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BIOS Flash - Overclock Your Graphics Card in Five Minutes

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November 23, 2007 10:26:06 AM

While graphics drivers and third-party utilities allow you to overclock your graphics card's GPU and memory, pixel shader clock speeds can only be increased through the card's BIOS.

http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/11/23/overclock_your_graphics_card_in_five_minutes/index.html
November 23, 2007 7:05:12 PM

As stated above, this was poorly researched, since for a while people have been able to OC shaders without a bios flash (Since Rivatuner 2.04 I believe). Good reading for those that are completely oblivious to Graphics card OC'ing, however it's worthless to even consider putting it into practice.
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a b K Overclocking
a c 107 U Graphics card
November 23, 2007 8:04:42 PM

fjabad said:
you can overclock the pixel shaders without nibitor

Rivatuner allows this:
http://www.guru3d.com/newsitem.php?id=5958

Thanks..... much more easy then bios anyway.....THANKS!!!!

guess that what i get for never updating my riva....
November 23, 2007 8:23:51 PM

From 13.7 to 15fps??? :sleep:  Sure, it's a free solution but not worth the effort IMO. Did you "notice" that or did you need to run fraps?

How about we see the difference the shader numbers makes on a pair of overclocked water-cooled 8800 ultras or a pair of 3800 CF cards?

Better off saving your money IMO if you're struggling with an 8600GTS to get better fps or are one of those trying to run Crysis with the eye candy. The money you plunk down on a second card today for CF/SLI might buy the next best card a few months down the road, something with more performance. THEN you can save for the better 2nd card, do a little OC, get a good cooling setup and smile when you run your first benchmark. :D 

November 23, 2007 8:42:30 PM

How could Tom's not know that shader overclocking is now supported by Nvidia with its recent drivers? Typos are one thing, but blatant misinformation is unacceptable.
a b K Overclocking
a b U Graphics card
November 24, 2007 1:24:24 AM

BIOS OCing ftw!

No more resource hogging programs starting up.

EDIT: The throttle clock speed is not just the clocks that the card goes to when it gets too hot. It is also the clock speed that the card uses as a "stepping stone" between 2D and 3D clocks, and can have an impact on stability when changing either the 3D or 2D speeds.

Would have been nice if they explained what each of the temperature thresholds mean, even though their card only has one. So, here they are:

Critical: This is the temp you reach when you pull off the cooler or stop the fan while running 3DMark06. When this temperature is reached, the card is drastically slowed down to bootup clock speeds, until the next reboot.
Throttling: When the card gets a bit too hot, the card throttles to cool down. This is the temperature at which this happens.
Fan boost: At this temperature, the driver forces the fan to run at 100%.

Normally, Fan boost < Throttling < Critical.

Also, why did they change the number of active performance levels?
November 24, 2007 1:10:23 PM

Pretty lame article. First, Riva tuner and powerstrip sucks and second the flashing could be done in winows. At least you could added some voltmods, so it doesn`t look so cheap.
November 24, 2007 4:09:00 PM

Seriously guys... just take the article off your website or bury it by releasing more Car or holiday stuff articles, because it's really not helping your credibility or reputation to put out this kind of article for everyone to see.
November 24, 2007 7:14:01 PM

I highly doubt anyone could pull off a bios flash from start to finish in 5 minutes.
November 24, 2007 9:39:26 PM

Yeah, um, I did the rom parts in 5 minutes, that was cool, but finding a bootable DOS disc for XP when you didn't have one already lying around is hell.
a b K Overclocking
a b U Graphics card
November 24, 2007 11:25:17 PM

xciter said:
Pretty lame article. First, Riva tuner and powerstrip sucks and second the flashing could be done in winows. At least you could added some voltmods, so it doesn`t look so cheap.

