You’ve probably heard of the motherboard chipset, which contains the BIOS that runs system boot. Most BIOSes allow different types of adjustments, which, in some cases, provide extra performance. But did you know that within graphics card we have the VBIOS?
Usually, when talking about a graphics card, we talk about its features. What if frequency, what if heatsink, what if VRAM, etc. But, within the graphics card we have the VBIOS, a great unknown for most that allows us to unlock the full potential of the graphics card.
VBIOS, that great unknown of your graphics card
Essentially, VBIOS and motherboard BIOS are not that different. Both are contained on a special memory chip that allows adjustments to be made to their settings. But, there are big differences at the same time between the two. The main one is that while the BIOS can be “easily” manipulated, the VBIOS is complex and it is difficult to make adjustments.
To be able to make adjustments to this element of the graphics card, special software tools are usually required. What’s more, while motherboard BIOSes often receive updates, this is not usually the case with its namesake on graphics cards.
But when do we overclocking the graphics card we do not modify the VBIOS? It is true that you modify it, but you really play very few parameters. Usually the frequency and voltage of the GPU are modified, as well as the frequency of the RAM. Actually, there are many other aspects that you cannot modify because you are denied access.
At this point, we are going to explain what we can do in the VBIOS
Get more performance
Many manufacturers of graphics launch two or more variants of the same model Graphic card. We mean that, for example, the assembler Hardzone launches the RTX 3080 Blizzard. Not only does it launch the Hardzone RTX 3080 Blizzard, it can launch the Blizzard Pro, Max, and Ultra. The difference between them is not in the design, they all have the same heatsink, but the frequencies change.
Due to the adjustment of the frequencies, the price varies between the models. One cool trick that people don’t know is that we can download the Blizzard Ultra’s VBIOS firmware and install it on the “base” model. We have saved, for example, 100 euros.
Activate cores that are “off”
It is not the most common, but in some cases it is They launch a graphics card with a GPU belonging to a higher model. What is done is deactivate “X” number of cores so that the two are “identical”. If this happens, we can load the VBIOS of the top model and turn these kernels off.
Create an optimized BIOS for our needs
Actually, for this last aspect, knowledge quite advanced of hardware and programming. Although it is true that there are specialized forums where firmware is uploaded with special or specific optimizations.
BEWARE: the risks are quite significant
The first thing we should know is that modifying the VBIOS is possible, but it is far from recommended. Installing a new firmware is a major risk which can make the graph unusable.
If the GPU and video memory hardcoded in the firmware don’t match the target one, we may get no video at system boot. Rolling back in the VBIOS of a graphics card is not as easy as it is on the motherboard, where there are restore mechanisms thanks to a “hot spare” BIOS. Since the VBIOS is not intended to be manipulated, this second chip is usually not added with the original firmware in case we “mess it up”.
We must emphasize that manufacturers, if they detect manipulation of the VBIOS, can refuse to process the guarantee. It is “forbidden” to manipulate the firmware of the graphics card and if it is done, it is a risk that the user assumes. Therefore, in the event of any problem during the process, we could find that we have run out of graphics card.