GPU-Z Adds Fake GPU Detection Capability to Combat Counterfeiting

GPU-Z Adds Fake GPU Detection Capability to Combat Counterfeiting

GPU-Z is a lightweight utility that’s frequently used to identify GPUs and parse their various characteristics. It’s capable of logging a number of GPU variables in real-time, which is useful for measuring throttling, clock, and fan speeds, and it can tell you a great deal about the specifics of your GPU’s support for APIs like Vulkan, OpenGL, and DirectX. Now, the utility has added a new feature — the ability to detect counterfeit cards.

I was a bit surprised to read it because it’s been a long time since counterfeit parts were a major issue in the United States. 18-20 years ago, when I ran my own computer service and repair business, I had more than a few college students walk through the door with, shall we say, interesting hardware configurations. Back then, it wasn’t unheard of for unscrupulous individuals to save money by overclocking a CPU (typically by hardware jumper settings, though BIOS overclocking was in its early stages) and selling it as the more expensive part. Push a K6-2 266 up to 300MHz-333MHz, and you could pocket the additional premium between the two chips’ sale price. In one memorable case, I had a customer show up with a no-name knockoff motherboard and a Celeron that insisted it was actually a Pentium II.

GPU-Z Adds Fake GPU Detection Capability to Combat Counterfeiting

Evidently, GPU counterfeiting is now enough of an issue in Chinese markets that GPU-Z has added the ability to identify whether your card is what it claims to be. In the image below, a normal GPU is on the left, an identified fake card on the right.

GPU-Z Adds Fake GPU Detection Capability to Combat Counterfeiting

To a knowledgeable eye, the GPU on the right obviously isn’t a GTX 1050 Ti — the core, shader, and ROP figures are all wrong. But since that’s not automatically clear to the end-user, the utility now displays a prominent FAKE warning next to the name of the card, with a warning logo where the company logo would normally sit. The GF116 was used for the GTX 550 Ti, GTX 560M, GT 545, and the GT 545 (OEM variant). And, as the app notes, it’s a seven-year-old GPU — not a two-year-old chip.

This utility could be particularly useful for laptops, where it’s much harder to check the make and model on the GPU, but it could also be useful in situations where the counterfeiter might have altered the labels on the desktop card. Printing replacement stickers and art are pretty trivial for most companies and one might not see the difference without close examination of the card itself. Hopefully, tools like this will help crack down on fraud against Chinese gamers and the unscrupulous companies rebranding hardware. Hat tip to Tom’s Hardware for spotting the update. GPU-Z may be downloaded here.

Continue reading

Samsung Now Producing 16Gbit GDDR6 for Upcoming GPUs
Samsung Now Producing 16Gbit GDDR6 for Upcoming GPUs

Samsung is ramping up production of GDDR6 with an 18Gbit clock and a new process node.

GPU Prices Skyrocket, Breaking the Entire DIY PC Market
GPU Prices Skyrocket, Breaking the Entire DIY PC Market

GPU prices are so high, they're killing the value proposition of building your own gaming PC.

Nvidia Calls for Limits as Crypto Hysteria Pushes GPU Prices Sky High
Nvidia Calls for Limits as Crypto Hysteria Pushes GPU Prices Sky High

You can thank the surge of interest in cryptocurrency for the increase in graphics card prices, but Nvidia is trying to do something about it. "Trying" is the operative word here.

How To Boost Older GPU Performance, Since You Can’t Buy a New One
How To Boost Older GPU Performance, Since You Can’t Buy a New One

With GPU prices beyond crazy, there's no way we're recommending anybody buy right now. If you're stuck making do with an older card, here's some advice and tips for maximizing every last bit of performance it can give you.