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Sapphire R9 280x Vapor-X Flash Bios with older firmware

wasabi

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#1
Hi lovely people of TechPowerUp!

I've got a new Sapphire R9 280x Vapor-X with the 015.041.000.000.000000[1] bios and wanted to know if anyone has successfully downgraded the bios to version 015.039.000.001.000000[2] using the older bios kindly provided by TechPowerUp.

Before, I tried.. I was hoping to gain some insights and wisdom from people; and if results have been successful?

Thanks in advance.

[1] http://www.techpowerup.com/vgabios/150184/sapphire-r9280x-3072-131106-1.html
[2] http://www.techpowerup.com/vgabios/146790/sapphire-r9280x-3072-130902.html
 
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#2
Hi

If you have not already done so Make A Backup of the original vbios image [for when things go wrong]

Create a bootable flash drive
go here http://files.extremeoverclocking.com/browse.php?c=21

Download - HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool - v2.1.8 & Windows 98 System Files

click Primary Download unzip the files to a folder on your HDD; make sure your USB Memory stick is attached to your PC; open HP USB Disk

Storage Format Tool v2.1.8 ; select Create a DOS startup disk/ select: using DOS system files located at: (these are the files you have just downloaded): browse to the files in win98boot; then start the process.

Download latest version of ATIFlash
here - http://www.techpowerup.com/downloads/2306/atiflash-4-17/

copy atiflash and [#bios name#].bin to the usb flash drives root directory

Set the motherboard bios to boot from usb *press F8 during boot; select from boot menu if option is avalable; this should boot to a win98 dos prompt

Type at the dos prompt - dir to veiw the content of the flash drive

Type at the dos prompt; atiflash -i 0 [see if adapter is at this address and is recognised]

Type at the dos prompt; atiflash -s 0 OldVbios.rom [this will create a backup image on the flash drive: Keep this in a safe place]

atb

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#3
I'm curious to know if there's any particular reason you'd like to downgrade.

Also, posting to follow you on your quest. Keep us updated!
 

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#4
As Xvi just mentioned, i dont think there are any real benefits of downgrading, if anything they have adjusted the memory timings to make it more stable in the newer version
 
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#5
Hi,
I followed these steps to change the BIOS of my sapphire R9 280x card, but it doesn't boot up anymore, I had to flash to the old one to boot it up again. What should I do ?
 
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#6
Hi

Welcome to TPU

Advice for future reference - should have made a new post in the ATI sub section

Hi,
I followed these steps to change the BIOS of my sapphire R9 280x card, but it doesn't boot up anymore, I had to flash to the old one to boot it up again. What should I do ?
Advice - leave the card as it is in working order; use software to overclock the card; use Sapphire Trixx

Why are you trying to flash the vga card? [is there something wrong with it]

Do not flash the vbios of a vga card unless absolutliy nessasary this should be done only if the manufacturer releases a bios update via their web site and then done with caution.

Note: flashing the wrong vbios image to a vga card will leave it with a blank screen; instability issues or brick the vga card.

Fill in your hardware specs here

- atleast you made a backup :toast:

atb

Law-II
 
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#7
Hi

Welcome to TPU

Advice for future reference - should have made a new post in the ATI sub section




Advice - leave the card as it is ine working order; use software to overclock the card; use Sapphire Trixx

Why are you trying to flash the vga card? [is there something wrong with it]

Do not flash the vbios of a vga card unless absolutliy nessasary this should be done only if the manufacturer releases a bios update via their web site and then done with caution.

Note: flashing the wrong vbios image to a vga card will leave it with a blank screen; instability issues or brick the vga card.

Fill in your hardware specs here

- atleast you made a backup :toast:

atb

Law-II

Thank you for your last advice in backing up the old bios.
Well, I use the graphic card for mining cryptocurrency and the current BIOS version has a thermal throttling which drops the gpu activity to 64% when the temperature reaches around 75 degree. I have the exact same card with different BIOS which doesn't have this problem. I thought by flashing to BIOS to the non thermal throttling one, I can disable this feature which I failed.
 
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#8
Hi

Thank you for your last advice in backing up the old bios.
Well, I use the graphic card for mining cryptocurrency and the current BIOS version has a thermal throttling which drops the gpu activity to 64% when the temperature reaches around 75 degree. I have the exact same card with different BIOS which doesn't have this problem. I thought by flashing to BIOS to the non thermal throttling one, I can disable this feature which I failed.
I see, ok; the PCB revision and layout would have to be identical for this to work, including make and model number #Hash codes on the revers of the PCB.

