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.
Add your own comment

302 Comments on AMD Radeon HD 6950 Can be Unlocked to HD 6970

#1
TotalChaos
the thing is not all 6950 cards can perform up to 6970 standards, the fact that the majority seem to do well is just good luck for us end users
Posted on Reply
#2
BababooeyHTJ
Is the artifacting in AtiTool a pretty much universal problem? It seems like most if not all people that have run it at XS have had artifacting that they didn't have with the stock 6950 bios. I don't see the artifacts if I use the older scaning method or lower the core clock to like 500. I've heard similar reports with 6870 although it worked fine for me. If anyone has a real 6970 Sapphire and wants to run ATITool that would be great. The artifacting that I saw with Super Meat Boy is also far worse than I saw with the stock bios and my 6870. Gpu Tool, OCCT, and other games seem to be fine though.
Posted on Reply
#3
MarcusTaz
well I hope I get lucky... Just ordered an XFX 6950... :toast:
Posted on Reply
#4
Tatty_One
Senior Moderator
by: BababooeyHTJ
Is the artifacting in AtiTool a pretty much universal problem? It seems like most if not all people that have run it at XS have had artifacting that they didn't have with the stock 6950 bios. I don't see the artifacts if I use the older scaning method or lower the core clock to like 500. I've heard similar reports with 6870 although it worked fine for me. If anyone has a real 6970 Sapphire and wants to run ATITool that would be great. The artifacting that I saw with Super Meat Boy is also far worse than I saw with the stock bios and my 6870. Gpu Tool, OCCT, and other games seem to be fine though.
It could be a number of things....... is it the same rated memory on both models, is it the same rated memory voltage and GPU 3D voltage in each of the Bioses, it may be something as simple as loostening memory timings or lowering memory clocks or just increasing the GPU voltage a little, although it sounds to me that some are getting memory throttling which could cause the slowdowns described.
Posted on Reply
#5
DigitalUK
i did a 20minute run with occt when the card was first installed. 82c load fan at 36% (???) no artifacts , i did go to install ati tray tools but it made my system bluescreen on startup which i have never seen my system do ever except for when my memory went faulty.
Posted on Reply
#6
DigitalUK
ok thought i would test ATi tool, very strange i have the real HIS HD6970. if i run scan for artifacts strange lines etc straight away. i think this is a problem with ati tool and not the cards. ive run this afew times i let the card heat up with 3D view then scanned. i also let the card cool down and run again.

looks perfect on 3D View.


scanning for artifacts straight away (hot or cold)


like i said i really dont think this is a problem with the cards but a compatible problem. as you can see no errors are reported, ati tool gives off a bing every few seconds.
Posted on Reply
#7
BababooeyHTJ
Thank you, I've been hoping that someone with a real 6970 would run AtiTool.
Posted on Reply
#8
LAN_deRf_HA
My friend unlocked his but had to drop the clock speeds. Hopefully that afterburner beta comes soon. Don't know if unwinder even got the card yet.
Posted on Reply
#9
PaNiC
by: bear jesus
:laugh: No, what i was saying is that the extra cost mean faster rated memory chips, if the difference between memory rated for 5GHz and 6GHz and a couple 12v ground wires means nothing to you then that's fair enough but there has been many cards over the years that have been able to be hard or soft modded into the higher end version and as with all of those even if the success rate is high it does not guarantee that it will work, the same applies to core unlocking on CPU's and also overclocking.

Personally i like the idea of paying a little more and getting a guarantee that it will work at 6970 speeds along with the extra pair of ground wires and memory rated to run 1GHz faster effective, if you think those things mean it's a rip off that's your opinion but it's not as if they are the exact same cards with a price difference as there are things that make the 6970 better than the 6950.

What would make you more unhappy, knowing its possible to take the 6950 and flash it so then buying one that was not stable after being flashed or buying a 6970 and knowing it will be 100% stable and the fact you paid a little more for that guarantee and higher binned chips?
little more? $100 pre card!! thats %33 more.
the unstable rate is 2 out of 140 and i'm sure not everyone that it work for would have emailed.
now i find out that the components used on my card are left over junk amd had from 5000 series.
MAKE IT STOP!! PLEASE MAKE IT STOP!! :cry:
Posted on Reply
#11
BababooeyHTJ
by: DigitalUK
left over junk???
Ignore him and let him troll the other thread. This one actually has some good info in it like your Atitool post. :)
Posted on Reply
#12
erocker
ATi tool doesn't support the 5 and 6 series, of course it's screwing up. Hopefully you aren't ruining your card running it.
Posted on Reply
#13
DigitalUK
no im not running it but it looks like some are using ati tool as a proof of stabilty in these cards, just wanted to show it wasnt.
Posted on Reply
#15
TheGuruStud
I got the black PCB Sapphire. Flashed and seems to be working great. Running cool, too. Much cooler than what the reviews were showing.

