Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

How to upgrade your video card for free

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
Share
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
June 11, 2012 3:33:01 PM

How do you upgrade a video card without buying a video card
a b U Graphics card
June 11, 2012 3:34:55 PM

You dont. Either buy something newer and better or stick with ya got.
a b U Graphics card
June 11, 2012 3:38:08 PM

I'm sorry, but that's not how things work. You want an upgraded video card, you buy an upgraded video card. Why would you think you could get new hardware for free?
Related resources
June 11, 2012 3:41:00 PM

Well you could overclock it to squeeze out some extra performace. You can use precisionx or msi afterburn to do so, but make sure to read up on some how-to's first.
June 11, 2012 3:43:27 PM

I got an upgraded graphics card for free, when my GTS 250 broke eVGA sent me a GTX 460 :ange: 
June 11, 2012 3:58:26 PM

If you lucky like I was you ,ay be able to upgrade with a firmware upgrade

I upgrade firmware to unlock the extra video pipes and turn my 6950 into a 6970

Worked for me... but its not for the feint hearted... if you mess it up... you can brick your graphics card.

Cheers
a b U Graphics card
June 11, 2012 4:09:17 PM

There's surprisingly little performance to be had from flashing a 6950 to 6970. Free performance is always good, but fewer and fewer cards unlock these days since they started laser cutting the dies rather than BIOS locking them.
June 11, 2012 5:13:43 PM

willard said:
There's surprisingly little performance to be had from flashing a 6950 to 6970. Free performance is always good, but fewer and fewer cards unlock these days since they started laser cutting the dies rather than BIOS locking them.


Yes - the change goes from 1408 pipes to 1536 (about 9% increase)
throughput of 160GB/s to 176Gb/s (10%)

I cant recall the cost difference between the 6950 and 6970... but I remember it being significant.... obviously enough that I didnt think it worth the extra ...
and then I found out I could do it for free :) 

Cheers

June 11, 2012 5:20:43 PM

Let me know if you figure it out. I need new tires on my car but don't want to pay for them. Maybe I can get them replaced for free using the same solution.
a b U Graphics card
June 11, 2012 6:07:09 PM

yoji said:
Yes - the change goes from 1408 pipes to 1536 (about 9% increase)
throughput of 160GB/s to 176Gb/s (10%)

I cant recall the cost difference between the 6950 and 6970... but I remember it being significant.... obviously enough that I didnt think it worth the extra ...
and then I found out I could do it for free :) 

Cheers

There's about an $80 difference between the 6950 and 6970 I believe. Benches I looked at showed around a 6%-8% increase in performance for the unlock, while an actual 6970 has around a 10%-15% lead. So you don't really get a 6970, but something that's around halfway between a 6950 and 6970.

But like I said, if your card unlocks it's nothing but a free upgrade, and well worth the effort. If you follow the instructions and only do it with cards that have a BIOS switch, then there's no danger.

Nothing to lose, 8% performance to gain.
a b U Graphics card
June 11, 2012 6:19:45 PM

Last year I flashed a gtx465 into a 470. It ran ok but was a little unstable the nvidia driver would crash once in a while. I ended up having to back the clocks down to the GTX465 speeds, but i still had the extra ram the faster ram pipline, and the extra shaders. Even then it would crash a few times a month.
June 11, 2012 6:54:36 PM

willard said:
There's about an $80 difference between the 6950 and 6970 I believe. Benches I looked at showed around a 6%-8% increase in performance for the unlock, while an actual 6970 has around a 10%-15% lead. So you don't really get a 6970, but something that's around halfway between a 6950 and 6970.


Is that logical? my understanding was that even from manufaturer - the only difference was the BIOS lock... so why would it be different? sure your benches were "like for like" in all respects (execpt for the BIOS lock)?
Different manufaturers fiddle with the clock/mem type/speed/capacity so sure the benches were comparible?

Cheers
a b U Graphics card
June 11, 2012 7:57:42 PM

yoji said:
Is that logical? my understanding was that even from manufaturer - the only difference was the BIOS lock... so why would it be different?

Binning differences, though the discrepancy wasn't as big as I'd remembered. You get something like 98%-99% of the performance of a 6970 from an unlocked 6950.
!