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
LAN_deRf_HA
TheGuruStud said:
It was 292 on amazon (big difference, I know lol), but amazon's prices fluctuate rapidly b/c they're always trying to rip ppl off based on stock levels (even if they don't run out).

They were charging 450 for the 6970 at launch.
They sold out of the black pcb sapphire, the one on there now is different.

horik said:
After changing the bios,i cant find a way to OC the card more than 50 mhz,the screen just freezes when i run tests,so im stuck at the stock speeds of an 6970...any ideas¿
You probably need more volts, either use smartdoctor and an asus bios or wait for afterburner support some time next week (probably in a beta release).
Posted on Reply
#2
horik
TheGuruStud said:
More voltage required, I guess. Might just be a bad chip. And did you do the +20%?
Yes i tried 10% and 20% but no luck,i think more volts are needed.
Posted on Reply
#3
TheGuruStud
LAN_deRf_HA said:
They sold out of the black pcb sapphire, the one on there now is different.
But what would be the difference aside from color? It doesn't matter any to me.
Posted on Reply
#4
voro12
If you overclock the GPU to, lets say, 1000MHz, do you have to follow up with the memory too? Or is it possible to run it with 1000/1350?
Posted on Reply
#5
Mr.Bigglesworth
There is no specific ratio in regards to OCing GPU & memory that I am aware of. If you smell smoke, power down. I am sure there is an optimal balance out there, but, nothing set in stone.
Posted on Reply
#6
TheGuruStud
Mr.Bigglesworth said:
There is no specific ratio in regards to OCing GPU & memory. If you smell smoke, power down.
But if the GPU is bandwidth starved he would need higher memclock otherwise 1gz would be pointless.
Posted on Reply
#7
voro12
But it can´t damage the GPU, right? :)
Posted on Reply
#8
LAN_deRf_HA
TheGuruStud said:
But what would be the difference aside from color? It doesn't matter any to me.
Don't know if that's the only dif. or not. If it's later it might have a different component model number here or there. They do get some leeway part wise while still calling it reference. For instance reference 470s can have different IHS heights. Found that out when looking into the icy vision, fits msi cards easy but not evga.
Posted on Reply
#9
TheGuruStud
LAN_deRf_HA said:
Don't know if that's the only dif. or not. If it's later it might have a different component model number here or there. They do get some leeway part wise while still calling it reference. For instance reference 470s can have different IHS heights. Found that out when looking into the icy vision, fits msi cards easy but not evga.
Well, I wonder which PCB mine is. It hasn't arrived yet. Amazon sucks at shipping.
Posted on Reply
#10
Mr.Bigglesworth
TheGuruStud said:
But if the GPU is bandwidth starved he would need higher memclock otherwise 1gz would be pointless.
I file that under diminishing returns ;)

That said. I don't think you will over saturate the bus with one of these cards.
Posted on Reply
#11
pantherx12
W1zzard said:
people need to stop thinking of the pcie power specification as a limit like a brick wall

it's like the pci-sig puts a sign on the highway that says "maximum speed 120 km/h"

nothing bad happens when you go 125 km/h or 130 .. or more
No but powertune adds a wall doesn't it? you even state so in your first post.
Posted on Reply
#12
MarcusTaz
MarcusTaz said:
anyone have any luck with and XFX?
The Sapphire one I linked to will work on all reference design cards from any vendor.
ok i admit i am a n00b...:slap:
Posted on Reply
#13
athenaesword
haha the 6970 guys are probably feeling really screwed now
Posted on Reply
#14
turbobeta
UPDATE, After further testing, this post is incorrect. See this post for an update.

I can confirm that the Gigabyte Radeon HD6950 GV-R695D5-2GD-B upgrades with no issues.

Flashed with the Gigabyte HD6970 bios (taken from this website), the card has run stable while gaming for 4 hours, with no artifacts at default clocks of 880mhz core / 1375mhz memory with the 20% power control enabled.

