EDIT ------------ For anyone wondering about the link before clicking it.. it's pretty much just how to upgrade a 6950 to 6970 with a BIOS upgrade.
I'm curious if they binned the 6970's and came up with the 6950's due to defective shader cores or some other defect. I've been looking at the 6950/6970's for a little while now and with this bit of info I really want to get 2 6950's and cf after upgrading the BIOS. I suppose the worse thing that can come of it is the cards don't run optimally and you flash the BIOS back to the 6950 setup and you still have quite a beefy system,
The pressing issue to buy 2 of these identical cards now would be to get your hands on two cards you know you can do this BIOS flash on before they create a "fix" to keep you from doing this.
Also, the resale on these cards should rival the 6970's price point later down the road. I say this as I had an EVGA 7xxx series card for sale on ebay and I had a watcher ask me what the BIOS rev was on the card and I later found that there were desirable versions of that card that they could hack the BIOS to get better performance and I probably could've gotten a bit more for that card if it was the version he was looking for.
@englandr753: I doubt there were "defects" in the unlocked shaders. It's the same case with the X3>X4s. AMD locks cores in order to meet demand for a certain product. Obviously, some will not be stable and other will just fail to unlock, but most of these parts seem to just be locked on purpose to meet demand.
edit: I find it hilarious the news of this hack is a day late on Toms homepage. LMAO.
I'm fairly sure your right shadow since there appear to be 100% success unlocking these cards. Has anyone posted any stability tests on these cards yet after unlocking?
I'll try to search as well but if you find and article please post...
So far, every make (or brand) of the 6950 has been able to be upgraded to the 6970 BIOS and there have been no failures. Looks good to me .
1 powercolor and 1 sapphire card was unlocked but rendered errors. I don't know if this could be due to incorrect settings from the user end instead of the faulty card.
I'm near the point of ordering so I'm watching this closely...
Oh really!? Can you link me to it? I thought this had 100% success rate so far.
Sure, go to shadows original post, click the link and scroll to the bottom of the page. The results are there...
Oh thanks. Missed that the first time reading through! :O *shame* hehe.