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Can i flash a Radeon HD 6950 1GB into a 6970?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
March 2, 2011 4:57:10 AM

I know that its still gonna have 1gig of ram but i should get a substantial performance increase ..right ..the BIOS size should be the same ..since both cards are almost identicial ..?
a c 664 U Graphics card
March 2, 2011 4:59:40 AM

Only the 6950 2GB version can flash to a 6970.
March 2, 2011 5:02:44 AM

okay ..that was blunt ..thanks ..ill get the 2 gig I guess ..fasted resloved question ever ..?
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a b U Graphics card
March 2, 2011 2:59:30 PM

I've read that the performance difference in the real world is small and that just overclocking the card results in better performance than unlocking the extra shaders.
March 2, 2011 3:06:26 PM

yeah ..that's what I was thinking ..
I should still be able to get a fair 10-15% improvement most games don't end up using over 1GB of frame buffer ..
a c 664 U Graphics card
March 2, 2011 6:40:32 PM
Unlocking the shaders alone results in a very minor performance increase. Increasing the core clock to 6970 speeds has a much greater impact. The problem is that the 6970 uses higher-end memory, so increasing the memory to 6970 speeds is a little more risky.
March 3, 2011 5:27:54 AM

ohh ..wasn't aware of that ..
so what kinda gain would I gain if I OCd the correct clock and unlocked the sharers ..?
a c 664 U Graphics card
March 3, 2011 7:31:27 PM

That link shows the performance differences. There is also an actual review up somewhere with several benchmarks, but I haven't been able to find it. The conclusion, that I recall, is the modded 6950 with unlocked shaders and 6970 clocks runs at exactly the same performance level as a normal 6970... for $100 less.
a c 664 U Graphics card
March 3, 2011 8:08:38 PM

Just to settle my own curiosity, I did a quick comparison of the 6950 oc'ed to 950 mhz vs. the HIS HD6970 Turbo at 900 mhz and 951 mhz vs. the GTX 560 at 950 mhz:

Avg. fps across all resolutions
6950: 140 fps
560: 149 fps
6970: 143 fps
6970 OC: 151 fps

6950: 58 fps
560: 57 fps
6970: 58 fps
6970 OC: 62 fps

So, the conlusion I draw from this brief review is that a 6950 OC'ed does come close to a 6970, but the extra shaders in the 6970 make a very small difference to overall performance. In my opinion, unlocking the shaders on a 6950 is not necessary, but fairly easy to do, and relatively safe with a backup BIOS.

The other thing I take away is the observation that the GTX 560 @ 950 mhz, or above, is a common factory set speed for several retail versions (Zotac AMP!, Gigabyte SOC, Sparkle Calibre, Galaxy/KFA2 White Edition, etc.). Yet the 6900 series needs to be overclocked by the user to reach that speed. Overclocking one of these pre-overclocked cards would undoubtedly lead to even more performance gains.