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Unlockability of the 6950 and a bunch of other queries

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 23, 2011 4:43:23 PM

I am thinking of upgrading over my 9800gt with the 6950. I have read on numerous places that this card is actually an underclocked 6970 (AMD does this stuff a lot, eh?) and can be unlocked to function as a 6970. My question is, is this possible for all 6950 models or does this work only for some specific models? Secondly, what about the temperatures, after unlocking are they manageable without having to resort to thermal paste or fans?

Thirdly, is this card compatible with my motherboard? If no, could you guys suggest one (with DDR3 support if possible)?

Four, is it worth getting the 2 gb version for gaming at a resolution of 1920x1200? These benchs indicate there isn't any difference but I am a bit skeptical, how reliable is Anandtech anyway?

Five, which AIB's should I get, given that I plan to unlock it to a 6970?

Six, will a Corsair 450vx be a good enough psu for it?
a c 1312 U Graphics card
June 23, 2011 4:46:06 PM

Post your specs then we can answer the questions!
June 23, 2011 4:48:58 PM

Damn! forgot to add links.

Specs: Unlocked Phenom II 555 BE
Corsair 450vx
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a c 216 U Graphics card
June 23, 2011 5:13:28 PM
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I'll try to answer your questions with more up today information.

Yes, all 6950's can be unlocked IF the shaders were not laser cut and their bios is not locked.

However, to unlock the non-reference cards requires different steps (which can be found on page 16 of the thread at the bottom of the article mactronix posted).

The only problem is, I keep seeing more and more people with cards that remain with the stock 6950 shader count after the flash. This is because they are starting to send out cards with cut down shaders.
June 23, 2011 5:33:21 PM

bystander said:
I'll try to answer your questions with more up today information.

Yes, all 6950's can be unlocked IF the shaders were not laser cut and their bios is not locked.

However, to unlock the non-reference cards requires different steps (which can be found on page 16 of the thread at the bottom of the article mactronix posted).

The only problem is, I keep seeing more and more people with cards that remain with the stock 6950 shader count after the flash. This is because they are starting to send out cards with cut down shaders.


Hmm, keeping that in mind, which cards and from which manufacturer should have the most chance of unlocking the right way now?
a c 130 U Graphics card
June 23, 2011 5:37:24 PM

Ok as Bystander has your ear i will bow out now, as far as i know the updates on the link posted are the latest info but Bystander has a better understanding of it than i do.

Mactronix :) 
a c 216 U Graphics card
June 23, 2011 5:55:26 PM

I don't know what cards are more likely to not have cut shaders. They all get the chips from ATI, so I assume your more likely to get the full shaders on cards that have been sitting on the shelves the longest.

Anyways, here is a link to how to unlock the shaders without using a 6970 bios. As you can see following, more and more people these days are not being successful, but there are some successes too.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/316974-33-radeon-6950...

I'd probably recommend the MSI 6950 twin frozr III Power Edition. The reason for this it that they have a specially doctored bios from MSI themselves (they no longer host it, but it's out there). Look at the 2nd post of the thread I linked. It has a link to the instructions for that cards special bios. It also seems to work with my TF2 as well.

The reason I like that version is that it unlocks all the OC limits as well as the shaders, letting you more easily OC the card.
June 23, 2011 6:03:59 PM

bystander is quite the authority in these forums regarding the 6950 to 6970 flashing. I would take his word on anything he as to say on the subject.
a c 130 U Graphics card
June 23, 2011 6:06:48 PM

@ rolli59
Could you please highlight/quote the bit that says the Corsair 450vx is ok for that card please i cant see it i seem to be blind or am just to tired to see it. :D 
Not saying it cant its just that from what i know its pretty close.

Mactronix :) 
June 23, 2011 6:13:49 PM

orija7 said:
Six, will a Corsair 450vx be a good enough psu for it?


I don't believe a 450 PSU would suffice...

