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Guide to Radeon X800/X850 bios modding

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#1
[SIZE="+1"]Required Tools[/SIZE]
  • If you will be modding your own bios, you will need a utility to get a copy of the bios from the card. ATITool can be used for that.
  • RaBiT is an essential utility for any these mods. As of this posting, the current version is 2.0a and may be downloaded here: http://www.techpowerup.com/downloads/283
  • For some mods you will also need a hex editor; any will do just fine. One I've found that looks like it would be very easy to find the right location for the values to change can be found here: http://www.mh-nexus.de/ It has a heading at the top which shows the offset for columns, not just rows. It also looks like a decent hex editor overall.
In addition to these tools, you will also need to know how to flash the bios after performing the mod. Instructions for that may be found elsewhere on this site.

Important note: For any of these guides, I recommend reading through the whole thing before attempting to perform the mods.

If you are not comfortable with performing these modifications yourself, there are many others who are also familiar with how to do these, especially after I posted this guide.


[SIZE="+1"]Mod #1 - Changing the Number of Active Pixel Pipelines[/SIZE]

This type of mod can be used for increasing the number of pixel pipelines to all of the ones that are available on your card or also reducing the number (of course, only for testing purposes ;) ). Here are the steps to performing this mod:

  1. If you are modifying your own bios, get a dump of the bios if you haven't already done so (this can be done with ATITool).
  2. Make a copy of the bios you are editing.
  3. Open the copy in a hex editor.
  4. Go to the value at offset 0x7A. If the bios is your current bios, the value at this location should look the same as the CONFIG_ROM_FUSES value that will show up in ATITool if you hold shift when clicking the settings button, except that the first two and last two digits will be switched. Below is an example of what you might see. A red box was added to show the location of the value.



  5. For the byte at 0x7A, leave the first digit intact and change the second digit to one of these values:
    0 = zero pixel pipeline quads disabled (16 pipelines enabled)
    1 = one pixel pipeline quad disabled (12 pipelines enabled)
    2 = two pixel pipeline quads disabled (8 pipelines enabled)
    3 = three pixel pipeline quads disabled (4 pipelines enabled)​
    For example, to change the one shown above from 12 pipelines to 16 pipelines, change the second digit of the value to a zero and this is what it should look like:



  6. After changing the value, save the bios.
  7. Open the modded bios in RaBiT. It will warn you that the bios may be corrupt. When this message appears, click "Yes" to continue.
  8. Save the modded bios. Overwrite the file you just opened, there is no need to create a new file. This step is to fix some checksum and CRC values in the bios so that it will work right.
  9. The modded bios is done.
After correctly flashing the modding bios to the video card, the last digit of CONFIG_ROM_FUSES will change to the same number you picked in step 5, and the number of disabled pipelines will be either how many you picked or how many are disabled in hardware, whichever is higher.


[SIZE="+1"]Mod #2 - Changing the Name and/or GPU Type[/SIZE]

This type of mod can be used to change the name detected for your card and/or the type of GPU detected. Changing the name just gives your card a different name, but does not change performance. In general, you should stay within the same general card class when changing it since it can change the detected GPU type if you don't (X800 should stay X800, X850 should stay X850).

Changing the type of GPU detected to R480 can increase performance for cards that have R480 chips but do not get detected as such (primarily some X800 GT cards and some few X800 GTO/GTO² cards). The GPU type should be kept the same for cards that do not have R480 chips as it can and likely will cause problems on non-R480 chips. (For more information on this and for some pre-modded X800 GT bioses, look here: Performance boost for X800 GT cards with R480 GPU)

There are a few of ways to identify whether the GPU is R480 or not:
  • If ATITool or other utilities say it is R480.
  • If that is not the case the most obvious way to find out, of course, is to take off the heatsink and look at the GPU. If it is R480, it will say so.
  • Another way is to look at the fuses data in ATITool that shows up when you hold shift and click on settings. If it is R480 or R430 then CONFIG_DIE_FUSES will look like 0xFFFF?FFF and CONFIG_SUBSTRATE_FUSES will look like 0xFFFFFF9? where the "?" can be any digit. After you determine that it is R480 or R430, to distinguish between the two you can check how high the GPU can be safely overclocked. Many (or most) R430 chips cannot reach 450 MHz and all (as far as I know) cannot reach 470 or above. If your's exceeds what the R430 is capable of and matches the pattern above, then your card very likely has the R480 GPU.
Here are the steps to performing the name/GPU type mod:

