As we reported yesterday both ASUS and MSI were accused of sending graphics cards to reviewers with modified BIOS’s. These modified BIOS’s give these samples more power, which leads to increased frequencies and better results overall.
By default (modified BIOS) these cards are put in “Overclocking” mode when sent to reviewers. Retail cards are set in “Gaming” mode, which has slightly lower clocks. Reviewers and gamers can use the bundled software to take put the card in these different modes, but sadly most reviewers are completely unaware of the situation. This means they just run the card out of the box, giving that specific card a 1-2% performance boost over cards that are running on stock settings.
While 1-2% is not a big deal overall, seeing one card perform better than another in reviews definitely persuades someone to purchase your card over another.
ASUS has released an official statement on the matter:
“ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 graphics cards come with exclusive GPU Tweak II software, that provides silent, gaming, and OC modes allowing users to select a performance profile that suits their requirements. Users can apply these modes easily from within GPU Tweak II.
The press samples for the ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1080 OC and ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1070 OC cards are set to “OC Mode” by default. To save media time and effort, OC mode is enabled by default as we are well aware our graphics cards will be reviewed primarily on maximum performance. And when in OC mode, we can showcase both the maximum performance and the effectiveness of our cooling solution.
Retail products are in “Gaming Mode” by default, which allows gamers to experience the optimal balance between performance and silent operation. We encourage end-users to try GPU Tweak II and adjust between the available modes, to find the best mode according to personal needs or preferences.
For both the press samples and retail cards, all these modes can be selected through the GPU Tweak II software. There are no differences between the samples we sent out to media and the retail channels in terms of hardware and performance.”
So according to ASUS they enable “Overclocking” mode by default for review samples to save reviewers time.
What do you think of ASUS’s response?