Two leading mainboard makers, ASUSTeK Computer and Gigabyte Technology, are debating on whether ASUS’ new technology aimed at boosting performance is legitimate or is a yet another example of unfair competition.
Gigabyte claims that according to several reports gathered worldwide it had been commonly found that systems equipped with ASUS’ i915P-/i925X-based mainboards scored significantly better results in certain 3D graphics performance tests compared to computers based on mainboards from other companies.
“We found that in the ASUS P5AD2 Premium BIOS there is a setting called “PEG Link Mode”. This setting clandestinely overclocks memory and graphics processor frequencies of ATI-based PCI-Express graphics cards,” Gigabyte said in its statement.
Since “PEG Link Mode” setting only boosted performance of certain graphics cards, Gigabyte stated that the feature was implemented “with the sole purpose to obtain higher benchmark results” in 3D graphics benchmarks and “in order to garner high praise from media editors”.
Materiel.be web-site claims that ASUSTeK’s “PEG Link Mode” may overclock ATI RADEON X600 XT graphics cards from default 513MHz for core and 742MHz for memory to up to 553MHz for chip and 782MHz for memory, achieving about 5% performance gain in benchmarks like Unreal Tournament 2003.
ASUS responded to Gigabyte saying that PEG Link Mode “allows users to raise GPU and graphics card’s memory throughput via the mainboard BIOS the same way system bus and memory bus are tweaked”. On potential allegations that not all graphics cards are able to handle overclocking the company said that “ASUS engineers carefully fine-tuned the parameters for every single PCI-Express card to provide system stability during high-speed graphics operation”.
It is not the first time when companies choose to dynamically adjust performance of their components in 3D games to gain customer’s attention. Last year MSI rolled-out its mainboards that automatically overclocked microprocessors to get higher results in demanding applications and benchmarks. Even earlier some of ASUSTeK’s graphics cards adjusted clock-speed in 3D applications to offer higher performance. Both cases lead to positive reviews in media.