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Unlock your 6950 to a 6970!

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a b U Graphics card
December 27, 2010 5:13:52 PM

Look at this, you can unlock your card to the flagship!
http://www.techpowerup.com/articles/overclocking/vidcar...
Very Interesting.......

More about : unlock 6950 6970

a b U Graphics card
December 27, 2010 7:33:06 PM

This actually makes a 6950 a very good deal! Especially CrossFire........
Related resources
a b U Graphics card
December 27, 2010 7:50:44 PM

Not Really,

You can flash back the BIOS to the original 6950 and i think some manufacturers support flashing in their warranty...
December 27, 2010 7:52:13 PM

Which ones? I might go ahead and buy one tonight. Its between this and the gtx 570.
December 27, 2010 8:24:57 PM

Sweet! I found the download for this on Guru3d earlier and I was thinking of either going for the 6950 crossfire or 6970 crossfire after the new year.

Looks like its the 6950 for the win!
a b U Graphics card
December 27, 2010 8:42:08 PM

So you get 136fps instead of 121fps, big deal.

You could make half the difference up or more simply by doing a moderate overclock of the 6950.
December 27, 2010 8:59:55 PM

geekapproved said:
So you get 136fps instead of 121fps, big deal.

You could make half the difference up or more simply by doing a moderate overclock of the 6950.

So do that too...
December 27, 2010 9:46:17 PM

geekapproved said:
So you get 136fps instead of 121fps, big deal.

You could make half the difference up or more simply by doing a moderate overclock of the 6950.


I hope he has the 120 Hz refresh rate to go along with those 121 FPS. At 60 Hz refresh, anything over 60 FPS is waste. And only 30 FPS is needed for fluid motion. Overkill with a capital O.
a b U Graphics card
December 27, 2010 10:10:10 PM

In Call of Duty that is....
Other games may see bigger increases....
@Digital Dissent, I think it is any reference model
a b U Graphics card
December 27, 2010 10:11:04 PM

This means for the 6990 you could unlock both GPU's and turn it into a 6970X2 SWEET!
December 27, 2010 10:50:35 PM

plznote said:
This means for the 6990 you could unlock both GPU's and turn it into a 6970X2 SWEET!

You might start to run into heat problems there though. Not a bad idea mind you. Given an increase of 10C on each side, it might be stable without overclocking or such... Far too many parameters to speculate yet though.
a b U Graphics card
December 27, 2010 11:17:43 PM

studioman22 said:
I hope he has the 120 Hz refresh rate to go along with those 121 FPS. At 60 Hz refresh,anything over 60 FPS is waste. And only 30 FPS is needed for fluid motion. Overkill with a capital O.


Oh Jesus. Here we go again.

*grabs popcorn*
December 27, 2010 11:33:05 PM

alextheawesome said:
Oh Jesus. Here we go again.

*grabs popcorn*


Ok, only 30 FPS MINIMUM. :ange: 

Overengineer, overclock, overcompensate, overfeed, overFRAME! Over, over, over. Overhead.

Yeah I get it. I like 60 FPS too. Was just making the point that his refresh rate better be in the same range as his FPS. Can't we all just get along? :hello: 
a b U Graphics card
December 28, 2010 12:08:54 AM

studioman22 said:
Ok, only 30 FPS MINIMUM. :ange: 

I hereby prohibit Counter Strike players from responding to this post.
December 28, 2010 1:25:40 AM

randomizer said:
I hereby prohibit Counter Strike players from responding to this post.


Oh come on! I was all set for the technicals! :D 

Movies shot in film are cool at 24 FPS. Computer games? Gotta build in some FPS OVER. So 30 FPS is a good minimum, one I agree with after playing nearly every shooter starting way back at Wolfenstein 3D. Yeah even 15 to 20 FPS is playable, when you HAVE to play on a lame puter. And I played CS too, what's the beef?
a c 216 U Graphics card
December 28, 2010 1:51:19 AM

geekapproved said:
So you get 136fps instead of 121fps, big deal.

You could make half the difference up or more simply by doing a moderate overclock of the 6950.


Going from a maxed OC'ed 6950 in ATI Overdrive, to a stock flashed to 6970 with stock clocks impoved 3dmark 11's score from 4600 to 5300. Part of this is due to the extra shaders, it's not all about the clocks.
a b U Graphics card
December 28, 2010 3:27:02 AM

studioman22 said:
Movies shot in film are cool at 24 FPS. Computer games? Gotta build in some FPS OVER. So 30 FPS is a good minimum, one I agree with after playing nearly every shooter starting way back at Wolfenstein 3D. Yeah even 15 to 20 FPS is playable, when you HAVE to play on a lame puter. And I played CS too, what's the beef?


