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Trouble with unlocked 6950

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May 2, 2012 11:15:33 PM

Hello all,

I have just upgraded to a brand spankin' new i5 3570K and am having a small issue with my graphics card. It is an XFX Radeon 6950 2GB with the dual-BIOS switch. I have flashed BIOS setting 1 to the 6970 to unlock the additional shaders. I have owned this card in this configuration for about 6 months and it worked fine under my old CPU/mobo configuration.

The issue now is that when I try to boot with the 6970 BIOS setting the motherboard beeps a couple times and I do not get any picture. I do not know if Windows actually boots or not. When I switch to the default 6950 BIOS the computer boots without any problems. I normally run 2 monitors but have tried plugging in just one for troubleshooting purposes with no effect on the results. I have tried both DVI and HDMI connections and neither will work under the 6970 BIOS.

If anyone can help me get my graphics card working at full speed again I will be most grateful.

Old setup:
Core 2 Quad Q9550
Gigabyte GA-EP43-DS3LR (LGA 775, PCI-E 2.0)
XFX Radeon 6950 2GB, flashed to 6970 BIOS
6GB 800MHz RAM
Corsair Force GT 90 GB SSD (boot drive)
Western Digital Caviar Black 1.5 TB
Antec 750W PSU

New Setup:
i5 3570K
Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H (LGA 1155, PCI-E 3.0)
XFX Radeon 6950 2GB
16 GB 1600 MHz RAM
Corsair Force GT 90 GB SSD (boot drive)
Western Digital Caviar Black 1.5 TB
Antec 750W PSU

More about : trouble unlocked 6950

May 3, 2012 4:20:36 PM

just because some can be flashed,doesn't mean all are gonna be stable.Your specific card just may not be able to run with the 6970 bios.
I was lucky enough that both of my sapphires already had unlocked shaders on bios 2.After some benchmarks,I felt the gains running 6970 clocks just wasnt worth it in my case,So I just run with the unlocked shaders.

OK,nvm,I just had my second cup of coffee and reread your post...It worked as a 6970 with the old system...Are there any bios updates for the new mobo maybe?

one other thing,Your PSU,how old is it?which Antec specifically?Poss your new system is requiring more power and the psu is just not doing it?Sry if this doesnt help,just trying to think of some ideas

Another thought,For some strange reason,is it poss the 6970 bios got corrupted during the upgrade?have you tryed a reflash and see if that helps?
May 3, 2012 4:55:39 PM

Motherboard BIOS: It occurred to me earlier today that I had forgotten to try updating this, so I downloaded the newest version and flashed it. This did not help.

Power supply: Antec TruePower New 750W.

Reflash card's BIOS: I would attempt to re-flash the 6970 BIOS but am unsure of how to do so without being able to see what I'm doing. Perhaps later on today I can get access to another PC to try this with.

Oh and I was able to verify that Windows is actually booting up all the way despite the video issue. I thought this was strange, but I'm not sure if it is relevant.
Related resources
May 3, 2012 5:00:02 PM

I feel I should add that the card has been running games and benchmarks just fine on the 6950 BIOS, even OC'ed as far as CCC will allow by default. It's just noticeably slower than before when it was on the 6970 BIOS. Despite the substantial upgrade in CPU power my 3DMark 11 scores have actually dropped. This is why I want to get it working as a 6970 again.
May 6, 2012 2:25:11 AM

I was able to reflash the card's BIOS using another computer. I had backups so first I reverted back to the original factory version and then loaded up the 6970 BIOS again. This did not solve the problem.

I also was able to get some bits and pieces and frankenstein a build using my old mobo as the centerpiece and tried booting up using the 6970 BIOS and it worked just fine.

So I'm thinking it's probably some kind of incompatibility with the new mobo. I'm wondering if another model or brand may work, or if it's an issue with the Z77 chipset. If anyone else is running an unlocked 6970 on a Z77 can you please let me know what motherboard you have it on?
May 10, 2012 9:11:14 AM

brandontheblack said:
I was able to reflash the card's BIOS using another computer. I had backups so first I reverted back to the original factory version and then loaded up the 6970 BIOS again. This did not solve the problem.

I also was able to get some bits and pieces and frankenstein a build using my old mobo as the centerpiece and tried booting up using the 6970 BIOS and it worked just fine.

So I'm thinking it's probably some kind of incompatibility with the new mobo. I'm wondering if another model or brand may work, or if it's an issue with the Z77 chipset. If anyone else is running an unlocked 6970 on a Z77 can you please let me know what motherboard you have it on?



dun worry , its a bug of a z77 board , i got same problem with my sapphire 6950 on z77 ud3h ,,,, we just need to wait giga to have new bios to fix this problem
May 15, 2012 3:38:18 AM

Hi,
I'm having the exact same problem as you. I'm coming from a Gigabyte GA-P55-UD3L and an i5-750 moving to a GA-Z77X-UD3H with an i5-3570k. This totally puzzled me for about 2hrs last night when I first assembled my system, the beep codes and lack of video yet no clear debug error code on the digital readout of my board. When the onboard video started to work I freaked out and thought I had damaged my card in the motherboard swap, but just like you I tried the bios switch as a last hope on the video card and all is well. I was about to try the flash back to stock and reflash idea, but since it didn't pan out for you I guess i'll save myself some time. (Only other thought I had was to try a diff mfg's 6970 bios than the one I initially used to unlock). Lets hope theres another Gigabyte BIOS update soon that fixes this, F9 did not do the job. Out of curiosity, does this mean all 6970s will have this problem (even legit ones not just unlocked ones) with these motherboards?

