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Will amd ever block the 6950 unlock to 6970?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 12, 2011 2:06:59 PM

I have a 6950 now unlocked to 6970. Part of me wants to buy another card and crossfire it. However, it probalby is overkill for me, even though I play at a 2560x1600 resolution. My only concern is that the future 6950s will have some kind of fix to prevent us from unlocking the 6970 and that I better get one of the existing cards now.

Do you guys think AMD would block that or is this unlock good forever?
a b U Graphics card
January 12, 2011 2:16:33 PM

no probably not on cards with existing bios hacks, however i could see them revamping the cards eventually to not unlock, but amd isn't known to do that so there is no evidence that they would, more of a somethign they could do if they wanted but likely won't

please ntoe from what i've read about unlocking a 6950 to a 6970 the were binned there for a reason and usualy do not unlock compltely just restore the dormant funcitoning parts, so while it reads as a 6970 you really don't use a full on 6970 and as such you are not guarunteed to get a 6970 out of another 6950 but it will obviously still improve performance for you.

basically as long as you get refrence cards unless there is a revision it should keep unlocking just fine
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a c 125 U Graphics card
January 12, 2011 2:42:28 PM

Right but it's like the X3 unlock. Usually it works just like a quad, sometimes it doesn't.

Anyway, it's entirely possible that they could block it, but would they? I doubt it. I'm sure the realised what they were doing before hand. They knew how to prevent a 5850 from unlocking to a 5870, same with a 6850 to 6870. I think it was a move they did on purpose to add value and steal customers from Nvidia.
a b U Graphics card
January 12, 2011 2:44:21 PM

I think they would in their later batches. As it would mean losing business.

Well if you look at it it has two ways:
1. High sales of HD6950, because of the unlock thing. They can reduce the production of the HD6970 seeing the market demand and up the supply of HD6950.

2. Loss of sales of the HD6970, which means loss of the extra $50-$60, whatever the price difference is.
January 12, 2011 3:03:13 PM

It's not so straight forward as that. With this unlock, they created a huge demand for amd that might have otherwise gone to nvidia. I know I was in the market for a gtx570 before I learned of this unlock. It made me go nvidia.

Now for amd, what do you think is more valuable? Losing 50-60 on a sale for a 6970 over a 6950 or a customer going AMD over their main competitor?
a b U Graphics card
January 12, 2011 4:00:07 PM

yes, they are almost the same, heck is i had the money and was buying a card right now it's be a 6950 to unlock( 450 is what i use/my pricerange to give an idea) , just playign devil's advocate there as they do not preform the same as a 6970 100% of the time so advising anybody who searches about 6950's and finds this thread knows its not a guaruntee... but very likely with the current chips out there
a c 538 U Graphics card
January 12, 2011 5:47:57 PM

If they are the same card minus some locked features, then the 6950 has a lower profit margin for AMD, I would guess.
a b U Graphics card
January 12, 2011 6:03:42 PM

^ true, btu i imagine they are still making money on it... just a smaller profit margin, liekly its down to a binning process and even if they come it at just below spec they go to 6950's

it's like my athlon II x4 640 the L3 cache unlocked... it just caps out overclocking to 3.4 Ghz (gets to 3.6 with no l3 on) its a tradeoff on my athlon but hey i still got a chip overclockign over its intended speed with a feature i got for free :D 
a b U Graphics card
January 13, 2011 6:19:55 AM

I think at the end of the day... its about how many cards you sell. If AMD has lesser profit margin on the HD6950, but still they sell a hefty sum of cards, then they would be happy.

But i am pretty sure that they are gonna block the BIOS unlock soon!
a c 355 U Graphics card
January 13, 2011 6:44:01 AM

AMD will block you from doing a BIOS upgrade.

There has already been an article somewhere that I read yesterday, that there will be a potential shortage of HD 6950.
January 13, 2011 1:02:32 PM

If they didnt want people to flash the cards to a 6970 then why make it easier by putting a dual bios switch on the card?
January 14, 2011 1:33:17 AM

to me it looks like ATI has planned this before launch, i mean dual bios for safe flashing? and online it shows up to 95% of successful unlocks, i just think all this was planed before they released the 6950 to get more customers, which is good more performance for lower price.
January 14, 2011 2:16:10 AM

My guess is that only the first few production runs will be unlockable. They wanted to be able to tweak the 6950s specs until the last possible moment, and to do that they needed to leave everything enabled (in case they needed to go 4850 style with full parts and lower clocks). Now that specs are finalized they don't need to leave shaders unfused. Then again, they never had a need to leave Phenom IIs with harvested cores unfused, and they never did start fusing those off (but those unlocks were a lot more risky, about 50-50 versus the 90-10 we're seeing from 6950).
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