30FPS is fine for fluid motion with some blur, but it is incomparable to 60FPS for twitchy responsiveness. Even a constant 30FPS would feel sluggish (definitely smooth, but sluggish). Some people prefer 100FPS. I don't mind 60FPS myself, but I can notice a difference between 60FPS and 100FPS even with a 60Hz display. I generally don't get anywhere near that though :( 

My tongue-in-cheek mention of CS players was in reference to those who absolutely "must" have 150FPS in order to play.
a c 130 U Graphics card
December 28, 2010 3:30:13 AM

Then again Randomizer, CS:S got 150FPS on my HD4850 @ All max settings/1920x1080. Any card above $100 will guarantee you 150FPS at 1920, so the people complaining need to shovel a few driveways :p 

@OP; Flashing the 6950 to 6970 also raises the clocks, right? There might be a few scenarios where you'll have to run the modded 6950 at 6950 clocks.
a c 216 U Graphics card
December 28, 2010 3:41:14 AM

randomizer said:
30FPS is fine for fluid motion with some blur, but it is incomparable to 60FPS for twitchy responsiveness. Even a constant 30FPS would feel sluggish (definitely smooth, but sluggish). Some people prefer 100FPS. I don't mind 60FPS myself, but I can notice a difference between 60FPS and 100FPS even with a 60Hz display. I generally don't get anywhere near that though :( 

My tongue-in-cheek mention of CS players was in reference to those who absolutely "must" have 150FPS in order to play.


The reason it doesn't feel different is that there is no difference.

Your monitor can only display a maximum of 60 FPS.
a b U Graphics card
December 28, 2010 3:44:27 AM

So you get 136fps instead of 121fps, big deal.

You could make half the difference up or more simply by doing a moderate overclock of the 6950. said:
So you get 136fps instead of 121fps, big deal.

You could make half the difference up or more simply by doing a moderate overclock of the 6950.


FAIL.
December 28, 2010 3:46:43 AM

randomizer said:
30FPS is fine for fluid motion with some blur, but it is incomparable to 60FPS for twitchy responsiveness. Even a constant 30FPS would feel sluggish (definitely smooth, but sluggish). Some people prefer 100FPS. I don't mind 60FPS myself, but I can notice a difference between 60FPS and 100FPS even with a 60Hz display. I generally don't get anywhere near that though :( 

My tongue-in-cheek mention of CS players was in reference to those who absolutely "must" have 150FPS in order to play.


Yeah but you went one twitch too far at 100 FPS and missed. :kaola: 

Ok, I wasn't sure what side of the fence you were arguing there. Don't think for a minute though that I wouldn't want a steady 150 FPS if I could afford it- I am totally with you. A nice high DPI gaming mouse is a plus too.

But we digress from the topic at hand, and I apologize, OP.

This is a cool article, although I bet they choose certain boards to be the 6970's, while locking down others to become 6950's after certain specs are attained in the output piece. There could be a valid reason why those shaders are locked on that particular board- maybe activating them caused the slightest instability of some kind- keeping it from becoming a 6970. I'd be curious to see how the board performs long term after the unlock though.
a c 216 U Graphics card
December 28, 2010 3:53:25 AM

studioman22 said:
Yeah but you went one twitch too far at 100 FPS and missed. :kaola: 

Ok, I wasn't sure what side of the fence you were arguing there. Don't think for a minute though that I wouldn't want a steady 150 FPS if I could afford it- I am totally with you. A nice high DPI gaming mouse is a plus too.

But we digress from the topic at hand, and I apologize, OP.

This is a cool article, although I bet they choose certain boards to be the 6970's, while locking down others to become 6950's after certain specs are attained in the output piece. There could be a valid reason why those shaders are locked on that particular board- maybe activating them caused the slightest instability of some kind- keeping it from becoming a 6970. I'd be curious to see how the board performs long term after the unlock though.


It's more likely there is no instabilibility, and the only reason those shaders were locked is because they needed to sell 6950's too. They realize most people will get the 6950, with the more cutting edge people willing to pay more, so they made that possible.
a b U Graphics card
December 28, 2010 3:53:32 AM

Has anyone here tried flashing their card?
@Shadow187 Yeah, it also raises clocks when it unlocks shaders (I think)
December 28, 2010 4:02:21 AM

bystander said:
It's more likely there is no instabilibility, and the only reason those shaders were locked is because they needed to sell 6950's too. They realize most people will get the 6950, with the more cutting edge people willing to pay more, so they made that possible.


