Wednesday, December 23rd 2009

Sapphire HD 5770 BIOS Botchup Leaves Users with Just 720 Stream Processors

Several users of the recently released Sapphire HD 5770 Vapor-X graphics cards were surprised to find that GPU-Z showed the shader (stream processor) count of their graphics cards to be 720 (instead of the advertised 800). A disgruntled user then submitted a sample of the graphics card BIOS (BIOS Version: 012.014.000.004, dated 2009/12/03) to TechPowerUp. Our using the BIOS on an actual HD 5770 Vapor-X sample confirmed the issue. The affected cards continue to have the device ID corresponding to the HD 5770 model (68B8), have the advertised clock speeds (860/1200 MHz core/memory), and yet have only 720 operational stream processors enabled by the video BIOS.

When one of the users contacted Sapphire tech-support, it responded with:
"I just tested one of the cards I have here, and yes it does have the 720 shaders, the if you are comparing the stream process which is at 800, it is different the GPUZ software does not tell you the stream process the GPU unit has."
Subjectively, the response doesn't seem satisfactory or working towards solving the problem. GPU-Z displays the actual number of shaders (stream processors) available to the operating system, not how many are physically present on the GPU-die. With this issue being reported by users spread across various markets, it is clear that Sapphire may have an entire lot/batch of HD 5770 Vapor-X graphics cards carrying the BIOS which enables only 720 stream processors. Affected users are advised to contact Sapphire support to resolve the issue. Expert users can find the corrective BIOS which enables all 800 stream processors (VER012.013.000.001.034705) in our VGA BIOS Database here.

Update: Sapphire has notified me that they are looking into this, a BIOS update will be available "shortly".

Update 2: Statement from Sapphire: "SAPPHIRE Technology has determined that a small batch of the recently launched HD 5770 Vapor-X graphics cards was shipped with a BIOS that enables only 720 stream processors instead of the full 800 stream processors available on this model. Other performance parameters are to the correct specifications. This issue can be rectified with a BIOS update. The correct BIOS code can be downloaded from www.sapphiretech.com [Graphic Card -> PCI-E -> Sapphire HD 5700 Series -> Sapphire Vapor-X HD 5770 1 GB GDDR5 PCIE -> Submit -> BIOS] and some partner websites. We regret any inconvenience caused to end users."
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79 Comments on Sapphire HD 5770 BIOS Botchup Leaves Users with Just 720 Stream Processors

#1
theorw
by: Mussels
HOPEFULLY, sapphire just release the BIOS file and some easy to use flashing tools (even just a batch file) - and RMA only for those who insist on not doing it themselves
That would be a great idea!!!Like download a self extracting file on your floppy containing the latest version of atiflash w/ correct BIOS and then AUTOEXE.bat would kick in and flash the card.Only they need to warn users to put their cards on the upper PCI E slot for the flash command to have effect!!!!

Someone send that to SAPPHIRE!!!!!!!!!:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D
Posted on Reply
#2
eidairaman1
since they rectified the problem, where is the link on the sapphire site for the Bios Update?
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#3
unsmart
The real problem lies in the users[ many] how will never run gpu-z or read any tech news. They have a lesser card then they payed for and will never know it. The cards should be recalled[ optional]through retailer. Plus they void your warranty if you flash your card because there is a risk of bricking it but they expect the average joe to preform this task to get what they paid for. I think it's no big deal if they make a effort to notify and correct the issue for the many people how are out of the loop not just say" fix it yourself"to the people how are into this stuff.
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#4
eidairaman1
well if they release a batch program that does work but in event your board fails, they should be able to Replace it with a Known good unit. Also this is better than just telling people oh the card is designed that way.
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#5
renault19
in the first post it says that we can download the correct bios form sapphiretech. Where inside sapphiretech's site it suppose to be this?
i cant find it.
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#6
BradleyKZN
Another mess up by sapphire, my 4870 needed to be flashed as well. However, they did inform me that if something went wrong with the flash, they would gladly give me a working card.
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#7
Steevo
Compare the BIOS and find the unlock.
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#9
cadaveca
My name is Dave
Maybe someone should sue them, and force a recall. :laugh: I mean, it IS illegal to put something in the box that isn't what the outside says...maybe they need to learn a hard lesson.

by: renault19
unlock to what?
5750's to 800 shaders. Wouldn't be the first time that down-binned gpus could be unlocked...just with a bios.


