MSI responds to GeForce 10-series firmware doping fracas

MSI released a statement today regarding the "review card doping" accusations leveled at the company by hardware review site TechPowerUp. In the statement, MSI denies any wrongdoing. It says that the "OC mode" setting enabled by default on the review cards is available to any owner of the company's Gaming X graphics cards using the MSI Gaming app.

The statement goes on to explain that reviewers generally don't use software like the MSI Gaming app, and MSI feels that its products aren't being represented properly in independent reviews as a result. To make sure that potential customers are aware of the true performance available from the Gaming X cards, MSI says it sent cards to reviewers with a modified firmware that forces the card to run in OC mode full-time.

Our take is that this argument falls a bit flat, considering that most gamers probably don't install this software, either. Secretly shipping cards with custom firmware that forces "OC mode" on seems far more likely to backfire (as it has) than just promoting the required software and making it easy to get to. All that effort might not be worth it to begin with, though: as MSI itself points out, the difference between the OC mode and the default Gaming mode on the GTX 1070 is a scant 26MHz of boost clock.

If you're the owner of an MSI GTX 10-series card and don't want to install the MSI Gaming app, MSI has helpfully provided firmware updates for its GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 cards that lock OC mode on, just as the company's review firmware does. The brave can get the firmware for the GTX 1080 Gaming X card here, while owners of the the GTX 1070 Gaming X should look here. These firmwares are, according to MSI, the same ones loaded on cards that reviewers received. Bear in mind the heat and noise consequences of such a thing before you update—or just skip a risky firmware update entirely and install MSI's software.

Here's MSI's statement in full:

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. (example: https://www.msi.com/Graphics-card/GEFORCE-GTX-1070-GAMING-X-8G.html)

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 on MSI.com and the driver CD. 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.

For those who prefer not to use the MSI Gaming App but still want to enjoy the same ‘OC Mode’ performance by default, we have released an alternative vBIOS with ‘OC Mode’ enabled by default.

Learn more about the MSI Gaming App here: https://gaming.msi.com/article/msi-gaming-app-article

Sincerely,

MSI

Comments closed
    • GatoRat
    • 3 years ago

    I have an MSI MB and 560Ti.

    Their utilities suck bad. But what’s new? So do most hardware manufacturers.

    • smilingcrow
    • 3 years ago

    Coming soon to a cinema near you, “BIOSGate, Set Nerd Rage to 11”, a disaster movie to end them all as the world is tipped into Armageddon over a doped BIOS sent to hardware review sites. Starring Andrew Lincoln as the one man who can save the world and unlock the diabolical BIOS.
    Look out for special pre-release screenings in selected cinemas where the digital projectors will be cranked to the max to produce a 24.48Hz frame rate backed with an 11 channel Dolby soundtrack.

    • Freon
    • 3 years ago

    As consumers we have to draw the line somewhere. Too many consumers will never bother enabling OC mode or think they should not as it is not the default clock setting, thus they get a different performance level than all the reviewers are likely to indicate. Without going through reviews with such a fine tooth comb consumers are not going to really understand the problem.

    Even if it is small and a minor edge, it seems unethical to do this. Review units should be shipped with the same firmware as consumer units, or at least as close as reasonably possibly barring development of bug fixes and whatnot.

    Purposely booting to a different clock speed on review units vs consumer units is crossing the line.

    And it still begs the question, why wouldn’t they just ship the consumer units in OC mode? What is to be gained there?

      • NovusBogus
      • 3 years ago

      OC usually means shorter card life, more support issues, compatibility problems, etc. which all cost the OEM money. They tried to have their cake and eat it too, but got caught red handed.

    • Kougar
    • 3 years ago

    EVGA’s response [url<]http://www.evga.com/articles/01022/evga-wysiwyg/[/url<]

    • watzupken
    • 3 years ago

    I think let each be their own judge. For me, I feel it is not a good business practice to try to pull a fast one on consumers by deliberately tweaking units to reviewers. Consumers rely on reviews to make their purchase decisions at times and this will definitely influence their buying decision. The small OC don’t seem like a big deal in terms of performance, but one can interpret it as having a superior cooling thus it can maintain a higher clock and perform better. MSI could have corrected reviewer that their units are clocked higher, but in this case, chose to kept quiet?

    • mkk
    • 3 years ago

    Reviewers should simply demand to receive cards with the retail BIOS. If the card has a different BIOS there could be more changes, however subtle, that affects the score.

    Asus came up with the same silly answer.

      • Anonymous Coward
      • 3 years ago

      Beyond the issue of firmware, there is the issue of hand-picked cards with superior overclocking or thermal properties. It would be ideal to purchase everything retail, but I don’t think that would be good business for most review sites.

      • ImSpartacus
      • 3 years ago

      They did? Damn, that’s disappointing. Do you have a link to their explanation?