-Dan

brandontheblack said:
Hello all,

I have just upgraded to a brand spankin' new i5 3570K and am having a small issue with my graphics card. It is an XFX Radeon 6950 2GB with the dual-BIOS switch. I have flashed BIOS setting 1 to the 6970 to unlock the additional shaders. I have owned this card in this configuration for about 6 months and it worked fine under my old CPU/mobo configuration.

The issue now is that when I try to boot with the 6970 BIOS setting the motherboard beeps a couple times and I do not get any picture. I do not know if Windows actually boots or not. When I switch to the default 6950 BIOS the computer boots without any problems. I normally run 2 monitors but have tried plugging in just one for troubleshooting purposes with no effect on the results. I have tried both DVI and HDMI connections and neither will work under the 6970 BIOS.

If anyone can help me get my graphics card working at full speed again I will be most grateful.

Old setup:
Core 2 Quad Q9550
Gigabyte GA-EP43-DS3LR (LGA 775, PCI-E 2.0)
XFX Radeon 6950 2GB, flashed to 6970 BIOS
6GB 800MHz RAM
Corsair Force GT 90 GB SSD (boot drive)
Western Digital Caviar Black 1.5 TB
Antec 750W PSU

New Setup:
i5 3570K
Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H (LGA 1155, PCI-E 3.0)
XFX Radeon 6950 2GB
16 GB 1600 MHz RAM
Corsair Force GT 90 GB SSD (boot drive)
Western Digital Caviar Black 1.5 TB
Antec 750W PSU

May 17, 2012 10:09:03 AM

Hi

Just joined up to say im in the same boat as you lot and at first thought i had killed my card somehow, turns out running it at the default bios fixes it but we all want it to run at 6970 right?


Im also on the z77-ud5 and I guess we will have to wait for a bios fix, but do you think they really care about a small number of people who flashed thier 6950's? i doubt it.
May 18, 2012 4:15:40 PM

hazlad24 said:
Hi

Just joined up to say im in the same boat as you lot and at first thought i had killed my card somehow, turns out running it at the default bios fixes it but we all want it to run at 6970 right?


Im also on the z77-ud5 and I guess we will have to wait for a bios fix, but do you think they really care about a small number of people who flashed thier 6950's? i doubt it.



i already sent email to giga TW, and they said that will help me follow that case
May 23, 2012 5:16:16 PM

benny888 said:
i already sent email to giga TW, and they said that will help me follow that case



well this is what I just got

"Hello

Please contact VGA vendor for help. With have limited options to help you if we talking about tweaked / modded components installed on the MB. The only idea from our side could be to try with one of the newest bioses (beta F8c from http://www.mediafire.com/?ulb1ll7x7z2i46p) for the MB.

Best Regards
GIGABYTE Support"


As you can see waste of bloody time.
May 26, 2012 9:23:39 AM

hazlad24 said:
well this is what I just got

"Hello

Please contact VGA vendor for help. With have limited options to help you if we talking about tweaked / modded components installed on the MB. The only idea from our side could be to try with one of the newest bioses (beta F8c from http://www.mediafire.com/?ulb1ll7x7z2i46p) for the MB.

Best Regards
GIGABYTE Support"


As you can see waste of bloody time.



umm... that's the same result from giga HK which i live in HK , but the result i got from TW is that they will help me test for it
June 2, 2012 6:10:46 AM

Well I tried an ASROCK Z77 Extreme6 in place of the Gigabyte board, and it has the same issue, so it seems like it has something to do with the Z77 chipset.
June 5, 2012 2:15:12 PM

brandontheblack said:
Well I tried an ASROCK Z77 Extreme6 in place of the Gigabyte board, and it has the same issue, so it seems like it has something to do with the Z77 chipset.



yup, as i said , it's bug of z77 chips
June 6, 2012 1:14:47 AM

benny888 said:
yup, as i said , it's bug of z77 chips



There is a workaround.

Flash to 6950 bios with unlocked shaders only, not with the 6970 stats.

It should boot.


Then just overclock with MSI afterburner or whatever program you want.


June 6, 2012 4:56:11 AM

maxalge said:
There is a workaround.

Flash to 6950 bios with unlocked shaders only, not with the 6970 stats.

It should boot.


Then just overclock with MSI afterburner or whatever program you want.



oo really ?? but where to find that only unlocked SP's BIOS ?? thanks
June 6, 2012 9:28:20 PM

I think I did it.