Flashing in windows, not cool. I would prefer not to have video drivers and other services possibly screw up the flash. Volt mods would have been good to though. I think that if somebody tries this, they will mess it up though without a good explanation of what everything does. I wonder how long it took them to write this, when I did an article on it, it took me around 3 hours.
November 25, 2007 6:06:41 AM

HAHAHAHAHA 5 minutes pfft
a b K Overclocking
a b U Graphics card
November 25, 2007 9:25:17 PM

20+ mins: If you are a noob and don't already have a boot disc
10 mins: You've done it before and you are quick.
5 mins: You are 1337
November 27, 2007 11:32:06 PM

So wait, what's the REAL benefit of doing a bios flash? Has anyone actually benched flashed versus software overclocks? I want to know real world data before I void warranties and what not.

I mean ntune is taking what? 5 megs of my ram right now out of 2000. that's .25% of my ram and virtually NO CPU cycles. It's a hard sell, try and make it.
a b K Overclocking
a b U Graphics card
November 27, 2007 11:52:37 PM

Yea but ntune is poop software. Also, there are limits to how far you can overclock with software. BIOS overclocking is (theoretically) limitless, or at least the limits are ridiculously high or low. Also, because the software limits are derived from the values read in the BIOS, if you increase the BIOS values, the limits (both min and max clocks) will also increase in the programs, allowing you to test higher clock speeds in windows without screwing your card big time. Though chances are you aren't going to push beyond the max values anyway, at least for core clocks, maybe memory though.

Also, there is no way that I know of that you can overclock other than via the BIOS if you don't use windows (correct me if I'm wrong).

For some cards (mainly older ones), a BIOS flash can unlock pixel pipes as long as it's the same core.

And then there's e-peen.
November 29, 2007 1:20:54 AM

Hi all


mvktech.net has a nice guide to bios flash your cards using nibitor and nvflash
a b K Overclocking
a b U Graphics card
November 29, 2007 1:37:51 AM

It's dated though. But much more in depth than this. I wrote my own article on this as well as for ATI cards, and used mvktech's article to find some of the info on nibitor as it wasn't really available anywhere else.
December 9, 2007 2:07:37 AM

randomizer said:
20+ mins: If you are a noob and don't already have a boot disc
10 mins: You've done it before and you are quick.
5 mins: You are 1337


Wow, you are mistaken. Having a DOS boot disc laying doesn't make you pro, that makes you old school.

When you don't have a floppy drive, it takes FAR more than 20 minutes to find a boot disc... I stopped searching after an hour. The ONLY thing difficult about this process is getting into DOS mode on XP.
December 10, 2007 1:31:19 AM

Can Not said:
Wow, you are mistaken. Having a DOS boot disc laying doesn't make you pro, that makes you old school.

When you don't have a floppy drive, it takes FAR more than 20 minutes to find a boot disc... I stopped searching after an hour. The ONLY thing difficult about this process is getting into DOS mode on XP.


Yeah. It's really difficult to check the "Create an MS-DOS startup disk" option when formatting a floppy! :o 
December 10, 2007 8:26:55 PM

Lmao im only 16 however my first system was 98 lmao i can re-install 98 with a dos-boot disk in aobut 5 min (not including install time...) so i got a boot disk.. only problem is i dont got a flopy reader on my computer
December 10, 2007 10:49:58 PM

That's the problem I have, no floppy drive. Can anyone point me to a good guide to making a bootable flash drive? That would make my life a lot easier.
January 29, 2008 8:11:29 PM

What about just overwriting the old bios with an OC'd version instead.
IE. Evga (basic no OC) BIOS overwritten with Evga (OCC Superclocked) BIOS....

Should this work? Seems like it would in theory...
a b K Overclocking
a b U Graphics card
January 29, 2008 9:00:40 PM

Assuming it used the same memory, that would work perfectly fine.
January 29, 2008 9:23:55 PM

Mirth said:
cellar7 said:
Wow, you are mistaken. Having a DOS boot disc laying doesn't make you pro, that makes you old school.

When you don't have a floppy drive, it takes FAR more than 20 minutes to find a boot disc... I stopped searching after an hour. The ONLY thing difficult about this process is getting into DOS mode on XP.