        • mkk
        • 3 years ago

        [url<]http://www.pcper.com/news/Cases-and-Cooling/ASUS-Responds-GTX-1080-Reviewer-VBIOS-Concerns[/url<]

      • derFunkenstein
      • 3 years ago

      The problem is reviewers get those cards before retails cards are available, and therefore they just don’t know until after a review is published. They can ask for it all they want, but it doesn’t mean anybody will comply.

    • Chrispy_
    • 3 years ago

    Why don’t graphics cards have BIOSes with user-configurable options that you can enter before your OS boots like motherboards and RAID adapters?

    Having to run crappy, unstable little utilities full of godawful art and corporate advertising is just rubbing salt in the wound here.

    Anyway, the need for these utilities would go away if Nvidia had proper clock and fan controls in their driver package, and the “overclocks” we’re talking about here of 1-3% are so laughable that it brings into question whether the utility has any value at all.

    • Misel
    • 3 years ago

    “The statement goes on to explain that reviewers generally don’t use software like the MSI Gaming app…”

    And they never wondered why? The design alone drives me crazy. Why does everybody have to put a skin on their application that fits nowhere near the rest of the window decorations?

    • ronch
    • 3 years ago

    Now, Kingston is to SSDs as MSI is to graphics cards.

    • ronch
    • 3 years ago

    This is akin to a car race where there are regulations about which technologies are allowed and which aren’t (no turbos, please) to make the competition fair for everyone. But Johnny slips in a small turbo to win the race and later insists and justifies that production versions of their race car do contain a turbo so that’s OK because that’s what you and me will actually be getting.

    • brucek2
    • 3 years ago

    To me the bigger difference between the “modified” reviewer cards and the actual consumer cards, is that reviewers actually received cards, while only the luckiest of consumers have actually been able to receive theirs.

    • bfar
    • 3 years ago

    “review firmware”

    That’s a problem already.

    • USAFTW
    • 3 years ago

    I find the reasoning Asus and MSI came up with misleading and PR bullshit.
    They say we’re making the job of reviewers easier. Well why not do the same thing with retail cards? Are they likely to not be capable of a 10-20MHz over clock?
    I would never use the gaming app for setting factory a determined clocks anyway. I’d rather push it by 200-300 rather than 20-30.
    But either way the whole thing smells funny and its disheartening to see them try to justify it. It’s a slippery slope.

      • ImSpartacus
      • 3 years ago

      Yeah, I want to see the msi statement (tr did not show their source).

      I find it a little unreal that msi would publicly say something so ridiculous.

        • auxy
        • 3 years ago

        [url<]http://www.techpowerup.com/223571/techpowerup-impact-msi-issues-oc-mode-by-default-bioses[/url<]

          • ImSpartacus
          • 3 years ago

          Thanks!

          It looks like the tr article omitted a link to the actual statement. That’s disappointing – an institution like tr should always cite their sources. Paraphrasing the gist of the statement isn’t the same as providing the actual text.

    • ronch
    • 3 years ago

    I wonder if Asus will beat the dodginess of MSI’s excuse.

    • ronch
    • 3 years ago

    Um, yeah. Whatever, MSI.

    • tootercomputer
    • 3 years ago

    I went to the end of this article to read the comments like I generally enjoy doing, and was completed and totally and pleasantly distracted by the Planet Blue ad. . . . . .

    So, what’s the MSI issue again?

    • ebomb808
    • 3 years ago

    As an owner of a MSI GTX 1080 Gaming X, I appreciate everyone’s concern for me as a consumer, but I am completely fine with this, and also appreciate that they are giving me custom firmware so I don’t have to run the MSI Gaming App anymore.

      • DoomGuy64
      • 3 years ago

      This. MSI owners know what’s up.

      • ronch
      • 3 years ago

      Yes that’s OK. But it’s not about making products that are fine. It’s about knowing many consumers look at benchmarks and decide which to buy, and doing something like this just doesn’t seem very ethical.

        • DoomGuy64
        • 3 years ago

        Then we ban all factory OC review samples. You can’t hold both positions.

          • Anonymous Coward
          • 3 years ago

          Yes you can. You have the position that what is reviewed is what is for sale.

            • DoomGuy64
            • 3 years ago

            How autistic do you have to be to not comprehend that there is no difference? The reviewed cards hit the SAME CLOCKSPEED as the retail cards. The only difference is that the review samples are using firmware that defaults to using the Gaming APP’s boost mode. WOW, SUCH A BIG CONTROVERSY.

            Anyone who reads this site objectively should know exactly what this is. Manufactured clickbait drama. Then we have all you kool-aid drinkers supporting the narrative. LISTEN AND BELIEVE. It’s like trying to deprogram a cult that is more sad and pathetic than the cult leaders. At least the damn cult leader knows what reality is, because they’re the ones controlling the narrative.

            Moral of the story? Look at Gawker. You can only get away with clickbait drama for so long before it comes back to bite you.

            • ronch
            • 3 years ago

            Don’t you realize that holding on to boost clocks by way of a *special* firmware will lead to higher bench scores? Without the special firmware the GPU will throttle more. And the fact that MSI WENT OUT OF THEIR WAY to modify the firmware SPECIFICALLY for a review sample simply speaks volumes about their intention. Hint: it’s nothing like their tongue-in-cheek excuse here. And if they were caught here, who knows what else they’re doing with their other products. Do they always send out ‘specially tweaked’ review samples?