Maybe, but do you think they would overlook what this article is saying- that the board can be bios-flashed up to 6970 status?

I mean surely with all the uber geeks out here they couldn't expect this to remain covered up for long? On the other hand, it is not everyday that I think to try and flash my video bios with another model card's bios... This might have been a simple mistake that inadvertently worked, which was then exploited. But I now do have to wonder if this might work in other cards? I am just not going to risk my machine or card to find out, that's for darn sure.
a c 216 U Graphics card
December 28, 2010 4:04:43 AM

It does work on other cards. They've been doing this sort of thing for years.

However, due to having less power, and not as good of ram in many cases. People are not getting the same clocks as the 6970's when they both attempt to OC. Some are having to underclock.
December 28, 2010 4:21:32 AM

bystander said:
It does work on other cards. They've been doing this sort of thing for years.

However, due to having less power, and not as good of ram in many cases. People are not getting the same clocks as the 6970's when they both attempt to OC. Some are having to underclock.


Which is why generally you get what you pay for. A 6970 has the supporting necessaries to run at those speeds, long term. This is good fun and games, and interesting, but not for me. Couldn't recommend to clients much either. Of course my clients aren't demanding this kind of extremism. If they did, I'd tell them to get the 6970 and be done with it.
a c 130 U Graphics card
December 28, 2010 4:30:44 AM

Well remember that the allocation of chips for the HD6970 supposedly increased..obviously all the chips are meeting spec. Makes you wonder, "Gee, if all these cards are hitting the Cayman shaders..couldn't they have made a good-yielding higher-spec'd chip?"
a b U Graphics card
December 28, 2010 5:07:05 AM

This is like unlocking the Phenom II x2s and x3s.You cannot be sure that it will unlock.
a c 376 U Graphics card
December 28, 2010 6:51:51 AM

Quote:
this will cannibalize the sales of 6970, but boost 6950 sales in opposition to 570
i wonder if it is bringing overall profit to amd or not.

The vast majority of consumers will have no clue about this stuff so I doubt it will make much of difference either way.
a b U Graphics card
December 28, 2010 6:57:18 AM

The vast majority of consumers will have no clue about this stuff so I doubt it will make much of difference either way. said:
The vast majority of consumers will have no clue about this stuff so I doubt it will make much of difference either way.


nay.

the vast majority of consumers you're talking about will not be buying the 6950, those who are in the market for one though, knows a thing or 2 about it.

these are "enthusiast" class cards, not the type of bundled cards uncle joe buys @ bestbuy.



a c 376 U Graphics card
December 28, 2010 7:02:46 AM

I think you overestimate the knowledge level of people with the money and desire to own a high end video card.
a b U Graphics card
December 28, 2010 7:11:05 AM

^ i think you underestimate the volume of new threads spawning in every tech-website asking for graphics card help.
a c 376 U Graphics card
December 28, 2010 7:20:54 AM

We hang out on and follow tech sites and forums but it a mistake to think that is normal for any segment of the market. Also in general in my experience ignorance is the norm in almost every situation involving humans. You can think what you want I'd be very surprised if over 5% of the HD6950s sold ever get flashed into a HD6970.
December 28, 2010 7:51:19 AM

I did this yesterday, feels good man.

What makes me rage is that AMD charged 60$ more for nothing. Nvidia must never fail or AMD will rocket their prices first chance given.

AMD, i am disappoint.
a c 376 U Graphics card
December 28, 2010 8:08:45 AM

painis said:
I did this yesterday, feels good man.

What makes me rage is that AMD charged 60$ more for nothing. Nvidia must never fail or AMD will rocket their prices first chance given.

AMD, i am disappoint.

AMD is a business like any other. They aren't a non-profit group dedicated to making the world a better place to game in. The goal of any business is to maximize profit. They will price their products based upon supply and consumer demand. Rage against capitalism if you desire but blaming AMD for being a business is just... warped IMO.
But anyway... you are disappointed that AMD didn't laser cut their GPUs to prevent unlocking like Nvidia does? It makes you "rage" to get extra performance for free? Do you rage against Intel because there's a $300 i7 and $1000 i7 that are physically the same chip? What should be more upsetting is the purposeful physical disabling of portions of a processor like almost every other line of video cards. The norm is to actually spend slightly more producing the card so that you get a less capable product that cannot unlock. That they didn't do it here is a welcome change.
a b U Graphics card
December 28, 2010 8:35:08 AM