Maybe place another fan inside the pc case pointing at the hot card; if you can lower the temps this should stop the thermal throttling

atb

Law-II
 
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#9
Hi



I see, ok; the PCB revision and layout would have to be identical for this to work, including make and model number #Hash codes on the revers of the PCB.

Maybe place another fan inside the pc case pointing at the hot card; if you can lower the temps this should stop the thermal throttling

atb

Law-II
This is a screenshot of the one with thermal throttling

Screen Shot 2014-01-11 at 3.15.25 AM.png


and this is the one without:
Screen Shot 2014-01-11 at 3.15.14 AM.png

I need to check the PCB as well. whee can I check the HASH# ?
 
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#10
Hi

Can already see from the screen shots that the vga cards differ when looking at the bios version
113-2104XTLBG6A-U42
&
113-2104XTLAFR-V45

Hash codes are on stickers placed on the back of the PCB
[Example: #11221-00 is a Sapphire Radeon R9 Daul-X 3GB GDDR5]

Is the card that throttles in the top PCIe x16 slot
[thermal throttling is caused by heat building up in the PC case; this happens alot when using crossfire configurations due to one card being paced above the other]

Solutions to this vary
-increase the airflow to the case
-increase the cooling on the card
-Increase the fan cuve profile for the vga card that throttles [use software Afterburner]
-moving the cards; [placing the card that throttles in the bottom PCIe slot]
-lowering the voltage of the core [use softwares]
-make sure there is no dust blocking the fansink [use can of compressed air to clear dust]
or
-a combination of the above

looking at the designs of the coolers sapphire have chosen to use they place hot air back into the case, rather than venting it out the rear.

atb

Law-II
 
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#11
Hi

Can already see from the screen shots that the vga cards differ when looking at the bios version
113-2104XTLBG6A-U42
&
113-2104XTLAFR-V45

Hash codes are on stickers placed on the back of the PCB
[Example: #11221-00 is a Sapphire Radeon R9 Daul-X 3GB GDDR5]

Is the card that throttles in the top PCIe x16 slot
[thermal throttling is caused by heat building up in the PC case; this happens alot when using crossfire configurations due to one card being paced above the other]

Solutions to this vary
-increase the airflow to the case
-increase the cooling on the card
-Increase the fan cuve profile for the vga card that throttles [use software Afterburner]
-moving the cards; [placing the card that throttles in the bottom PCIe slot]
-lowering the voltage of the core [use softwares]
-make sure there is no dust blocking the fansink [use can of compressed air to clear dust]
or
-a combination of the above

looking at the designs of the coolers sapphire have chosen to use they place hot air back into the case, rather than venting it out the rear.

atb

Law-II
yes, their BIOS version are different. I tried to flash the top one to the bottom one, it didn't boot up.
I put the fan speed on %100, and put one more fan, it doesn't throttle any more, but I wish I could flash the BIOS and fix this.
Thank you for the help
 
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#12
yes, their BIOS version are different. I tried to flash the top one to the bottom one, it didn't boot up.
I put the fan speed on %100, and put one more fan, it doesn't throttle any more, but I wish I could flash the BIOS and fix this.
Thank you for the help
..because they're electrically different cards. You'll need to find a different BIOS that's compatible with that card or (I don't know if this is still possible) modify the existing BIOS to raise or eliminate that temp throttling.

The easiest and safest solution is just to keep the card cooler. Powered PCI-e risers may be your new friend if the card's fan is smooshed up against something else (the other card for example), lowering airflow.

If you're using cgminer, you could use the auto fan feature (by navigating to [G]PU management > [C]hange Settings > [A]utomatic > [F]an) and then set target temp to 70c. (by navigating to [G] > [C] > [A] > [T]arget).
 
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#13
..because they're electrically different cards. You'll need to find a different BIOS that's compatible with that card or (I don't know if this is still possible) modify the existing BIOS to raise or eliminate that temp throttling.

The easiest and safest solution is just to keep the card cooler. Powered PCI-e risers may be your new friend if the card's fan is smooshed up against something else (the other card for example), lowering airflow.

If you're using cgminer, you could use the auto fan feature (by navigating to [G]PU management > [C]hange Settings > [A]utomatic > [F]an) and then set target temp to 70c. (by navigating to [G] > [C] > [A] > [T]arget).
Thank you for your response.
I am using cgminer. Basically my fans are set on %100 still cannot keep the temprature below the throttling temp. I added two more fans, things are better. but still doesn't function like the old cards
 
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#14
It may also be that the card has a lower quality die making it run hotter than the other. If the card isn't getting much airflow, it might be worth swapping places with the other card. It's hard to say. Could you post a picture of the inside of the computer?
 
