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Best Ati 6950 to unlock Shaders

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 24, 2012 10:12:57 PM

on a budget and can only affort the 6950 but want to see about unlocking without any problems like artifacts
a b U Graphics card
January 24, 2012 11:45:14 PM

The reference 2gb boards usually unlock easy with dual bios switch. i've heard the best one (most likely to unlock) is the Saphire toxic 6950 2gb, but i haven't seen those in quite a while.
really though, any of them can possibly unlock as long as the BIOS is not write protected. even if it doesn't unlock, the 6950 is pretty good overclocker and with a slight voltage tweak to 6970 settings you can usually reach 6970 speeds without unlocking shaders.
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a b U Graphics card
January 25, 2012 12:14:37 AM

postmortemfear said:
on a budget and can only affort the 6950 but want to see about unlocking without any problems like artifacts


This is something that obviously isn't guaranteed and is no longer really likely with any of the models available now. The reference cards were the ones that readily unlocked.

The best answer for this question is, find the least expensive HD 6950 2GB that has a dual BIOS switch. A lot of the earlier models had this feature but not so many anymore. Without the dual BIOS you could brick your card. Read reviews on newegg or elsewhere to make sure, alot of manufacturers have gone the bait and switch route, selling a card that looks reference or unlocked but has been replaced by a card w/o dual BIOS.

Its unfortunate but the unlocking was something that was really available 6 months ago, but now you had better appreciate the card for what it is first.

I have heard that msi has a BIOS that can unlock the TFII and TFIII cards, I think that's the best shot at unlocking currently.

http://www.vortez.net/articles_pages/msi_r6950_twin_fro...
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a b U Graphics card
January 25, 2012 12:26:49 AM

postmortemfear said:
on a budget and can only affort the 6950 but want to see about unlocking without any problems like artifacts



Well the 6950 I have, Sapphire Flex 2gb unlocked like a charm with an overclock. Sadly they aren't sold anymore.


Is a non reference cooler necessary or are you just going for the unlock and minimal overclock? People are unlocking these like a charm but the cooling is largely reference based.

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

...and you would have to deal with diamond's horrible card art... :pfff: 
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a b U Graphics card
January 25, 2012 12:34:37 AM

Just a heads up, the 1 GB models unlock too, without a dual bios switch i'd suggest having an extra card handy incase you have a bad flash you can boot with the extra card, and reflash the 6950 back to stock. To unlock on the 1GB models you don't flash the 6970 bios like the 2gb models, instead you edit the stock bios to unlock shaders, if successful you can from there test voltage and clocks in windows at 6970 settings. If stable you can add those to the bios the same way.
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January 25, 2012 12:47:02 AM

the toxic and flex are still sold on sapphiretech.com and the dirt 3 edition has a bios switch
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