            • DoomGuy64
            • 3 years ago

            [quote<]Don't you realize that holding on to boost clocks by way of a *special* firmware will lead to higher bench scores?[/quote<] Lol, yes? Isn't that the point? MSI is offering something extra over the competition. [quote<]Without the special firmware the GPU will throttle more.[/quote<] Will it really? Maybe with the stock cooler, but that doesn't happen with the aftermarket coolers. Doesn't on my card, and it's last gen. [quote<]the firmware[/quote<] Which is BOTH available over software and an actual firmware to the public. Saying otherwise is an outright LIE. [quote<]Do they always send out 'specially tweaked' review samples?[/quote<] What don't you understand about their RETAIL cards being 100% capable of the same clocks, and are [i<]advertised[/i<] as such. Retail MSI cards are guaranteed of these speeds. [url<]http://uploads.im/RnUT3.jpg[/url<] It's RIGHT THERE. OC Edition. BUT THOSE CLOCKS REQUIRE THE APP. MSI is only enabling that in firmware for reviewers. (Because they aren't using the APP.)

            • Waco
            • 3 years ago

            MSI is cheating by way of lazy reviewers. You can try to spin it all you want, but what they did was wrong and underhanded.

            If they shipped the cards with a notice saying they were doing this, rather than just getting caught doing it, we’d be having a similar, but different conversation (where MSI is stupid to restrict what reviewers can do).

            • ronch
            • 3 years ago

            Continue living in your own little world with your own rules.

          • ronch
          • 3 years ago

          OC is OK, but what if I am selling you a Core i7-6700K machine and another guy is also selling you one? You tell us to start running tests to see which machine is faster. It is understood that we’re both running at stock and OC is totally possible but we aren’t doing it for the test. Secretly though, without telling you, I have my machine OCed to 4.4GHz or so, which makes my machine handily beat the other guy’s.

          Tell me now, is that ethical? I could tell you, “It’s OK, you’ll OC it anyway.” If that’s ethical for you, then I have nothing else to say.

        • ebomb808
        • 3 years ago

        You misquoted me, I didn’t say the product was fine, I was saying I am fine with them making custom firmware that locks reviewers into a 100% disclosed, 100% available to every Purchaser OC mode that shows off their product in the best light. You may think this is unethical, and you are certainly entitled to your opinion, but unless you bought the product, I don’t understand why you care.

          • Stargazer
          • 3 years ago

          But the reason that this became an issue is that it was actually 0% disclosed, 0% available to every Purchaser.

          That only changed after they were called on it.

            • ebomb808
            • 3 years ago

            No, the OC mode is written on the back of the box, and the software inside the box, after installation, allows one to choose this mode. The only thing that was not available was the ability to force OC mode without the software inside the box. If this bothers you, you should return your MSI GTX 1080 Gaming X.

            • Stargazer
            • 3 years ago

            Oh. I misread your previous post.
            I still disagree with MSI’s behavior here, but I no longer have an argument with that part of your post. 🙂

      • Anonymous Coward
      • 3 years ago

      So you believe you are too clever to be fooled.

        • ebomb808
        • 3 years ago

        Yeah, in some respects. After reading reviews of dozens of AIB partner cards with custom cooling solutions, factory overclocks, custom boards, etc., it’s become abundantly clear that every variety of card performs almost exactly the same, but for noise and heat. I bought the Gaming X because TR’s own reviews of the 980Ti’s showed it ran the quietest and cool, and unlike the Asus, their cooling solution with vertical heatpipes remained unchanged in the GTX 1080.

        If you are basing your purchase on a card based on whether its 0.5% faster than another GTX 1080, then you should be OC’ing anyways and your really coming down to Silicon lottery.

        Who is this mythical consumer that wants to spend a lot of money on a high end graphics card, has no knowledge of overclocking, but yet has detailed knowledge of extremely negligible differences in stock clock performance. If this consumer does exist, I find it laughable that they would be upset about this. But carry on the outrage! MSI must learn a lesson!

    • smilingcrow
    • 3 years ago

    MSI made the small, basic and important mistake of poor communication which is more serious than the actual performance boost to me.
    Why? Because if they had made it clear what they were doing on shipping the review cards I doubt it would have been seen as much of an issue.
    But because they didn’t everything they say post the event is tarnished and will be seen as a possible cover-up.
    Just read the comments here to see how this has backfired on them.
    A basic rooky error really that somebody failed to comprehend.
    Probably someone in engineering that lacks the perception to grasp how the real world works.

      • NovusBogus
      • 3 years ago

      Unfortunately a lot of tech companies fail marketing forever, and it always comes back to bite them in the end.

      • nico1982
      • 3 years ago

      [quote<]MSI made the small, basic and important mistake of poor communication which is more serious than the actual performance boost to me.[/quote<] Like Volkswagen? 😛

      • DoomGuy64
      • 3 years ago

      MSI has been making their cards like this for YEARS. Why it’s an issue now, is beyond me.

