I got the Gigabyte 6950 2gb card yesterday, I installed newer catalyst drivers and played some. Everything worked fine so far.
Then I unlocked the 6970 hardware by just flashing to 6970 bios without touching voltages and such. I guess I shouldn't have since here the problems started.
Flashing went ok and comp ran fine after a required reboot. I played the witcher 2 for half an hour until my computer restarted claiming a cpu overheat (never had these before). I let it cooldown and went to bed.
This morning when I fired up my system I got atikmdag.sys BDOD at windows startup, I got rid of it with safemode and deleting the corrupt file. But now I cannot install any newer ati drivers without it popping up and windows just wont find the older drivers even though catalyst installer claims they were installed. Also windows claims it has stopped 6950 because the card reported an error and gpu-z gives me totally wrong values for my card (screenshots below, 1st one isnt mine shot but shows the correct values). So did I just screw myself over by overclocking or is this a software problem?
Any advice would be appreciated.
I have a bad feeling my card died during the OC. Windows detects my card as a standard vga card instead of the correct one. This probably affects the ati driver installs also. I reflashed the bios and gpu-z still shows all wrong statistics.
I rebooted after doing some other non-card relevant stuff on my computer and suddenly the bastard was normally detected and working as intended. Somewhat annoying since I have no idea what was the reason behind all this and now I am afraid to unlock the 6970 while keeping the memory at 6950 levels.
Obviously you can't just assume unlocking to 6970 is going to work. The memory timings supposedly change and the voltage goes up as do all the clocks. It's pretty lucky if it works flawlessly.
What you can do, though, is unlock JUST the shaders and the rest stays as a 6950. I forget where I read the how-to (possibly techpowerup.com) but you can probably google it and find out. It's just something to do with running a script on your BIOS I think.
I had a slight brainfart while typing my original message. I followed the instructions from http://www.techpowerup.com/articles/overclocking/vidcar... when unlocking the shaders. This guide consists of a 6970 bios that is used to override the original one. Thus the voltages should also be correct for the higher memory frequencies used.
Not exactly. They don't have the exact same parts. When fabricated, the different GPUs and RAM chips (among everything else) get tested for quality - I don't know how exactly this is done. They are then binned based on quality. Top parts go to the 6970, worse parts to the 6950. So the physical parts might simply not accept 6970 voltages, timings, and speeds, period.
After all look at any GPU overclocking and you'll see very few people are able to hit the same GPU and mem clocks.