Sunday, December 26th 2010

AMD Radeon HD 6950 Can be Unlocked to HD 6970

Looks like Santa brought an extra present for us hardware enthusiasts this year. Thanks to a less secure locking method AMD's new Radeon HD 6950 can be unlocked to a full blown HD 6970 with a few mouse clicks.

As detailed in our article, you can safely perform the flashing process from within Windows. In case something goes wrong it is easier than ever to recover the card thanks to AMD's new Dual-BIOS feature.

We tested the unlock on three HD 6950 cards: one AMD engineering sample, one HIS media sample and one ASUS retail card. All of them unlocked perfectly and run at HD 6970 speeds now. More success reports are compiled into a table at the end of the modding article.
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302 Comments on AMD Radeon HD 6950 Can be Unlocked to HD 6970

#1
minos
XFX to ASUS

Hi guys
Can I go from a XFX 6950 bios to a ASUS 6970 bios?
Or can I only unlock when I use XFX/Sapphire bios?
Posted on Reply
#2
damric
Keep in mind that 6950 cards have lower binned memory chips than 6970, not rated quite as fast. This may cause artifact problems for some people unlocking and running memory at 6970 speeds. Easy fix is to reduce memory speed.
Posted on Reply
#3
theJesus
Sweet way to save 60~70 bucks.
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#4
ZeppMan217
Might cause all kinds of artifacts in 3D. Neat lottery, though.
Posted on Reply
#5
entropy13
by: theJesus
Sweet way to save 60~70 bucks.
Jesus saves. ;)
Posted on Reply
#6
microtrash
by: damric
Keep in mind that 6950 cards have lower binned memory chips than 6970, not rated quite as fast. This may cause artifact problems for some people unlocking and running memory at 6970 speeds. Easy fix is to reduce memory speed.
This is my question ! Do someone had problem with memory speed ? Because 6950 card have 1250mhz memory ships (and run at 1250mhz) while 6970 card have 1500mhz memory chips (and run at 1375mhz).

Also, what about overclocker that can't reach the 6970 880mhz core speed with their 6950 ? Can we still unlock the card to 6970 speed ?
Posted on Reply
#7
horik
i have run the card for 3 hours now,i have run Unigine heaven 2 times,played 1 hour of BC2,all at stock speeds,had no problems,the card runs at 84 celsius at full load,before bios change at about 80 degrees.
Posted on Reply
#8
LAN_deRf_HA
by: damric
Keep in mind that 6950 cards have lower binned memory chips than 6970, not rated quite as fast. This may cause artifact problems for some people unlocking and running memory at 6970 speeds. Easy fix is to reduce memory speed.
I haven't seen this. Typically I've seen completely even distribution performance wise, sometimes the 6950 memory even clocks higher than on 6970s, and vice versa. Usually about the same. Now the core I question, they seem just as capable as 6970 cores just not as voltage efficient, so I suspect some of these unlocks will be unstable until we get wide spread voltage control with afterburner.
Posted on Reply
#9
entropy13
by: horik
i have run the card for 3 hours now,i have run Unigine heaven 2 times,played 1 hour of BC2,all at stock speeds,had no problems,the card runs at 84 celsius at full load,before bios change at about 80 degrees.
The slight temperature difference is quite understandable, considering the clocks differences, and that's why there are also slight differences in the reference 6950 and 6970 coolers.
Posted on Reply
#10
Kenshai
by: damric
Keep in mind that 6950 cards have lower binned memory chips than 6970, not rated quite as fast. This may cause artifact problems for some people unlocking and running memory at 6970 speeds. Easy fix is to reduce memory speed.
Actually if it's like the 5 series cards it won't artifact because the card will auto correct, it would just show a performance decrease.
Overclocking the memory on these cards is quite different from any other card so far. Normally you'd expect rendering errors or crashes, but not with these cards. Thanks to the new error correction algorithm in the memory controller, every memory error is just retransmitted until everything is fine. So once you exceed the "stable" clock frequency, memory errors will appear more often, get retransmitted, but the rendered output will still look perfectly fine. The only difference is that performance drops, the further you increase the clocks, the lower the performance gets. As a result a normal "artifact scanning" approach to memory overclocking on the HD 5800 Series will not work. You have to manually increase the clocks and observe the framerate until you find the point where performance drops.
Source
Posted on Reply
#11
bigboi86
Wow so this flash actually opens up the shaders and everything?

