you will drive ONE (sub)component at 100%, and the others will be bottlenecked by that one component and just run as fast as needed to keep the pipeline fed.

Which component is the bottleneck, and how hard the other components have to run, is going to vary from game to game. Maybe a game does a lot of CPU computations every frame, and the GPU doesn't get used much at all. Maybe you have a lot of small triangles with simple shading, so the vertex shader gets used a lot but the pixel shaders don't. Or maybe you have big triangles with lots of textures and glowie effects, so the vertex shaders don't get used a lot but the pixel shaders do.

Whichever is the case, assuming the driver writers know what they're doing, the unused/less used components are going to draw only a fraction of their max power levels, and therefore run at a fraction of their max temperature.

But sometimes, you're going to find a game that uses a lot of these components, and does so in a way that they're pretty load balanced. So its got one component running at 100%, and a bunch of other components running near 100%. And *boom* suddenly the PC that ran fine with all those other games that didn't push every component hard starts overheating.

It's not the game developers fault for using every bit of power available on your system. Its your fault for not cooling it right.

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