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Unlock a 6950 to a 6970... and save $80

evotucevotuc Senior MemberPosts: 983Registered Users
edited January 2011 in Technology
Thank you Iscaran, for originally pointing this out to me and Blood Blade for motivating me to post this.

The article not only explains everything, but also provides links to the downloads that makes this possible. If you need further help, you can find videos on Youtube explaining the process.

The fact is, there is very little difference between an AMD 6950 and 6970. They both have the same GPU. The only thing slowing down the 6950 is the software. Chip manufactures do this to save money. If they only produce one chip instead of two, production costs drop.

Have fun with it!

http://www.techpowerup.com/articles/overclocking/vidcard/159

Notice the graph and table under "Testing." The 6950 performs just as well as its big brother after the BIOS flash. Also, don't be worried about the 20% power increase. You don't have to be an overclocking genius to do that. It is now built right into AMD's Catalyst Control Center. All you to do is move the on screen slider to the right. Simple.

I hope this will get the sticky treatment. This is very useful information.
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Comments

  • IscaranIscaran Tech-Hero. Posts: 4,229Registered Users
    edited January 2011
    There is one drawback - the power throttle (PowerTune) limit of the 6950 stays the same - it is not elevated to 6970 levels. So in some cases you will not reach its performance...but then its much cheaper a card is it not ? :D

    Also in some cases the BIOS change might not work (as mentioned in the article). For those it will be needed to reboot the system with the 2nd fail-save BIOS ;).
    AFAIK there should be nearly no risk if it does not work - but you never know. In any case you loose the warranty in case of hardware failure.

    I am not sure to sticky this - as our primary aim in this forum is not to present elite hardware and OC informations. But thanks for posting this "guide" anyway.
    Iscaran

    Hero.

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  • lordmaximus77lordmaximus77 Technical Moderator Leeuwarden, NLPosts: 3,337Registered Users, Moderators, Tech Moderators, Knights
    edited January 2011
    Worked fine on my XFX HF6950. It's running as a HD6970 fine for a few weeks now. PowerThrottle never had to kick in during gameplay. (Have the slider set to +20%)

    As long as your PSU is of good quality you don't need to worry about power problems either as most good quility PSU's won't have any trouble bringing more then the official 225W in over those two 6 pin power connectors. (power draw goes up to about 244W during gameplay)

    The only thing you should be aware of is that the memory modules used on the HD6950 have a lower spec then the ones on the HD6970. So in some cases you might not be able to set the memory speed equal to that of the HD6970.
    But in that case you can unlock the GPU clock and shaders only and leave the memclocks @ 6950 level.
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  • Darren89Darren89 Member EnglandPosts: 134Registered Users
    edited January 2011
    Thanks evotuc!
  • AlJabberwockAlJabberwock Moderator USAPosts: 7,729Moderators, Tech Moderators, Knights
    edited January 2011
    Nota Bene, there are rumors that the manufacturers are going to be putting a stopper in this magic bottle - and those that are unaware of this and try the upgrade may run into trouble trying to revert. The 'fix' would involve lasering the fuses in question permanently disabling this upgrade capacity.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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  • lordmaximus77lordmaximus77 Technical Moderator Leeuwarden, NLPosts: 3,337Registered Users, Moderators, Tech Moderators, Knights
    edited January 2011
    Nota Bene, there are rumors that the manufacturers are going to be putting a stopper in this magic bottle - and those that are unaware of this and try the upgrade may run into trouble trying to revert. The 'fix' would involve lasering the fuses in question permanently disabling this upgrade capacity.

    Correct. According to current rumours the new revisions that are currently being manufactured already feature a laserlock. So if you want 6970 performance for the price of a HD6950 don't wait too long.

    Hmm. Gets me thinking. If I want another HD6950 to run next to my other 6950 @ 6970 in CrossFirce it wouldn't be a bad idea to get one now myself.... Those rumours mess up my schedule. Had a Sandy Bridge CPU planned first. Now I need to choose.
    Any fool can make things bigger and more complex. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction. — Albert Einstein

    viri non urinat in ventum — Anonymous Roman

    TOTAL WAR FORUM: TERMS AND CONDITIONS
  • AlJabberwockAlJabberwock Moderator USAPosts: 7,729Moderators, Tech Moderators, Knights
    edited January 2011
    [email protected] "poor, poor" lordmaximus! Wow, that really makes me want to cry for you... Tough decision! Heh heh heh...