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#15
It may also be that the card has a lower quality die making it run hotter than the other. If the card isn't getting much airflow, it might be worth swapping places with the other card. It's hard to say. Could you post a picture of the inside of the computer?
Photo Jan 01, 3 14 30 PM.jpg
Photo Jan 01, 3 14 30 PM.jpg
 
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#16
Well, that should certainly be enough airflow. You might try talking to Tech Support from either the place you bought it from or the manufacturer to see if excessive temperature under load is covered under warranty.

If not, you could try lowering the GPU clock speed since Scrypt is memory intensive.
 
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#18
turn additional fans upside down so they take out hot air, or better take one 200-230mm fan for HAF 932 case and plase it to suck air between cards out.
 
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#19
The BIOS update probably just changes the fan profile to spin faster at the same temperatures. If you're setting fan speed to 100% manually, the BIOS update likely won't change much of anything.
 
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#20
I exactly had the same problem and I solved it somewhat :)

It's a vrm1 heating problem which you can see in gpu-z sensor tab. Read my problem first :

Hi friends .I have a slight problem. now my card NEVER exceed 74 degrees all the time because when it hits 74 degree VRM 1 is 109 degress and doing the throttle down (speed cutting ) . VRM heat is over my gpu heat. I do not see gpu temperature over than 74 degrees . automatic fan on the GPU at 74 degrees is not coming out on top of the 50% ( VRM heat does not take into account the fan) so I give 60-70 % .

examples of scenarios :

with some overclocking

VRM temperature of about 70 , while gpu is 55 ( 60% of the fans . )

VRM temperature around 80 , while gpu is 65 ( 60% of the fans )

VRM heat 90-100 while gpu is 70 ( I also hold 60% fans )

and finally throttle scenario :

gpu temperature is 74 and VRM 109 (Even when I keep fans 100% there is no 74 degrees up from the GPU temperature , but it makes 109 in the VRM and it throttles the card. so my overclocking limit is 109 VRM temperature. )

So I use this optimal scenario :

In 1240/1800 overclock with @ 1.28 voltages ,

VRM temperature around 80 , while gpu is 65 ( 60% of the fans )

briefly to cool the VRMs s possible?




this was my question in overclock.net forum. so the problem is same with me. actually this is not a problem. card cant measure vrm1 heat and wont give much fan power as the gpu stays cooler. so you need to do what I do above. maybe later a bios can solve it. but this card has a little vrm1 heat problem. maybe we can buy a good vrm cooler who can suggest us :)
 
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#21
Solution is found to Sapphire vapor-x R9 280X "VRM" over heating and throttling problem :) GOOD NEWS !! :D

After searching alot for my new Sapphire vapor-x R9 280X card's vrm overheating problem. I finally found the solution :) It is actually a bios problem. Old bios cards of this series never have vrm overheat , however with new bios of this series vrm get hot. Especilly when overclocked to high frequencies with like 1.2,5- 1.3 voltages you can see the card goes up to 100-110 vrm heat and throttles. NOW TAKE A DEEP BREATH cause I find the solution.

Sapphire uses 2 different vram types in their cards . And one of them gets hot after a certain level of overclock. and this bios ( the latest one which came with the latest part of these series) is not suitable for especially that vram users. So in a forum (a gpu mining forum actually ) I found the solution. people there mods the bad bios for the new series and makes the vrm's run 20-30 c cooler. for example mine was 90-95 at stress test and now it is 70-75:D:thumb:

you just need to go the forum and find the correct bios in the topic:

https://litecointalk.org/index.php?topic=10313.0


and also here

https://litecointalk.org/index.php?topic=12369.225


or just use the bios I use for sapphire vapor-x r9 280x:

http://www.upload.gen.tr/d.php/www/eTyTg/Sapphire_E21004_V44_K2_NT_AGR.rom.html


you can use "winflash" to flash bios in windows 8


now I am enjoying full overclock and throttleless and cool and very high performance card. :D:D

I am sure Sapphire is gonna make new bios like these people do and make it officially-solved . but if you dont want to wait sapphire to do it. just do as I tell you above :)

other 2xx card users of sapphire (and maybe other brands) can also use this as a guide especially this link gives moded bioses for each cards. :

https://litecointalk.org/index.php?topic=12369.225
 
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