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"open box" X800GTO advice

Tags:
  • Radeon
  • Overclocking
  • Sapphire
  • Graphics
Last response: in Graphics Cards
May 19, 2006 6:28:09 PM

OK, I just ordered an "open box" Sapphire X800GTO from newegg for $122 shipped. Apparently I will have only 15 days to test it and see if it is in good working order. Any advice on what I should do first to make sure the bios has not been messed with or to see if the first buyer did not overclock the card to its death. Newegg claimes it has been sent back to Sapphire, tested, then returned to Newegg, but I know I am taking a risk here.

I suppose $122 is a good enough deal where I should not worry if I cannot get 16 pipes out of it or overclock it too much, for that might be why the card was returned and is now an open box.

BTW, open box is their new term for refurbished.

More about : open box x800gto advice

May 19, 2006 6:52:19 PM

I bought two refurbished video cards from them and it works fine. Their refurbished items look pretty good, I bought two low end card so I doubt the previous owner will OC two sh!tty cards :lol: 
a b K Overclocking
May 19, 2006 7:04:34 PM

Run it through ATITool and double check the core and memory are clocked where they are supposed to be. You could also run 102number through ATIs database to make sure the GPU is what its supposed to be.
Related resources
May 19, 2006 7:55:53 PM

If you are talking about the AGP Sapphire X800GTO, I have one.

These cards are based on the R430 core which doesn't overclock very well.
It was probably returned by someone who was expecting a big overclock.

For a while there were a lot of people going around saying that the AGP GTOs can't be unlocked. This is not true. From what I have seen a lot of them unlock. I can help you out if you don't know how.

There are two ways to unlock it assuming it is the same as my card.

1. Flash it with a compatible X800XL bios (same clocks just 16 pipes instead of 12)

2. Modify the existing bios to unlock the pipes.

I have done both with my card. It doesn't really make a difference which way you do it. There is a chance of using the wrong bios if you use an XL one though.
May 19, 2006 8:11:23 PM

Ya, if I can open up these last 4 pipes and overclock it a little, I will be content. I might not even bother with a different heatsink/fan like I did with my 9800 Pro.

The more you can help me the better; it will save me a lot of time on the prep and research side of this. I would love to have a clear understanding of what I need to do and what I need to download before my card gets here. And how to recover from a bad flash as well. And I do have several pci cards around.

Thanks
May 19, 2006 8:33:19 PM

Hmm that is interesting. I too upgraded from a 9800Pro.

For overclocking expect around 440-450 to be the max on the GPU if it is indeed an R430. Memory could be as high as 600 but 520-550 is more realistic.

Here are some instructions. If you have any questions, bounce them my way and we will see what I can come up with. If you must recover from a bad flash, you need to install a PCI (not PCIe) video card and flash the AGP card again. One guy that I helped had this problem but we were able to get the card usable again with the pipes unlocked.


Download ATItool: http://www.techpowerup.com/atitool/

Download the hex editor from this website (I would recommend using the “stable” version instead of the beta version): http://www.mh-nexus.de/programs.htm#HxD
This software will allow you to modify your bios to enable the pipelines.

Download ATIflash v3.09 from the bottom of this page: http://www.techpowerup.com/bios/

Go to this link and read about flashing your VGA Bios: http://www.techpowerup.com/articles/overclocking/vidcar...

I do not recommend trying the Windows program. A floppy disk is the easiest to bootable media but a CD or usb flash drive can also be used.


After you get the card:

Install and open ATItool

Click the settings button and choose overclocking in the drop-down menu.

Scroll down until you can see the CONFIG_DIE_FUSES and CONFIG_SUBSTRATE_FUSES.

Verify that your card can be unlocked by checking for an ‘F’ in the indicated positions of the hexadecimal each number. The capital X represents any hexadecimal number (0-9 or A-F).

CONFIG_DIE_FUSES 0xXXXXFXXX
(the fifth character after the little x must be an 'F')

CONFIG_SUBSTRATE_FUSES 0xXXXXXXXF
(the last character must be an 'F')

If ATItool reads an ‘F’ in the indicated spots, you should be able to unlock your card. If not, I am afraid you are out of luck.

