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MSI: We will not block overclocking capabilities of our notebooks

MicroStar International does not plan to block overclocking of Nvidia GeForce GTX 900M-series graphics processing units inside its laptops for gamers. The company, which produces one of the finest high-end notebooks, however, warns overclockers about possible overheating and warranty issues because of overclocking.

“MSI is not planning any changes to the overclocking capabilities of MSI’s gaming notebooks,” a statement from MSI published by PC Games Hardware reads. “The latest statements from Nvidia on the subject have no effect on our product design. However, we point out that warranty and services will be voided if defects occur as a result of components operating outside of their specifications.”

Earlier this month Nvidia blocked overclocking functionality for mobile GeForce GTX 900M family of graphics processors in its latest drivers. The firm said that the GPUs were not designed to support overclocking. After the move caused massive outrage among enthusiasts, who use their high-end notebooks to play the latest PC games, the chip developer promised to return the capability in its next drivers. However, it then transpired that the company started to block overclocking support in vBIOS on its MXM cards carrying the GeForce GTX 900M chips.

Notebook makers have rights to modify vBIOS of graphics adapters they get from Nvidia. Therefore, it should not be a problem for MSI to re-enable overclocking capabilities of the GeForce GTX 965M, 970M and 980M graphics solutions.

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MSI is one of the leading makers of gaming notebooks, therefore, it is not surprising at all that the company wants its laptops to have no drawbacks, such as limitations of overclocking. MSI’s flagship GT80 Titan gaming personal computer features two GeForce GTX 980M in SLI mode, up to four SSDs and a mechanical keyboard. The machine was designed to be upgradeable and handle different components. While the machine is packed with performance, it has a lot of headroom for overclocking too. KitGuru recently reviewed the MSI GT80 Titan and found it “most powerful laptop on the market” that does not accept any compromises.

It remains to be seen how other notebook vendors react to Nvidia’s initiative to ban overclocking of its notebook GPUs. If MSI and a couple of other suppliers re-activate support of overclocking in their laptops, they will get a competitive advantage over those, who do not. As a result, conservative notebook vendors will have to follow. But what if Nvidia manages to persuade everyone that overclocking is too dangerous?

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KitGuru Says: MSI is clearly doing the right thing. Even Intel offers microprocessors with unlocked multiplier for mobile computers with unlocked multiplier to enable their overclocking. Moreover, there are notebook suppliers, such as Alienware, who sell gaming laptops with factory-overclocked processors. Hence, while Nvidia can make notebook GPU overclocking difficult, it will unlikely completely eliminate it.

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