      [quote<]Just read the comments here to see how this has backfired on them.[/quote<] I don't see backfiring, I see manufactured clickbait drama and bandwagon jumping. People are too ignorant to research themselves, and are eating up the drama hook, line, and sinker. Meanwhile, only MSI users know what's going on. [quote<]Probably someone in engineering[/quote<] Social engineering. The public is who lacks the perception of grasping how the world works.

        • smilingcrow
        • 3 years ago

        “The public is who lacks the perception of grasping how the world works.”

        In this case the public are the real world and their response is how the world works.
        You have completely missed the point which is one of perception not a technical one.

      • ImSpartacus
      • 3 years ago

      I agree that crystal clear communication would’ve made the situation better. But I still can’t imagine this being accepted well.

      You fundamentally can’t provide reviewers with a different product than the one that consumers get.

    • NovusBogus
    • 3 years ago

    Dodgy as hell. Anyone remotely familiar with the industry knows that 95+ percent of buyers who look at review benchmarks don’t OC and base their decision at least in part on which game(s) in the review interest them and show acceptable framerates. I’d say that this would influence my next buying decision, but frankly when it comes to graphics cards I’m an EVGA fanboy first and foremost so neither of the named companies had a strong chance to start with.

      • chuckula
      • 3 years ago

      Incidentally my EVGA GTX-1080 SC edition (custom HSF) arrives tomorrow.

      [Make that today (06/22). I’ll take it that everyone downthumbing is officially acknowledging that the GTX-1080 wasn’t a paper launch since I’m getting real hardware when it was supposed to be available. Incidentally, at only $650 I paid less for this GTX-1080 than what “new” Fury X cards are still going for on Newegg: [url<]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127890[/url<] ]

        • rxc6
        • 3 years ago

        Why would any informed reader (many people here qualify) would even look at the last generation offerings when you can wait a week and some change for Polaris to be unveiled? On the other hand, I wonder why you didn’t link to the 1080 stock pages. Would it have something to do with the extremely limited availability? Naahh, scratch that. Sometimes I am simply to cynical *roll_eyes*

        Some links for reference: [url=http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&IsNodeId=1&N=100007709 601201888]Listings for the 1080[/url] . I really love how so many of those are out of stock and the only one “available” says back-ordered in the page. There are some that say “coming-soon” so yay for those!
        I also appreciate that you linked the most expensive Fury X sold by Newegg (the most expensive one is not sold by them) instead of one of the [url=http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125797<]cheapest.[/url<] I honestly don't understand how you being a relatively smart individual (I am basing this on your non-troll posts and I don't know you enough to claim differently), you still feel the need to attack AMD in every single posts. Was it that hard to just point out that you were one of the lucky few that has gotten his hands on the 1080? *Edited for format.

    • DoomGuy64
    • 3 years ago

    Factory overclocking is not cheating. As a site that benchmarks stock clocked models vs overclocked models, you can’t do a 180 on this position, because that would invalidate your previous stance.

    MSI has somewhat of a reputation for making cards that overclock better than the competition. They make easy to use software like the Gaming app, specifically designed for “most gamers”, while afterburner is targeting enthusiasts. I can see how MSI justified the custom firmware, as they mention reviewers not using their Gaming app, and that feature is something they feel unique to their products. Not mentioning it is a disservice to the work they put into making their cards overclockable. MSI is obviously aware of the consequences of overclocking. That’s why the Gaming app/OC mode is optional. The firmware thing is just a reaction to reviewers not using it, and to show consumers that overclocked cards are faster than stock.

    The only thing I find objectionable is the accusation that MSI is “doping” review samples. Custom firmware is one thing, but sending reviewers specially binned cards is another. As long as every MSI cards using OC mode performs the same as the reviewer edition, there shouldn’t be an issue with this. If anything, MSI is hurting themselves, because forcing OC mode on samples keeps reviewers from testing the full benefits of using their app. However, it appears they have already weighed this decision against reviewers not using the app, and chose the latter.

    My question to this behavior is simply this:
    Why not review your own product if you feel reviewers are not doing it right? Benchmark a few games and put a video up on youtube. That would be better than doing nothing, or sending out questionable review samples. Wouldn’t hurt to nicely ask reviewers to test your software either. They are getting the card for free.

      • just brew it!
      • 3 years ago

      [quote<]Factory overclocking is not cheating.[/quote<] I agree. However, intentionally sending reviewers different firmware than what is used on the shipping retail product to ensure that it performs better than a stock card "out of the box" most definitely [u<]is[/u<] cheating.

        • DoomGuy64
        • 3 years ago

        Except MSI cards that include these boost modes are anything BUT stock. That’s the point I’m trying to make. Their cards are literally guaranteed to overclock from the factory, so there is no difference from “factory overclocking”, and using the app.

        Binned cards = cheating. Firmware overclocking that are the same clocks guaranteed as the app != cheating.

