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Back in the day of the Radeon HD 6900-series cards, extracting more performance was as simple as taking your Radeon HD 6950 and flashing the 6970’s firmware over the top of it. Since much of what we've already seen from the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition already seems like a simple BIOS update, we wanted to see if the original 7970 would take this new card's firmware. Because the cards use different subsystem IDs (SSIDs), our first attempt involved forcing the update tool to overwrite the original BIOS.
Our system booted into Windows without incident after this little bit of cosmetic surgery. However, the driver wouldn't recognize a supported card, as witnessed in the following GPU-Z screenshot:
Clearly, something's not right. Just look at the memory capacity. Then there's the GPU clock rate and missing support for OpenCL/DirectCompute. In the end, we’re forced to concede that upgrading an old board to the new BIOS just isn't as easy as it was in the past.