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Differences between 6950 and 6970

Discussion in 'AMD / ATI' started by scooper22, Jan 12, 2011.

  1. scooper22

    scooper22 New Member

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    Hi there,

    I was looking around for a comprehensive list of the (physical) differences of a 6950 and a 6970 (both reference designs).

    Flashing a 6950 to 6970 is now a common sport. AMD is acting delayed, but will laser-cut the chips, that I'm pretty sure of.
    So as anybody is flashing like crazy and shouts "Great! Now I have made myself a FULL 6970" I began to wonder - is a flashed 6950 *really* a 6970, or are there any differences left after the flash?


    What I found so far are the following that distinct a 6950@6970 and a real 6970:


    Power Connectors
    (Source: can be seen with the eye)

    The two cards have a different power-connector configuration.

    6950: 2x 6 pin
    6970: 1x 6 pin and 1x 8 pin

    Open Questions:
    - Is this a non-issue as these two extra are only ground lines?
    - Does this create component stress??


    Different PCBs
    (Source: http://www.overclock.net/ati/893712-flashing-6950-6970-any-success-story.html)

    - taken from above: different power connectors
    - The 6950 PCB has some extra soldered resistors.
    - The silver/blue caps are "E063..." for 6950 and "E059..." for 6970
    - The large silverwhite block at the bottom left is "25CH10 X7" for the 6950 and "36CH10 A" for the 6970 (production date is in front, so these might either be different fabrication lines or actually different chips)
    - other changes not visible in the small pictures

    6950: http://www.xbitlabs.com/picture/?src=/images/video/radeon-hd6970-hd6950/29_695_pcbpw_big.jpg
    6970: http://www.xbitlabs.com/picture/?src=/images/video/radeon-hd6970-hd6950/30_697_pcbpw_big.jpg

    Open Questions:
    - Effects with the different power demand of the 6970s BIOS higher clock speeds / power demand?
    - Burnout due too high power consumption but smaller power delivery??
    - Or are these related changes that simply come ftom the different power-connector configuration and have no otherwise effect?
    - Do the "1.175V" of the 6970 BIOS translate to something completele different on a 6950 PCB? -> If so, maybe this fries the chips. If someone could measure this then we could recalculate what voltage on a 6970 BIOS has to be set to be within the power handling capabilities of a 6950 PCB


    Different Memory Chips
    (Source: http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/radeon-hd6970-hd6950_4.html)

    6950: H5GQ2H24MFR T2C chips which work at 1.5 volts voltage and 5000 MHz rated frequency
    6970: H5GQ2H24MFR R0C chips (1.5 volts, 6000 MHz)

    Open Questions:
    - The 6950 chips might not be able to handle the higher clock rates that come with the 6970 BIOS (1375*4 = 5500 MHz)
    - Damage due to higher voltage? (I heard the 6970 uses more juice on the RAMs, sadly I have no reference and no V-values)


    Internal Device ID
    (Source: RBE v1.27 released!)

    Upon a BIOS flash the Device-ID remains intact, giving a flashed 6950@6970 card still the ID of a 6950.

    6950: 0x1002 0x6719
    6970: 0x1002 0x6718

    Open Questions:
    - Where is this information stored if not in the BIOS? Modifyable?
    - Does this confuse drivers? tools?
    - Drivers might detect a flashed 6950 and deny startup?


    PowerTune Cap-Settings
    (Sources:
    for the caps: http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/foru...8899-amd-radeon-hd-6970-hd-6950-review-5.html
    for not updating after BIOS flash: http://www.techpowerup.com/articles/overclocking/vidcard/159)

    The PowerTune caps remain unchanged after a BIOS flash.

    6950: cap at 200W usage
    6970: cap at 250W usage

    Open Questions:
    - Where is this information stored if not in the BIOS? Modifyable?
    - A flashed 6950 is still limited by its PowerTune settings, regardless of 6970 BIOS -- Maybe this is even a good thing? :)


    So to anyone who thinks that he is unlocking a 6950 to a full 6970 - this (sadly) is simply not the case :)


    Are there any more differences?
    What are the impacts of flashing a 6970 BIOS on a 6950?
    What about the open questions?


    scooper
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2011
    BababooeyHTJ, Qed and ZenZimZaliben say thanks.
  2. jimmyz New Member

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    Actually they are different boards, just look at the pictures of them near the PCI-E fingers. the X-Bit labs pics show these well.
    Also the power circuitry uses different model components, for instance look at the choke beside the 8 pin vs the model of choke beside the 6 pin of the 6950.


    As for the device ID issue, there are only so many things that are exposed to the Bios to change, the Device ID could be hard coded in to prevent dubious resellers from flashing and upping the price to defraud customers.
  3. robal

    robal

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    Last edited: Jan 12, 2011
  4. scooper22

    scooper22 New Member

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    @jimmyz: actually i think they are pretty equal. I see only the 8->6 connector change and the field of resistors on the center/left. Both changed might actually be related.

    @robal: thanks! I added the PowerTune differences. I already read the article but forgot about the PT ;)

    Edit: okay, I made out some more PCB differences, you as you pointed out:
    - the silver/blue caps are "E063..." for 6950 and "E059..." for 6970
    - the large silverwhite block at the bottom left is "25CH10 X7" for the 6950 and "36CH10 A" for the 6970 (production date is in front, so these might either be different fabrication lines or actually different chips)
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2011
  5. smakked

    smakked New Member

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    All i know is i have a Flashed 6950 which clocks better then some of teh 6970s out there so im happy. And all this BS about it will diew because it doesnt have better components i dont care really who keeps a card for more then 3 months anyway :D
  6. ZenZimZaliben

    ZenZimZaliben

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    Good thread and was meaning to ask some of these same questions.

    If I purchase a 6950 and Flash it to 6970, will I be able to OC the flashed 6950 to the same levels a true 6970 would be able to OC? Assume both cards would be water cooled.

    I am betting it won't be as the limiter on the 6950 is lower... But how significant will the difference be in real world performance.
  7. jimmyz New Member

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    Insignifigant difference in performance, 99.9% of the people will never push their cards hard enough to notice. There are some hardware differences, more than most people think by a cursory examination of the board pics. But in the gaming and daily use areas it is nothing to worry about. Buy it and have fun.
  8. ZenZimZaliben

    ZenZimZaliben

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    I and most people on this forum are that .1%, so it could make a difference. As I said assume both would be water cooled...that right there should tell you my intentions. To OC the holy 5hit out of either of them.

    I guess I need to wait for more people to do this and post to 3dmark11/vantage threads.
  9. jimmyz New Member

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    LOL water is not what I am talking about..hehe, More like the LN2 and Hard volt mod people.The type of People who just bought the card to chill it subzero and set world records. No, on water you will never see a difference.
  10. ZenZimZaliben

    ZenZimZaliben

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    Ah that would be the .01%

    Do you have any stats/benchmarks that show this to be true? If so please post them. I am almost ready to purchase 2x 6950's and flash them. But if they can not get to the same levels as a 6970 then maybe I will go that route.
  11. jimmyz New Member

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