Home Technology Asus and MSI respond to overclocked GPU review sample controversy

Asus and MSI respond to overclocked GPU review sample controversy

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38

MSI-GTX-1070-GAMING-X-8G

We told you earlier this week that it seems that two of the more prolific (and probably my two favourite) video card purveyors were sending video cards to reviewers that operated at clocks higher than their retail counterparts.

It all seems a bit shady. While the boosted clock speeds aren’t especially significant, they might push cards from MSI or Asus to be a tiniest bit faster than the competition, earning them nods from said reviewers as better buys. But is this deceptive practice as bad as it seems? Neither Asus nor MSI seem to think so. In fact, they’ve only boosted clocks to save dim-witted reviewers a bit of time.

In official responses from both camps, their reasoning is that reviewers never enable the overclocking options, so they’ve just gone ahead and done it for them, saving them the time and the effort.

Here’s what Asus had to say:

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“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.”

Here’s what MSI said in response to the allegations:

“MSI Review samples and MSI retail cards are identical in terms of hardware and performance. Both have the exact same performance profiles available through the MSI Gaming App. All information about these performance profiles is clearly communicated and can be found on the respective product pages. Retail cards are set to ‘Gaming Mode’ by default, which offers the best Performance per Watt, while still giving close to ‘OC Mode’ in-game performance. In order to enjoy the best performance and all features of MSI GAMING products, we highly recommend to use the MSI Gaming App which is available for free. The MSI Gaming App allows you to apply one of three performance profiles with a single click, instantly giving you the desired performance.”

“As several reviewers have stated, software like the MSI Gaming App is often not used in reviews. This is why review samples of the MSI GeForce GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 GAMING X graphics cards are set to ‘OC Mode’ to ensure that reviews demonstrate the same performance available through the MSI Gaming App. The award winning TWIN FROZR VI cooling is designed to handle each performance profile flawlessly, giving you the lowest noise in the industry and consistent performance so gamers can focus on their gameplay”.

That’s a pretty neat PR spin on a deceptive practice that needn’t exist in the first place. MSI and Asus both make damned good cards that don’t need the shady overclocking to sell.

Last Updated: June 22, 2016

38 Comments

  1. Pariah

    June 22, 2016 at 10:04

    Both responses well aligned. Coincidence, or collusion?

    Reply

    • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

      June 22, 2016 at 10:10

    • Geoffrey Tim

      June 22, 2016 at 10:11

      They’re frighteningly similar.

      Reply

      • GalacticLordCaptainAwesomeness

        June 22, 2016 at 10:12

        Like a certain german car manufacturer with a diesel emission issue…

        Reply

        • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

          June 22, 2016 at 10:15

          Who knew there was such a big difference between carbon monoxide and carbon fibre

          Reply

        • Kromas GG

          June 22, 2016 at 10:15

          The folk did not take kindly to their wagon being toxic. 😛

          Reply

          • GalacticLordCaptainAwesomeness

            June 22, 2016 at 10:16

            Also was not the first time the Germans have lied about emissions…wait what

          • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

            June 22, 2016 at 10:17

            Oh nein you didn’t

          • Pariah

            June 22, 2016 at 10:18

            His comment is toxic, isn’t it?

          • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

            June 22, 2016 at 10:19

            I need a shower after reading that

          • Pariah

            June 22, 2016 at 10:20

            Just remember to remove your jewelry and gold prosthesis first – those are known to not mix well with showers.

          • Kromas GG

            June 22, 2016 at 10:20

            I will not join your kampf.

          • Kromas GG

            June 22, 2016 at 10:18

            At least their trains ran on time.

          • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

            June 22, 2016 at 10:21

            Well it helped that the passengers were all going to only one of 72 destinations

          • Kromas GG

            June 22, 2016 at 10:24

            Well this topic got derailed.

          • GalacticLordCaptainAwesomeness

            June 22, 2016 at 10:21

            And the girls numbers were easy to get

          • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

            June 22, 2016 at 10:21

            Pick up line: Do you have the time?

          • Pariah

            June 22, 2016 at 10:22

            Erhalten in Zeile Jungen zurück

          • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

            June 22, 2016 at 10:26

            Ich wette, Sie sagen das zu allen Gefangenen.

