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R9 280x Bios Flash Question

Mordeo

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#1
I cannot seem to find an answer to this on google and am still new to Bios Flashing so here it goes.

I have the XFX Radeon R9 280x Double Dissipation Black Edition and have been having the screen flickering problems. When it switches from the Idle clock speed to any other clock speed the screen flickers and sometimes if it happens to much the screen goes blank with green lines every other pixel and I have to restart my computer. I have found a temp fix by setting a profile in the Catalyst Control Center which forces the card to run at the max speed of 1080/1550. This has worked for years but the problem is it only works on driver 16.0 and lower because of the new Crimson and Relive UI. The new UIs use the graphics card just enough to make the video card leave its idle speed before I can apply the profile. I also could not figure out how to apply the profile with the new UIs. I am also stuck on Windows 7 because Windows 10 forces me to update the drivers. So my solution to this problem is to force the max clock speed in the GPU Bios. When editing the basic factory bios I have come across a new problem. In the performance profile of the Bios the first and second clock settings do not allow me to adjust the voltage. So will the card be ok if I leave the VDDC at 850 and 950 but still increase the core clock and memory clock to 1080/1550? Has anyone with this problem found a better a Bios that they have tested and know it works? I would upload the Bios but the forum will not allow it.
 

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eidairaman1

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#2
@XFXSupport we have one here.

Whatever you do @Mordeo do not flash your bios till @XFXSupport XFXinstructs you to do so, it is Independence Day here in the USA, so he might be off, I sent him a message and tagged him in here.
You may message him yourself.
Just wait till you receive an answer from him.
 
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Mordeo

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#3
Awesome found it with the #2 core speed set to 501 instead of the default 800. Going to give it a try and see if it helps tyvm :)

@XFXSupport we have one here.

Whatever you do @Mordeo do not flash your bios till @XFXSupport XFXinstructs you to do so, it is Independence Day here in the USA, so he might be off, I sent him a message and tagged him in here.
You may message him yourself.
Just wait till you receive an answer from him.
Ok will wait a while really don't want to screw this up and cannot seem to find the Bios selector switch the guide is talking about. I see the 1 and 2 numbers but cooling system is blocking the rest. I have cross checked all of the info to make sure I found the correct Bios though and the am using the editor to check the memory types and what not. Everything seems to be ready to go as far as the flashing goes. Will wait and see if maybe there is an easier fix to this or maybe a different Bios for my specific problem.
 

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#4
Awesome found it with the #2 core speed set to 501 instead of the default 800. Going to give it a try and see if it helps tyvm :)


Ok will wait a while really don't want to screw this up and cannot seem to find the Bios selector switch the guide is talking about. I see the 1 and 2 numbers but cooling system is blocking the rest. I have cross checked all of the info to make sure I found the correct Bios though and the am using the editor to check the memory types and what not. Everything seems to be ready to go as far as the flashing goes. Will wait and see if maybe there is an easier fix to this or maybe a different Bios for my specific problem.
To me it sounds like memory. It might need to be boosted to 250-300, my gpu low power is 300/150.
 

Mordeo

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#5
To me it sounds like memory. It might need to be boosted to 250-300, my gpu low power is 300/150.
Ok I got impatient but I tried it and it worked! My Video Card is now idling between 300/150 and 501/800 and no flickering whatsoever. I just need to run a stress test to see if switching between low and high clock speeds is still stable and update to the latest driver but I am thinking I am good to go. Also there is no backup Bios switch on the XFX Radeon R9 280x Double Dissipation Black Edition. Ty for the help @eidairaman1 I could not have done this without that Bios and guide I found in your links. If anyone was wondering what Bios I used it is this one.
https://www.techpowerup.com/vgabios/160094/xfx-r9280x-3072-140610

Just ran the stress test and it works perfectly :D time to upgrade to Windows 10 and update my drivers!
 

Mordeo

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#6
Update: I am once again having problems with the card but not sure if it is because of the Bios flash. After 15 seconds of full screen rendering with FurMark the card crashes. Black screen and buzzing looped audio that requires a hard reset. After attempting probably 30 different fixes I have narrowed it down to my psu. My best guess is either the the Bios or the new amd drivers are making the card use more wattage at higher loads and that is bottlenecking my psu. I downgraded my OS back to Windows 7 just to make sure it was not Windows 10 causing it because there are probably 500 videos and forum posts of people having the exact same issue running Windows 10 but no fixes they posted worked. I don't think it is a heating problem either because the gpu crashes at about 70C and the air coming out of the psu is warm but not hot. I am using a 850 watt thermaltake psu with a total of 690 of those 850 watts used but it is possible that the psu is not putting out the full 850 because there are 2 connectors for everything so the PCIe wattage might be split. I have tried everything from disabling fast start to running memtest86 for 3 hours straight and everything seems to be fine. The only work around I have found is lowering the power limit to -20%. I was able to complete a fullscreen render of the FurMark stress test doing this and run the windowed render for 2 min with no problems so I am hoping this will work for video games.
 
