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Modding 9800pro to 9800XT... at wit's end!

Discussion in 'Graphics Cards' started by bdwilcox, Jul 21, 2005.

  1. bdwilcox New Member

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    I recently purchased a Sapphire 9800pro 128MB AGP video card. It has a 9800pro PCB, an R360 core, and uses Samsung memory. I replaced the stock Sapphire supplied cooler with an Arctic Cooling VGA Silencer and proceeded to test the card's capabilities. With the original 9800pro BIOS I can overclock the card (using RadLinker or ATITool) from its default values of 378MHz core / 337.50MHz memory to 420MHz core / 375MHz memory without instability or artifacts.

    Since the card has an R360 core, I wanted to flash the card with a 9800XT BIOS to unlock the advanced pixel shader routines in the newer core. I proceeded to try out numerous 9800XT / 128MB Samsung memory BIOS versions only to find severe artifacting and/or greatly diminished memory overclocking ability. Core overclocking ability remained the same, though.

    Out of curiousity, I opened my card's original Sapphire supplied 9800pro BIOS with RADEdit and was surprised to see it was tagged for a card with Hynix memory. So I proceeded to flash my card with 9800XT / 128MB Hynix memory BIOSes but saw the same artifacting and/or diminished memory overclocking ability I saw for Samsung BIOS versions. Core overclock remained the same.

    Artifact checking was done in ATITool and 3DMark. ATITool would show artifacts, while 3DMark would either artifact or completely freak out and hose the driver, necessitating a reboot. I understand that 3DMark often shows artifacts with a Pro to XT cross flash, but artifacting shows up in ATITool as well. (Once, when trying a Samsung EBlock BIOS, my icons corrupted.)

    Consequently, I've flashed back to my original 9800pro BIOS and all is well. I'm beginning to wonder if perhaps the Samsung memory on my board is incompatible with existing 9800XT BIOSes. So far I have been unable to find the Samsung memory chip codes anywhere:

    Samsung 446 K4D263238G GE2A AB1079DA

    Any insight would be much appreciated.

    -Brian Wilcox
     
    10 Year Member at TPU
  2. djbbenn

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    It could be the higher memory timings. And do you have the 128bit or 256bit version?

    -Dan
     
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  3. bdwilcox New Member

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    The card is a regular 128MB 9800 pro with a 256bit memory architecture on a 9800 pro PCB layout.

    The memory clocks very high with the stock BIOS, but once the XT BIOSes are used, it won't clock anywhere near as high or without artifacts. The core clocks the same regardless of BIOS. This makes me think the XT BIOSes might be incompatible with my card's version of RAM.

    The oddest part of my situation is that my card uses Samsung memory but came from Sapphire with a Hynix BIOS. Bizarre. Plus, I have never seen my Samsung memory's codes anywhere, so maybe they need a special BIOS like the EBlock Samsung memory versions do.

    -Brian
     
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  4. INSTG8R

    INSTG8R

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    You could always just try editing the Device ID and clocks of your Own BIOS
     
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  5. bdwilcox New Member

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    djbbenn and INSTG8R, thank you for your replies.

    INSTG8R, I am familiar with modifying the default clocks in an ATI BIOS using RaBiT or ATI BIOS Editor, but I am not familiar with editing the Device ID. Will editing the device ID enable the R360 core's advanced shader routines?

    Also, I see that the Device ID for a 9800pro is 4E48 and for a 9800XT it's 4E4A, but what about the Subsystem ID? It seems to change from BIOS to BIOS. Does it have any significance?

    Thanks,

    -Brian
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2005
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  6. tqlla3k New Member

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    I changed my Device ID on my BIOS, but I do not have the option for Hierarchal Z. I cant find it....I dont know where to look.

    My 3DMarks did not increase... so I dont think the new functions are working... even though my card is ID'ed as a 9800XT.

    My 3DMark05 score is 3278(450core/390mem) with Omega 5.6 drivers. I am using the Vantec Iceberq5 cooler/ramsinks
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2005
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  7. bdwilcox New Member

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    Booyah! I changed the DeviceID on my stock BIOS to 4E4A (using RaBiT) per INSTG8R's suggestion, the card was detected as a 9800XT, and my 3DMark scores went up significantly. I also changed the default clocks to XT speeds and my 3DMark scores went up even higher than it had with 3rd party XT BIOS's but this time without instability or artifacting. (5260 points with a Celeron 1.4GHz Tualatin [actually a rebadged, .18 micron die-shrunk Pentium3 with 256KB L2 cache] and 512MB of RAM - up from 4700 points for the stock 9800Pro).

    Thanks again to all for taking the time to reply. You just helped me unlock a ton of performance potential for free!
     
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