Now select miscellaneous in the drop-down menu.

Click the button that says “Save VGA Bios to file...”. Give the file a simple name like “12pipe.bin” (.bin is the file extention and may not need to be typed). This will be your backup copy.

Make a second copy, which will be modified, and name it something like “16pipe.bin”.

Extract the hex editor program and run it. Open “16pipe.bin”.

Find the row marked 00000070 and the column labeled ‘A’. You should find ‘61’ at that location. The second bit represents the number of disabled pixel pipe quads. Change the data value to ‘60’ to enable all 16 pixel pipes.

Note: If you ever get bord later you can mess around with disabling pipes. 1 means four pipes are disabled (X800GTO), 2 means eight pipes are disabled (X800GT), 3 means twelve pipes are disabled (yep only 4 left active).

Save the modified bios and exit the hex editor.

Make sure both bios files and the contents of the ATIfalsh zip file are extracted onto your bootable media.

Boot into DOS and type:

atiflash.exe -f -p 0 16pipe.bin
May 22, 2006 6:03:51 AM

Thanks...

I downloaded the files tonight...

Very clear directions...
May 23, 2006 11:33:12 PM

I have a saphire x800gto and followed your instructions exactly. The ati tools showed the F's in the proper places and I modified the 0070 A bit to 60 from 61 and flashed.

The flash suceeded, but on reboot the monitor was blank. I tried cycling the power a couple of times, but still blank screen even though the computer was booting.

I re-flashed the bios (blind - a little nerve racking) and on reboot my video was back.

Do I conclude that my card is not able to have 16 pipelines enabled even with correct F's shown?

Any suggestions are appreciated.

Thank you,

Chris
May 24, 2006 7:44:08 AM

Hmm...
I still think that your card is unlockable.
I'd try making a new copy of the bios and remodifying it agian. It seems that bad flashes are common. I have actually flashed mine twice and never had any problems but at least one of the other guys that I have helped has had a bad flash.

You could also try using an X800XL bios. If you do you need to make sure that you get one for an AGP card. It aslo must have the same memory. Unless your card has different memory chips than mine, you have 1.6ns memory. An easy way to be sure is to see if you can overclock the memory significantly past 500MHz. The 2.0ns memory will be doing well to hit 500MHz while the 1.6ns memory could go as high as 600MHz but probably will do more like 520-560. The site that you downloaded atiflash from has a lot of ATI bioses. I would opt for a Sapphire one if possible.
May 24, 2006 12:10:38 PM

I downloaded the x800xl agp 1.6 saphire bios from the site you suggested. I will verify tonight that my card memory can clock to 520-560 range. If it does I will try to flash again.

It still makes me nervous, if it doesn't work, to reflash blind, but I guess if I did it once I can do it again.

One thing I noticed that after the flash to 16 pipes that when I re-booted the computer the video card fan ran at full speed, but once I had reflashed to the original bios the fan dropped down to a lower speed at boot.

Do you think that is reflective of a bad flash?

Chris
May 24, 2006 5:36:42 PM

If you have a PCI graphics card lying around or a friend has one you can borrow, you can pop that in if you have problems flashing again. When you flash with an XL bios you will have to reinstall the drivers because the computer will think it is a different card.

It is possible that the fan was running at full speed because there was nothing else telling it what to do. You could be right about it being due to the bad flash but it is hard to tell.

I hope you can get this figured out soon. I know it can be a little nerveracking. I'm not really sure what causes those problems when you flash you VGA bios.
May 24, 2006 7:38:07 PM

Did some reading on the saphire forum and a couple of posts reference using the flash with following command:

atiflash.exe -newbios -f -p 0 16pipe.bin (or whatever the flash file is).

A couple of posts said that the -newbios made a difference.

Are you familiar with this command line switch?

The posts were referring to using the x800xl bios on the x800gto card and in that case the -newbios switch may be more important.