I've been waiting for a graphics card that you can flash like the 9800SE or the x800 GTO2.

Hell even the old Nvidia 6800 vanilla could be unlocked to a 6800GT/Ultra.

I just got a 6850 though, I'm pretty happy with it. It overclocks like a BEAST.
Posted on Reply
#13
bigboi86
Does anyone know if the 6800 series has the auto correcting thing on the memory controller? I really don't like the idea of it. I use artifacting to tell when I have gone too far.
Posted on Reply
#14
bear jesus
by: bigboi86
Does anyone know if the 6800 series has the auto correcting thing on the memory controller? I really don't like the idea of it. I use artifacting to tell when I have gone too far.
It does, i have been using atitool to be able to see when the fps drops due to unstable memory speeds.
Posted on Reply
#15
bigboi86
by: bear jesus
It does, i have been using atitool to be able to see when the fps drops due to unstable memory speeds.
Ah, thanks. This kind of sucks though, no wonder I haven't seen any memory errors.

Now instead of clocking and looking for errors, I have to clock and see if the framerates drop, which to me, is less reliable than looking for graphical errors(artifacts).

Right now mine is running 850mhz core/1020mhz memory, stock voltage, fan manually set to 70%(I don't mind the noise). Runs great, I haven't the need to overclock it further yet.

HIS kind of has a shitty stock cooler. It reminds me of a zalman VF900.




A little cooler under a huge shroud lol. I don't think it cools the ram off, either.

I should have done more research before I got it, but it's a great card other than the puny cooler.

Sorry for the thread derail, please continue. :)
Posted on Reply
#16
VulkanBros
by: turbobeta
Any luck with Gigabyte yet?

I'm thinking about buying this card GIGABYTE GV-R695D5-2GD-B Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bi... and would like to know if anyone has had luck with it yet.
I have just purchased exact the same card...I sure hope it can be unlocked.
The downside right now is, that I will not get it before january the 4th......
I could have purchased the ASUS card - but that would have cost me 32$ extra......
So lets cross our fingers :rolleyes:
Posted on Reply
#17
CDdude55
Crazy 4 TPU!!!
Awesomeness!:)

Might grab one in the future and try some unlocking.:)
Posted on Reply
#18
mtosev
Cool. more bang for your money:)
Posted on Reply
#19
badsykes
Next step... Accelero Extreme plus but the problem is when the memory kits will be available and i should try other sets of memory kits..The memory dimension should be standard.The only problem is the VRM cooling...
Posted on Reply
#21
VulkanBros
eehhhh....sorry my arab is not so good.....;) .. but I see the numbers....and that is what counts :)
Posted on Reply
#22
TheGuruStud
by: VulkanBros
eehhhh....sorry my arab is not so good.....;) .. but I see the numbers....and that is what counts :)
Arabic? All I saw was scribbles.



Posted on Reply
#24
PaNiC
by: LAN_deRf_HA
I haven't seen this. Typically I've seen completely even distribution performance wise, sometimes the 6950 memory even clocks higher than on 6970s, and vice versa. Usually about the same. Now the core I question, they seem just as capable as 6970 cores just not as voltage efficient, so I suspect some of these unlocks will be unstable until we get wide spread voltage control with afterburner.
Going by the review on TPU 6950 ram is rated at 1250mhz and 6970 is rated at 1500mhz
and the max you can overclock to atm is only 1450mhz
Posted on Reply
#25
kramsinister
Freaking awesome!!!! Thanks a lot wizz! just flashed my Sapphire 6950 to 6970 bios and it worked! :rockout:

[IMG][/IMG]
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