A New Overclocking Golden Age? – Nvidia BIOS flashing restrictions have been bypassed

A New Overclocking Golden Age? - Nvidia BIOS flashing restrictions have been bypassed

Modders have bypassed Nvidia’s BIOS signature lock, opening the door to vBIOS modification and higher overclocks

It’s time to overclock like its 2013. Nvidia’s BIOS security mechanism has been successfully bypassed, allowing gamers to flash modified BIOS files onto their GeForce graphics cards despite Nvidia’s security mechanisms. 

With the release of Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 900 series of graphics cards, Nvidia killed the vBIOS modding scene by introducing on-die security onto their graphics cards. Now, one decade later, two hackers have managed to independently bypass Nvidia’s security mechanisms, allowing gamers to flash their GPU’s BIOS. These tools are OMGVflash by Veii, and NVflashk by Kefinator, both of which are members of the TechPowerUp forums.

These new tools can be used to bypass Nvidia’s BIOS signature checks and vendor/device checks to enable BIOS modification and cross flashing respectively. These tools can be used to modify BIOS files on any Nvidia GPU up to their RTX 20 series of Turing graphics cards, and cross-flashing can be done on any Nvidia GPU up to the company’s newest RTX 40 series of Ada GPUs. 

With full BIOS modding, users can raise power limits, increase voltage thresholds, thermal limits , and increase GPU boost clock speeds and their residency. These mods can even be used to alter fan profiles. This level of BIOS modification can be used to push higher GPU overclocks, unlocking additional performance for users with adequate cooling, but this level of BIOS tinkering is only available to RTX 20 series and older GPUs. 

Through cross-flashing, users of GPUs up to Nvidia’s RTX 40 series can flash alternative BIOS versions to enable higher voltage limits and overclocks. For example, an RTX 4090 GPU can have its BIOS replaced with a BIOS from another RTX 4090 model to enable higher voltage limits. These BIOS’ need to come from another RTX 40 series model, and these BIOS’ cannot be modified of have their signatures altered. 

A New Overclocking Golden Age? - Nvidia BIOS flashing restrictions have been bypassed

(OMG Flash – Image from TechPowerUp)

While it is great to see that the GPU enthusiast community now have a new toolset to exploit, we will note that BIOS modding comes with substantial risks. These modifications are for advanced users, and can lead to hardware failure or premature hardware death. If your GPU has a dual BIOS, the risks of a bad BIOS flash can be mitigated, but that does not mean that there are no risks with this process.

More information about these new BIOS flashing tools are available on TechPowerUp, where the creators of both of these new flashing tools have written extensive guides for their new overclocking tools. 

You can join the discussion on Nvidia’s BIOS signature lock being bypassed by modders on the OC3D Forums.