Monday, February 4th 2019

ASUS GPU Tweak II Smears Ads Over Your Games

ASUS GPU Tweak II is a utility the company bundles with its graphics cards, which lets you overclock and monitor them. Among its many monitoring featuresis performance overlay mode, that adds an overlay to fullscreen 3D apps (in other words, games), which can be set to display parameters such as GPU temperatures, clock-speeds, frame-rates, etc. GPU Tweak II user "PurpleSquash640" on Reddit posted a screenshot of an ASUS banner ad overlaying their Battlefield V fullscreen.

This somewhat square banner is positioned at the right-center corner of the screen, with a handy "turn off this picture press ctrl+alt+F" text. When GPU Tweak II is closed (background process killed), the overlay disappears. The banner itself markets the company's latest RTX 20-series graphics cards. "PurpleSquash640" captioned this banner "wtf?" in their screenshot, and we can't disagree with that sentiment. This is the first among many questionable GPDR-teasing practices by ASUS in recent times, including unsolicited injection of files to Windows System32 folder by its latest motherboards.

Update 05/02: We have been informed that the "ad" doesn't appear by default, and is just a placeholder image for a different feature altogether. Apparently you can configure the GPU Tweak II OSD to display images (such as your clan logo). The app has a bundled placeholder image that looks like an ASUS banner ad. Source: PurpleSquash640 (Reddit)
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40 Comments on ASUS GPU Tweak II Smears Ads Over Your Games

#1
Vayra86
ASUS was on my shitlist, but now theyre unable to ever come off.
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#2
robal
Wow.
Give it few months / years and it will be the new norm.
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#3
TheLostSwede
They need to recover their R&D costs somehow...
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#4
TheDeeGee
It's a shame Nvidia abandoned their System Software for Videocards.

I used it back in the day to set Fan Speed.
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#5
PanicLake
robal, post: 3987226, member: 57245"
Wow.
Give it few months / years and it will be the new norm.
It will only if people condone that behavior..
Posted on Reply
#6
Rahnak
TheLostSwede, post: 3987229, member: 3382"
They need to recover their R&D costs somehow...
They already have the most expensive video cards (at least where I live).
Posted on Reply
#7
lynx29
Vayra86, post: 3987225, member: 152404"
ASUS was on my shitlist, but now theyre unable to ever come off.
When they started injecting bloatware into Z390 BIOS so even on clean installs of Windows 10 on a custom built system - you would still get bloat on clean installs - that should have already had them on your permanent crap list, it did mine.

I am sticking with mid-range MSI gear moving forward, gpu and mobo is MSI for me, MSI also makes the best high end laptops, in my experience anyway of the last 2 years.
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#8
Tsukiyomi91
simple solution; don't install their GPU Tweak & use Afterburner or Precision X OC. Those 2 are way better IMO.
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#9
the54thvoid
Surely EA or Dice must have agreed to this as well?
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#10
lynx29
Tsukiyomi91, post: 3987253, member: 129086"
simple solution; don't install their GPU Tweak & use Afterburner or Precision X OC. Those 2 are way better IMO.
It's the principal of the matter my dear Watson.

the54thvoid, post: 3987264, member: 79251"
Surely EA or Dice must have agreed to this as well?
If they are maximizing profit this way, it also means they are probably cutting corners on quality control and product design too.


MSI mid range or high end is the only way to go these days imo
Posted on Reply
#11
DeathtoGnomes
This is the result of what happens when you take 1 intern to develop software that runs like shit, doesnt work as intended, or never launches. Add 1 experienced programmer and you get software that runs like shit and performs even worse. Add 2 years and you get shit software that performs like you're running Futurmark while trying to play m$ Minesweep. Finally reach a goal that users can play Minesweep without overheating. Inform management that the shit has hit the fan and the software performs as intended. Send software to QA team previously labeled PR team. Add Ad based exceptions to your firewall with coded names so you dont recognize them while putting imitation bullet holes in your registry to further confuse gamers on how ads go past your perfect firewall configuration.

End Result: ASUS GPU Tweak II for fun and profit.
(new)ASUS PR team edited name: ASUS GPU Tweak II.
Posted on Reply
#12
noel_fs
lynx29, post: 3987266, member: 153071"
It's the principal of the matter my dear Watson.



If they are maximizing profit this way, it also means they are probably cutting corners on quality control and product design too.


MSI mid range or high end is the only way to go these days imo
I think msi qc is questionable. Gigabyte is the way to go sadly, the cut on quality components but the quality control and design usually shows that the put thinking into it atleast
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#13
ShurikN
Vayra86, post: 3987225, member: 152404"
ASUS was on my shitlist, but now theyre unable to ever come off.
Same.
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#14
hat
Enthusiast
I prefer MSI Afterburner, anyway. It's pretty much the standard tool. No one really recommends ASUS GPU Tweak, everyone says Afterburner. Once you can find the options menu and use a regular skin instead of the default one that looks like an aircraft instrument panel it's not bad.
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#15
FreedomEclipse
~Technological Technocrat~
Don't worry guys. They'll be crypto mining when your pc is idle next
Posted on Reply
#16
64K
imo it's best to avoid ASUS hardware in general. I have seen some experiences posted about their poor customer service that were ridiculous for the customer to have to go through.
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#17
Tomgang
Oh my. I dont hope msi does the same with msi afterburner:slap:.

