I am totally Frustrated to find my new HD 6950 2GB From Sapphire had no Dual Bios Switch. Infact it was totally Different, that I had to check it with the website. There is no details about the non-inclusion of Dual bios Switch in the website too..
I feel so cheated.. Kindly help me guys... Or I am not seeing the exact place for the switch?
The best advice I can give is return it and get a referenced version if your main concern is flashing the bios. I'm not sure but I don't think a dual bios is necessary for flashing the card. I think its more of a safeguard if anything goes wrong. I could be wrong tho. I've flashed HIS, XFX, and Powercolor successfully and they were all reference models.
Actually, I recommending to not do it because of reviews I have read of the Asus 6950 DirectCU, which clearly stated that it was impossible to flash to a 6970 on that card.
Anyway, the boost in performance is only a little bit more than simply overclocking the card. With a custom design, you should be able to oveclock more than a reference design, so maybe the overall gain from overclocking is more than the full BIOS flash on a reference design.
Yeah, I just got this card as well, thinking it would have the same PCB layout as the newly announced Sapphire 6950 FLEX, which is supposed to have the switch. It doesn't While I would like more performance for free (and you wouldn't?) this cooling design is VASTLY superior to reference. Up to 40% fan (which is the highest I've seen it go) I cant hear it over my case/cpu fans. And at the lower (and quieter) speeds it stays on top of the core temp better. I can say this with confidence because I just dropped off a Sapphire reference 6950-2gb to UPS for the RMA.
I can live with that. I'll be keeping an eye out for those that are daring enough to try an unlock anyways.
im with you on that one, ive been doing my research and cant figure out which ones are which really.
Reference 2GB models have them.
You can tell its a reference model by its fan and if it has the AMD logo on the PCI Express connector.
Reference models are always at the end of the card for that model (if its in the middle or dual fan then its non-reference). And if you zoom in on the PCI Express connector it should have an AMD logo on it which is only put on reference models.
actually, it still might be possible to try on the non-reference design, non dual-BIOS switch, and even 1gb models
but not by flashing with a hd 6970 BIOS
instead, use a modified BIOS of your hd 6950 with those extra shaders unlocked
then OC to hd 6970 specs (using unoficial overclocking and changing the voltages manually)
Its less safer to flash using the hd 6970 BIOS since even PEOPLE WITH REFERENCE DESIGN HD 6950's have started to complain months after flashing their cards with a hd 6970 BIOS,
this is because If you flash a hd 6950 with a hd 6970 BIOS, a number of things happen,
1 the hd 6970 BIOS makes the card run on 880Mhz core and 1375Mhz memory (these are stock hd 6970 frequencies)
2 the hd 6970 BIOS also makes the core voltage run on 117mV so as feed the frequencies (this is also stock hd 6970 voltage)
All of the above is ususally fine for a hd 6950, the problem comes when that hd 6970 BIOS also changes the voltages/memory timings of the memory of the hd 6950. the memory of the hd 6950 DOES NOT SUPPORT THE MEMORY TIMINGS AND VOLTAGES OF A HD 6970 so the card gets damages immediately or over time.THEIR MEMORY IS DIFFERENT.
Thats why the safer option is to edit the BIOS of your hd 6950 to unlock the shaders,flash it with that edited BIOS, then oc to stock hd 6970 specs (frequencies shown above) this leaves the memory of the hd 6950 untouched.
there is no guarantee that you will be 100% successful in flashing your card be it reference or non-reference, BUT the way is alot safer, thats the point, there is still always a chance that you can brick your card since it does not have a backup BIOS.