NVIDIA shady trick to 9600GT following-up #2

Related:Follow-up to NVIDIA’s shady trick on 9600GT

Some days after TPU’s NVIDIA’s shady trick, and our following-up, NVIDIA replied our questions. This is the first time NVIDIA officially answer us the question on 9600GT. But as you can expected, they still hiding some truth. However we can already guess what’s in their mind.

1. 9600GT using LinkBoost to cheat?

NVIDIA said: “NVIDIA nForce board didn’t provide LinkBoost any more.”

TPU said: “This feature was pioneered with the NVIDIA 590i chipset and is present in the NVIDIA 680i chipset too, but has recently been disabled as far as I know. Also some motherboards from ASUS and other companies increase the PCI-Express bus frequency beyond 100 MHz when the BIOS option is set to “auto”.

The automatic increase of 25 MHz on the PCI-Express bus frequency yields an increase of 25% or 162.5 MHz over the stock clock (assuming a 650 MHz clock board design). With a final clock of 812.5 MHz you can bet this card will perform much better, when used by an unsuspecting user, on an NVIDIA chipset motherboard with LinkBoost.”

We said: Our test shows both nForce 680i and 780i have disabled LinkBoost. Please notice all our boards are from Asus.


2. GeForce Cards runs better on nForce Board?

NVIDIA said: “NVIDIA cards performs good with all the mainboards. ”

TPU said: “It is certainly nice for NVIDIA to see their GeForce 9600 GT reviewed on NVIDIA chipsets with LinkBoost enabled where their card leaves the competition behind in the dust (even more). Also it could send a message to customers that the card performs considerably better when used on an NVIDIA chipset? Actually this is not the case, the PCI-Express frequency can be adjusted on most motherboards, you will see these gains independent of Intel/AMD CPU architecture or Intel/NVIDIA/AMD/VIA chipset.”

We said: when we adjust the PCIe frequency, the scaling is alike. nForce boards performs only a little better than Intel board.

3. 9600GT’s core clock derived from PCIe clock, it is 1:1 scaling?

NVIDIA said: “The core and SP clocks on 9600GT are derived from PCIe (PEX) clock. There are two reference clocks available on the chip: the 100 MHz PEX clk and the 27 MHz Crystal clock. Either can be chosen, but using a higher reference clock provides better clock stability (less jitter).

If users were to inadvertently set the PCIe clock really high, it could cause an excessive GPU clock speed increase, but no chip damage would ever occur because the GPU’s thermal protection circuitry would be triggered, and the chip would slow down.”

TPU said: “On “normal” VGA cards, when you increase the PCI-Express bus frequency you increase the theoretical bandwidth available between card and the rest of the system, but do not affect the speed the card is running at. On the GeForce 9600 GT, a 10% increase in PCI-Express frequency will make the card’s core clock run 10% faster!”

We said: our test in follow-up #1 shows the scaling is in a special shape, can not be easily concluded as 1:1. NVIDIA at least let us know the PCIe clock and core clock/SP clock is linked.

4、Will future GeForce cards also have the same clocking method?

NVIDIA said: We can not provide information indicating if the same clocking method will be used in future chips.

We said: We have found one of the future product also have the same method.

Final thought:

Though NVIDIA did not give us a 100% satisfy answer, but they at least let us know TPU’s speculation is right: 9600GT using a new clocking method. Though we still don’t know what part is changed in 9600GT besides core/SP when PCIe changes.

(According to our test, both reference and non-reference 9600GT have used the new clocking method.)

Because the new clocking method exists and NVIDIA did not want us to know, so calling it cheating is not wrong, it should blame NVIDIA PR itself.

So here is our speculation: With this new series GeForce cards user can easily overclock the graphic card via BIOS, by adjusting PCIe frequency. Instead of cheating, I like to call it a innovation, because now user can OC a graphic card like OC a CPU.

Do you still remember NVIDIA said multiple times that GPU in more important than CPU? It seems they are going to challenging someone big…

5 Responses to “NVIDIA shady trick to 9600GT following-up #2”

  1. Slim Shady Says:

    This just confirms TPU’s title was right on the spot:
    1.”shady”- not disclosing such “innovation” to start with, and keeping mum for almost a month.
    2.”trick”- when your card is overclocked without your knowledge, and the lack of utility to even tell you the accurate clock I would feel tricked. If I want to OC I will do it myself or buy OC version.
    It is cheating regardless of what the (new) possibilities are. The fact is this “innovation” distorts the benchmark results published and Nvidia’s results benefit from every bit of it. Whether it was intentional or not, or whether it changes the results a lot or not, it doesn’t matter. The fact is they got caught.

  2. [TPU] 9600GT secret exposed - Page 4 - Overclock.net - Overclocking.net Says:

    [...] in future chips. We said: We have found one of the future product also have the same method. Update at expreview, there has been no follow up at TPU that I could find. __________________ [...]

  3. 8800GTS (G92) OCing (840/2206/2098), experimentation/thoughts - Page 2 - Overclock.net - Overclocking.net Says:

    [...] it was the 9600gt that could be overclocked by bumping up the PCIe bus frequency(on certain mobos). -More here- [...]

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