        I don’t see the logic in how this is cheating, when:
        A: Factory overclocking is not cheating.
        B: The card is guaranteed to overclock to the same clocks with the app. Not kidding, it’s literally on the box.
        C: The firmware is even available for users to flash if they want to.

        Not cheating. I don’t see how there is any possible way to call this a cheat, so this is nothing more than manufactured clickbait drama at the expense of MSI. Extremely dishonest reporting, with the purpose of generating clicks.

        I have a MSI card myself, and these “boost” clocks are advertised right on the box. It’s a feature, but the only way users can reach it is by using the app, because the stock firmware does not enable it. It makes perfect sense that MSI would send reviewers OC firmware, when their cards are advertised to hit those clocks, and reviewers don’t test with the app. Not a cheat, because those clocks are advertised right on the box of their cards.

        Simply put, you ARE getting a “factory overclock” card, but MSI is enabling it with software, so that you get the benefit of BOTH stock clocks AND a factory OC model. It basically allows MSI to make one model and market it to [i<]everyone[/i<]. That's not a negative, it's a positive. What reviewers are doing demonizing MSI for this is downright unethical Gawker style click baiting., because this is a non-issue that is actually pro-consumer.

          • Redocbew
          • 3 years ago

          If you can buy something off the shelf on launch day that’s different from what was sent to reviewers, then something has gone very wrong with that particular product. At best, a showstopper bug got past them and they had to scramble to get it fixed. At worst, it’s a bait and switch. Stock vs overclocked is not the distinction that matters here.

            • DoomGuy64
            • 3 years ago

            [url<]http://uploads.im/RnUT3.jpg[/url<] Read the box. What does it say? That's right. "MSI OC Edition". Does it have "OC" clocks OOTB? No. You have to use the Gaming APP. The card is [i<]designed[/i<] to function in this manner. It is advertised to be a "factory overclocked" model, but reaching those clocks require use of the APP. Anyone who says otherwise simply does not know what they are talking about.

          • just brew it!
          • 3 years ago

          You still don’t get it. Stock vs. tweaked is not the issue. The fact that users can tweak the card themselves to get performance equivalent to the review cards does not let MSI off the hook. The issue is [u<]sending reviewers a different product from what is available in retail channels[/u<]. That is sleazy marketing. Period.

            • DoomGuy64
            • 3 years ago

            Which I agree with, IF those cards are [i<]actually a different product[/i<]. However, if you objectively look at what MSI's retail product is, you should find that there is no difference. After all, they are [i<]offering the firmware to the public.[/i<] This is not a "tweak" either, since their retail cards are designed to reach those clocks. The firmware simply enables them by default. The only way you can claim fault is if you can prove that MSI is building custom cards to send as review samples, that have improved specs from retail. I don't see that. I see MSI enabling their software boost mode in the firmware, because reviewers aren't testing with the software. Maybe you have to own a MSI card to get it, because that's apparently what it takes. The card comes with an advertised boost mode, which requires use of the Gaming APP to enable. It is nothing more than optional "factory" overclocking.

            • just brew it!
            • 3 years ago

            Firmware is part of the product. Giving the end user tools to patch the firmware to match the review samples does not excuse intentionally sending out review samples which differ from the retail product in ways which cause them to perform better than what’s in the retail box by default.

            Best case, it’s still unethical.

            • DoomGuy64
            • 3 years ago

            OK, then let’s say as an alternative MSI simply asks reviewers to test their cards at retail settings with the Gaming APP, and any site that doesn’t comply gets blacklisted from receiving future review samples.

            HOLY CRAP WOULD THAT CAUSE A SCENE.

            MSI supports overclocking their retail hardware via software. Nobody is reviewing it. This is their “solution”. There really isn’t many other options available, with the exception of including a dual bios. But that’s frankly unnecessary if you just used the app in the first place, especially since the app gives you greater control than firmware ever could.

            Look, MSI is simply telling reviewers, “You’re not doing your job, so we’re going to do it for you.” That’s all this firmware amounts to, and it would have never happened if reviewers voluntarily tested the app in the first place. Of course, if [i<]everyone[/i<] did it, that could be quite a hassle to bench. Better to just manufacture some drama to silence MSI into compliance. Don't rock the boat, because we'll make you walk the plank. That kind of mentality.

            • Redocbew
            • 3 years ago

            A manufacturer doesn’t get to choose how a product is reviewed by an independent hardware review site. If they did, then the place wouldn’t be “independent” from the manufacturer.

            • DoomGuy64
            • 3 years ago

            Thanks for admitting it. That’s all this amounts to. Reviewer temper tantrums because they don’t want to review MSI’s Gaming APP.

            MSI then forces the APP’s boost clock in Firmware, OMG THE CONTROVERSY. END OF THE WORLD. WAAAAH.

            S-a-m-e e-x-a-c-t c-l-o-c-k-s-p-e-e-d. Wow. Such an entertaining trainwreck to watch.

            • Waco
            • 3 years ago

            You have no clue what you’re talking about.

