Last Tuesday, to coincide with the release of its next-generation Ion GPU, Nvidia put up a new graphics driver package. These 196.75 drivers promised compatibility with the new hardware as well as performance improvements, multi-GPU support, and ambient occlusion support in a handful of titles. Instead of those perks, as IncGamers reports, some users claim the new drivers caused their graphics cards to keel over and die.
The culprit? Malfunctioning fan control software, according to a Blizzard technical support rep who looked into complaints on the StarCraft II beta forums. "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," IncGamers quotes the rep as saying.
Late on Friday, Nvidia provided us with the following statement:
NVIDIA 196.75 Driver Alert
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 do not download this driver. Instead, please stay with, or return to 196.21 WHQL drivers. Release 196.75 drivers have been temporarily removed from our website and we also are asking our partners and others to remove temporarily this 196.75 WHQL driver as well.
In case you installed the 196.75 drivers already, Nvidia also sent us a link with instructions on how to downgrade to an older release. There's no magic formula there; just head to Windows' Device Manager, find your graphics card, and click "Roll Back Driver" in the corresponding tab. If that fails, you can always uninstall the new driver via the "Uninstall or change a program" control panel and download the previous release again.