Asus GPU Tweak II Overlay Injects Ads Into Games

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by AlphaAtlas, Feb 4, 2019.

  1. AlphaAtlas

    AlphaAtlas [H]ard|Gawd Staff Member

    Messages:
    1,713
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2018
    Citing post on Reddit, Techpowerup claims that Asus GPU Tweak II injects what appears to be an Asus GPU ad right into games. But, since Reddit has a habit of blowing up unverified claims, I decided to download the utility myself and see if there's any truth to them. I grabbed the Windows 10 64 bit build of Asus GPU Tweak II Version 19.33 (released 01/16/2019) from the Asus website, installed it, and fired up a game to see what would happen.

    As you can see in the picture in the original article, the overlay, does, indeed, inject an Asus GPU ad right into any game that runs the overlay. But, what the Reddit post failed to mention is that it can easily be disabled. It doesn't appear to pop back up during subsequent game launches, but I'm not sure if the ad will eventually re-enable itself, and performance (subjectively) felt worse with the ad active. While some overlays like Origin and Steam show promotions when they're manually opened, this is the first time I've seen an ad that's displayed in-game by default, and I hope this is a trend that Asus and other overlay developers don't continue in the future.

    ASUS Response: "It is a feature for the beta group testers, not on by default, the image is just a stock placeholder to show how it works if a streamer wants to use that functionality and it can be disabled or repositioned based up on the user settings. "

    Update ASUS Response:
    "As for the beta testing portion, yes, it is in the public release but is included now for user using the overlay when streaming. The overlay was a request by the beta testing group to be an active feature in the software. I could have worded that differently in my reply. But, the overlay is not enabled by default. We inserted an image so something is there if you use the feature and can see what occurs if enabled. That image or one supplied by the user can be deleted, changed, or repositioned from being shown."


    So all this seems to be a bit overblown as it is simply being misunderstood.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 4, 2019
    Armenius likes this.
  2. wootius

    wootius [H]Lite

    Messages:
    104
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2017
    This is making me rethink a ROG board for Ryzen 2.
     
  3. vegeta535

    vegeta535 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,840
    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2013
    Why do companies think this shit is acceptable ffs. If true I hope the blow back hurts their bottom line.
     
    SFB, GSDragoon, Fleat and 9 others like this.
  4. CGFMaster

    CGFMaster Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    165
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Gross... they even misspelled 'turn'
     
    AlphaAtlas likes this.
  5. Twisted Kidney

    Twisted Kidney 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,503
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2013
    That's A-OK! Asus' software is universally shit.
     
    Furious_Styles likes this.
  6. fullvietFX

    fullvietFX [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,774
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2004
    Never buying ASUS again. That's just ridiculous, fuck ASUS. I am a huge fan of their products too.
     
    Armenius likes this.
  7. Armenius

    Armenius I Drive Myself to the [H]ospital

    Messages:
    16,809
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2014
    Kudos, AlphaAtlas, for doing your own verfication on yet another news story entering the cycle based on a Reddit post.
     
    wootius and CaptNumbNutz like this.
  8. tuanster1119

    tuanster1119 Gawd

    Messages:
    541
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2008
    oh for god's sake... it's the default image for their overlay. You can remove it, easily, calm down. Even the original poster of the Reddit thread deleted their post after they realized they they goofed up. Stop trying to manufacture a controversy when there is none.
     
    odditory likes this.
  9. AlphaAtlas

    AlphaAtlas [H]ard|Gawd Staff Member

    Messages:
    1,713
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2018
    Yeah, that made me twitch when I saw it. Some other annoyances:

    -The overlay seems to (subjectively) have a performance hit, even without the ads.

    -There's a huge lag spike when disabling the ads.

    -The overlay immediately crashes if ReShade is active. I had to try launching 3 games before I figured that out, as I use ReShade with pretty much everything.

    I believe the article makes that sufficiently clear (unlike the original reddit post). But it's still a rather obnoxious thing to be enabled by default, IMO.
     
    Legendary Gamer likes this.
  10. Lakados

    Lakados [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,377
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2014
    See I wouldn't mind things like billboards and posters in game to have actual adds on them rather than fake ones, let some advertisers pay the game companies and let them ditch all the micro transactions but this overly from ASUS is just dumb...
     
  11. PhaseNoise

    PhaseNoise [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,355
    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    This. Good hardware. Skip the rest.

    I briefly had their tuning tool until I saw how much crap it had running all the time (preventing the CPU from going idle). And then the little bundle of joy refused to uninstall via actual uninstall means, leading me to prune, purge, destroy and vow Never Again.
     
  12. Elf_Boy

    Elf_Boy 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,287
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2007
    Ad ware is getting pretty intrusive. I get software doesn't grow on trees - this just goes a lot far.

    When do we get to the point where only about 20% of our monitor space is usable as the rest is unrecoverable un-blockable add space?
     
  13. Bawjaws

    Bawjaws Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    429
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2017
    Yeah, their software is miles behind the quality of their hardware. I don't have any of their utilities on my system.
     
  14. sadsteve

    sadsteve Gawd

    Messages:
    546
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2010
    I learned long ago to never install the extra crap associated with motherboards or graphics cards, only install the device drivers.
     
