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Problem Flashing BIOS on HD 6950 to Unlock Shaders

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April 20, 2011 7:24:57 PM

Ok, so I've just got a new VTX3D ATI Radeon HD 6950 2GB (With BIOS switch) and I've got it installed and running perfectly at stock levels.

As the card has a BIOS switch I thought I'd have a go at flashing the BIOS to unlock the shaders to the amount in a HD 6970. First let me say that I've literally spent all day (it's my day off) trawling the web and researching how to do this and I've tried everything I can find/think of to get it to work but it'd just not happening!!

If anyone has any ideas why it's not working with my card I'd appreciate the help. Here's what I've tried so far....

Using the ATIWinflash GUI I always get an error about IDs not matching no matter what ROM I use.
Using ATIWinflash through the Command Prompt the flash always appears successful.
When I use any HD 6970 ROM (VTX3D, Sapphire, ASUS etc.) when I restart the computer it will not POST (just fans and lights but no beep etc.). I have to flick the BIOS switch to the 2 position and reboot.
When I use a modded HD 6950 ROM downloaded from the internet (just shaders unlocked) it seems to flash fine, boots ok, but when I check GPU-Z the shaders have not increased (still showing 1408 instead of 1536). Exactly the same thing happens when I use RME to create my own modded ROM from my stock ROM with the 'unlock shaders to 6970' box ticked.

Maybe I've just got a card that won't unlock and if that's the case it's not the end of the world, I'll live with it. Just want to make sure I'm not doing something wrong before I give up and just use a standard overclock.

Thanks
April 20, 2011 7:37:21 PM

FYI....

Phenom II x4 955 3.2GHz (OC to 3.9GHz)
8GB DDR2 RAM Dual Channel 800MHz
ATI Radeon HD 6950 2GB
Corsair TX650W PSU
Antec 900 Case (5 fans)
7200 RPM 1TB Hard Drive
Related resources
a c 376 U Graphics card
April 20, 2011 10:32:27 PM

He probably has seen that article I would think. Probably better off served by asking these questions in the discussion thread linked in that article though.
April 21, 2011 2:12:06 AM

My guess would be that AMD has finally started put out cards with the extra shaders hard locked. Bummer no more 6970's @ 6950 prices. I was lucky mine worked. A friend had the exact same experience as you. seems to unlock shaders but they are a no show in GPUZ.
April 21, 2011 7:02:22 AM

yeah I'd followed the instructions in that link Rockitman, thanks though. Its looking like the shaders must be hard locked. Oh well, never mind, its performing perfectly well on all the newest games, guess it'll have just a little less shelf life than I first thought that's all!
a b U Graphics card
April 21, 2011 2:34:40 PM

I've never even heard of VTX, where did they come from??

Is it even a reference card? If not, it won't unlock shaders.
April 21, 2011 2:41:48 PM

They're basically Powercolor (owned by the same company). I've found plenty of people on various forums that have the same card as me that have unlocked the shaders but maybe the newest ones are being hard locked now?
a b U Graphics card
April 21, 2011 4:44:01 PM

Yeah that's what you get for buying an off brand. I searched the net and found only 1 other person with that brand card.

The best thing to do is read Newegg reviews, then you can see which models people had success unlocking. Like this one:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

April 21, 2011 6:03:05 PM

No, there's tons of people with that card - mainly in the UK though. Its nothing to do with the brand. This is my third VTX card and they've all performed really well, overclocked well and never gone wrong - that's why I keep going back to them when I upgrade. The 6950 is performing great and is running very cool. The 2 years warranty on it will outlast my need for the card too. I've had an email from ATI saying their newer 6950 cards have permanenty locked shaders, so just waiting for VTX to confirm if my actual card is one of those.
a b U Graphics card
April 21, 2011 6:48:54 PM

Like I said, if you had researched the card before buying, you would know which ones people have had success unlocking.

I've not seen one place on the web that shows someone unlocking that card.
April 21, 2011 7:06:14 PM

geekapproved said:
Like I said, if you had researched the card before buying, you would know which ones people have had success unlocking.

I've not seen one place on the web that shows someone unlocking that card.


There's 11 people here to get you started....

http://www.techpowerup.com/articles/overclocking/vidcar...

First site that popped up on a google search for 6950 to 6970 unlock.

That said though I do take your point that if unlocking it was so important to me I should have gone for a bigger name like Sapphire or something. It wasn't a major factor though, just something I thought I'd try after reading that it was possible. Chances are that by the time the 6950 starts to really struggle to keep up I'll be ready to purchase an upgrade anyhow.

Thanks for taking the time to help!
a b U Graphics card
April 22, 2011 4:13:09 PM

What 11 people???? I still have not seen even 1 person, that has that card and unlocked it.

Lay off the drugs dude.

???
April 22, 2011 4:22:06 PM

geekapproved said:
What 11 people???? I still have not seen even 1 person, that has that card and unlocked it.

Lay off the drugs dude.

???


The table at the bottom of the article where people have emailed in to say their unlock was successful. I don't think your inability to read is a reason to accuse me of drugs use!

Anyway, as an update, VTX3D have confirmed that their older HD6950s were unlockable, but the newer ones are pre-locked by AMD.
October 12, 2011 8:28:33 AM

SUCCESSFULLY UNLOCKED

I purchaced two (VTX3D/Vertex3D/VTX...whatever) 6950 2GB cards last week (October 2011) and have successfully unlocked shaders on both of them.

So there is NO "pre-locking" of cards...
or the two I have were sitting around in the store for well over 6 months... unlikely...

I tried all the methods Ecotox attempted with the same results.

Except for the RBE method which was successful!!!
Probably not all steps are necessary... this is just exactly what I did:

Note - I physically removed my cards then flashed them ONE at a time

1. Ran atiwinflash as admin - saved the original BIOS.
2. Browsed to the saved file - renamed the original BIOS file with ".bin" on the end so RBE would recognise it.
3. Opened RBE (v1.28) - loaded the original BIOS into RBE - ticked "6970 shader count" box in the "additional features" section
4. Saved the modified BIOS and again renamed with ".bin".
5. Used W1zzards script changing names where required
W1zzards script: http://www.techpowerup.com/forums/showpost.php?p=213457...
6. After the flashing process I chose the "no" option when it prompted me to restart and instead shut down the pc.
7. Started the pc again and using GPU-Z v0.5.5 checked the shaders - 1536 (successful).

Hope this helps, goodluck.
a c 271 U Graphics card
October 12, 2011 7:33:23 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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