Yeah. It's really difficult to check the "Create an MS-DOS startup disk" option when formatting a floppy! :o 


Reading Comprehension is not a super power.
a b K Overclocking
a c 107 U Graphics card
January 29, 2008 10:37:29 PM

Lets just clear this up...

You can flash a 8800 to another overclocked 8800, BUT you should test the card first to make sure it can run at those speeds...

For boot disk you can get a CD image of the windows 98 floppy and burn it with nero....
http://www.allbootdisks.com/download/98.html

Before attempting to flash you brand new video card. Try riva tuner, it does everything the flash does but without the flashing(you do need to run it on startup to change the settings i think.)
http://www.guru3d.com/index.php?page=rivatuner

Things to make sure of if you flash

1. Always use DOS(get a windows 98 bootCD/disk). NEVER USE FREEDOS/DR.DOS(Trust me. Sometimes things go bad)
2. Always have a PCI video card ready in case things go wrong. Its best if this PCI card is not from Nvidia(since when you by pass safety settings in the flasher to force a bad flash back to a good flash you may flash the pci card...).
3. backup the bios on your pci card too....you never know
4. Have another computer ready to get different flash utilities should a flash fail(the latest nvflash may not always work to flash back from a bad flash....)
5. If you can't afford to break it, don't flash it.

Either way if you must flash its simple, even without a floppy...

Place the bios flasher(nvflash and its 2 other needed files) and backup on a flash drive. Boot from the windows98 CD. your flash drive should be drive c....

In the end....i still recommend trying riva for now....its safer.....
a b K Overclocking
a b U Graphics card
January 29, 2008 10:44:57 PM

It's possible that the Superclocked card has a different device ID or some other ID (theres a few), meaning you may need to force flash the BIOS. If you don't have a spare PCI card lying around, you can always make an emergency reflash boot disc, which will work even if you need to blind flash.

@ls2hsv: I can link you to some guides I wrote on the topic if you PM me, but I won't post links here.

ATIFlash is so much nicer then nvFlash.
a b K Overclocking
a c 107 U Graphics card
January 29, 2008 11:19:05 PM

randomizer said:
ATIFlash is so much nicer then nvFlash.

Sooooo true

For forcing a flash its just.....

nvflash -4 -5 -6 newbios.rom
a b K Overclocking
a b U Graphics card
January 29, 2008 11:21:18 PM

But to most people -4 -5 -6 means nothing. Can't they use letters for everything like ATITool? *sigh*

EDIT: Actually letters often don't mean alot either, should use words :lol: 
a b K Overclocking
a c 107 U Graphics card
January 29, 2008 11:38:36 PM

They used to use letters that stood for words(i think)...


NVIDIA Firmware Update Utility (Version 5.57)

-- Primary Commands --
Update firmware: nvflash [options] <filename>
Save firmware to file: nvflash [options] --save <filename>
Compare adapter firmware: nvflash [options] --compare <filename>
Update TV data: nvflash [options] --tv <filename>
Display version: nvflash [options] --version [<filename>]
Display firmware bytes: nvflash [options] --display [bytes]
Check for supported EEPROM: nvflash [options] --check
Write protect EEPROM: nvflash [options] --protecton
Remove write protect: nvflash [options] --protectoff
Change soft straps: nvflash [options] --straps=<straps>
Set IEEE 1394 GUID: nvflash [options] --guid=<guid>
Set IEEE 1394 GUID source: nvflash [options] --guidsource=<location>
List adapters: nvflash [options] --list
List PCI firmware blocks: nvflash [options] --pciblocks