          • Pariah

            June 22, 2016 at 10:28

            Du bist verdammt recht ich. Ich Graben sie bald nach though. Kapiert? Graben. Ahaha Ich bin so lustig.

          • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

            June 22, 2016 at 10:34

            XD XD XD

  2. GalacticLordCaptainAwesomeness

    June 22, 2016 at 10:09

    lolz… never buy cards from them in any case…. Go Go Team Sapphire

    Reply

    • Pariah

      June 22, 2016 at 10:09

      MSI > all

      Reply

  3. Alien Emperor Trevor

    June 22, 2016 at 10:16

    Okay.

    Reply

  4. Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

    June 22, 2016 at 10:16

    So why not sell the cards the way it gets shipped to the reviewer? Or is there a danger of the hardware failing?

    Reply

    • GalacticLordCaptainAwesomeness

      June 22, 2016 at 10:17

      So if the rest of the card manufacturers send the cards to the reviewers, without “enabling the OCTurbo Mode by Default” and they still match and outperform the counterparts…. then maybe, just maybe… they are better cards..

      Reply

  5. Ghost In The Rift

    June 22, 2016 at 10:41

    Though most cards, in their perspective groups and price range, perform more or less the same, so i really don’t give a shit as to how they market their stuff, its all about the aesthetics these days, best looking card is a win for me, MSI is a little cheaper on the Namibia side than ASUS, EVGA, Gigabyte ect and looks awesome, so happy days and hope it continues.

    Reply

    • Kromas GG

      June 22, 2016 at 10:52

      MSI is equal to Asus in every aspect except price and the amount of BS they spew. Asus has really become quite bloated the last couple of years.

      Reply

      • Matthew Holliday

        June 22, 2016 at 11:08

        MSI is no different really, bright red flashy fan covers, capital letter GAMING branded on any surface they could print on.
        When all they really did, was give the graphics card racing stripes and change the fan belt.

        Reply

        • Kromas GG

          June 22, 2016 at 11:09

          Still better than adding a RoG sticker and charging R2000 more.

          Reply

          • Matthew Holliday

            June 22, 2016 at 11:09

            aye, ASUS are expensive AF
            MSI atleast does good specials and combo deals

          • GalacticLordCaptainAwesomeness

            June 22, 2016 at 11:11

            So just stop buying Team Green….. and go Red

          • Matthew Holliday

            June 22, 2016 at 11:12

            Well the only MSI cards Ive bought were team red, they convinced me to go team green

  6. Matthew Holliday

    June 22, 2016 at 11:10

    So they were all like “well we have a button that makes it go faster, lets just push it befor we send it to them.” and thought nothing of it?
    I actually totally buy that.

    Theres no nefarious conspiracy theory behind it.
    The previous cards had the same stuff, whether they activated it beforhand or not.

    Reply

  7. Dutch Matrix

    June 22, 2016 at 12:20

    I’m still in the mindset that overclocking is bad for your hardware. It’s sad when you have a mind still firmly stuck in 1999.

    Reply

    • th3SiCn3ss

      June 22, 2016 at 15:57

      with great power comes great responsibility 🙂
      But yeah it is if the correct measures aren’t taken, extra abnormal heat floating around is never good for any electrical components….. be wise & winterize….. your pc when overclocking…. 🙂

      Reply

  8. Dane

    June 22, 2016 at 14:03

    Let me just take this opportunity to say that the Journalistic abilities of you guys there at LG is fantastic, and so is your gaming knowledge.
    I say this in contrast to PCGamer because I feel like they have Journalists and gamers where you guys have gaming journalists.

    GJ

    Reply

  9. Guava_Eater

    June 22, 2016 at 16:51

    I dunno guys, this to me is like people complaining that the power profile on a Laptop was set to “High Performance” instead of “Battery Saving” and then measuring the battery performance. If the reviewers neglect to adjust the settings to for the performance metric they are testing then they are the idiots. Everybody knows that Asus and MSI Cards are clocked higher than the stock cards and come with software based performance profiles. If this was some kind of misrepresentation I’d say you’re right but it’s pre-configured options. If Asus and MSI had given the reviewers cards that had different cooling options or some other hardware difference that enabled higher than what would generally be attainable performance then people could complain that the resulting reviews are misleading if they cannot themselves obtain those numbers. In this case it’s a standard feature of the cards.

    Reply

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