650 for (1x GPU, slight OC maybe)
750 for (1x flashed 6950, medium OC) or (1x normal 6950, strong OC)
850 for (2x normal 6950, slight OC) or (1x flashed 6950, strong OC)
950+ for (2x flashed 6950, medium to high OC)

at least that's my understanding. someone correct me please if I am wrong...

edit: this helps a lot http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp

BTW remember that if you're gonna flash a 6950 to 6970 the power requirements are going to increase as well, matching or even maybe slightly exceeding those of a stock 6970
a c 216 U Graphics card
June 23, 2011 6:17:14 PM

I don't know how accurate you are or not, but if you took 100 Watts off each of those req's, that would be more in line with what I've heard. (of course playing it safe isn't a bad idea).
June 23, 2011 6:18:59 PM

bystander said:
I don't know how accurate you are or not, but if you took 100 Watts off each of those req's, that would be more in line with what I've heard.


trying to keep good stability into account... always a good thing to save some extra power if you ever want to OC a little harder, add a second or third HDD, while maintaining a cool PSU
a c 216 U Graphics card
June 23, 2011 6:24:56 PM

martinduque86 said:
trying to keep good stability into account... always a good thing to save some extra power if you ever want to OC a little harder, add a second or third HDD, while maintaining a cool PSU


Nothing wrong with that. Just for reference. I used that calculator on my system and it had the requirement of 750 watts and recommended 850 watts.

I have a i7 920 at 4.0 (high oc), two 6950 unlocked and OC'ed past 6970 levels (I put in 6970's in calculator), and 2 hard drives, dvd drive and 3 USB accessories. I do have a 850 Watt PSU from Antec, so I feel good about it.
a c 1312 U Graphics card
June 23, 2011 9:43:26 PM

mactronix said:
@ rolli59
Could you please highlight/quote the bit that says the Corsair 450vx is ok for that card please i cant see it i seem to be blind or am just to tired to see it. :D 
Not saying it cant its just that from what i know its pretty close.

Mactronix :) 

Total system power consumption according to Anand's test with the HD6950 running Furmark is 320watts. That is even less than the VX450 has on its +12 volt rail!
June 24, 2011 12:50:57 AM

bystander said:
I don't know what cards are more likely to not have cut shaders. They all get the chips from ATI, so I assume your more likely to get the full shaders on cards that have been sitting on the shelves the longest.

Anyways, here is a link to how to unlock the shaders without using a 6970 bios. As you can see following, more and more people these days are not being successful, but there are some successes too.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/316974-33-radeon-6950...


I'd probably recommend the MSI 6950 twin frozr III Power Edition.


Keeping aside the unlocking, is MSI alright quality-wise?

Were you talking about this card or is the power edition a different one?

Also, how much of a difference is there b/w the 2gb and 1gb versions?

And, finally, will this psu suffice?
June 24, 2011 1:17:01 AM

orija7 said:
Keeping aside the unlocking, is MSI alright quality-wise?

Were you talking about this card or is the power edition a different one?

Also, how much of a difference is there b/w the 2gb and 1gb versions?

And, finally, will this psu suffice?


MSI is great quality (at least GPU wise). the Twin Frozr series is amazing for overclocking, keeps things cool and "quiet"

the power edition is the Twin Frozr III, the one u linked is the Twin Frozr II... both are great cards

both iGb and 2Gb perform the same, but 2GB > 1GB for two reasons: future proofing (future games will need + ram) and dual-screen gaming

like I said, I'm not a fan of >650W PSU when using a card like this... but maybe that's just me
June 24, 2011 1:58:03 AM

Does the frozr II have the bios switch?
a c 216 U Graphics card
June 24, 2011 2:13:52 AM

orija7 said:
Does the frozr II have the bios switch?


No, it doesn't.
June 24, 2011 2:14:46 AM

orija7 said:
Does the frozr II have the bios switch?


as far as i know only the reference ones have the bios switch... TFII is a non-ref
June 24, 2011 2:15:55 AM

So, apart from the frozr III which cards among Asus, Sapphire, XFX have the switch? Also, does having it on a card mean it has a higher probability of unlocking?
June 24, 2011 2:30:49 AM

not really, just means that if you try and screw up its not the end of the world
June 29, 2011 6:00:22 AM

Best answer selected by orija7.
a c 271 U Graphics card
July 30, 2011 1:49:15 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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