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#7
I am against using FurMark for benching and testing, it can do damage to your video card if you are not careful. Anything else is better, cinebench or even heaven is 10 times better.
 

eidairaman1

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#8
Furmark is trash, stop using it, a 280 and 7970 are from the same cloth and was known to cause cards to pop, so stop using it.
 

Mordeo

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Thanks for the heads up! Hopefully it did not cause any damage but I think I found the source of the problem. When I flashed my bios I removed the graphics card to see if it had the bios 1 and bios 2 switch and in doing so I think I damaged one of the PCIe cables that provides extra power to the video card. Luckily I have a backup but doing the stress test I paired with GPU-Z I found that the card was going past 245 watts which was causing the black screen crash and 245 watts is the limit my motherboard can handle. I am hoping I did not damage the ports on the video card. They are put in a poor spot and you kind of have to put pressure the cooling system to release the clip that holds those cables in. I may have to pull the card out and bust out the soldering gun but for now it works with the power limit set to -20% with the max power draw at 233 watts but it rarely goes that high and just sits at 170 to 195 watts under max load.
 

eidairaman1

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#10
well I'm glad you're getting this problem resolved one step at a time just do what you need to do
Thanks for the heads up! Hopefully it did not cause any damage but I think I found the source of the problem. When I flashed my bios I removed the graphics card to see if it had the bios 1 and bios 2 switch and in doing so I think I damaged one of the PCIe cables that provides extra power to the video card. Luckily I have a backup but doing the stress test I paired with GPU-Z I found that the card was going past 245 watts which was causing the black screen crash and 245 watts is the limit my motherboard can handle. I am hoping I did not damage the ports on the video card. They are put in a poor spot and you kind of have to put pressure the cooling system to release the clip that holds those cables in. I may have to pull the card out and bust out the soldering gun but for now it works with the power limit set to -20% with the max power draw at 233 watts but it rarely goes that high and just sits at 170 to 195 watts under max load.
Just take caution man
 
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#11
The flicker can happen if you use 2 monitors.
 

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#12
The flicker can happen if you use 2 monitors.
Yeah because of bios could be not forcing the gpu to run at 500 megahertz to compensate for the load.
 

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#13
I had a similar problem with my old 280X, tried many things, some the OP has mentioned, in the end the only way I could solve it was to slightly raise all of the voltages in VBE7 and that gave me stability, I think it may just be a simple case that as the card gets older it degrades slightly and just needs a little more oomph.
 

eidairaman1

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#14
I had a similar problem with my old 280X, tried many things, some the OP has mentioned, in the end the only way I could solve it was to slightly raise all of the voltages in VBE7 and that gave me stability, I think it may just be a simple case that as the card gets older it degrades slightly and just needs a little more oomph.
Yeah it was only when 7970s became 280Xs that degradation was more prevailant
 
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#15
Intentional power throttling? Just the thought of it makes me sick to my stomach. :shadedshu:

You do realize you're killing your cards performance...on purpose. :kookoo:

BTW...it has NOTHING to do with your motherboard. It's obviously time to buy a new PSU. Then you can crank that power limit to AT LEAST +20% and start getting your money's worth out of it. ;)
 

Mordeo

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Its not my psu or the cables. I cracked open the psu case just to check and there are no burnt components or bulging capacitors and everything still looks brand new. It is also only a few months old, about 150-200 watts over my total PCs requirements, and doesn't even have a layer of dust. I also did LED checks for continuity on all of the PCIe cables and everything came back positive. This all started when I did the Bios flash and updated the drivers so I think I am over complicating things and just need to focus on those. Will use my original Bios, instead of the downloaded one, and just change that core state 2 to 501 from 800 and see if that helps first then downgrade back to Window 7 again and see if the old drivers fix the crashes. If nothing works I will revert all changes and just restart my PC 30 times until I can get the old fix to work again. Everything ran fine with that I just could not update to Windows 10 or newer drivers but it never crashed once after I applied the fix. This 280x has been a nightmare lol I cannot wait until I can afford something better.

