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Best 6950 to UNLOCK, FLASH to 6970

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October 27, 2011 10:19:17 PM

Hi guys, I'm putting together a new gaming rig, and was planning on getting a Radeon HD 6950 and unlocking the extra shader cores, overclocking, and flashing the 6970 BIOS onto it. What is the best card to do this with (a reasonably priced one with high rates of success)? Reference cards are not an option; there are none left on Amazon or Newegg and I would prefer not to shop anywhere else. I know it needs to have the dual-BIOS switch on it. Which one do people recommend as the best one for this purpose though?

Thanks.

-Charlie

More about : 6950 unlock flash 6970

a b U Graphics card
October 27, 2011 10:31:22 PM

I'mpretty sure AMD's removed 99% of unlockable card from the market already, they started shipping laser-cut cards a few months ago.

I'm afraid you'll have to shop ebay for a reference card.
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October 27, 2011 10:42:24 PM

wiinippongamer said:
I'mpretty sure AMD's removed 99% of unlockable card from the market already, they started shipping laser-cut cards a few months ago.

I'm afraid you'll have to shop ebay for a reference card.

Really? Disappointing if that's true, but there are a few models I've found on Newegg that have reviewers mentioning successful (and unsuccessful) unlocks. So are you sure?

PS: nice signature. I thought there was a bug on my screen for a second, and then I felt stupid.
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a c 142 U Graphics card
October 27, 2011 10:50:16 PM

Most can't be unlocked these days. There is the HIS IceQ Turbo 6950 1GB which can have the shaders unlocked, though it uses a slightly different unlocking method from the reference model. You'd have to look up the appropriate method, because it doesn't involve flashing a 6970 BIOS onto the card.
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October 27, 2011 11:11:57 PM

The last one on Newegg:

SAPPHIRE Toxic 100312TXSR Radeon HD 6950 2GB $289.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It's the Toxic 2GB version, but also has a $20 MIR bringing it to $269.99. Also, you don't have to flash it. It comes with two BIOS'es and a BIOS switch. That's right, flip the switch and BAM! A Sapphire 6970 2GB. The choise is your's.
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October 27, 2011 11:13:07 PM

Supernova1138 said:
Most can't be unlocked these days. There is the HIS IceQ Turbo 6950 1GB which can have the shaders unlocked, though it uses a slightly different unlocking method from the reference model. You'd have to look up the appropriate method, because it doesn't involve flashing a 6970 BIOS onto the card.

So would this not really apply to anything anymore? Could I, say, use the method they mention with this Sapphire 2GB 6950 card? Thanks.
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October 27, 2011 11:14:29 PM

arson94 said:
The last one on Newegg:

SAPPHIRE Toxic 100312TXSR Radeon HD 6950 2GB $289.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It's the Toxic 2GB version, but also has a $20 MIR bringing it to $269.99. Also, you don't have to flash it. It comes with two BIOS'es and a BIOS switch. That's right, flip the switch and BAM! A Sapphire 6970 2GB. The choise is your's.

Really!? Is that also true with this one?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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October 27, 2011 11:16:51 PM

cskoler said:
Really!? Is that also true with this one?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



Well I'll be damned, there's another! Just read the reviews on Newegg. The latest review from 2 days ago states that it also comes with the 6970 BIOS on BIOS 2. Just flip the switch and BAM! Another Sapphire 6970 2GB! And it has a $20 MIR too!!
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October 27, 2011 11:20:21 PM

arson94 said:
Well I'll be damned, there's another! Just read the reviews on Newegg. The latest review from 2 days ago states that it also comes with the 6970 BIOS on the BIOS 2. Just flip the switch and BAM! Another Sapphire 6970 2GB!

Well I had read those, but it just seems too good to be true!
I mean, if that's actually the case, Sapphire is basically selling us a 6970 for the price of a 6950. Awesome...but why?
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a b U Graphics card
October 27, 2011 11:23:36 PM

^Exactly, they'd loose alot on 6970 sales.
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October 27, 2011 11:24:03 PM

Because Sapphire is awesome... I mean it might be a strategy of theirs. It doesn't cost them extra to make a 6970 over a 6950. But, you sell a 6950 with a better than stock cooling, bump the price up $30 or so, all while including a 2nd BIOS for the 6970 accessible by the flip of a simple switch and BAM! More customers!
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October 27, 2011 11:26:00 PM

wiinippongamer said:
^Exactly, they'd loose alot on 6970 sales.



Maybe, but they gain many 6950 sales I would think. I'm sure there's many people that decided to get the unlockable 6950's rather than buy equivalent Nvidia cards.
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a b U Graphics card
October 27, 2011 11:26:31 PM

Then why not get a 6970 right away if it cost the same?
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October 27, 2011 11:26:54 PM

arson94 said:
Because Sapphire is awesome... I mean it might be a strategy of theirs. It doesn't cost them extra to make a 6970 over a 6950. But, you sell a 6950 with a better than stock cooling, bump the price up $30 or so, all while including a 2nd BIOS for the 6970 accessible by the flip of a simple switch and BAM! More customers!

So if I get this card, will all it takes to effectively turn it into a 6970 be a flip of the switch and some overclocking?
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a c 273 U Graphics card
October 27, 2011 11:26:56 PM

cskoler said:
Really? Disappointing if that's true, but there are a few models I've found on Newegg that have reviewers mentioning successful (and unsuccessful) unlocks. So are you sure?