The card I have: GIGABYTE GV-R695D5-2GD-B Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bi...
The bios I used: http://www.techpowerup.com/vgabios/88934/Gigabyte.HD6970.2048.101124.html
Posted on Reply
#15
PaNiC
athenaesword said:
haha the 6970 guys are probably feeling really screwed now
yes i am but i think this shows just how bad the 6970 is if amd were this desperate
EDIT: i got 2 of em so i got DP'ed
Posted on Reply
#16
bear jesus
If i was a 6970 owner how unhappy i would be mainly depends on overclocking as the 6970 has memory chips specified to run at 1500MHz/6GHz effective and the 6950 has memory chips specified to run at 1250MHz/5GHz effective.

If the higher rated memory chips clock better then personally i would accept the extra cost as the cost of having GDDR5 that's rated to run 1GHz faster than the 6950's memory chips.
Posted on Reply
#17
PaNiC
bear jesus said:
If i was a 6970 owner how unhappy i would be mainly depends on overclocking as the 6970 has memory chips specified to run at 1500MHz/6GHz effective and the 6950 has memory chips specified to run at 1250MHz/5GHz effective.

If the higher rated memory chips clock better then personally i would accept the extra cost as the cost of having GDDR5 that's rated to run 1GHz faster than the 6950's memory chips.
So what saying is? I got raped by amd hard and i should accept it. Sorry but this is scam from amd ripping fans like me off, who dispite the bad reviews still went out payed for these cards only to find out $100 cheaper card can do the same thing.
Posted on Reply
#18
athenaesword
PaNiC said:
So what saying is? I got raped by amd hard and i should accept it. Sorry but this is scam from amd ripping fans like me off, who dispite the bad reviews still went out payed for these cards only to find out $100 cheaper card can do the same thing.
haha chill out. this's afterall an exploit, not something AMD announced after release of the cards.
Posted on Reply
#19
DigitalUK
its early days, i felt abit ripped off at first but intel/amd can release a cpu and you overclock to the next model up or unlock from 2 core to 4 core etc and some people just got really lucky. im really glad i got the 6970 as bear jesus said its got higher rated memory, power etc. plus i wouldnt be surprised if we dont see afew 6950's going pop after flashing to 6970 as some are reporting high pitch cap squeeling and artifacts (the last bit could need abit of voltage tho)
Posted on Reply
#20
PaNiC
athenaesword said:
haha chill out. this's afterall an exploit, not something AMD announced after release of the cards.
you really believe that? the whole 5000 and 6800 series were lock outside of bios and the 6900 series which has poor profromace, runs very hot and is loud as all f*ck are magically bios lock.
Its just scam by amd of indirectly cutting prices due to the crappiness of there cards
EDIT: also fitted with risk free dual bios
Posted on Reply
#21
DigitalUK
give it a month im sure we will all be thinking different on this, theres alot more performance to be had out of these cards plus the overclocking headroom. you can set the max overclock on ccc to 950 core and 1450 on memory with no extra voltage and no real noticable heat difference.
Posted on Reply
#22
bear jesus
PaNiC said:
So what saying is? I got raped by amd hard and i should accept it. Sorry but this is scam from amd ripping fans like me off, who dispite the bad reviews still went out payed for these cards only to find out $100 cheaper card can do the same thing.
: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?
Posted on Reply
#23
horik
In 3dmark vantage i got 19776 points with 6950 stock speed,changed bios to 6970 stock and got 19001 points with 0% on power control and 19083 with power control on 20%:confused:
Posted on Reply
#24
wahdangun
horik said:
In 3dmark vantage i got 19776 points with 6950 stock speed,changed bios to 6970 stock and got 19001 points with 0% on power control and 19083 with power control on 20%:confused:
try to underclock your memory frequency
Posted on Reply
#25
MarcusTaz
horik said:
In 3dmark vantage i got 19776 points with 6950 stock speed,changed bios to 6970 stock and got 19001 points with 0% on power control and 19083 with power control on 20%:confused:
Hope I do not run into this problem...
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