-- Commands and Options --
help ? Display this screen.
save b <filename> Read EEPROM and save to <filename>.
compare k <filename> Read EEPROM and compare with <filename>.
tv x <filename> Transfer TV data from file to EEPROM.
version v <filename> Display file version and ~CRC32
(if no filename, acts on display adapter).
display d [bytes] Display 256 the first bytes of the EEPROM
(default is 256 bytes)
check c Check for supported EEPROM.
protecton w Write protect EEPROM (only on some EEPROM's).
protectoff r Remove EEPROM write protect (only on some EEPROM's).
straps m <straps> Change soft straps.
format is: AND Mask 0, OR Mask 0, AND Mask 1, OR Mask 1
guid q <guid> Set the IEEE 1394 GUID in the firmware image
(GUID is in the form of 16 hex digits).
guidsource 1 <location> Set the source of the IEEE 1394 GUID.
main - main EEPROM image
dedicated - separate serial EEPROM part
list a List all NVIDIA display adapters found in the system.
pciblocks List all the PCI ROM Images stored in the EEPROM.
overridetype 5 Allow firmware and adapter PCI device ID mismatch.
overridesub 6 Allow firmware and adapter PCI subsystem ID mismatch.
reboot y Reboot the PC after other tasks completed.
keepstraps g Keep the soft straps already present in the EEPROM
after flashing the new image.
romstrap j Override the ROM strap setting to allow flashing an
image when grounding the STRAP_SUB_VENDOR pin.
This allows flashing a corrupted or erased EEPROM.
Note: Make sure there is a physical EEPROM present
when using this option
index i <index> Force a specific device index.
fwindex F <fw index> Index of which firmware image to use from a firmware
bundle.
auto A When possible, run without user intervention.
directpci n Bypass the PCI BIOS.
silence s Silence all audio beeps.
beep ! Beep to signal updating progress.
nolight l Do not light keyboard LEDs.
override o <level> Override safety check level:
default unknown EEPROM | NV adapter aborts application.
level=1 unknown EEPROM acceptable for read operations.
level=2 unknown NV adapter acceptable for read operations.
level=3 Combined effect of 1,2 (cannot write to unknown EEPROM or adapter).
log L <log file> Create a log file.

Use a single dash ("-") to use the single letter version of a command.
Use a double dash ("--") to use the longer descriptive version of a command.
Use equals ("=") to specify parameters, with separating commas (",").