PS: nice signature. I thought there was a bug on my screen for a second, and then I felt stupid.

Google it.
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October 27, 2011 11:31:53 PM

wiinippongamer said:
Then why not get a 6970 right away if it cost the same?


The lowest priced 6970 2GB at Newegg is $50 more than the unlockable 6950 2GB I linked. The other one that the OP found is even cheaper.
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October 27, 2011 11:34:37 PM

Mousemonkey said:
Google it.

I've already done that; everything I found was either outdated or inconclusive or unrelated to my question or some combination of those things. I wanted to see what people here thought.
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October 27, 2011 11:34:56 PM

cskoler said:
So if I get this card, will all it takes to effectively turn it into a 6970 be a flip of the switch and some overclocking?


I can only go by the many reviewers that say they have unlocked these cards and the fact that there's very recent reviews stating they were able to unlock them. I've not done it myself but there's apparently many others who have. There's always a risk when cashing in on something like this and I think you know that without me saying.
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October 27, 2011 11:43:56 PM

arson94 said:
I can only go by the many reviewers that say they have unlocked these cards and the fact that there's very recent reviews stating they were able to unlock them. I've not done it myself but there's apparently many others who have. There's always a risk when cashing in on something like this and I think you know that without me saying.

Of course there's a risk; I'm just asking a technical question–if it works for me the same way it worked for that reviewer, is flipping a switch and overclocking all it will take?
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October 27, 2011 11:56:39 PM

I have two of the Sapphire Toxics, purchased within the past two weeks.

Both have the 6970 bios, all it took was a flip of the switch - no flashing, no nothing else.

I also have the Sapphire Dirt3 version of the 6950. I did not attempt to flash the bios, but the 6970 bios is not on that card. You have to flash it - so there is definitely some risk.

I also have the Sapphire reference 6950. It has the dual-bios switch but does NOT have the 6970 bios pre-installed. Again, you'd have to flash the bios to get it to a 6970 (and OC it a bit), again with risk that comes with doing so.

Best deal on cards I've found is the Sapphire Toxic 6950. Getting 2, flipping the bios switch, and putting them in cross-fire makes them an incredible deal compared to anything else out there that would deliver comparable performance.

A note regarding complaints about AMD drivers and cross-fire instability. Yes, out of the gate there were some problems. But, each driver update has improved things. I'm running the 11.10 preview version 3, with the latest application profiles, and have NO problems. Playing a lot of BF3 multi-player on ultra settings 1920 x 1080 resolution. Also, occasionally run an Eyefinity set up with 3 monitors (5760 x 1080 resolution) and no problems - though I'll turn game settings down to high.

An additional note: the two Toxics in cross-fire run cooler than the Dirt3 and reference card in cross-fire. Probably due to them venting the hot air OUT of the case. The Dirt3 has a great cooler but pretty much just blows the air around in the case - so if you have two cards going some of the hot air gets stuck in the case until the other fans get rid of it.
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October 28, 2011 12:01:25 AM

Quote:
Obviously the bios switch is not a fully fledged 6970 button or there would be no point in sapphire making 6970's....

Well, if you take a look, this was discussed above.
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October 28, 2011 12:05:33 AM

dbdth said:
I have two of the Sapphire Toxics, purchased within the past two weeks.

Both have the 6970 bios, all it took was a flip of the switch - no flashing, no nothing else.

I also have the Sapphire Dirt3 version of the 6950. I did not attempt to flash the bios, but the 6970 bios is not on that card. You have to flash it - so there is definitely some risk.

I also have the Sapphire reference 6950. It has the dual-bios switch but does NOT have the 6970 bios pre-installed. Again, you'd have to flash the bios to get it to a 6970 (and OC it a bit), again with risk that comes with doing so.

Best deal on cards I've found is the Sapphire Toxic 6950. Getting 2, flipping the bios switch, and putting them in cross-fire makes them an incredible deal compared to anything else out there that would deliver comparable performance.

A note regarding complaints about AMD drivers and cross-fire instability. Yes, out of the gate there were some problems. But, each driver update has improved things. I'm running the 11.10 preview version 3, with the latest application profiles, and have NO problems. Playing a lot of BF3 multi-player on ultra settings 1920 x 1080 resolution. Also, occasionally run an Eyefinity set up with 3 monitors (5760 x 1080 resolution) and no problems - though I'll turn game settings down to high.

An additional note: the two Toxics in cross-fire run cooler than the Dirt3 and reference card in cross-fire. Probably due to them venting the hot air OUT of the case. The Dirt3 has a great cooler but pretty much just blows the air around in the case - so if you have two cards going some of the hot air gets stuck in the case until the other fans get rid of it.

Hm. So would you say it's worth it to spend the extra $25 on the Toxic over the Dirt3 (I'm not planning on doing Crossfire anytime soon)?
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October 28, 2011 12:23:32 AM

if you wait like 2-3 months, the 28nm chips will be out.
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November 8, 2011 7:43:33 PM

for me it was, but as Kewlx25 says the next generation will be coming out. 79xx might be more like mid-2012.

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a b U Graphics card
November 8, 2011 9:56:23 PM

^ Nope, by the end of december is the new official date.
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November 9, 2011 1:19:19 AM

can you post source? everything i see keeps saying Q1/Q2 2012 -- at least partially due to production issues -- with 79xx (some or all) being at the latter end of the release schedule
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November 9, 2011 1:20:01 AM

doesn't really matter to me, though...I've made my GPU investment for the next couple of years
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