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9500 pro Dilemma- UPDATED

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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October 17, 2003 12:05:13 AM

This is a long story.Sorry :smile: .
A while ago i flashed the bios on my 9500 pro (connect3d with 3.6ns Hynix memory) with the warp11 bios to overclock it.At the time I lost interest in overclocking my card though because i was really busy so i put it back to stock speeds, having barely pushed it at all.From then on i noticed that i got loads of artifacts in 3dmark03 on the more demanding tests and in newer games.I thought it was an issue with the bios since it had run fine at those stock speeds (275 core / 270 memory) before I flashed the bios.Unfortunately my saved copy of my original bios had become corrupted so i went on an arduous quest to find an original bios for my card (a lot harder than i thought it would be!).

I eventually managed to get hold of a back-engineered warp11 bios a few weeks ago and tried that but the artifacts remained.In the past few days i have managed to get hold of original bioses for a few 3.6ns Hynix-based 9500 pro cards so i tried them out- again no luck.

As a result, i decided to bite the bullet and see if i could blag a replacement card out of connect3d (not mentioning the overclocking of course!).I emailed them the day before yesterday but have not heard from them yet.

Just this evening i had a bright idea and decided to flash the warp11 bios back on and underclock the card to the lowest speeds rage3d tweaker would allow (about 240/240) and see if that worked- it did!So I decided to push the speeds up as far as they would go until the artifacts came back.I soon realised that it was the memory alone that was giving me the problems, so I decided to push the core speed up as far as i could in isolation first.I got to 315MHz with no artifacts, though i can get up to 330ish with very few artifacts that are only noticeable if you look for them.Leaving the core at 315, i tried to push the memory speed up.I could only get to 252MHz without artifacts!What has happened to my memory?!Please bear in mind that I did not push it at all far when i first overclocked and note that my case is well cooled, with an average temperature of 26c.

Right.Now I am left with a dilemma.My card at 315MHz core and 252MHz memory gives me about the same score as a stock 9500 pro in 3dmark03 if not a little more.I have my doubts as to whether connect3d will give me an RMA and, if they do, they will give me a 9600 pro.I want to keep my eight pipelines, not to mention avoid going through the hassle of the RMA process and going without a decent graphics card!If they do offer me an RMA should i take it?Should i keep my card instead and get some ramsinks?What would you do?

UPDATE-See new post at the bottom.

no matter how hard you try, you can't polish a turd. :]<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by ad_rach on 10/18/03 09:51 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
October 17, 2003 1:33:11 AM

That is a really tough one. You'd have to overclock the 9600 Pro quite a bit before you reach some of the scores the 9500 Pro can pump out, then you'd have to overclock more to surpass it. I love the 9500 Pro's, I always thought of them like the Ti4200, decently priced, but with a few tweaks; performance like their bigger brothers. Oh, and the 9600 Pro comes clocked at higher speeds than the 9500 Pro so your return may be a bit less.

If you plan on overclocking just screw it and get the 9600 Pro, don't live with the fact that your card will always perform at stock speed and you can't do anything about it. Hell, you could get lucky and they could ship another 9500 Pro.

Why would you get ramsinks? I dont think its the memory getting hot, the damage is already done. Though I'm not sure, try this theory. Ati has a new driver out that automatically restarts the driver if an error occurs in your game(because of the overclocked memory.) Maybe when it restarted, since its the first time they have had it (to my knowledge) maybe all the bugs aren't worked out and it actually corrupted your drivers. Something tells me you already tried uninstalling and reinstalling your drivers though. Plus artifacts aren't really caused by driver errors. RMA it.

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October 17, 2003 1:37:08 AM

Oh yea, some advice if you call customer service about an RMA, act completely dumb. Say you see random lines and glitches. They mention overclocking, you tell them you kept your computer time the same, updating drivers, say what?
Act angry and sad at the same time....real sad, make them feel pity.

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October 17, 2003 1:37:12 AM

Oh yea, some advice if you call customer service about an RMA, act completely dumb. Say you see random lines and glitches. They mention overclocking, you tell them you kept your computer time the same, updating drivers, say what?
Act angry and sad at the same time....real sad, make them feel pity.

Hey it works, swallow your pride.

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October 17, 2003 1:45:27 AM

Unless you flash back to the original bios, to even try to RMA your card.

<b>I help because you suck</b>
October 17, 2003 8:21:34 AM

Is there a chance that, even if they accept the RMA, they may refuse a replacement on receipt of my card?I still haven't got the actual connect3d bios, only an FIC one and a gigabyte one for 3.6ns Hynix, plus the back-engineered warp11 bios.What do you think connect3d would call their bios when it is on the card?I could relabel one of the ones i have and try to fool them.If they will check the card thoroughly then it's certainly not worth trying to RMA, since i don't want to pay to send my card out and have it sent back to me!

no matter how hard you try, you can't polish a turd. :]
October 17, 2003 12:31:10 PM

Buy a new card.
October 18, 2003 1:50:49 PM

Someone on rage3d has just told me that the problems i am getting at stock speeds may be the result of a change in memory latency caused by flashing the bios.It would make sense for the memory to overheat at stock speeds if the latency was too low.How can I check if it is too low?Is there any way to change it?

no matter how hard you try, you can't polish a turd. :]
October 18, 2003 2:05:39 PM

There is a tool from the warp11 bios site that allows you to step into a bios and edit it. You'll have to download that and then 1)find someone that knows what they're looking for or 2)research it on the web and do it yourself.

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<b>I'm not normally a religious man, but if you're up there, save me, Superman! </b> <i>Homer Simpson</i>
October 18, 2003 2:31:31 PM

I used radedit and made a version of the warp11 bios at cas3 but when i flashed it the display went totally mad, with brightly coloured squares everywhere.So, i flashed back to the original warp11 bios-not an easy task when you can't see anything :smile: !Doesn't look like it's a latency issue then.I assume it's not worth trying at cas 1?

no matter how hard you try, you can't polish a turd. :]
October 18, 2003 3:45:13 PM

I'm temporarily using a BBA 9500 Pro and I love it. I think I might end up keeping it. I was a little annoyed when I discovered that I can't just OC from the Catalyst interface, but I hardly ever OC anyway.
October 18, 2003 10:00:58 PM

I don't know if they check the bios's on returned cards. If they say it has been changed, just bitch back at them. Say that you just talked to your friend that is really good with computers and he said that sometimes people will buy a card, they change it in hopes that it will 'go really fast.' If they can't then they return it and then buy a new card and [-peep-] with it....

I don't think there is anyway they can prove that it was YOU who actually flashed it. Also, is there a forum at the connect3d webpage? if there is, did you kindly ask there if someone could make a copy of their bios there and send it to you?
October 19, 2003 12:39:17 AM

Dont be stupid. If you return you card with the wrong bios flashed to it, your going to get laughed at & rejected by the manufacturer. You should have never dicked around with your cards bios without backing the old one up. It's only one command to type and it gets saved to floppy.

<b>I help because you suck</b>
October 19, 2003 1:19:36 AM

I did backup my original bios (i know the whole atiflash -s 0... malarkey) but it became corrupted.Doesn't seem to be a bios issue for me now if you read my posts.Something has gone awry somewhere with the memory.Your realistic attitude is helpful though- do you think i should just assume that an RMA is not going to work out and try some ramsinks on my 9500 pro and see what happens(thus nullifying any possibility of an RMA)?

no matter how hard you try, you can't polish a turd. :]
!