  1. Find out what type of GPU your card has (it will be in the format of R4xx). If it does not say R480 and your card is a Radeon X800 GT, GTO, or GTO² card, if you like you may use one of the methods above to determine whether it is R480 or not. If it is R480 and is not being shown as such, you may want to use R480 as the GPU type. Otherwise, just use the same GPU type.
  2. If you are modifying your own bios, get a dump of the bios if you haven't already done so (this can be done with ATITool).
  3. Open the bios you are editing in RaBiT.
  4. Find the driver information file for the driver version you are currently using. The location of it will be in the main installer folder -> Driver folder -> 2KXP_INF folder. There will be two of these file types, one for Windows 2000 (C2_?????.inf) and one for Windows XP (CX_?????.inf). Open one of them.
  5. Search the file for the desired name and proper GPU type. You may also search for an entry with the same SubVendor ID as your current bios. The entries are formatted as shown in this picture:



  6. Enter the information in RaBiT from the entry in the file. The values that you want to change are Device ID, SubSystem ID, and possibly SubVendor ID (depending on whether you found a vendor-specific entry in the file or not for the card type you chose). The locations of the values to use from the entry are shown above.
  7. Save the modded bios with a different name.
  8. The modded bios is done.
After flashing the modded bios, the next time Windows starts up it will detect a new video card with the new name.


If you have any questions about any parts of the guides or find any mistakes or incorrect information in them, let me know.
 
Last edited:

Giux-900

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#2
Hi,
Thanks for this guide !!!
I have the bios modded to 16pipeline with this metod (sapphire x850pro r481 16pipeline)!!
work very great !!

If I want to change name with mod #2 (device id 4b4b-->4b4c platinum edition)
there is a problem with catalyst overdrive ?
because driver detecting the x850xt pe on the x850pro bios settings...
You know the dynamic fan control problem on the x850pro flashed with xt/xtpe ??
this is a similar problem..

Thanks :)
 
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#3
Giux-900 said:
Hi,
Thanks for this guide !!!
I have the bios modded to 16pipeline with this metod (sapphire x850pro r481 16pipeline)!!
work very great !!

If I want to change name with mod #2 (device id 4b4b-->4b4c platinum edition)
there is a problem with catalyst overdrive ?
because driver detecting the x850xt pe on the x850pro bios settings...
You know the dynamic fan control problem on the x850pro flashed with xt/xtpe ??
this is a similar problem..

Thanks :)
I'm not really sure how it affects Catalyst Overdrive. I do know that just simply setting a card to X850 XT PE will not make the Overdrive option available. There is some other setting in the bios that does that. I'm not completely sure, but I don't think changing the ID's changes the default speeds shown in the Overdrive options either.

As for the fan, this mod doesn't affect fan speeds at all since that is controlled somewhere else in the bios, not by the ID's that are set.
 

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#4
can I try to change id 4b4b without any particular problems for my x850pro (name radeon x850 series) to
4b4c radeon x850xt platinum edition ???

what difference between

"RADEON X850 Series " = ati2mtag_R481, PCI\VEN_1002&DEV_4B4C

and

"RADEON X850 XT Platinum Edition" = ati2mtag_R481, PCI\VEN_1002&DEV_4B4C&SUBSYS_00021002

???

Can i flash with flashrom -p -f 0 name.bin ?? to change id ?
can i flash back if something dont work propely ?? always with command flashrom -p -f ??

Thanks
 
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#5
Giux-900 said:
can I try to change id 4b4b without any particular problems for my x850pro (name radeon x850 series) to
4b4c radeon x850xt platinum edition ???

what difference between

"RADEON X850 Series " = ati2mtag_R481, PCI\VEN_1002&DEV_4B4C

and

"RADEON X850 XT Platinum Edition" = ati2mtag_R481, PCI\VEN_1002&DEV_4B4C&SUBSYS_00021002

???

Can i flash with flashrom -p -f 0 name.bin ?? to change id ?
can i flash back if something dont work propely ?? always with command flashrom -p -f ??

Thanks
One of those entries is more general and the other has a specific name. The specific one is checked first and if it doesn't completely match on the ID's, it goes to the more general one.

And yes, you will have to add the -f parameter to force the flash and you can go back to the original bios if something doesn't quite work right, as long as you still have the original.
 

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#6
In rabit the value are:
device id: 4b4b
subsystem id: 0312
subvendor id: 1002

the value changed are:
device id: 4b4c
subsystem id: 0002
subvendor id: 1002

is exact ??? for the specific name x850xt platinum edition (not general radeon x850 series)
 

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#7
hey ShadowFlare,
please you can check my bios :) because i'm not sure...
why if I change the id, change asic config on rabit and other value ??
 

