NVIDIA Kills Mobile GPU Overclocking

Thu, Feb 19, 2015

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NVIDIA Kills Mobile GPU Overclocking

NVIDIA insists the ability to overclock is “a bug” and its “fixing” the issue

NVIDIA Corp. (NVDA) is stirring up controversy after it broke its silence on overclocking of its mobile GPUs, an increasingly popular practice in recent years, banning the practice the practice with driver updates.

I. Overclockability — a Feature?

The recent updates related to Maxwell mobile chips for laptop and hybrid computers, including:

Maxwell
Maxwell’s overclocking has been disabled by recent driver updates. [Image Source: NVIDIA]


For the nonenthusiasts overclocking is the art of pushing the clock speeds of your CPU, GPU, or memory beyond the manufacturer suggested levels, frequently by “overvolting” or adding slightly higher voltage levels.  Overclocking ups your performance, but increases the waste heat causing a chip to run hot.

For years now some intrepid souls have been braving fussy laptop thermals and the risk of voiding their warranty, overclocking mobile GPUs to get as much as a 20-30 percent boost in framerates.  Back in 2009 (the days of the GeForce 100M series) a common technique was to download a desktop driver and then modify configuration files to trick the driver into thinking NVIDIA supported that mobile GPU [source]. – See more…

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