Softmoddable 9800SE AIW GUIDE

I pretty sure that i know a supplier that will supply these cards but I was wondering if a softmoddable 9800SE AIW 128mb will operate as a 9800Pro AIW 128mb. I know that there are sometime issues with AIW cards. Do you think that with this mod the card would run games etc and work faultlessly?

Am I right in thinking that ONLY the ones with L shaped RAM have a 256bit memory bus, thus are the only ones that can be modded into a 9800Pro. Boards with chips along the top only have a 128bit memory bus so performance is hit hard. They perform nothing like a NON PRO 9800 which is actually just a down-clocked 9800Pro. Not only that but them Grandmars ones with TSOP chips along the top are really slow chips, only 200MHz, compared to the 340MHz we are getting from these BGA chips on our L shaped 9800SEs:
200MHz(DDR400) memory and 128bit memory bus = 6.4GB/sec memory bandwidth.
340MHz(DDR680) memory and 256bit memory bus = 21.8GB/sec

From what I’ve learnt the 9800se seems to be a way for ATI to use old 9500pro pcbs and 9800 and 9800pro chips that haven't passed the final tests. They were originally only supposed to be released in China but some have found their way everywhere. As well as this because they are so popular, they have used some untested 9800 chips as well. Because it is just a 9800 with 4 of the pipelines disabled you can try softmodding the chip to reenable them and then overclock to buggery and get a 9800pro. The only real estimate I've heard is that it works for about 30% of the 128bit and 35%-45% of the 256bit ones (such as powercolor). It is still a fast card unmodded unless you really stretch it with a and high res where it becomes about the same as a 9600pro. With overclocking etc, it is a 9800pro. Most of the "expert advice" I've heard says get a 9800np for slightly more or a 9700np or 9700pro if you can find one at a reasonable price and overclock those.

Has anyone out there actually done this mod or know anything about it?

<font color=purple> "Overclocking is like jumping traffic lights - <font color=red> not recommended </font color=red> but theres always a bit of slack"</font color=purple> :wink:
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  1. No, they use 9500 NON-PRO parts on the 9800SE. The ones with the L-Shaped memory are actually 9700 PCB's. Basically if you want to know if the 9800SE has 256-bit RAM, make sure it's physically identicle to the same company's 9700 Pro.

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  2. I have just had a AIW 9800se delivered today. I used the Omega drivers to softmod it and it's looks set to be running fine @ 9800pro speeds. Although i hasten to add that this certainly has'nt been fully tested yet but no artifacts yet! Even without the mod its a great value for money card.

    I'm pretty happy now :)

    <font color=purple> "Overclocking is like jumping traffic lights - <font color=red> not recommended </font color=red> but theres always a bit of slack"</font color=purple> :wink:
  3. If anyone is interested in getting one; here’s what I’ve found out. The 9800SE’s are unofficial really (and not shown on ATI’s website); as they were only supposed to be destined for Asian type markets but it seems people want to get their hands on them for modding. There should be 2 flavors of 9800SE both based on the 9800/PRO but with only 4 pipes.
    -First is the one with 128bitDDR and default clocks around 325/250 which is a fair bit slower than the 9600PRO.
    -The second uses 256bitDDR with default clocks around 380/340 (same as 9800PRO) offering performance roughly equal to the 9600XT. However the 9800SE (compared to 9600PRO/XT) have far less o/c'ing headroom in them, require more power, give off more heat and I think the 9600PRO AIW offer dual display too.

    The idea behind these 9800SE is to use up all of the 9800/PRO’s which have 1 or more faulty pipes and presumably in the case of the 128bitDDR version a fault somewhere in the 256bitDDR implementation. Chances of successfully modding are low but certainly present, you may be able to successfully enable all 8 pipes ... and possibly 256bitDDR in the 128bitDDR version. To enable the 8 pipes all you should need is sw but 128bit -> 256bitDDR could be more difficult (BIOS flash?).

    So much like the 9500 -> 9700PRO days it's a gamble BUT the hardest thing is simply not knowing what the clock speeds are, what the potential o/c is or whether it even uses 256bitDDR ... and that's before you factor in the gamble of hoping to enable all 8 pipes. At £130 for an AIW it could be worth gambling ...

    A good site to tell what card you have would be - <A HREF="http://www.ocfaq.com/softmod/faq.php" target="_new">http://www.ocfaq.com/softmod/faq.php</A>

    <font color=purple> "Overclocking is like jumping traffic lights - <font color=red> not recommended </font color=red> but theres always a bit of slack"</font color=purple> :wink:
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