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#8
Well worth a sticky. ;)

-Dan
 

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#9
does this means that i can unlock my 4remaining pipelines with this settings:
CONFIG_DIE_FUSES: FFFFBFFF
CONFIG_SUBSTRATE_FUSES: FFFFFF9E

i have a c3d X850pro agp vivo
 
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#10
Giux-900 said:
hey ShadowFlare,
please you can check my bios :) because i'm not sure...
why if I change the id, change asic config on rabit and other value ??
It looks like you did it right. I tried the mod myself on your bios and I ended up with identical files. I noticed that the part that determines the value shown as CONFIG_ROM_FUSES in ATITool changed from 0x0860 to 0x0260 after the mod in RaBiT, but this shouldn't cause any problems as far as I know, since I've changed between those two values on my GTO2 when trying different bioses and it didn't cause any problems.
 
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#11
G0Dfather said:
does this means that i can unlock my 4remaining pipelines with this settings:
CONFIG_DIE_FUSES: FFFFBFFF
CONFIG_SUBSTRATE_FUSES: FFFFFF9E

i have a c3d X850pro agp vivo
No, look at the note at the end of the guide to modding the number of active pipelines:

After correctly flashing the modding bios to the video card, the last digit of CONFIG_ROM_FUSES will change to the same number you picked in step 5, and the number of disabled pipelines will be either how many you picked or how many are disabled in hardware, whichever is higher.
Meaning that you can't decrease the number of disabled pipelines below what is disabled in hardware.
 

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#12
hmm... shadowflare
the my bios original with 16pipe is ok !!
But the bios with 16 pipe and ID modded is BAD !!

step1
I have open the bios original 16pipe with rabit
step2
I have changed the ID value 4b4b-> 4b4c and 0312--> 0002
step3
save the file with rabit
step4
I have open (for check) the file modded ID and pipe and asic value is change to 260 (first was 860)
step5
Flash succesfully the bios with new ID 4b4c and 0002
step6
restart and atitool show 4a4c id chip r420gl 8pipe 0x260value !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:mad:
step7
i try to install driver, driver not install never !!!!
STEP 8
I have FLASHBACK with my original bios w/ 16 pipe SUCCESFULLY !!!!!!!! (really was 4a4c)
step9
ATITOOL ALL OK: R481 4B4B 16pipeline active normal fuses w/ value 0x860 ecc... !!!!!!!!
step10
Reinstall driver OK!!! and 3dmark and game ok !! :toast:
but never platinum edition name is possible, because the real x850xt pe bios have the different asic value 0xa60.......not 260 !!! rabit save the file in wrong way !!!

Please, ShadowFlare the your opinion is important to understand the problem
 
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#13
can i make my x800xl > x800xt???
 
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#14
bim27142 said:
can i make my x800xl > x800xt???
Possibly, but probably not. I wouldn't try it myself. X800 XL is R430, X800 XT is R423.
 
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#15
Giux-900 said:
hmm... shadowflare
the my bios original with 16pipe is ok !!
But the bios with 16 pipe and ID modded is BAD !!

step1
I have open the bios original 16pipe with rabit
step2
I have changed the ID value 4b4b-> 4b4c and 0312--> 0002
step3
save the file with rabit
step4
I have open (for check) the file modded ID and pipe and asic value is change to 260 (first was 860)
step5
Flash succesfully the bios with new ID 4b4c and 0002
step6
restart and atitool show 4a4c id chip r420gl 8pipe 0x260value !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:mad:
step7
i try to install driver, driver not install never !!!!
STEP 8
I have FLASHBACK with my original bios w/ 16 pipe SUCCESFULLY !!!!!!!! (really was 4a4c)
step9
ATITOOL ALL OK: R481 4B4B 16pipeline active normal fuses w/ value 0x860 ecc... !!!!!!!!
step10
Reinstall driver OK!!! and 3dmark and game ok !! :toast:
but never platinum edition name is possible, because the real x850xt pe bios have the different asic value 0xa60.......not 260 !!! rabit save the file in wrong way !!!

Please, ShadowFlare the your opinion is important to understand the problem
I guess either there is a little more to the mod, or this is just an RaBiT bug. I'll try checking the values again.
 

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#16
The bios with id mod to xtpe 4b4c when is flashed change name...
because i open it with rabit and show 4b4c, after flash is 4a4c !!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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#17
At this moment my bios w/ 16pipes work great and all value are ok !!
If I made a backup with atitool and check with same bios before flashing the result are identical file !! :) :)
but with other process flashing, the bios before is different

bios before flash != backup bios after flash
why?????????
 

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#18
bim27142 said:
can i make my x800xl > x800xt???
I'm gonna give it a shot soon, when my new cooler comes thought the post. Even with an awsome cooler, i doubt the r430 will get up to 500mhz though, so a bios mod might need to be done.

