SMAC is overheating my Win7 64-bit, Core Duo 2.0Ghz, 4GB RAM machine and when I check the Task Manager after playing a few minutes (nothing major happens in the game, I just build my base and move the scout around), I see the following: enter image description here

How should I stop this from happening? Is there a patch that counter-acts this? Would a CPU throttler work? Or something else?

I'm using the GOG version which is already supposed to be patched to the highest official version.

  • 1
    I've been advised this may have something to do with running SMAC on a 64-bit machine, but I haven't verified this myself yet.
    – warsong
    Commented Jun 23, 2012 at 19:15
  • Wow that game is as old as dirt. How odd. Spectacular game however. Good choice.
    – Ender
    Commented Jun 23, 2012 at 19:42
  • Yeah I did play it when it was first released. Came back for the nostalgia.
    – warsong
    Commented Jun 23, 2012 at 20:02
  • Considering that the GOG version doesn't (as of last time I checked) include Alien Crossfire, I don't see how it could be the most recent version.
    – Fambida
    Commented Jun 24, 2012 at 3:20
  • It doesn't include AX but from what I've read the problem exists also on AX, even when patched.
    – warsong
    Commented Jun 24, 2012 at 9:07

3 Answers 3


I keep play SMAX till now, and it works fine on my Win7/x64.

  1. Make a clean installation SMAX (or backup an existing copy);
  2. Install SMAX patch, searchable smacp4e, last time seen here;
  3. Install Windows Fix, searchable smacxp103fus or SMAC Win2000 XP Compatibility Update v1.03f; last time seen here.

As far as I know, all patches are available for SMAC and SMAX.

Then try the following settings in config:

[Alpha Centauri]
DirectDraw=0 ;; important
Video Mode=2560 ;; your screen resolution

ForceOldVoxelAlgorithm=1 ;; important

The patches above have quite a few of bugs fixed, including operation on fast or non-Intel CPU's, crashes on air-to-air combat (when fighter defend the city against bombers), division by zero when automated units in polar areas, and many others.

It even works like a charm on WQXGA (2560×1600) screen with no crashes on scrolling.

And it does not require any compatibility settings in Windows.

  • I eventually gave up and put WXP on a different machine, it works fine now, no high CPU usage. I think there are some weird processor calls being made that worked with WXP but don't work on W7. Anyway it's sorted now. Thanks. I will check this out and if it does behave okay on W7 then I'll accept it.
    – warsong
    Commented Jul 3, 2012 at 21:22
  • Where do you get these patches
    – Mawg
    Commented Aug 21, 2019 at 12:46
  • 1
    @Mawg, online resources for old games get old and die out gradually, too, but googling for the patches' names (with quotes for exact search) usually gives me some results with download links. Commented Aug 21, 2019 at 13:01
  • I have been trying that. I got the first patch, but not the second :-(
    – Mawg
    Commented Aug 21, 2019 at 16:09
  • 1
    @Mawg, Here it is. I've found it on my old backup and revealed is full name SMAC_Win2000_XP_Compatibility_Update_v1.03f.exe within, which is searchable. I believe I got if from CivFanatics, too. Commented Aug 21, 2019 at 17:12

The game runs fine in 32-bit Windows XP (with the usual SMAC patches) on the same machine. It's still hard to prove, but I think it has a lot to do with being 32-bit.

My guess is that some CPU calls are being made that W7 64-bit can't handle properly. I don't know how to prove this, but I've seen it mentioned in several forum threads by now, and starting to see some correlation.

I'll update this when I've checked out a few more possibilities.


Open Alpha Centauri.Ini file and under [Alpha Centauri] add this: DirectDraw=0

  • 3
    Why does this fix it?
    – Frank
    Commented Nov 16, 2014 at 18:06

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