First I used this tool to edit my previously backed up stock BIOS, just enabling the unlocked shaders. After this I made sure to change the switch on the card to my currently unusable BIOS setting while Windows was running. Then I used the automated script by saving the BIOS image file over the one that is provided with the program and then running the unlock script.

I have uploaded my custom BIOS to Mediafire if anyone wishes to try it. I am running a XFX Radeon 6950 2GB reference card and it should work for others like it, but I am unsure about other brands or non-reference designs. You'll probably have to do it yourself if you have a non-reference card.


Thanks for the inspiration Maxalage! If it wasn't for your post I would not have thought of looking for other fixes.
June 7, 2012 3:30:05 AM

brandontheblack said:
I think I did it.

[


Thanks for the inspiration Maxalage! If it wasn't for your post I would not have thought of looking for other fixes.



Sweet, glad I could help.
June 7, 2012 1:10:12 PM

Thanks that worked a treat.
June 7, 2012 2:26:19 PM

maxalge said:
Sweet, glad I could help.


wow , i found out how too , thx so much ^^ now my 6950 become 6970@880/1375 again hahaha
June 7, 2012 2:28:58 PM

brandontheblack said:
I think I did it.

http://gpuz.techpowerup.com/12/06/06/8up.png

First I used this tool to edit my previously backed up stock BIOS, just enabling the unlocked shaders. After this I made sure to change the switch on the card to my currently unusable BIOS setting while Windows was running. Then I used the automated script by saving the BIOS image file over the one that is provided with the program and then running the unlock script.

I have uploaded my custom BIOS to Mediafire if anyone wishes to try it. I am running a XFX Radeon 6950 2GB reference card and it should work for others like it, but I am unsure about other brands or non-reference designs. You'll probably have to do it yourself if you have a non-reference card.


Thanks for the inspiration Maxalage! If it wasn't for your post I would not have thought of looking for other fixes.


super easy way is download RBE (http://www.techpowerup.com/rbe/) then load ur 6950 bios and then click on the additional feature , then click on the 6970 shaders count , then save the bios >>> DONE!! and flash that BIOS to ur 6950
June 7, 2012 3:01:59 PM

ati overdrive only allows me to OC to 840? any way around that?
June 9, 2012 5:06:22 AM

hazlad24 said:
ati overdrive only allows me to OC to 840? any way around that?


MSI afterburner
June 13, 2012 7:16:16 AM

I was facing the same trouble and like some of the guys here thought I fried my card but, thankfully I tried the BIOS switch and the computer booted fine. This is the weirdest computer bug I've ever experienced.

Special Thanks to brandontheblack, Your BIOS was the only thing that made my computer boot with unlocked shaders. You're the best, mate.
June 18, 2012 12:05:32 PM

benny888 said:
super easy way is download RBE (http://www.techpowerup.com/rbe/) then load ur 6950 bios and then click on the additional feature , then click on the 6970 shaders count , then save the bios >>> DONE!! and flash that BIOS to ur 6950


Hi,
I've been searching for help with the same chip set!
I did what u wrote! all went well! but only the shaders have changed! the rest are still @ 6950 spec. any idea why?
Pic below

Thanks :) 

June 18, 2012 12:27:46 PM

Ok, i just worked out that to get the rest i have to put the sliders up higher using MSI Afterburner! :) 

But i can't overclock more then the 6970 spec? why is that?.

Cheers.

June 20, 2012 10:36:57 PM

up2nogooduk said:
Ok, i just worked out that to get the rest i have to put the sliders up higher using MSI Afterburner! :) 

But i can't overclock more then the 6970 spec? why is that?.

Cheers.

http://gpuz.techpowerup.com/12/06/18/fb4.png




You have to unlock the unofficial overclocking mode in MSI afterburner. Look around, it's fairly easy. Just google it.


I'm so glad I could help so many people.

Cheers!

July 2, 2012 4:05:50 AM

up2nogooduk said:
Ok, i just worked out that to get the rest i have to put the sliders up higher using MSI Afterburner! :) 

But i can't overclock more then the 6970 spec? why is that?.

Cheers.

http://gpuz.techpowerup.com/12/06/18/fb4.png



edit "MSIAfterburner.cfg" under msi afterburner folder by using text editor,,, then set "UnofficialOverclockingnMode" to "1" from "0"
March 26, 2013 11:56:32 AM

hazlad24 said:
Hi

Just joined up to say im in the same boat as you lot and at first thought i had killed my card somehow, turns out running it at the default bios fixes it but we all want it to run at 6970 right?


Im also on the z77-ud5 and I guess we will have to wait for a bios fix, but do you think they really care about a small number of people who flashed thier 6950's? i doubt it.


Hi i had the same problem with my board ga-z77z-d3h and the solution was to flash the card with the extra shaders but keeping the same name (6950) and now the board recodnized it as a 6950 but with the 6970s specifications no problem now .
March 26, 2013 12:01:37 PM

Hi i had the same problem with my board ga-z77z-d3h and the solution was to flash the card with the extra shaders but keeping the same name (6950) and now the board recodnized it as a 6950 but with the 6970s specifications no problem now .
!