Anyway, stay tuned and i'll tell you how it goes! ;)
 
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#19
Giux-900 said:
At this moment my bios w/ 16pipes work great and all value are ok !!
If I made a backup with atitool and check with same bios before flashing the result are identical file !! :) :)
but with other process flashing, the bios before is different

bios before flash != backup bios after flash
why?????????
I've been trying different things in RaBiT and it seems that there may possibly be something it changes that it shouldn't. Have you done the 16 pipelines mod as described in the guide I wrote? (with a hex editor) If so, try following the instructions for that mod to change the CONFIG_ROM_FUSES value on the bios with the modded ID to be the normal value for your bios. That might possibly get it working. (in other words, change the value at offset 0x7A to be the normal value of "6008" for your bios rather than the "6002" value that RaBiT changes it to)
 
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#20
Need Info!

Shadowflare you seem to be one of the most knowledgeable people in o/c video cards so I have a question. Several in fact. Im new to this forum so if I screw up let me know. Q1. I have a BUILT BY ATI X850 AGP Pro at 500/500 (R481 core)It shows 12 pipe lines active. As I understand it with the right Bios I can unlock the other 4 pipelines. That is a 25% increase in pipelines. Is the corresponding framerate increase on any particular game given the same settings etc also 25%???. Ex My 32 FPS in Soldiers In Arms EiB would now be 40 FPS ?? Q2 I saved my original bios with ATI Tray tool but when I load it with Radeon Bios Tuner I get a error (NO Bios signiture).Any Ideas?? Q3 I opened my saved bios and changed the 61 to 60 according to your post and saved it, but when I try to load it into the Radeon Bios Tuner v1.7 I get a corrupt bios message. Out of the 3 different flash utilities which would you recommend, and which bios for this card.

Thanks, appreciate any feed back and advice

Video BIOS Information
Version 009.008.001.004
Part Number 113-A47503-103
Date 2005/02/08 12:13
 
V

Vrgn86

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#21
dominator2 said:
Shadowflare you seem to be one of the most knowledgeable people in o/c video cards so I have a question. Several in fact. Im new to this forum so if I screw up let me know. Q1. I have a BUILT BY ATI X850 AGP Pro at 500/500 (R481 core)It shows 12 pipe lines active. As I understand it with the right Bios I can unlock the other 4 pipelines. That is a 25% increase in pipelines. Is the corresponding framerate increase on any particular game given the same settings etc also 25%???. Ex My 32 FPS in Soldiers In Arms EiB would now be 40 FPS ?? Q2 I saved my original bios with ATI Tray tool but when I load it with Radeon Bios Tuner I get a error (NO Bios signiture).Any Ideas?? Q3 I opened my saved bios and changed the 61 to 60 according to your post and saved it, but when I try to load it into the Radeon Bios Tuner v1.7 I get a corrupt bios message. Out of the 3 different flash utilities which would you recommend, and which bios for this card.

Thanks, appreciate any feed back and advice

Video BIOS Information
Version 009.008.001.004
Part Number 113-A47503-103
Date 2005/02/08 12:13


Hello,I have the same card BBA X850 PRO AGP,I have flashed the bios
to 16 pipes,540 core,580 mem, xt memory timings and full control
of the fan. If you would like to try it I can send it or post it here for you.
Temps are 38c idle, 64-70c gaming. Any questions?:)
I Have two of these cards both have 16 pipes, 1 has modded clocks etc..
The other is just the 16 pipe mod.I have both bioses.
I used atiflash 3.09. The performance increase is there, I gained ~2000 in 3dmark05.
 
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Gooser55

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#22
I have read and tried several bios's

Hi All
I have an ATI x850 Pro where i wanted to open the 16 pipes.

I started out trying the x850xt bios in the downloaded section but got an error when i flashed it p/n mismatched. so i force flashed it and it loaded fine but when i check in ATIToo, my pipelines are still at 12.

I read some other messages in the forum and tried other bios mods(2) for just the x850 opening the 16 pipelines but to no avail.

I have also tried the Hex editing my own bin file from the first page of this thread and flashed it and i am still stuck at the 12 pipelines.

I have included my original bios and the bios I tried with Hex. Can someone please lend some advice.
Thanks
 

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infrared

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#23
Gooser55:

Have you checked your cards fuse data with ATITool?

Do this by holding shift as you click 'settings', then scroll down a bit to find the fuse data. Take a screenshot, and post it here for us to look at.

It might be the case that there is a lazer cut dissabling your last quad. Sometimes it is possible to reconect the cut, but in most cases, it's not worth messing with.
 
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