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non-reference 2GB 6950 unlocking.

biohazord

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#1
Has anyone had any experience with unlocking a non-reference 2GB 6950?

I originally purchased a single MSI G6950 to test out. It was a reference card and everything went fine. I really liked the card but wanted another for crossfire. Newegg was completely sold out of everything that looked like it could be a reference card. So I went to my local Micro Center and picked up a VisionTek 6950 2GB (900352). From what I understood all 2gb models were reference and unlockable. I also thought that a product with the manufacturer part # of 900352 would match all the photos I've seen online. But after a visual inspection it doesn't appear to be. The spot for the bios switch is there, but the switch has been removed. The fan also isn't at the end like other reference designs. What worries me is the physical modifications to the card. Makes me feel like they probably neutered (laser cut the link to the shaders) the board.

I'm not too worried about flashing the only bios I have but I don't want this purchase to be in vain nor do I want to have to downgrade my MSI card.

I'll include some pictures of the card shortly.
 
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#2
I also thought that a product with the manufacturer part # of 900352 would match all the photos I've seen online. But after a visual inspection it doesn't appear to be. The spot for the bios switch is there, but the switch has been removed. The fan also isn't at the end like other reference designs. What worries me is the physical modifications to the card. Makes me feel like they probably neutered (laser cut the link to the shaders) the board.
Just my opinion... not saying it can't be done; but, you better have a back-up of the original firmware. And, have a spare (which you do) card, so you can flash it back if need be.

You might wanna give RBE a go, if you are intent on trying to flash the card, using the original bios and just try freeing up the shaders.

I believe you may be on the correct line of thought; it seems the original run was un-lockable in those cards, but the newer ones are not from what is going around the web.

Overclock.net thread link - Which 6950 can unlock exactly?

The first ones had the bios switch and a different (reference) backplate; the newer ones don't.

Info @ Newegg feedback

Goodluck... also, you may want to hold off 'til you find where someone has successfully done it or failed.
:ohwell:
 

1Kurgan1

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#3
I have a 2GB card with Dual Bios, been tempted to tinker with it, but I haven't yet as performance has been great. I'll have to keep my eye on this thread,
 

biohazord

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#4
Sadly it looks as though the days of the unlockable 6950 are over. I've read various reviews that have said some cards are unlockable while others are not. I heard theres even a dual fan version of the card that can be unlocked.

Looking at my MSI card the board is black/brown. The new cards board is a dark blue. =/

Heres a picture of the crossfire bridge and missing switch.


Heres a pic of the top of the card


Heres a pic of the sticker by the PCI-X pins that says the version.


Sorry that they're blurry, I took these with my cell phone.

One last question I have. Would it possible to get the card into a state where I would be unable to flash it? IE I flash the card, it fails and then I'm unable to write to the device again? That would really be my only concern.

I'll prob sit on this for a day or two and see what the net has to say. I might return this item just because the fan seems quite flimsy. Especially considering how much I paid for this. If its a version that I can't unlock I want a dual fan GPU.
 

biohazord

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#5
I have a 2GB card with Dual Bios, been tempted to tinker with it, but I haven't yet as performance has been great. I'll have to keep my eye on this thread,
The dual BIOS card should be totally unlockable. Its quite easy actually. It took me all of 10 minutes to flash my MSI R6950 w/ dual bios switch. The longest part was reading it, then reading it all again to be sure I had it right.

I followed this article http://vivithemage.com/2011/02/how-to-unlock-shaders-on-6950/
Its pretty much just a copy and paste of this article http://www.techpowerup.com/articles/overclocking/vidcard/159

The guy does give the article credit. The only real difference is the use of a modded 6950 bios and not the 6970 bios. Theres also another method in which you just save you current bios locally and then mod it with RBE. Theres some info and a link to the RBE at the bottom of the second article.
 

cadaveca

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#6
I have a 2GB card with Dual Bios, been tempted to tinker with it, but I haven't yet as performance has been great. I'll have to keep my eye on this thread,
The dual BIOS card should be totally unlockable. Its quite easy actually. It took me all of 10 minutes to flash my MSI R6950 w/ dual bios switch. The longest part was reading it, then reading it all again to be sure I had it right.

I have found that on my cards, that have the dual-BIOS switch, one of the BIOSes is completely unflashable. The other flashes fine.

We've got reports here of cards that just won't flash.

I personally feel that if your card wil lflash at all, then it's moddable. If it doesn't flash, then it's not.

W1zz has info on how to "unlock" the BIOS, and this method does not work on all cards to unlock the card for flashing. So to me, it's pretty plain if your card will flash or not.

If it's got a switch, it can be flashed.

If it doesn't have the switch, and unlocks via W1zz's method, it'll mod fine.

Cards that will not mod, the OEM has locked up tight, to prevent RMAs.