NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Ti BIOS Mod Unlocks Insane 890W Mode For Overclockers
If you're not an overclocker
, you may not be aware that graphics cards these days use multiple separate methods to monitor and limit their own performance. It's a constant dance between the boost algorithm perpetually pushing performance to higher levels and the various limiters putting the kibosh on its plans.
The most commonly-engaged limiter for desktop GPUs is the power limit. What we incorrectly refer to as the "TDP" of graphics cards
most often actually refers to the stock power limit of the GPU. So saying, the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti
ships with a 450-watt power limit out of the box. That limitation is set in firmware, and while you can alter it slightly with software, it takes a firmware tweak to go much beyond those limits.
A firmware tweak like that created by MEGAsizeGPU (@zed__wang on Twitter), in fact. The image in the tweet above is a screenshot of free graphics card information and monitoring utility GPU-Z showing the power limit on a GeForce RTX 3090 Ti card. This particular card has had its power limit cranked to a ludicrous 890 watts.
Lest anyone think the image is Photoshopped, or that the tweak somehow isn't legitimate, MEGAsizeGPU offers two more screenshots. One of them depicts the card drawing up to 615.7 watts under an unspecified workload, and then later, he posted a shot of the card using 945 watts under a Furmark load. Note that this isn't a system power measurement, but only GPU power.
Pushing that kind of power through a graphics card is more than absurd; it's downright unsafe. In the Furmark shot, MEGAsizeGPU is apparently drawing over 300 watts apiece from three separate 8-pin auxiliary power connectors. Those connectors are only rated for 150 W—doubling the amount of current on those wires is absolutely a fire hazard, so don't try this at home, kids.
Of course, if you're insane, or if you have one of the special graphics cards with extreme cooling and a pair of 12VHPWR
connectors (like a GALAX HOF or EVGA KINGPIN model), you could indeed elect to try this at home. MEGAsizeGPU was gracious enough to upload the hacked GPU firmware to TechPowerUp
's GPU database
. But seriously, this could completely destroy your card, computer, and home if you use it improperly, so don't flash this firmware unless you absolutely know what you're doing. And even then you still probably shouldn't.