Modders have developed two tools to bypass the security measure deployed by Nvidia to avoid unbridled overclocking on its latest GPUs.
OMGVflash and NVflashk. These are the respective names of the two tools launched by modders to manage to circumvent a security measure deployed ten years ago on the latest generation graphics cards from Nvidia. With these two utilities, overclockers can once again flash the vBIOS files of the American giant’s GPUs… and thus unlock their full overclocking potential.
As a reminder, the vBIOS deployed by Nvidia specifies elements such as the power limit of the GPU, its maximum clock speed, or even certain parameters such as when the GPU turns off in a context of overheating. Before the arrival of the GeForce GTX 900s, overclockers could easily flash a new vBIOS in order to achieve higher levels of performance through unbridled overclocking.
Nvidia had however whistled the end of recess at the end of 2014 with its Maxwell GPUs, by deploying the security mentioned above. It is this that the two tools unveiled this week make it possible to circumvent.
Wild overclocking about to return to Nvidia cards?
As DigitalTrends reports, OMGVflash and NVflashk were independently developed by members of TechPowerUp’s forum. The site subsequently “ hand inspected binary code to ensure that no virus was present on these tools. These could make it possible to relaunch a golden age of overclocking on Nvidia cards.
We can also imagine that some users of affordable GPUs will take advantage of these utilities to flash the vBIOS of their card and boost its performance… a practice that many brands are already engaged in with their “OC” graphics cards, which offer performance enhanced compared to the reference models thanks to a more or less ambitious factory overclocking.
Note however that the security deployed by Nvidia around the vBIOS is not there by chance. It avoids many unfortunate manipulations.
By flashing the vBIOS of a graphics card, the warranty is violated and the risks of going too far in overclocking are significant (we are indeed operating outside the parameters recommended by Nvidia). It is then possible to damage the GPU irreversibly, especially if the cooling system does not follow or if the question of applied voltages is poorly controlled. In short, if you decide to try, it will be at your own risk.