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Watch out — Diablo IV might break your Nvidia GPU

Following last weekend’s Diablo IV open beta, reports came flooding in saying that the game might be breaking Nvidia graphics cards. This means various crashes and subpar performance, as well as even outright dead GPUs.

Fortunately, not all cards are affected, and there are steps you can take to protect yourself. Here’s what we know.

Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3090 Ti Gaming OC on an orange background.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

After a long wait, many players rushed to play Diablo IV during its open beta weekend. The anticipated entry in one of Blizzard’s most successful franchises is not one of the most demanding games this year, so the majority of modern gaming rigs should be able to handle it just fine — and they did. Most PCs came out unscathed, but some users were met with a very unpleasant surprise when their GPUs stopped working.

So far, all reports point to there being a problem with one specific type of card — Nvidia’s RTX 3080 Ti, manufactured by Gigabyte. It appears that cards made by other manufacturers are safe, but it never hurts to take extra precautions until Blizzard or Nvidia addresses the issue.

Those who ran into problems rushed to Reddit and Blizzard forums to report the issue. Some gamers experienced crashes, including monitors turning themselves off and players needing to reboot the entire PC. Others, like mkp0203 on Reddit, saw their graphics card completely die.

“While playing Diablo for about 20 minutes, during a cutscene in the chapel, my monitors turned off. Had to restart my PC and the motherboard is now posting error code 97. Nothing is working. My GPU is dead,” said the Reddit user.

The problem is not quite so severe for everyone, and it’s hard to estimate how many users are affected by this. Amazon’s New World initially suffered from a similar problem, and it also bricked some of the best GPUs, including the RTX 3090 Ti.

Screenshot from the Diablo IV trailer.
Blizzard Entertainment

In any case, if you want to be extra safe, you probably don’t have to avoid the game entirely. One way to prevent this issue is to limit the maximum frames per second (fps) on your GPU and not just in the game. It’s also recommended that you don’t overclock the card while playing Diablo IV, as that puts an extra strain on the GPU.

If you want to limit the frame rate for the time being, you’ll need to open up your Nvidia Control Panel, right-click on your desktop to launch it, then scroll down to Manage 3D Settings. In there, make sure that Max Frame Rate is enabled, and set it to the same fps as your monitor’s refresh rate. Even if you did this before, you might need to do it again after updating drivers, as these settings can sometimes be reset during that time.

If you notice a drop in performance while gaming, it’s probably best to quit the game than strain your GPU. It’s unclear whether Gigabyte will be replacing the broken RTX 3080 Ti GPUs free of charge, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. We’ll need to hear from Blizzard, Gigabyte, or Nvidia to know what’s really going on, and will update this article when we do.

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Monica J. White
Monica is a UK-based freelance writer and self-proclaimed geek. A firm believer in the "PC building is just like expensive…
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