Chris
May 24, 2006 9:45:14 PM

Okay. Flashed with the x800xl bios. That worked and 16 pipes are enabled, but I also have two devices in the device manager that say x800 radeon that windows can't find drivers for. Does anyone know what those are and do they matter?

Under display drivers I have X800 primary and secondary and everything seems to work fine.

Thanks,

Chris
May 24, 2006 9:49:57 PM

I would suggest reinstalling the drivers. The computer no longer sees the card as a GTO so it thinks that you installed a different card.

For some reason the computer sees the X800 cards as two divices. I suspect that it has something to do with dual monitor capabilities.
May 24, 2006 9:58:59 PM

Re-installed the Omega drivers (which seem to work more smoothly then the last ATI drivers) and it still shows 2 unknown x800 devices in the control panel.

I was just wondering if the x800xl card had additional devices on it that the x800gto didn't. Like video input or s-video or something like that.

I guess if the card works fine I will just ignore the devices that drivers won't load for.

Chris
May 24, 2006 10:16:03 PM

Figure out the directory that the driver files were extracted to and then go into the device manager.

Click on one of the X800s and go to update drivers. Then manually select the directory that the files are located in. I think that should work. I had to go throught that song and dance too. I think this is how I fixed it.

Edit: Then do it to the other one.
May 24, 2006 10:19:59 PM

I also bought an X800GTO from newegg and it works fine! SCOUGS helped me flash the bios to 16pipes and I oc'd it to about 440/560 with no prob.

Just make sure you have the right material.

If you want, I can give you a link on what I did to unlock the pipes..
May 24, 2006 11:48:03 PM

The video card works fine. It seems to find the display adapter twice and if I force the second install to use the same drivers it installs the drivers and says the device cannot start (code 10).

I don't know why it is finding the display adapter twice.

It seems to work so I am going to leave it alone.

Chris
May 25, 2006 5:02:26 AM

I got my card today, and following the instructions, I got a blank screen, too. I flashed myy old bios, and got it back. More data was displayed during the flash back, but I forget exactly what. I will have to play with it more when I get back, for I am leaving for the weekend.

Now, however, just before I reach the windows login screen, my screen is all messed up for a few seconds... rainbow strips and messed up graphic... then it flickers to the login screen and appears to be fine.

Is there anything to this -newbios thing?

BTW... the "open box" looks great... it is rertail with all the goodies... someone could have easily not gotten this card to fit into their computer it is so long and sent it back for that reason alone. I had to move one HDD down a slot, and even then, it barely fits by my ram om my NF7-S. I might have to take out to card to inset new ram when my new stuff gets here.
May 25, 2006 5:34:20 AM

I can't speak for the GTO version but the X800GT has the R480 core and overclocks like crazy. Yeah, it only has 8 pipelines vs. the GTO's 12 but mine would do 580/580 and get over 5k on 3d'O5.
May 25, 2006 8:08:13 AM

You can try an X800XL bios like I sugested to the other guy above. If you do I would suggest uninstalling the drivers that you are currently using before you flash it. Then reinstall the drivers.

I don't know why you guys are having trouble with the instructions that I gave you. If you want, you can PM me your email addresses and I can send you the bios that I am using.
May 25, 2006 12:46:01 PM

I had the same problem when I modified the x800gto bios with the hex editor. When I used the x800xl bios it flashed fine and 16 pipes are enabled.

I did use the -newbios switch when flashing, but I have no idea what it does.

I do have two extra x800 radeon devices in my device manager and they don't seem to do anything so I am ignoring them.

I also got the crazy rainbow screen on startup and an occasional screwed up icon in the system tray. I switched to the Omega drivers from http://www.omegadrivers.net/ and the rainbow problem and small graphical issues were resolved.

I ran a 3Dmark05 test and got a score of 5046 with standard memory and gpu clocking. These numbers seem to match ones that I found online for the x800xl or the x800gto with 16 pipes enabled.

I haven't tried a lot of overclocking because the stock cooler seems to be only so-so. At some point I will invest in a better (quieter) cooler and try overclocking. Right now I get 42 C at idle and the temp shoots right up to 55-58 when doing anything that loads the video card.