Nvm, powertune isn't in the 10.12a drivers...
Posted on Reply
#16
BababooeyHTJ
by: erocker
ATi tool doesn't support the 5 and 6 series, of course it's screwing up. Hopefully you aren't ruining your card running it.
:wtf: Just using it to scan for artifacts?
by: PaNiC
Volterra digital PWM were used in 5800 and 5900 series. so yeah left over junk
AMD Revising Radeon HD 6900 Series PCB
If they are the same vrms as the 5xxx series where are the readings in gpu-z?
The Radeon HD 6900 Series are the first graphics cards to use the Volterra VT1556. It offers extensive voltage control and monitoring via I2C. At this time no software supports this controller yet, but I am sure this will change in the weeks to come.
TPU review
Go troll somewhere else.
Posted on Reply
#17
PaNiC
by: BababooeyHTJ
:wtf: Just using it to scan for artifacts?


If they are the same vrms as the 5xxx series where are the readings in gpu-z?


TPU review
Go troll somewhere else.
i take that back. slightly new junk then that which was used in the 5xxx series.
i did say "Volterra digital PWM" i didnt give out a model number. we still didnt get the top shelf gear
Posted on Reply
#18
BababooeyHTJ
by: PaNiC
i take that back. slightly new junk then that which was used in the 5xxx series.
i did say "Volterra digital PWM" i didnt give out a model number. we still didnt get the top shelf gear
What testing have you done to back those statements up? It just goes to show that you have no clue what you are talking about. ATI is switching over to the TI vrms because they are cheaper not better. Although if these vrms run as hot as the old volterras I'll be a little disappointed. I doubt that they will but we'll see.
Posted on Reply
#19
DigitalUK
its not junk its exspensive, they want a cheaper way and probably more to the truth stop the 6950 to 6970 modding.
Posted on Reply
#20
PaNiC
by: BababooeyHTJ
What testing have you done to back those statements up? It just goes to show that you have no clue what you are talking about. ATI is switching over to the TI vrms because they are cheaper not better. Although if these vrms run as hot as the old volterras I'll be a little disappointed. I doubt that they will but we'll see.
AMD the opportunity to redesign the PCB to make use of the more cost-effective yet high-performance VRM circuitry

AMD Revising Radeon HD 6900 Series PCB
Posted on Reply
#21
DigitalUK
your point being, it doesnt say the current PMW is not high performance, its to reasure future customers that even tho the cards are cheaper(using cheaper components) you wont lose out on performance. the current PMW is fully adjustable by software as soon as software is realeased to support them.
Posted on Reply
#22
LAN_deRf_HA
For my friend's flash I just swapped the "unlock" file with a renamed asus bios and ran the batch file. Gpuz says it worked, but smart doctor complained about not being able to find the card or something. All we did was restart the pc twice to let the drivers sort themselves out. Is there anything wrong with flashing it like that and or do you need to completely uninstall the drivers?
Posted on Reply
#23
PaNiC
by: DigitalUK
your point being, it doesnt say the current PMW is not high performance, its to reasure future customers that even tho the cards are cheaper(using cheaper components) you wont lose out on performance. the current PMW is fully adjustable by software as soon as software is realeased to support them.
if amd were willing to delay and almost miss out on xmas shop period for the DrMos then im sure that its better.
Posted on Reply
#24
TheGuruStud
Question....

If I don't buy another 6950/70 before they change the VRM stuff, would I be able to successfully change the voltage on xfire'd cards?
Posted on Reply
#25
PaNiC
by: TheGuruStud
Question....

If I don't buy another 6950/70 before they change the VRM stuff, would I be able to successfully change the voltage on xfire'd card?
yeah but you mite have to wait for a new version of your software choice to come out
eg. afterburner
Posted on Reply
Add your own comment