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Nvidia quietly blocks GeForce GTX 900M overclocking once again

By Scorpus
May 22, 2015
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  1. Nvidia has once again decided to prevent some notebook owners from overclocking their Maxwell-based GeForce GTX 900M GPUs, after removing the restriction in a March driver update.

    According to many members of the NotebookReview community, as noted by TechPowerUp, Nvidia silently re-enabled the block on GTX 900M series overclocking in the 350.12 driver update last month. The restriction, nicknamed the "clockblock" by affected users, is still present in Nvidia's latest 352.86 drivers that were released earlier this week.

    The restriction currently affects those with a locked GPU vBIOS, which essentially prevents overclocking at the BIOS level on some systems. The latest models of some Nvidia-powered gaming laptops, such as the 2015 Alienware series, ship with this locked BIOS, making it impossible to overclock without reverting to an older BIOS or using a mod.

    One of Nvidia's older driver releases, 347.88, removed the overclocking restriction even for those with locked vBIOSes, following community backlash after the blocking was implemented with Nvidia's 347.09 drivers. This latest re-implementation of the overclock block on 900M series cards continues Nvidia's see-sawing policy regarding mobile GPU overclocking.

    For anyone affected by the overclocking restriction, reverting back to the 347.88 drivers will allow you to overclock once again. However, as this driver is several months old, you'll miss out on the latest code optimizations for new games such as Grand Theft Auto V and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar TS Evangelist Posts: 6,477   +965

    Why would nVidia do this secretively? This just erodes their relationship with gamers and their buyers... At least give a SIMPLE statement: "Overclocking was shown to make GPUs unstable and lessen their lifespans, so we disabled the overclocking ability in R350 drivers again". No need to keep that secret.
     
  3. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 1,902   +528

    It's most likely something requested by the OEMs. OEMs are also the reason why most mobile GPUs are just rebrands. they need to release "better" laptops several times per year (kinda like we see with smartphones)
     
  4. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar TS Evangelist Posts: 6,477   +965

    True, but still, they should not be secretive about it. Transparency is a huge IMO :D.
     
  5. yRaz

    yRaz TS Evangelist Posts: 1,897   +940

    There is no real world noticeable performance increase when overclocking a laptop GPU. All you're going to do is kill your GPU because the heat sink can't handle the increase in TDP. Hell the laptop power supply is already being pushed to its limits at stock.

    Laptop overclocking is about as dumb as it gets. They're probably tired of dealing with disgruntled customers who voided their warranty and broke their laptop.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2015
  6. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar TS Evangelist Posts: 6,477   +965

    Oh yeah, no doubt! I am just saying that the silent action is bad.
     
  7. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,551   +2,894

    I for one feel companies are not entitled to give answers before they are asked of them. And even then it is their decision from a PR perspective whether or not to answer. I seriously have far more questions for Microsoft, than I do for nVidia.
     
  8. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 1,631   +432

    Before people freak out even more, I found this:
    "However, we have word that the issue is apparently not deliberate this time and will be fixed in next week’s driver update."

    Oh, and 980 Ti is confirmed. And official pic of the AMD Fiji R9 card is out courtesy of Johan from DICE via Twitter.

    Update:
    The HotFix driver for all those affected.
    http://nvidia.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/3659
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2015
  9. yRaz

    yRaz TS Evangelist Posts: 1,897   +940

    just in time for it to be obsolete!

    I'd like to know if that part of the article was left out on purpose in order to make it click bait.
     
  10. Falconloft

    Falconloft TS Rookie

    This is a pretty stupid article, not to mention misleading. the change is right there in the patch notes. The patch notes are where changes like this are supposed to be by the way. If the author only read the press release, and not the patch notes, then this site really needs to hire a journalist who's not so lazy. If the author did read the patch notes, then some reading comprehension is in order. I'll quote since it wasn't mentioned at all in the article.

    "GPU overclocking is no longer supported in the default GPU driver control panel. This
    feature is available in the NVIDIA System Tools software, which you can download
    from NVIDIA.com."

    So, in other words, the default tools won't do it, but you still can overclock if you grab the full toolset. Or, in other words, this really wasn't a story at all, except for shoddy reporting.
     
  11. Axle Grease

    Axle Grease TS Booster Posts: 69   +20

  12. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,620   +376

    And enthusiasts reply that they already know that and have known that for years and want to do it anyway...

    Judging by Axle's post, sounds like a quality control issue...
     
  13. Mobile GPU overclocking should not be allowed due to the constraint mobile form-factor limited by cooling and power supply capability, also the very real possibility of voiding the warranty from damage from increased heat/TDP. Only the OEM should be able to set overclocking if they so chose to do so as they are the ones who engineered the cooling components to fit the form-factor and TDP of their mobile device. Stop trying to dig up dirt on something that's essentially nothing.
     
  14. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar TS Evangelist Posts: 6,477   +965

    Very interesting! I really wonder if it was deliberate or they saw that there was already some backlash and thought appeasement was the way to go once again.
     

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