ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 users prove that lower RTX 3080 TGPs can be maximized via vBIOS flashing with 18% performance gains, but this can affect system stability
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With the introduction of the mobile RTX 3000 GPUs, Nvidia is now allowing laptop OEMs to choose from a wide array of TGP + Boost configurations. For example, the mobile RTX 3080 GPU alone comes in no less than 11 versions with TGPs ranging from 80 W to 150 W, and OEMs can also offer additional boosts of up to 15 W for each of those versions. This supposedly makes it easier for OEMs to plan for specific designs that include quieter cooling solutions or more suitable power supplies, batteries and possibly even slimmer chassis. Now, this leads to situations where even the high-end premium builds like the Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 do not include the fastest RTX 3080 GPU version because of some initial design constraints. However, modders recently figured out that a video BIOS upgrade can circumvent all the design limitations and enable the maximum possible TGP and boost.
This trick was first reported by some Baidu forum users who managed to replace the original Zephyrus vBIOS that was locked to 115 W TGP + 15 W Boost with the vBIOS from the MSI Leopard G76 that supports TGPs of up to 150 W. Thanks to this modification, the Asus laptops occupy the first 6 positions in the 3DMark Time Spy tests. According to VideoCardz, the vBIOS trick led to an 18% performance increase, so it was mostly for bragging rights since this boost can barely be noticed in games.
Is this modification worth doing? Certainly not. Yes, it may be easy to flash the upgraded BIOS, but the performance gains are not that significant, and we must also consider the long-term consequences. Remember that the OEMs have carefully chosen the cooling solution, power supply and battery, so increasing the TGP even by just 10 W could easily affect the stability of the system. Some immediately apparent consequences that could be observed with such modfications include increased noise levels from the cooling system, thermal throttling and battery charging problems caused by the power supply that cannot all of a sudden provide sufficient power. Not to mention that this type of modding essentially voids the warranty.