-- Sample Usage --
nvflash --index=1 nv30nz.rom
-- Supported EEPROM's --
AMD 29LV001B 128Kx8 2.7vV, 1B page, 16k blk, Man,Dev=(01,6D)
AMD 29LV010 128Kx8 2.7vV, 1B page, 16k blk, Man,Dev=(01,6E)
AMD 29LV001T 128Kx8 2.7vV, 1B page, 16k blk, Man,Dev=(01,ED)
Atmel 49F512 64Kx8 5.0,3.0,2.7V, 1B page, 0k blk, Man,Dev=(1F,03)
Atmel 49F001T 128Kx8 5.0V, 1B page, 0k blk, Man,Dev=(1F,04)
Atmel 49F001 128Kx8 5.0V, 1B page, 0k blk, Man,Dev=(1F,05)
Atmel 49(H)BV/LV010 128Kx8 2.7-3.6V, 1B page, 0k blk, Man,Dev=(1F,17)
Atmel 29LV/BV010A 128Kx8 3.0V, 128B page, 0k blk, Man,Dev=(1F,35)
Atmel 29LV512 64Kx8 3.0V, 128B page, 0k blk, Man,Dev=(1F,3D)
Atmel AT25F1024 128Kx8S 2.7-3.6V, 256B page, 32k blk, Man,Dev=(1F,40)
Atmel 29C512 64Kx8 5.0V, 128B page, 0k blk, Man,Dev=(1F,5D)
Atmel AT25F1024 128Kx8S 2.7-3.6V, 256B page, 32k blk, Man,Dev=(1F,60)
Atmel AT25F512A 64Kx8S 2.7-3.6V, 128B page, 32k blk, Man,Dev=(1F,65)
Atmel AT25FS010 128Kx8S 2.7-3.6V, 256B page, 32k blk, Man,Dev=(1F,66)
Atmel 49F010 128Kx8 5.0V, 1B page, 0k blk, Man,Dev=(1F,87)
Atmel 29C010A 128Kx8 5.0V, 128B page, 0k blk, Man,Dev=(1F,D5)
ST M25P05 512Kx1S 2.7-3.6V, 128B page, 32k blk, Man,Dev=(20,05)
ST M25P10 1024Kx1S 2.7-3.6V, 128B page, 32k blk, Man,Dev=(20,10)
ST M29W512B 64Kx8 2.7-3.6V, 1B page, 0k blk, Man,Dev=(20,27)
Tenx ICE25P05 64Kx8S 2.7-3.6V, 128B page, 32k blk, Man,Dev=(5E,01)
PMC 39LV512 64Kx8 3.0-3.6V, 1B page, 4k blk, Man,Dev=(9D,1B)
PMC 39LV010 128Kx8 3.0-3.6V, 1B page, 4k blk, Man,Dev=(9D,1C)
PMC Pm25LV512 64Kx8S 2.7-3.6V, 256B page, 32k blk, Man,Dev=(9D,7B)
PMC Pm25LV010 128Kx8S 2.7-3.6V, 256B page, 32k blk, Man,Dev=(9D,7C)
SST 29EE010 128Kx8 5.0V, 128B page, 0k blk, Man,Dev=(BF,07)
SST 29LE/VE010 128Kx8 2.9,2.7V, 128B page, 0k blk, Man,Dev=(BF,08)
SST 29LE/VE512 64Kx8 2.9,2.7V, 128B page, 0k blk, Man,Dev=(BF,3D)
SST 45VF010 128Kx8S 3.0-3.6V, 1B page, 4k blk, Man,Dev=(BF,42)
SST 25VF512 64Kx8S 2.7-3.6V, 256B page, 4k blk, Man,Dev=(BF,48)
SST 25VF010 128Kx8S 2.7-3.6V, 256B page, 4k blk, Man,Dev=(BF,49)
SST 29EE512 64Kx8 5.0V, 128B page, 0k blk, Man,Dev=(BF,5D)
SST 39SF010 128Kx8 5.0V, 1B page, 4k blk, Man,Dev=(BF,B5)
SST 39VF512 64Kx8 2.7-3.6V, 1B page, 4k blk, Man,Dev=(BF,D4)
SST 39VF010 128Kx8 2.7-3.6V, 1B page, 4k blk, Man,Dev=(BF,D5)
MX 25L512 512Kx1S 2.7-3.6V, 256B page, 4k blk, Man,Dev=(C2,05)
MX 25L1005 1024Kx1S 2.7-3.6V, 256B page, 4k blk, Man,Dev=(C2,10)
MX 29F001T 128Kx8 5.0V, 1B page, 0k blk, Man,Dev=(C2,18)
MX 29F001B 128Kx8 5.0V, 1B page, 0k blk, Man,Dev=(C2,19)
WBond W39L010 128Kx8 3.3V, 1B page, 4k blk, Man,Dev=(DA,31)
WBond W39L512 64Kx8 3.3V, 1B page, 4k blk, Man,Dev=(DA,38)
WBond W29C011A 128Kx8 5.0V, 128B page, 0k blk, Man,Dev=(DA,C1)
WBond W29EE512 64Kx8 5.0V, 128B page, 0k blk, Man,Dev=(DA,C8)
a b K Overclocking
a b U Graphics card
January 29, 2008 11:45:52 PM

They don't even mention -4 in there.
a b K Overclocking
a c 107 U Graphics card
January 30, 2008 12:05:59 AM

I notice that too....not sure why it says to use it everywhere....it must be something....cause when you put something it does not understand it just gives you the help menu....

Maybe its an undocumented switch....
a b K Overclocking
a b U Graphics card
January 30, 2008 12:13:28 AM

A backdoor into your OS installation [/conspiracy]
February 17, 2009 11:55:44 AM

I dont get it. So is the purpose of Bios overclock to input the frequencies 4 ever without having SW programs in Windows to boot them after Window starts??? Tnx
!