We hang out on and follow tech sites and forums but it a mistake to think that is normal for any segment of the market. Also in general in my experience ignorance is the norm in almost every situation involving humans. You can think what you want I'd be very surprised if over 5% of the HD6950s sold ever get flashed into a HD6970. said:
We hang out on and follow tech sites and forums but it a mistake to think that is normal for any segment of the market. Also in general in my experience ignorance is the norm in almost every situation involving humans. You can think what you want I'd be very surprised if over 5% of the HD6950s sold ever get flashed into a HD6970.


having a clue and actually flashing it are 2 different things. funny you come up with a statistic twice (one is subjective), yet there's no way for you to extract and use that data yourself.

if someone has a 6950, and the fact that it has 2 bios as standard, this is pretty doable.
a c 376 U Graphics card
December 28, 2010 8:46:39 AM

wh3resmycar said:
having a clue and actually flashing it are 2 different things. funny you come up with a statistic twice (one is subjective), yet there's no way for you to extract and use that data yourself.

if someone has a 6950, and the fact that it has 2 bios as standard, this is pretty doable.

It's certainly doable, I never questioned that. To the point that I guess I was using knowledge of the possibility and actually doing so interchangeably. I just pulled 5% out of nowhere to be honest but if I had to guess it is approximately correct. There's no real data on this stuff of course so it's all speculation.
December 28, 2010 9:30:13 AM

Just ordered 2 x XFX 6950 and they should arrive tomorrow. I'll give the flash a try and run a few tests and benchmarks to see if it works!
December 28, 2010 12:54:26 PM

jyjjy said:
AMD is a business like any other. They aren't a non-profit group dedicated to making the world a better place to game in. The goal of any business is to maximize profit. They will price their products based upon supply and consumer demand. Rage against capitalism if you desire but blaming AMD for being a business is just... warped IMO.
But anyway... you are disappointed that AMD didn't laser cut their GPUs to prevent unlocking like Nvidia does? It makes you "rage" to get extra performance for free? Do you rage against Intel because there's a $300 i7 and $1000 i7 that are physically the same chip? What should be more upsetting is the purposeful physical disabling of portions of a processor like almost every other line of video cards. The norm is to actually spend slightly more producing the card so that you get a less capable product that cannot unlock. That they didn't do it here is a welcome change.

A funny point to follow up yours. Back when intel started making the i7's, they had an overstock of the $1000 i7 vs profit. Hence they resold them as the $500 and $300 i7's sometimes. I think I might have gotten one of those. It happens, maybe thats the case with these first production models...
a c 130 U Graphics card
December 28, 2010 2:03:16 PM

To be honest im not surprised Wizard tried this, It was known that they were using full chips for 6950 cards so it makes semse for someone like Wizard to give it a go.
Part of me thinks this was deliberate, AMD have been very clynical with the way they have set out their price/performance points of late, why else make trying it a no brainer with the back up bios on a switch ? If they had loads of good chips to make 6970's from then they could have priced them below the 570 and really cleaned up but they chose to make 6950's out of them instaed.
lets face it they had to do something to add value to a card that only performs so so.

Mactronix :) 
December 28, 2010 2:59:27 PM

studioman22 said:
Oh come on! I was all set for the technicals! :D 

Movies shot in film are cool at 24 FPS. Computer games? Gotta build in some FPS OVER. So 30 FPS is a good minimum, one I agree with after playing nearly every shooter starting way back at Wolfenstein 3D. Yeah even 15 to 20 FPS is playable, when you HAVE to play on a lame puter. And I played CS too, what's the beef?



I didn't read all of the posts. I play css and dods in league cause I'm that much of a nerd. I just read something on Tom's that confirmed my suspicions that the eye does detect up to ~ 200 fps. If you have played css or dods the main reason for higher FPS (as far as I am concerned) is better shot registration. My accuracy is consistently higher @ 250fps than it is when I play w/ vsync @ 60fps.
a b U Graphics card
December 28, 2010 3:05:17 PM

Yeah, Marney_5, I can't wait until you get your cards! Let's see if the XFX ones flash...
a b U Graphics card
December 28, 2010 9:12:05 PM

Anyone tried? Post experiences!
a c 216 U Graphics card
December 28, 2010 10:55:22 PM

I did it. It worked. I am able to run at stock 6970 clocks with no issue. I just can't overclock hardly at all. The temps are fine, but it causes the drivers to fail. It's probably a voltage issue.