    Dan_D likes this.
  15. Galvin

    Galvin 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,687
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2002
    That's how they do it in the movies
     
  16. seanreisk

    seanreisk Gawd

    Messages:
    805
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2011
    Good news, guys, I've looked at the overlay, and it's not an 'ad', it's a 'memo'. Big relief, because I really hate ads.
     
  17. AtomClock

    AtomClock [H]Lite

    Messages:
    94
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2018
    I am wondering, is it possible that this "Ad" can be interpreted by some game companies as cheating? Content is being injected into the game and that sounds like something that game companies would frown upon because of the cheating potential???
     
  18. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

    Messages:
    53,183
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2002
    Bingo. This is why I don't knock these companies harder for crap software. You generally don't need it anyway. It's all fluff.
     
  19. FrgMstr

    FrgMstr Just Plain Mean Staff Member

    Messages:
    47,989
    Joined:
    May 18, 1997
    ASUS Response: "It is a feature for the beta group testers, not on by default, the image is just a stock placeholder to show how it works if a streamer wants to use that functionality and it can be disabled or repositioned based up on the user settings. "
     
    GSDragoon and AlphaAtlas like this.
  20. AlphaAtlas

    AlphaAtlas [H]ard|Gawd Staff Member

    Messages:
    1,713
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2018
    As far as "cheating" policies and bans go, game overlays are, indeed, a big can of worms.

    ReShade, for example, has a multiplayer game blacklist it uses to disable itself, and Asus used to ship "Sonic Radar" software that projected directional audio cues onto a visual overlay. An ad isn't really in that same boat though.
     
  21. DNMock

    DNMock Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    399
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2015

    Only so many ways for an injector to hook into an application. You can get more than one to work at a time, but you have to specifically piggyback them in. Generally speaking, anything more than one is gonna lead to crashes, which is why disabling the Steam or Ubicrap overlay is necessary to get reshade to work properly.
     
    AlphaAtlas likes this.
  22. WarriorX

    WarriorX [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    2,017
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2006
    edit: seems like some sort of mode that they added, so maybe not an ad.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
  23. 1_rick

    1_rick Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    384
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2017
    Like Shimmer floor wax, it's both.
     
  24. 1_rick

    1_rick Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    384
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2017
    I think that's the most important point here. This is something that should be opt-in, not opt-out. If it's aimed at beta users, all the more reason: you'll be explicitly calling out a feature users might want, not forcing on them something they're probably reflexively going to say "ewww, how do i get rid of?"
     
  25. 1_rick

    1_rick Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    384
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2017
    Back in the 90s there was a company that gave out free low-end computers. I want to say it was PeoplePC, but I might be wrong. Their model was ad-supported, implemented by taking up a hunk of your desktop for ads.

    I don't know if they ever went through with it--very shortly afterwards it proved an untenable business model and they became an ad-supported ISP, like NetZero.
     
  26. Furious_Styles

    Furious_Styles [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,190
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2013
    I think they should be knocked. It's so sad they don't put a little money into making good software. That could be the difference between me purchasing one of their products vs. a competitor.
     
  27. Spun Ducky

    Spun Ducky Gawd

    Messages:
    591
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2009
    I am curious if this is whitelisted for most anticheat software and you could piggy back some code with it.
     
  28. EODetroit

    EODetroit [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,486
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    OMG someone else on the internet not on r/plantside still plays Planetside.
     
    GoldenTiger and AlphaAtlas like this.
  29. dyzophoria

    dyzophoria Gawd

    Messages:
    947
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2006
    Its honestly seems to be just a feature for streamers, which makes sense (they would benefit more for ads than us).
     
  30. FrgMstr

    FrgMstr Just Plain Mean Staff Member

    Messages:
    47,989
    Joined:
    May 18, 1997
    Update ASUS Response:
    "As for the beta testing portion, yes, it is in the public release but is included now for user using the overlay when streaming. The overlay was a request by the beta testing group to be an active feature in the software. I could have worded that differently in my reply. But, the overlay is not enabled by default. We inserted an image so something is there if you use the feature and can see what occurs if enabled. That image or one supplied by the user can be deleted, changed, or repositioned from being shown."


    So all this seems to be a bit overblown as it is simply being misunderstood.
     
  31. AlphaAtlas

    AlphaAtlas [H]ard|Gawd Staff Member

    Messages:
    1,713
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2018
    Indeed. It's not immediately obvious (I missed the scrollbar that showed the option), but the in-app options do indicate that it's a streamer overlay setting:
    Annotation 2019-02-04 184128.png

    There are (maybe) dozens of us!
     
    lostin3d and GoldenTiger like this.
  32. lostin3d

    lostin3d [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,924
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2016
    I call BS on Asus response on this. It's not just beta testing. When I installed my RTX2080TI back in November I clicked on their setup program included on the install disk. It in turn took me to their website download page and it was not a beta download. Any time you turn off the OSD and turn it back on it re-triggers/resets two of these adds on the side. You close one and then a different one displays right after. They are easy to turn off(Ctrl W and then Ctrl F).Once they're turned off they do stay off unless you turn disable and re-enable the OSD(Ctrl A).

    edit: I just assumed this feature was their way of compensating for not giving me Space Invaders. :)
     
  33. AlphaAtlas

    AlphaAtlas [H]ard|Gawd Staff Member

    Messages:
    1,713
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2018