    So that we can keep the whole 2600k thing contained, I'll just say we'll keep the "hardware depression hotline" open for you to try to 'get you through this'! :P

    What is your current processor in your personal machine?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    “Every so often things happen that can’t be rationalized in a conventional way. People wanna know their government has a response. I am that response.”
    ― Kent Mansley (in "Iron Giant")

    For most general problems, for which you have no idea of the culprit, your first port of call should be:
    https://support.sega.co.uk/hc/en-us/categories/200307381-Total-War-Support

    If you are aware of a bug or a specific issue for which you know the cause, post in the support section for the specific title on our forums. ~Al

    https://forums.totalwar.com/discussion/172193/forum-terms-and-conditions#latest
  • lordmaximus77lordmaximus77 Technical Moderator Leeuwarden, NLPosts: 3,337Registered Users, Moderators, Tech Moderators, Knights
    edited January 2011
    [email protected] "poor, poor" lordmaximus! Wow, that really makes me want to cry for you... Tough decision! Heh heh heh...

    So that we can keep the whole 2600k thing contained, I'll just say we'll keep the "hardware depression hotline" open for you to try to 'get you through this'! :P

    What is your current processor in your personal machine?

    Thats a 2.5 years old Q9450 running at 3.2GHz with a 1600MHz FSB (So its basicly a QX9770 performancewise)
    I'm currently trying to figure out which upgrade would give the biggest benefit for Total War games. A Second HD6950 or a CPU upgrade (i7 2600K @ 4.0 - 4.4GHz) I can get a fair price for my old MB + CPU + Mem combo. So the cost would be about the same. Maybe I should devote a topic to this.

    But back to the HD6950 BIOS modding/

    The Radeon BIOS editor tool just got a new version: http://www.techpowerup.com/downloads/1924/TechPowerUp_Radeon_Bios_Editor_v1.27.html
    It supports the HD69xx series.

    So if the default HD6970 BIOS does not work correctly or you want to up the voltage so you can reach even higher speeds. You can now do it yourself.
    Any fool can make things bigger and more complex. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction. — Albert Einstein

    viri non urinat in ventum — Anonymous Roman

    TOTAL WAR FORUM: TERMS AND CONDITIONS
  • AlJabberwockAlJabberwock Moderator USAPosts: 7,729Moderators, Tech Moderators, Knights
    edited January 2011
    Nice find on the editor l-m! Given the small difference in version performance except texture fill rate, I would imagine with the right tweaks you could make the margin relatively slim without the bios flash if one were adept...

    I await your topic thread with interest... I will send a PM
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    “Every so often things happen that can’t be rationalized in a conventional way. People wanna know their government has a response. I am that response.”
    ― Kent Mansley (in "Iron Giant")

    For most general problems, for which you have no idea of the culprit, your first port of call should be:
    https://support.sega.co.uk/hc/en-us/categories/200307381-Total-War-Support

    If you are aware of a bug or a specific issue for which you know the cause, post in the support section for the specific title on our forums. ~Al

    https://forums.totalwar.com/discussion/172193/forum-terms-and-conditions#latest
  • IscaranIscaran Tech-Hero. Posts: 4,229Registered Users
    edited January 2011
    Perhaps the best thing would be to just buy this 6950:
    http://www.computerbase.de/news/hardware/grafikkarten/ati/2011/januar/ab-werk-aus-radeon-hd-6950-wird-hd-6970/

    That way you get all benefits of it and keep the warranty as well.
    Iscaran

    Hero.

    If you need help with a support request on these boards please read this and follow the instructions.
  • AlJabberwockAlJabberwock Moderator USAPosts: 7,729Moderators, Tech Moderators, Knights
    edited January 2011
    Well, you could be right... ;) On the other hand its in german and might be telling me to stick it... LOL!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    “Every so often things happen that can’t be rationalized in a conventional way. People wanna know their government has a response. I am that response.”
    ― Kent Mansley (in "Iron Giant")

    For most general problems, for which you have no idea of the culprit, your first port of call should be:
    https://support.sega.co.uk/hc/en-us/categories/200307381-Total-War-Support

    If you are aware of a bug or a specific issue for which you know the cause, post in the support section for the specific title on our forums. ~Al

    https://forums.totalwar.com/discussion/172193/forum-terms-and-conditions#latest
  • IscaranIscaran Tech-Hero. Posts: 4,229Registered Users
    edited January 2011
    Iscaran

    Hero.

    If you need help with a support request on these boards please read this and follow the instructions.
  • Maeda_ToshiieMaeda_Toshiie Senior Member SingaporePosts: 3,601Registered Users
    edited January 2011
    AMD HD 6XXX cards are going to drop in price due to Nvidia's release of GTX560...

    http://www.tcmagazine.com/tcm/news/hardware/34720/amd-counteracts-geforce-gtx-560-ti-price-cuts-1gb-radeon-hd-6950
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