            • curtisb
            • 3 years ago

            It’s absolutely not the same. You’re not comprehending what was written in this article, and what MSI stated. They aren’t giving reviewers the option to test at default, out-of-the-retail box settings. They forced the OC mode on, permanently. In other words, reviewers are [b<]NOT[/b<] able to test the Gaming App because the firmware in their cards are told to ignore whatever setting the app has. This is Bad Form[super<]TM[/super<]. Period.

            • Waco
            • 3 years ago

            Dude, give up. You’re wrong, MSI was wrong to do what they did.

            Reviewers not using the application are [i<]bad reviewers[/i<]. Beyond that, it sounds like on the surface that you can't drop the card into Gaming or Silent mode to test power consumption or acoustics. [i<]That's stupidity[/i<] on the part of MSI since any good reviewer will absolutely test those things. Sorry, just my opinion as someone who reviews computer hardware.

            • DoomGuy64
            • 3 years ago

            Lol, even though you’re being rude and dismissive, I agree with most of what you said. Hell, I’ll even give you a thumbs up.

            [quote<]MSI was wrong to do what they did.[/quote<] Totally agree. The problem is that this is being blown out of proportion. [quote<]Reviewers not using the application are bad reviewers.[/quote<] Agree. But what do you do to fix it? MSI simply made a stupid move. It wasn't [i<]malicious[/i<], just STUPID. Ever hear the quote, "[i<]Never ascribe to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.[/i<]"? That's what happened. Don't read further into it. [quote<]Beyond that, it sounds like on the surface that you can't drop the card into Gaming or Silent mode to test power consumption or acoustics. That's stupidity on the part of MSI since any good reviewer will absolutely test those things.[/quote<] Exactly. It's totally incompetent. Silent mode might work, but normal mode will most likely just reset the clocks to OC levels. The review will show increased power and acoustics, which won't look good for people interested in efficiency. But hey, why complain? Just let the results speak for itself. There's no call for all this drama over a mild overclock. [quote<]Sorry, just my opinion as someone who reviews computer hardware.[/quote<] Don't be. You're being perfectly reasonable here, which is more than what I can say for everyone else who is parroting the narrative. All I'm asking for is people to be objective. You don't have to agree with me, just don't LISTEN AND BELIEVE, because that's total nonsense.

            • Waco
            • 3 years ago

            Oh, I absolutely think they did this out of stupidity versus malice. However, it doesn’t change the outcome – their cards look better in reviews than they otherwise would.

            Sending reviewers *anything* cherry picked or different from retail without notifying them just muddies the waters in something that’s already hard for consumers to digest.

            Sorry for coming off rude, but it’s hard to be nice when everyone is dismissive of crap like this.

            • DoomGuy64
            • 3 years ago

            [quote<]Sending reviewers *anything* cherry picked or different from retail without notifying them just muddies the waters in something that's already hard for consumers to digest.[/quote<] Yup, which I mentioned in my original post. BAD MOVE. Very bad, as it can be grossly misinterpreted. The only thing I disagree with is saying these clocks aren't available to retail cards when they are. Multiple people have stated this, and it's simply not true. [quote<]their cards look better in reviews than they otherwise would.[/quote<] Well, that was kinda the point. Those clocks are an advertised feature. MSI just went about showing it in the wrong manner, as this method appears underhanded, and reviewers can't show the actual efficiency levels of the retail cards. [quote<]Sorry for coming off rude, but it's hard to be nice when everyone is dismissive of crap like this.[/quote<] Dude, no offense taken. I'm suffering from the same effect. Too many people being dismissive of what I'm saying, and it absolutely gets reflected in how I speak. More than it should. Still, I recognize objectivity when I see it, and I commend you for it. Wish more posters would do the same. The real issue is how MSI is going to handle this situation. Recall the cards? Offer reviewers a factory firmware? I dunno, but demonizing them for a stupid mistake isn't the answer.

            • Waco
            • 3 years ago

            If reviewers aren’t using the software, how could MSI possibly expect that [i<]consumers[/i<] would? This is exactly the kind of thing they should be demonized for, IMO. They need to learn that doing things underhanded is not acceptable, even if the intention was good. I assume MSI will simply ignore it and stop the practice. Hopefully that's the case, and it won't happen again till [undetermined time in the future].

            • Stargazer
            • 3 years ago

            These MSI graphics cards come with 3 available profiles.

            For graphics cards bought in retail, the cards default to the “Gaming Mode” profile, which is in itself already overclocked compared to reference cards.

            If you choose to use the MSI software, you can then further overclock your card by selecting the “OC Mode” profile. If you value silence higher than additional speed, you can instead use the software to select the “Silent Mode” profile to reduce clock speeds and fan noise.

            Thus, the expected behavior when you purchase one of these cards is that you get the Gaming Mode as default speed, and have the option of increasing the speed further by using the OC Mode.

            In the review samples that have been sent out, the default profile is OC Mode. It is thus not possible to further increase the speed of your card by selecting another profile since you’re already using the fastest one.

