Hackers are upgrading Nvidia RTX 3080 GPU laptops — What you need to know

Best Laptops of the Year
(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

Nvidia RTX 30-series laptops are out in the wild, and while they definitely offer a boost in performance, some have hacked their way into gaining more power from an Nvidia RTX 3080 laptop. It's all about tricking the system.

Found on a Baidu forum (via PC Gamer), users have tricked an Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 into having a higher-powered version of an RTX 3080 graphics card. Because yes, there are unfortunately different versions of each of Nvidia's 30-series graphics card for laptops, and it's not so clear which one your laptop might be using.

More power, more responsibility

According to the forum, users were able to add more power by taking a vBIOS file from an MSI GE76 laptop, which boasts a higher 155W RTX 3080 GPU, and installed it into the Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15, which features a 115W RTX 3080. Smart cookies.

Basically, GPUs with higher wattage will gain a significant boost in performance, and what gamer doesn't want that? The laptop was then benchmarked with 3DMark Time Spy and saw a whopping 20% performance boost with a temperature of 72°C. That means the Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 could handle the boost without overheating.

So, why isn't this boost provided in the first place? Well, Asus clearly has its reasons, and apart from this hack offering a significant upgrade in performance, there's no telling how it will affect the laptop down the line. And if you didn't know, the Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 is quite the pricey machine, and we wouldn't want to see our money fly away once it bricks. Besides, it's already quite the beast for gamers.

There's plenty to get to know about the new Nvidia RTX 30-series laptops introduced at CES 2021, and we've already reviewed the first wave of them, including the Asus TUF Dash F15 and Gigabyte Aero 15 with RTX 3070, the Aorus 15G with RTX 3070 Max-Q, and the Alienware m17 R4 with an RTX 3080. 

Darragh Murphy

Darragh Murphy is fascinated by all things bizarre, which usually leads to assorted coverage varying from washing machines designed for AirPods to the mischievous world of cyberattacks. Whether it's connecting Scar from The Lion King to two-factor authentication or turning his love for gadgets into a fabricated rap battle from 8 Mile, he believes there’s always a quirky spin to be made. With a Master’s degree in Magazine Journalism from The University of Sheffield, along with short stints at Kerrang! and Exposed Magazine, Darragh started his career writing about the tech industry at Time Out Dubai and ShortList Dubai, covering everything from the latest iPhone models and Huawei laptops to massive Esports events in the Middle East. Now, he can be found proudly diving into gaming, gadgets, and letting readers know the joys of docking stations for Laptop Mag.