Chris
May 25, 2006 6:03:45 PM

I used the omega drivers all along and never experienced any graphical glitches.

As far as the cooler and overclocking goes...
ATItool lets you set up profiles for 2D and 3D. I set a 2D profile that runs at 100MHz on the core and 200MHz on the memory and runs the fand at about 25%. Idle temps are below 40C most of the time. For 3D I have it overclock to 444MHz core 528MHz memory and run the fan at 100%. The when loaded the temp gets at the most 62C but usually less than that. 60C is not bad for graphics cards like these.

The R430 core that Sapphire is using right now doesn't overclock very high. About 450MHz is the highest that you could expect out of it. The memory can overclock pretty well though. The 1.6ns memory used is supposed to be able to hit 600MHz but usually doesn't in these cards. 520-560 is a more realistic overclock for the memory. I might be able to get mine higher but I removed the back plate of the cooler and I think that it might not be cooling the memory quite as well now. I might need to reseat it with some new thermal compound sometime.

You have to create the profiles and then go into the settings to tell ATItool to change on 3D detection and you have to apply fan settings to each profile in the fan control settings.
May 26, 2006 1:47:29 AM

Is there any way to check the ram type without taking the heatsink/fan off? Just so I know if the X800XL bios will work.

I do not even know if I edited the bios correctly. I think I did.

What do all of the -p etc. commands mean on the bios flash? Was I correct to use the same commands when I flashed back to the 12pipe.bin bios?

How good is the stock heatsink/fan on the Sapphire GTO? It seems OK. Suppose I core and ram are awesome in terms of overclocking, what would the limitation of the stock cooling be, in terms of what it can handle? What I an looking for is, even if you can overclock more, stop here if you use stock cooling... that kind of thing...
May 26, 2006 3:44:14 AM

Basically there are two possible memory chips that any X800GTO can come with, 1.6ns and 2.0ns. It seems that all of the current Sapphire AGP GTOs come with the better 1.6ns chips.

The 1.6ns chips are rated for 600MHz/DDR 1.2GHz
The 2.0ns chips are rated for 500MHz/DDR 1.0GHz

If you can successfully overclock your card's ram to say 520MHz or above you can be assured that you have the 1.6ns memory.

The command line: atiflash.exe -f -p 0 16pipe.bin

atiflash.exe calls the program

-f tells atiflash to force the flash even if everything doesn't match. This is necessary for either a modified bios or an XL bios.

-p tells the atiflash to program a bios

0 tells atiflash which device to program

16pipe.bin tells atilfalsh the name of the file to use

Yes you were correct to use the same command to reflash your card.

Your last questions can be answered by reading my previous post.
May 28, 2006 5:03:26 PM

So what should be my next step when I get home... I have been at father-in-law's all weekend...
May 28, 2006 9:12:24 PM

Quote:
How good is the stock heatsink/fan on the Sapphire GTO?


Those stock coolers are garbage. Seriously. But then again, if you spent another 30 bucks on a Zalman you'd have a $150+ card and well...you'd still be in AGP and 150 bucks would damn near get you into a S939 combo. Hell, even a S754 would be worlds better than the NF7. Been there done that. Hate to see people spend money on an aged system. But if you like it and it does what you want it to more power to ya.
May 29, 2006 12:58:21 PM

OK... I flashed my bios again with an XL bios that Cmell e-mailed me, and my 16 pipes are unlocked. I am not sure if it is an XL bios, for my core and ram settings stayed the same... 400/490.

I do not get the multiple entries in my divice manager, but I do still get an odd graphical display right before the windows logon screen.
May 29, 2006 2:50:05 PM

The double devices in the device manager could be caused by some combination of motherboard and video card. I've noticed, over the years, that hardware combinations play a big role in things like that.

The clock settings did not change when I flashed. I don't know how they are configured in bios or if the x800xl card uses different default speeds.

Are you using the Omega drivers? I also had the odd rainbow screen between boot up screens using the current ATI driver, but the Omega drivers don't.