I went from a 3dmark11 4600 score to 5300.
December 28, 2010 11:21:49 PM

bystander said:
I did it. It worked. I am able to run at stock 6970 clocks with no issue. I just can't overclock hardly at all. The temps are fine, but it causes the drivers to fail. It's probably a voltage issue.

I went from a 3dmark11 4600 score to 5300.


Well if the drivers are detecting a 6950 instead of a 6970, what do you expect? The way most drivers are packaged with inherent card detection, unless there was a special driver made for an unlocked 6950, I can't see how that's ever going to quite work right. So the question is, what does your sys info say about the new unlocked 6950? Does it say 6970 now that it has been unlocked? I'll bet it still says 6950, or just 6900 series. Internally, the driver may still think it is accessing a 6950, which is true. And whether it says it or not, someone needs to figure out whether the newly flashed card presents itself to the driver as a 6950 or 6970. It seems to me that the model comes from the GPU bios, which if flashed up with the 6970 bios, might well now present itself as a 6970- so I am curious about the answer to this.
a c 376 U Graphics card
December 28, 2010 11:46:07 PM

I'm pretty sure once flashed with the HD6970 BIOS the card is recognized as such by the drivers and the system in general.
a c 216 U Graphics card
December 28, 2010 11:48:42 PM

studioman22 said:
Well if the drivers are detecting a 6950 instead of a 6970, what do you expect? The way most drivers are packaged with inherent card detection, unless there was a special driver made for an unlocked 6950, I can't see how that's ever going to quite work right. So the question is, what does your sys info say about the new unlocked 6950? Does it say 6970 now that it has been unlocked? I'll bet it still says 6950, or just 6900 series. Internally, the driver may still think it is accessing a 6950, which is true. And whether it says it or not, someone needs to figure out whether the newly flashed card presents itself to the driver as a 6950 or 6970. It seems to me that the model comes from the GPU bios, which if flashed up with the 6970 bios, might well now present itself as a 6970- so I am curious about the answer to this.


The card is listed as a 6900 device/Series every where I've looked. It shows 6900 in GPU-Z, system info, dxdiag and CCC.

No were does it say 6950 or 6970.

As far as the clocks go. Some people are able to overclock all the way to 940 and 1440. Some people can't. It seems to just be a matter of luck.
December 28, 2010 11:54:32 PM

bystander said:
The card is listed as a 6900 device/Series every where I've looked. It shows 6900 in GPU-Z, system info, dxdiag and CCC.

No were does it say 6950 or 6970.

As far as the clocks go. Some people are able to overclock all the way to 940 and 1440. Some people can't. It seems to just be a matter of luck.

I think what we have here is yet another example of high production and binning of the same thing being sold as something else. AMD probably dosent expect as many 6970's to sell as 6950's, so most likely they are setting up some 6970 level cards as 6950's, with the only difference between the two cards being the chip yield quality and not the architecture. Same as what happens with cpu's all the time, so some people will get cards that CAN use the extra shaders but cant overclock much, and others will get cards that for all intents and purposes ARE a 6970. I hope Im one of the lucky latter, but either way the increase in speed is significant so either way here the consumer is winning. Same as unlocking cpu cores! :bounce: 
December 29, 2010 12:15:14 AM

bystander said:
The card is listed as a 6900 device/Series every where I've looked. It shows 6900 in GPU-Z, system info, dxdiag and CCC.

No were does it say 6950 or 6970.

As far as the clocks go. Some people are able to overclock all the way to 940 and 1440. Some people can't. It seems to just be a matter of luck.


At this point it might be helpful to have the input of someone who actually writes catalyst drivers for AMD and knows firsthand the REAL differences, down to the last chip, between the two. In fact, I'd like to see what they say about why, technically, it would not be a good idea to take a set of 6950 hardware, R&D'd out the ying yang to operate within certain speed limits, and flash it up to the capabilities provided with 6970 hardware.

So, who's going to be the volunteer to write to AMD's technical department for an answer? :lol: 

You know, I love to watch over-the-toppers. You guys pull off some radicals, for sure. And it's plenty of fun to see the results- as long as it's YOUR card that's going to fry and not mine. Yeah, I am not much on the whole OC thing, much less this radical idea. It's my personal belief that you can use up the over engineering buffer zone now at full speed, or run it where it was designed to run- and get the real expected lifetime of a product. And either choice is fine, just glad there is a choice. The rich- and the obsessed- are not always known for making the wisest choices. After all, they can afford one way or another to justify pushing the limits.
!