I never used asus tweak and i am sure as hell not gonna use it now. There are more than enoufh adds every where, i dont need adds pop up in my games as well.
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#18
ShurikN
64K, post: 3987315, member: 148270"
imo it's best to avoid ASUS hardware in general. I have seen some experiences posted about their poor customer service that were ridiculous for the customer to have to go through.
For me, every single ASUS product I've owned had some sort of an issue. I feel like if you're buying entry level on mid tier products from ASUS, you just wasted your money.
One simple modern example are their B450 motherboards which buildzoid reviewed. You pay more, and get lower quality than, lets say, ASRock or MSI.
Posted on Reply
#19
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
This is as bad as making AMD cards have Arez naming.

If they dont clean up their act ASRock will be my main board for my next upgrade.
Posted on Reply
#20
Octavean
eidairaman1, post: 3987337, member: 40556"
This is as bad as making AMD cards have Arez naming.

If they dont clean up their act ASRock will be my main board for my next upgrade.
Actually from what I have empirically observed with my own builds, Asus motherboard quality control has dropped enough for me to consider other manufacturers.

For example:

Asus X99-A motherboard has a memory issue with G-Skill RAM listed as having been supported.

Asus P8P67 Pro motherboard had some SATA ports stop functioning. Keep in mind this was a motherboard that Asus immediately issued an RMA for (when it was new back in ~2011) due to an Intel flaw with the chipset. So at the time I RMAed a newly manufactured board for a new revision replacement that supposedly didn't have the same SATA Intel errata flaw.

Asus Z97-A motherboard had some SATA ports stop functioning as well.

So at this point I am ready to try some ASRock, Gigabyte and MSI boards.

As for the Asus ads, I'm actually OK with it provided that the video card is free. If it isnt free then I might be OK with it if Asus pays me to look at them occasionally. If not then WTF Asus!?!
Posted on Reply
#21
lZKoce
I have Asus GPU tweak, but a very old version that came on the disk with the card. Don't why I installed it. It works, only thing I use it for is to turn off and on the "zero decibel" function from time to time.

Funny thing is as @ShurikN said, I've always had something not right with each product I've owned from Asus. Had:

- laptop from F3-series: literary the plastic fell apart. One hinge tore off
- motherboard on 775 socket: P5Q-EM didn't want to take AMD cards at all (blue screen of death) without a BIOS update. After the update it works fine with AMD cards
- two motherboards on Kaby Lake: Asus AI suite doing funny stuff to fans
- Asus ROG laptop, keyboard backlit went off after 1809 update on Win 10, but this could MSs fault

That's on top of my head, but still better than Gigabyte's fan mishap on my GTX 970 G1 Gaming....
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#22
moproblems99
I dropped them after Arez. This just re-enforces that I made a good decision.
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#23
yakk
So... a side order of extra telemetry with that? So... in theory a typical PC gamer now potentially sends out Windows 10 telemetry, geforce experience telemetry, synapse telemetry, what else?

Extra monetizing of their customers, not awesome...
Posted on Reply
#24
dozenfury
This overlay thing from Asus would be an absolute deal-breaker for me.

Although not as bad the other vendors have app issues too. Fwiw the Gigabyte graphics tool (Aorus engine they call it) has been incredibly buggy for years. Thankfully, it doesn't stoop to this level of injecting on-screen ads. But it's had a world of bugs that are nearly as bad. One bug in it causes it while running to grab full-screen focus randomly, causing w/e game you are playing in full-screen to pop back to the desktop like you alt-tabbed, usually badly timed in the middle of action. Another problem is that it forces you to also into RGB fusion, which is Gigabyte's LED lighting app which is even more buggy.

So I think there's been a decline in the past 2-3 years in all of MSI, Gigabyte, and Asus. It's really to the point that you have to keep any vendor installed apps to an absolute minimum, and even then do restore points so you can go back if/when you find out they are buggy. Or if you do, stick to the ones that are proven to be fairly stable and malware free like EVGA or MSI Afterburner. Injecting overlay ads, or squeezing malware in bios so they are reloaded on fresh installs? Asus, I am disappointed. I would RMA (or ebay, if it's too late for that) that thing so fast it's not funny.
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#25
Kaotik
In case no-one else tested it already, I did, the news is hoax.
Yes, GPU Tweak II has that overlay feature. Yes, it has that particular advert as default picture. However the option is not enabled by default.
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