Chris
May 29, 2006 7:55:02 PM

No, I am using the 6.4 drivers. I think I downloaded the Omega drivers from work, so I will give it a try. But I suspect the graphical glitch is meaningless, or so I hope.

I overclocked a bit today and was up to 440/540 with no problems. I have not pushed it beyond that to see my limit, but I know too that my limit will be different after playing a game for two hours, so I will see how this overclock works for a while.

I got 5,365 with 3DMark05 with the card at 440/540, 4,941 with stock speeds (400/490) and 16 pipes, and 4,361 at stock speeds and 12 pipes.

Still thinking about upgrading to a better cooling system.

I just installed Sapphire's little program; it is nice to be able to read the VPU temps.
May 29, 2006 8:00:54 PM

I use the ATITray tools from the is site: http://www.guru3d.com/article/atitraytools/189/
You can create profiles for both over and underclocking as well as fan profiles.

The tool has lots of other features and takes a little while to find all of the adjustments, but seems to work without a hitch.

I think the Omega drivers automatically include the ATITray tool.

Those numbers are very similar to the 3Dmark05 numbers I got. I didn't re-run with the card overclocked yet.

Chris
May 29, 2006 8:54:52 PM

Yes, those numbers were from 3DMark05, not 03. I will edit the post. I figured out how to adjust the fan. Temps have been great so far, but my 120mm fan blowing on the video card helps, I suppose.

I wonder if 3DTweak will eventually be able to work with these new drivers. I have gotten used to using that program.

I have keys for all the 3DMarks, but not 06. I would love to be able to run the entire 06 test.

Creating a 2d and a 3d profile sounds like a good idea. I will have to research how to do that.
May 29, 2006 9:10:40 PM

Quote:
How good is the stock heatsink/fan on the Sapphire GTO?


Those stock coolers are garbage. Seriously. But then again, if you spent another 30 bucks on a Zalman you'd have a $150+ card and well...you'd still be in AGP and 150 bucks would damn near get you into a S939 combo. Hell, even a S754 would be worlds better than the NF7. Been there done that. Hate to see people spend money on an aged system. But if you like it and it does what you want it to more power to ya.

Ya, I know. I just did not feel like I had it in me to rebuild this summer. I do not have the heart for it... reinstalling everything and transfering data, etc. Perhaps next June, and prices will be even lower then, too. But I knew going into this card... especially when I saw the cheap PCI-E cards that blow my GTO away. But for $122 with 16 pipes and a 440/540 initial overclock, I hope it blows my old 9800 Pro away... if not, it is now on my 2nd rig, so my friends will be happy.

But if I do consider investing in better cooling, what is out there? And how much good does the stock Sapphire cooler do for the ram? A Zalman cooler or whatever would not sit on the ram, would it? Or does the ram even need it?
May 29, 2006 9:36:38 PM

The Zalman VF700-cu comes with aluminum ramsinks but they're not very good. In fact they suck. Some copper ramsinks with some thermal adhesive is worlds better.

Having owned one I can wholeheartedly recommend it though. The pictures you see don't really do it justice. It's a precision machined peice of art and cools a hell of alot better than stock.
May 30, 2006 5:19:36 PM

Quote:
No, I am using the 6.4 drivers. I think I downloaded the Omega drivers from work, so I will give it a try. But I suspect the graphical glitch is meaningless, or so I hope.

I overclocked a bit today and was up to 440/540 with no problems. I have not pushed it beyond that to see my limit, but I know too that my limit will be different after playing a game for two hours, so I will see how this overclock works for a while.

I got 5,365 with 3DMark05 with the card at 440/540, 4,941 with stock speeds (400/490) and 16 pipes, and 4,361 at stock speeds and 12 pipes.

Still thinking about upgrading to a better cooling system.

I just installed Sapphire's little program; it is nice to be able to read the VPU temps.


I am glad that you finally got your card unlocked. Your 3DMrak05 scores sound about right. I get a little higher but that is probably because I am running a Pentium 4 at 3.5GHz.
May 30, 2006 5:59:13 PM

Thanks for all the help. All.