            When you’re looking at benchmark results in reviews that do not use the MSI software to select a different profile, it is reasonable to assume that the cards are using the Gaming Mode profile since this is how retail cards behave and how the cards are being advertised (“The MSI Gaming App allows for one-click performance profiles that unlock extra performance for gaming … “). You can thus expect to be able to improve the performance further than what is shown in the review by using the MSI software to increase clock speeds by selecting the OC Mode profile.

            Thus, the reasonable expectations from the reviews (being able to further increase performance from what is shown by switching to the OC Mode profile) are not possible to achieve with retail cards (the maximum you can expect is what is already shown in the reviews). The review samples give unrealistic expectations.

            Things would have been different if it had been made clear that this was how the review samples behaved. That was not the case.

            [quote<]After all, they are [i<]offering the firmware to the public[/i<].[/quote<] Similarly, this could have been an argument if they did so before they were called out. They didn't.

          • SHOES
          • 3 years ago

          Hey, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it guaranteed, I will. I got spare time.

      • danazar
      • 3 years ago

      This isn’t “factory overclocking”. That’s where the manufacturer OC’s the card before shipping it to the customer, so the customer doesn’t have to do anything. In this case, they’re sending overclocked units to the reviewers, but [i<]that's not how they arrive from the factory to consumers[/i<]. It's not a factory overclocked product... it's just a few overclocked review samples for a product that [i<]isn't[/i<] factory overclocked. In other words, it's false advertising. They tried to make it [i<]look[/i<] like you get factory overclocked performance to reviewers, but they're not offering that.

        • DoomGuy64
        • 3 years ago

        No it’s not. Read my reply to JBI. You do get a “factory overclock” model on cards that advertise the boost clock speeds. Those speeds are guaranteed by MSI, so it’s NOT false advertising. Every single card advertised with the boost feature will hit those clocks, but you must use the app.

        MSI simply pre-overclocked reviewer samples because they weren’t using the app in their reviews. It’s not unavailable to consumers at all. Their boost cards are simply factory overclocked models that give you the OPTION. I don’t see how having [i<]increased choice[/i<] is a bad thing, so this reeks of manufactured click bait drama.

          • just brew it!
          • 3 years ago

          You’ve either got a very strange idea of what constitute ethical business practices, or you work for MSI. Or both.

            • DoomGuy64
            • 3 years ago

            :p No, I just own a MSI card. See ebomb808’s post. Then take a look at the picture from my card’s box.
            [url<]http://uploads.im/RnUT3.jpg[/url<] MSI users know exactly what the Gaming APP is about. The cards are advertised on the box to hit these clocks, but [i<]you have to use the APP.[/i<] I don't see what the problem is, when the retail cards are advertised to hit these clocks. Non-issue. What is the problem exactly? Are the retail cards being denied these clocks? No. The firmware? No. MSI just wants reviewers to test their cards at the advertised boost speeds, and enabled it by default solely for convenience. This isn't some sort of malicious conspiracy, just a stupid marketing error. If I didn't speak out about it, who would? You guys are demonizing a stupid marketing stunt, which is just ridiculous. Chock it up to stupidity, test the card, and move on. Let the results speak for themselves. I don't know why you can't open your mind to a more objective opinion. There's more nuance than you realize, and that's all I'm trying to get across.

            • Waco
            • 3 years ago

            If they got away with it, it opens the door to even further stupidity. It’s wrong, they shouldn’t do it, and they should absolutely be demonized for it.

      • SkyWarrior
      • 3 years ago

      Why not Techreport publish a review of these cards if there is a need for clarification for the end users?

      • K-L-Waster
      • 3 years ago

      Y’know what, if they sent a card that defaulted to the OC settings and clearly indicated to the review sites that that was what they were doing (“By the way, the card you are testing runs in OC mode by default — you may want to make a note of that in your review”) I would have no problem with that.

      My concern is with the lack of clarity, not the hardware itself. By sending a card that runs in OC mode by default but not communicating that, there is a possibility that review sites that do not meticulously document the clocks the card ran at on the test bench may conclude that the card is a better performer than they think (especially if they run it in a comparison with other cards that are not OC’d…) and consumers who do not read every word of the review may make their purchasing decisions based on false assumptions (“wow, that MSI card really performs, and if I OC it it will be even better than that!!1!”)

      (This is speaking as a person who is currently using an MSI card of the Maxwell persuasion and is quite happy with it — I’m certainly not rage-junking it over this issue….)

        • smilingcrow
        • 3 years ago

        My thoughts exactly. The fact that they didn’t suggests either incompetence or a deliberate attempt to hide facts.

    • thedosbox
    • 3 years ago

    I agree this is not a big deal given the relatively small differences in clock speed, especially as Asus have been doing similar things with their hardware (motherboards in particular) for awhile.

    Having said that, I’ll be looking at alternatives to MSI to replace my MSI GTX 780. This sort of behaviour shouldn’t be encouraged, and it makes me wonder what other little tricks they’ve been up to.

    • ImSpartacus
    • 3 years ago

    Where is MSI’s statement?