I've assumed that they went to different pcb's for each model to prevent issues like unlocks, but maybe 5750's are THE mainstream card to get, if it unlocks.
Posted on Reply
#10
Kaleid
I could try to unlock to 800sp but I would need a bios with 512MB VRAM

I have two cards so it's not a problem to use default bios to get back to 720sp
Posted on Reply
#11
cadaveca
My name is Dave
by: Kaleid
I could try to unlock to 800sp but I would need a bios with 512MB VRAM

I have two cards so it's not a problem to use default bios to get back to 720sp
That's why you need to do a compare first.
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#12
unsmart
I think most cards are hardware locked by laser cutting the sp blocks but worth a look:D
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#13
W1zzard
ati has a properly working locking system that cant be circumvented by software .. you can lower the shader count but not increase it .. unless ati wants people to unlock them for marketing reasons or there is some kind of fuckup
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#14
W1zzard
first post updated with info how to find the download link
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#15
renault19
i think its the same bios version as the one you send us
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#17
cyberloner
My Vapor-X 5770 is showing 800 Shaders so far so good here =)
Uploaded my bios incase who want it
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#18
eidairaman1
This Needs A Sticky!

the other topic we have hear about this needs to be combined with this one and then Stickied
Posted on Reply
#19

Sapphire has also screwed up with motherboard bios. I bought one of the first PC-A9RD580 from them (about three years ago) and what a mistake it was. I flashed the bios using their program and it wiped the bios. It was later posted on their site to not use their program to flash. I ended up getting a new chip from a private seller in Calif.

Sapphire support was/is so bad that I am still waiting to get an RMA.

I am glad I decided not to give in and by a sapphire product. I do however like XFX I have running.

IMO Sapphire=10' pole
Posted on Edit | Reply
#20
Flyordie
Just another reason I have blacklisted Sapphire from all of my purchases and recommendations. I feel sorry for all those who have bought Sapphire products.
--
EDIT-
LOL, that response from their customer support is a classic... similar to the Verizon .002 Cents = .002 Dollars fiasco.
Posted on Reply
#21
jmcslob
I like Sapphire

I'm glad to see they owned up and quickly Took action to fix the Situation....
Way to go W1ZZ..
Posted on Reply
#22
Flyordie
by: jmcslob
I'm glad to see they owned up and quickly Took action to fix the Situation....
Way to go W1ZZ..
lol, owned up quickly?
Its called, they let that mistake happen AGAIN... It happened to them with the HD4 series as well...
--
As for quick action... Sure, they may have been quick to get the correct BIOS file uploaded, but remember.. Sapphire DOES NOT cover bad BIOS Flashes even if its a defective card because of the BIOS not enabling the correct amount of SPs. So, it is my recommendation that if you do not want to void your warranty, DO NOT flash your card personally. According to Sapphire, flashing your card, even if successful to a different BIOS, even of their own release, voids warranty instantly.

Please note, I was banned and my posts deleted by a Sapphire Rep on their forums for pointing this out. Just keep that in mind folks.
Posted on Reply
#23
W1zzard
by: Flyordie
So, it is my recommendation that if you do not want to void your warranty, DO NOT flash your card personally. According to Sapphire, flashing your card, even if successful to a different BIOS, even of their own release, voids warranty instantly.
sapphire's page says "Note : The warranty term will not change after executing this bios update.". the way i interpret this you will still have warranty but it will not extend your warranty for that part like is common when it actually gets repaired on warranty
Posted on Reply
#24
Flyordie
by: W1zzard
sapphire's page says "Note : The warranty term will not change after executing this bios update.". the way i interpret this you will still have warranty but it will not extend your warranty for that part like is common when it actually gets repaired on warranty
yay, an updated disclaimer... wonder how many hits it took for Sapphire to change it. Or is it just for this one little problem?

Unless you bought it in California, in which case the date you flashed it to the normal BIOS, is the day the warranty began. :-p

California has some decent consumer protection laws.
Posted on Reply
#25
W1zzard
that note has always been next to the updated bios download
Posted on Reply
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