News MSI defends GTX 1080, 1070 review sample BIOS hack

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Gareth Halfacree, 22 Jun 2016.

  1. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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  2. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    Any idea if it voids warranty?
     
  3. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    It's an official BIOS, so it certainly shouldn't void the warranty.
     
  4. David

    David RIP Tel

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    I know Asus has form with this sort of thing (albeit with motherboards), so I guess I shouldn't be surprised that MSI are willing to fiddle their way up the benchmark tables too.
     
  5. Corky42

    Corky42 What did walle eat for breakfast?

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    Would it even be noticeable in benchmarks? Don't get me wrong things like this are morally and ethical wrong (IMO) but technically does it make much difference.
     
  6. Yadda

    Yadda New Member

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    If all the BIOS "hack" does is default the card to "OC mode" without the need to run the supplied app or whatever, then I don't see a problem.
     
  7. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag New Member

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    Haha Asus and MSI are basically the VW of the computer world. But this time, their decision doesn't make sense. Their heatsinks are clearly capable of dissipating the heat with the better BIOS, so why not just leave it there?
     
  8. Yadda

    Yadda New Member

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    They're not making the cards do anything untoward though. According to the article, all the BIOS "hack" does is default the card to the aggressive "OC mode", something that anyone can do with the supplied MSI app anyway, regardless of which BIOS their card has.
     
  9. DragunovHUN

    DragunovHUN I want to change my name but I also don't

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    Regardless of their intention, this is the wrong way to go about it. If you want reviewers to be aware that your app can enable a different profile, you put a little note in the box of the card so they see it when they go to open it, not sneak it past them. Yes, it's only a minuscule 25mhz extra, but if they want to test OC, they can do it on their own terms and indicate as such instead of writing the review as if it was a stock card because they don't know you enabled oc mode on them.

    Or if you think that mode is oh so important, make it default for retail units too instead of leaving it up to the user to maybe install the app (which I certainly wouldn't do)
     
  10. Yadda

    Yadda New Member

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    At most, all they need is to add a caveat: "Review cards tested in OC mode". No need to mention the special BIOS if that's all it does.
     
  11. wolfticket

    wolfticket Downwind from the bloodhounds

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    Basically this. If they were totally innocent then they would have told the reviewer about the OC mode and indicated that it was a stable and representative option for testing if the end use installs the management software.

    Instead they created a modified BIOS that gave the superficial impression that under default settings without any software tweaks the card is faster than the ones they are actually selling.

    It may be a marginal difference and companies have been caught doing far worse, but it's not a totally excusable and fair thing to do either just because the OC mode is easily accessible to everyone.

    Also, presumably there is a reason it's not default, otherwise it would be, you know, default.
     
  12. DragunovHUN

    DragunovHUN I want to change my name but I also don't

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    Yeah, which the reviewers could have added if they had been told that their cards were switched to OC mode.
     
  13. Yadda

    Yadda New Member

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    Exactly. To be honest, reading through the article I was disappointed when I learnt exactly what the "hack" was. I was expecting something more sinister than just defaulting to a different user-selectable mode. :naughty:
     
  14. Harlequin

    Harlequin Well-Known Member

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    except that to make their cards seem even better than the rest they cheated.
     
  15. Yadda

    Yadda New Member

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    According to the article, Asus did this too. I assume Asus cards don't ship with the MSi App, so do all manufacturers have similar apps that ship with their cards, and do they all have the same "OC mode" available to users?
     
    Last edited: 22 Jun 2016
  16. SinxarKnights

    SinxarKnights Member

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    Asus has GPU Tweak, and yes it has OC mode available.
     
  17. Corky42

    Corky42 What did walle eat for breakfast?

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    Does it though, does a 25Mhz odd OC really effect benchmarks?

    Again I'm not saying what they done isn't morally or ethically wrong, it is, i just wonder how much difference it actual makes when it comes to reviews.
     
  18. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    You don't even need to do that: review hardware comes with a (digital, usually) reviewer's guide document that contains information they might need to know - everything from specifications to which driver you should use. For a major graphics card release, the reviewer's guide will be tens of pages long - and nowhere in either Asus' or MSI's documentation did they feel the need to mention "oh, by the way, your sample has a custom BIOS that we're not putting on the retail cards."

    As for whether a 25MHz boost would really make a difference, I have two responses: clearly MSI and Asus thought it would, otherwise they wouldn't have wasted their time making the custom BIOS (or creating the OC Mode option in the first place); and if your card is running even slightly faster than the competition - even by 0.1 frames per second - that's enough to put you on the top of the table and become everyone's go-to purchase from a group test.

    It's bloody shady, and Asus and MSI should be rightly castigated for it. I'd certainly be going over any future samples they send very carefully, or even refusing them outright and asking for samples from companies that don't do it.
     
  19. Yadda

    Yadda New Member

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    Just check the load clock speeds. It's probably good practice now regardless of this issue, with varying boost speeds and throttling and what-not.
     

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