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Bios flashing. XFX 5850s

Discussion in 'AMD / ATI' started by digibucc, Mar 30, 2010.

  1. digibucc

    digibucc

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    hello :)

    about a month ago i got a 5850. XFX XXX edition.

    now i'm trying to go Crossfire / Eyefinity. i've got the monitors, dongle, and a second card ordered

    my question is in regards to the bios on the new GPU. The first one I got was as I said the XXX edition. only there are no more in stock and no estimated arrival. so i got the regular edition instead. the main difference between the two is the regular edition can not be voltage unlocked.

    in order to OC the XXX one, I had to up the voltage. running in crossfire will mean I won't have to OC for awhile - but come on, i'm going to want to :)

    I had read in the reviews for this card, that someone flashed the Asus 5870 bios. that got it working for them, able to unlock the voltage and change it with software.

    so my question is - instead of using the 5870 Bios, would I be ok just reading the bios off of my XXX edition and flashing it onto the new regular one? I would rather flash XFX to XFX, as well as keep it in the 5850 line if possible.

    though regardless of possible or not, i'd want to do what is recommended (once we get over the fact that I am going to flash such an expensive card). so what's the way to go?
  2. Kenshai

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    If you use MSI afterburner you can unlock the voltage tweaking unless it is a non reference card which the voltage can't be adjusted. All you do in Afterburner is make an adjustment in one of the files, easy to search for it.
  3. digibucc

    digibucc

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    it's non-reference cooler but i think it's a reference PCB...

    that being said, others have reviewed that they tried Afterburner. BUT they didn't specify whether they looked for unlock in the configs. I will be sure to check that first, :) ty
  4. Kenshai

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    Give a link to the card? I recall Paulieg saying that if a 5850 has a non reference cooler, then it's a non reference design removing the voltage control. Link

    I've only messed with reference 5850's so I can't comment further on that. But I know that the situations I messed with them afterburner was able to adjust everything after switching a setting.
  5. digibucc

    digibucc

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    link to card

    this is my XXX, unavailable

    i don't see anything here that says it is not reference, but the fan is moved to the center which is very obviously not reference. I think this means it is custom and custom PCB - which also would mean flashing is my only option to OC , right?
  6. Kenshai

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    Just looking at the back of the card you can tell it's non reference pcb as well. Honestly I'm not really sure, I've only handled a few of these cards and don't really keep up with them too much. But if what Paulieg said is true then you won't have software voltage control anyway. I assume you'll be able to overclock relatively well but just remember that you probably won't be able to adjust the voltage so headroom will be limited.
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  7. digibucc

    digibucc

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    well i know that people have been able to unlock that by flashing it with a different bios, so i was still wondering if the bios from my XXX would be best, or some other one?
  8. Kenshai

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    The thing is, they were able to unlock it on reference boards, I don't believe the non reference cards even have the right voltage regulator.
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  9. digibucc

    digibucc

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    see now I am confused. why does the XXX have it unlocked from the start? is that the selling point of the XXX? as that is a reference board, correct?

    thank you!
  10. Kenshai

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    Well, I'm not sure on their marketing. But XXX just means it's factory overclocked. The fact that the voltage is adjustable just means that it's a reference board. This newer non reference design is out because it's probably cheaper to manufacture. Cutting costs is usually the reason for most non reference designs.
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  11. Wrigleyvillain

    Wrigleyvillain PTFO or GTFO

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    Exactly. Including a much cheaper voltage regulator chip (not a Volterra as found on the ref boards) that probably does not allow software voltage adjustment via I2C. No BIOS can change that. It's a hardware limitation. There is an Asus non-ref 5850 that uses a non-Volterra vr but that one does support software tweaking. However, most if not all other non-ref cards do not have this ability.

    See the pic and text down the page here for an example:

    http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Powercolor/HD_5850_PCS_Plus/4.html
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  12. digibucc

    digibucc

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    ok then what about as someone else is asking in this thread actually modifying it in the bios, or by flashing a 5870 bios as someone in the newegg review said they had done? i don't want it much higher, would just want it to match the other one (1.125)
  13. Wrigleyvillain

    Wrigleyvillain PTFO or GTFO

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    They can already do it in the first place on that card, same as you can on yours, as you guys have Volterra VRs. AFAIK, the only benefit to doing it with a BIOS flash is not to have to screw around with Afterburner or whatever.
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  14. digibucc

    digibucc

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    wait - sorry for being thick,

    but what do you mean as i can do? as i can with my first card? is there any possible way to get the non-reference to 1.125, even if not in software?
  15. Wrigleyvillain

    Wrigleyvillain PTFO or GTFO

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    I was talking about your XXX which I believe is a reference card. Am I wrong there?

    And no there is no way to do it without a hardmod on any non-ref that I know of besides that Asus. The chip physically does not have that ability/feature. You can't flash a P4 to a Core 2 either :) (maybe not the best analogy but you catch my drift I hope)
  16. digibucc

    digibucc

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    you are right, and i get that - but that's where i was confused.

    i thought it was maybe possible for the regulator to run at 1.125, just no way to change it with software. but it's not even possible for it to run at that high voltage.

    thank you! that sucks! but thank you ;)
  17. Wrigleyvillain

    Wrigleyvillain PTFO or GTFO

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    How did you determine it can't "run that high"? Again all it can't do for sure is raise it's voltage using a software util or BIOS flash (again no I2C via software). A hardware mod that supplies more voltage should be an option albeit a much more complicated one. To say nothing of voiding your warranty.
  18. digibucc

    digibucc

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    ok, i was still confused but now i understand.

    the regulator technically could run at 1.125 - but being cheaper there is no way outside of hardware modding it to make it run that high. it doesn't have the ability to be set by software or bios, even if it could run that high.

    no way it's worth hardmodding. even at stock with 2x in crossfire i should be fine, and im sure i could squeeze a bit of juice to raise it from stock even without voltage.

    do you know, what would be the highest recommended clock without changing voltage? I tried OCing the XX without changing voltage and had issues all around.... that could have easily been me though.

    thanks again guys, super helpful :)
  19. Kenshai

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    Really overclocking is hit and miss. You may get a card that will clock well without any extra voltage.
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  20. Wrigleyvillain

    Wrigleyvillain PTFO or GTFO

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    Yeah though I have been told by someone knowledgeable that non-ref cards don't clock as well often topping out at 760. I have one here tomorrow so I'll see for myself ($279 shipped so I went for it; eventually want a nice ref model too). Share your results too please.
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  21. digibucc

    digibucc

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    I was hoping for at least 775/1125, as is max on CCC for the XXX. i have the XXX running at 940/1200/1.125 stable gaming through afterburner... i kinda screwed myself here wanting to stay with XfX

    I guess i maybe should have gone with the MSi or other that was reference, as they were only about $20 more - but i wanted another XFX. I hope for the warranty alone it is worth it, and hopefully Crossfire will make enough of a difference that I won't be worried about overclocking for awhile.well i'll find out...

    btw, this is to run eyefinity on 3x1080p 's

    I will def update when it gets in, from CA to NY but Newegg is good so by thursday i'd say.
  22. alexsubri

    alexsubri New Member

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    digibucc says thanks.
  23. Kenshai

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    You shouldn't have any issues running that resolution. You may need to clock them but you should be just fine.
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  24. moriz New Member

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    i've read that using a modified BIOS would cause driver errors with the 5800 series. is this still true?

    just been reading the latest version history for RBE, and it specifically said that it supports voltage modding in 5800 series. is this true?

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