    I find it unreal that MSI would have the gall to claim that they need to modify the firmware of a reviewer’s card to ensure that it uses an otherwise non-default performance-improving mode.

    As the article stated, if reviewers don’t give a shit about MSI’s app (and never have to, thanks to modified firmware), then why could consumers magically start to care about the app?

    There’s no way that MSI PR let that one slide. I just can’t believe it.

      • auxy
      • 3 years ago

      TPU says the same thing. Seems likely to me. (´・ω・`)

      I dunno why you are surprised. As a Sino-Asian person, let me say, culture in East Asia is quite different from culture in the west. To MSI this is completely legitimate, because anything goes to get ahead.

      It’s just a culture clash. Anyway it’s 26Mhz. Who even cares? (*´∀`*)

        • ronch
        • 3 years ago

        Unethical is unethical regardless of culture. Although some cultures are obviously less ethical or hold it in lower regard.

      • Jeff Kampman
      • 3 years ago

      MSI issued its statement over email. I added the full text of the statement to the article.

    • torquer
    • 3 years ago

    If only we had a thorough and timely review from a trusted source to save us from this madness…

    • NoOne ButMe
    • 3 years ago

    Delete

    • south side sammy
    • 3 years ago

    “Bear in mind the heat and noise consequences of such a thing before you update” and “or just skip………. blah, blah, blah..”

    other alternatives would be not to buy the cards at all, or not buy an MSI product at all, or not buy an nvidia product at all…….

      • smilingcrow
      • 3 years ago

      “or not buy an nvidia product at all…….”

      In what way is this nVidia’s fault?

      This is a storm in a teacup due to the negligible clock speed boost and the fact that the settings are available to the card by design.
      Much worse than this are mobo manufacturers who run the system clock over speed and also enable multi-turbo out of spec for the CPU.
      Now that is really shady I feel.

        • south side sammy
        • 3 years ago

        they tried to pull the wool over our eyes and the competition’s eyes and never would have come clean about it if they didn’t get caught. screw them.

          • curtisb
          • 3 years ago

          This wasn’t NVIDIA’s doing, it was MSI’s. So the question still stands…in what way is this NVIDIA’s fault?

            • NovusBogus
            • 3 years ago

            Oh but course it’s Ngreedia’s fault, everything is. Were it not for those meanies and their vast green-wing conspiracy, AMD would be the most bestest company in the whole wide world like they deserve–nay, friends, that they are entitled to! Now excuse me while I cry myself to sleep with my plush Athlon 64 pillow, autographed by the great Jerry Sanders himself…

          • smilingcrow
          • 3 years ago

          Who are they?

            • chuckula
            • 3 years ago

            THE SAME PEOPLE WHO KILLED KENNY!

            YOU BASTARDS!

            • BIF
            • 3 years ago

            Oh puhlease, Kenny hasn’t died for years.

            • smilingcrow
            • 3 years ago

            Who is Kenny? Is he an AMD employee that MSI had killed?
            The bastards. I bet MSI are secretly funding terrorism as they clearly can’t be trusted. I suspect Obama is preparing the drone attack on the MSI bunker as I type this. That would seem an appropriate response to this BIOS attack on Western values. Things like this undermine democracy and needed to be stamped out.

      • chuckula
      • 3 years ago

      Last time I checked MSI made plenty of Radeon boards and there’s nothing stopping them from playing the exact same game with… I dunno… Rx 480 boards.

      But don’t let facts get in the way of your two minutes of hate.

        • NoOne ButMe
        • 3 years ago

        And according to techpowerup 5 boards from Nvidia and 5 from AMD has this treatment.

        I don’t understand why TechReport has yet to edit or mention that it wasn’t only NVidia and not only the 1000, sorry, 10 series.

        [url<]https://www.techpowerup.com/img/16-06-16/131b.jpg[/url<]

        • Lans
        • 3 years ago

        Yeah, I have MSI card and MB but for next upgrade cycle, I’ll have to reconsider.

          • rxc6
          • 3 years ago

          I was debating between an Asus and a Gigabyte Z170 board before. Not anymore…

          • BurntMyBacon
          • 3 years ago

          On the nVidia side, with MSI and Asus both offending parties, the obvious choice (to my mind) would be EVGA. Who would you look for on the ATi side? XFX perhaps?

          Also, who is your next pick for motherboards (just curious) as MSI and Asus are two of the largest manufacturers.

            • rxc6
            • 3 years ago

            On the AMD side, Sapphire has worked well for me.

    • Waco
    • 3 years ago

    Sadly, this will be forgotten. It’s absolutely unjustified to ship reviewers a card that *forces* certain modes, even when asked to drop to a lower mode.

    How do they expect reviewers to test the acoustics of gaming mode or silent mode? There’s no excuse for this other than trying to get the best scores possible out of shitty review sites that don’t test properly.

    • RdVi
    • 3 years ago

    A dual bios switch would solve all this. No need to install potentially unwanted software also.

    • yogibbear
    • 3 years ago

    Boom called it.

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