Once again thank you all for the help even if I don't fix my problem I at least learned how to flash a gpu Bios :)
 
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#17
Listen...it's not debatable. If lowering the power limit fixes the problem...you have a power supply issue. It doesn't matter what your PSU looks/smells/tastes like. Or how old it is. Or however many watts it's rated for. Maybe it's a multi-rail unit and you're trying run the power hungry beast that the 280X is on one under-powered rail. I don't know. All I do know is you have a power supply issue of some sort. And, if lowering the power limit alleviates it, you are proving that is the case.

Not too mention killing the performance of your card. You wanna know why the power draw went down? Because the card is power throttling. What happens when the card power throttles? Your GPU slows itself down, lowering your FPS output. You are pretty much turning the card into 280(NO X)/7950. You can't just dial the power limit down without strangling the card's performance in the process. The card needs that power to what it was built to do. A 280X is still a damn fine card for 1080p or less. But it requires a STRONG supply of power. It's a massively inefficient, amp devouring, PSU killing machine. I've managed to kill a 700W with a 52 amp 12 volt rail, and a 750W with a 62 amp 12 volt rail with mine. So I speak from experience. ;)
 

eidairaman1

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#18
Listen...it's not debatable. If lowering the power limit fixes the problem...you have a power supply issue. It doesn't matter what your PSU looks/smells/tastes like. Or how old it is. Or however many watts it's rated for. Maybe it's a multi-rail unit and you're trying run the power hungry beast that the 280X is on one under-powered rail. I don't know. All I do know is you have a power supply issue of some sort. And, if lowering the power limit alleviates it, you are proving that is the case.

Not too mention killing the performance of your card. You wanna know why the power draw went down? Because the card is power throttling. What happens when the card power throttles? Your GPU slows itself down, lowering your FPS output. You are pretty much turning the card into 280(NO X)/7950. You can't just dial the power limit down without strangling the card's performance in the process. The card needs that power to what it was built to do. A 280X is still a damn fine card for 1080p or less. But it requires a STRONG supply of power. It's a massively inefficient, amp devouring, PSU killing machine. I've managed to kill a 700W with a 52 amp 12 volt rail, and a 750W with a 62 amp 12 volt rail with mine. So I speak from experience. ;)
He is failing to understand the world of electronics, some fail as soon as a switch is turned on some a week later, some 1000 years from now...
 

Mordeo

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#19
Listen...it's not debatable. If lowering the power limit fixes the problem...you have a power supply issue. It doesn't matter what your PSU looks/smells/tastes like. Or how old it is. Or however many watts it's rated for. Maybe it's a multi-rail unit and you're trying run the power hungry beast that the 280X is on one under-powered rail. I don't know. All I do know is you have a power supply issue of some sort. And, if lowering the power limit alleviates it, you are proving that is the case.

Not too mention killing the performance of your card. You wanna know why the power draw went down? Because the card is power throttling. What happens when the card power throttles? Your GPU slows itself down, lowering your FPS output. You are pretty much turning the card into 280(NO X)/7950. You can't just dial the power limit down without strangling the card's performance in the process. The card needs that power to what it was built to do. A 280X is still a damn fine card for 1080p or less. But it requires a STRONG supply of power. It's a massively inefficient, amp devouring, PSU killing machine. I've managed to kill a 700W with a 52 amp 12 volt rail, and a 750W with a 62 amp 12 volt rail with mine. So I speak from experience. ;)
I guess it IS debatable. It took me a few days but I figured out the real problem. The same crashes that were happening pre Bios flash were also happening after the Bios flash they just acted different because of the Bios allowing me to use my PC without the old fix active. I reverted all of my changes and went back to the old catalyst control center and forced max clock speeds like I did the last time and everything works perfect. Voltage is set to the 0% default and the card is running at full speeds again with no crashes. This card is just defective and I should have just returned it for a working one but it is to late for that.

I knew it was not the PSU because I took electrical engineering courses in college and I have a lot of experience troubleshooting circuits. It is always a bad component or a loose connection or something else that can be fixed. The first thing they tell you when fixing a circuit is to do the sight test and look for obvious problems. PSUs are not full of microchips and processors that need software to test them like the rest of the computer. They are full of capacitors, inductors, and resistors which can all be replaced and easily tested with a multimeter and 1 or 2 other tools. When capacitors start going out they bulge at the top and sometimes leak, when resistors go out they usually burn right in the center but even so you can look up the color codes to find how much resistance they should give and cross check with a multimeter, when inductors go out you only have to do a smell check to find out because they stink really bad when they burn up. There are many other things to test but those 3, and sometimes the fan, are usually the culprits of a bad PSU. I fixed my old PSU probably 10 times before one of the inductors caught fire and ruined half the other components.

Anyways I have fixed my problem and wasted way to much time trying to get this card to work as intended. I am just going to leave it alone with the old fix until I can afford a new card
 
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