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Successfully Unlocked: Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 2GB (100312-3SR)

elgrandeburro

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Greetings all.

Recently I bought a Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 2GB Dirt 3 Edition (100312-3SR). It seems that most people haven't had any luck unlocking the shaders on this card.

However I've had some success and wanted to share. This isn't a complete guide, just the steps I took:

Part 1:
  1. Set the bios switch to the position that is furthest away from the crossfire connector.
  2. Backed up the card's bios with RBE, and named it: unmodified-bios_1.rom
  3. Copied the backup to the atiwinflash folder, and named it: modified-bios_shaders_1.rom
  4. Loaded modified-bios-shaders_1.rom into RBE
  5. In RBE, selected: Additional features
  6. Under Unlock 6950 -> 6970, selected: 6970 shader count
  7. Saved the bios, in the atiwinflash directory, as: modified-bios-shaders_2.rom

Part 2:
  1. When I tried to flash the bios with RBE, it errored out: "Unknown! Invalid BIOS or adapter selected. If this error persists, try using WinFlash itself."
  2. I read that having UAC set to its lowest setting might be needed, so I did that. Whether or not it made a difference, I don't know, as I moved to the next steps right after this one.
  3. Tried flashing the bios with atiwinflash (via the gui), but received the error: "Cannot Erase ROM"
  4. Therefore I chose to open a Command Prompt (be sure to run it as administrator).
  5. Navigated to the atiwinflash folder.
  6. Entered (where 0 is the number of your adapter): atiwinflash -unlockrom 0
  7. Entered: atiwinflash -f -p 0 modified-bios-shaders_2.rom
  8. The flash completed successfully and I think I was prompted to shutdown/reboot.

Part 3:
  1. Shut the computer down for 30 seconds to a minute and flipped the PSU power switch off.
  2. Booted the computer up, ran GPU-Z to check the shader count, which displayed: 1536 Unified
  3. Used Sapphire Trixx to modify the "Core Clock" and "Memory Clock" settings, to 880 and 1375, respectively.
  4. Re-enabled UAC to its default setting.
  5. 3 Cheers for success!


I haven't played too much with the GPU voltage setting, nor other methods of ramping up the core and memory clocks, but I dig the progress made so far. Something else worth noting, is that I bought this card on 2011-08-08 (Y/M/D), therefore it seems like there's a good chance you can get a card without the shaders being physically disabled.


Hope this helps others.

Cheers.
 
Last edited:

slippy1010

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Thankyou :respect:

Thats my HD 6950 2gb 'Dirt 3 Edition' unlocked.
I tried every method out there and I couldnt get it to work, until now.


For the people who need to unlockrom and fail at command line:

- Unpack the Winflash download onto your desktop in a folder called "winflash"
- Save the modded BIOS in your Winflash folder
- Click Start Button
- Type "cmd"
- Right click the entry and select "Run as Administrator"
- Black command prompt windows opens
- Type "cd %USERPROFILE%\desktop\winflash"
- Type "atiwinflash -unlockrom 0" <-- the 0 means first adapter, if you have multiple cards, physically uninstall all but the one you want to flash
- Type "atiwinflash -f -p 0 modified-bios-shaders_2.rom"
- It should complete the flashing process with a message saying something with "verified".
 

LordJummy

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This is like seriously old news. (the method I mean). It's been in wiz's official 6950 unlocking guide since I can recall.

However, congratulations on your unlocks gentlemen!
 
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Oh come now its only been 8 months. :)
 

slippy1010

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This is like seriously old news. (the method I mean). It's been in wiz's official 6950 unlocking guide since I can recall.

However, congratulations on your unlocks gentlemen!


For some reason I could never get my card to unlock, till now.
 
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For some reason I could never get my card to unlock, till now.
I had an issue on my previous motherboard, it did not want to boot the card after flashing, my current one it behaves as expected.
 

slippy1010

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I have two of these cards. One of them wont unlock, the other unlocked easy.

My first card wouldnt unlock either, but that card died after being 3 weeks old.
Now that Ive got a new second card, that unlocked with no problems.
 

Corduroy_Jr

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My first card wouldnt unlock either, but that card died after being 3 weeks old.
Now that Ive got a new second card, that unlocked with no problems.

i can tell your not very smart one blowing a 6950 and second running your rig with only a 500 power supply
 

LordJummy

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i can tell your not very smart one blowing a 6950 and second running your rig with only a 500 power supply

This post is not only rude, but totally unnecessary. How do you know he "blew" the card? Could have been defective. Also - 500W is probably plenty for his setup. While I don't bother using less than a 650w in even my htpc I don't see a problem with his setup.
 

slippy1010

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i can tell your not very smart one blowing a 6950 and second running your rig with only a 500 power supply


The system was totally standard, no overclocking on the card, motherboard or cpu.
The card just decided to not work one day.
 
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elgrandeburro

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Yeah, the content of my post is pretty old news in general. However I noticed numerous reports of the inability to unlock the shaders on this specific card, so it seemed worth sharing.

Cheers.
 

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The system was totally standard, no overclocking on the card, motherboard or cpu.
The card just decided to not work one day.

I'm surprised you can even run two cards on 500w.. And whats the point of having two of them with a standard CPU, your cards would be so bottlenecked it's not even funny.
 

slippy1010

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I'm surprised you can even run two cards on 500w.. And whats the point of having two of them with a standard CPU, your cards would be so bottlenecked it's not even funny.


You picked me up wrong, I should of worded it better.

My first 6950 died after 3 weeks old, then it was replaced with another new 6950.
So now Im on my second 6950, Ive only one card fitted in my system.

Now Im running my 955BE @ 4180mhz and the unlocked 6950 @ 840/1325
Im running the gpu clocks low at the moment, in time I will turn them up slowly.
 
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LordJummy

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You picked me up wrong, I should of worded it better.

My first 6950 died after 3 weeks old, then it was replaced with another new 6950.
So now Im on my second 6950, Ive only one card fitted in my system.

Now Im running my 955BE @ 4180mhz and the unlocked 6950 @ 840/1325
Im running the gpu clocks low at the moment, in time I will turn them up slowly.

I think it was worded just fine. I easily understood what you meant, and knew you were only running one card.
 
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I think it was worded just fine. I easily understood what you meant, and knew you were only running one card.

I believe he was referring to this guy:

I'm surprised you can even run two cards on 500w.. And whats the point of having two of them with a standard CPU, your cards would be so bottlenecked it's not even funny.
 

LordJummy

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You picked me up wrong, I should of worded it better.

My first 6950 died after 3 weeks old, then it was replaced with another new 6950.
So now Im on my second 6950, Ive only one card fitted in my system.

Now Im running my 955BE @ 4180mhz and the unlocked 6950 @ 840/1325
Im running the gpu clocks low at the moment, in time I will turn them up slowly.
No worries, I tend to skip posts lol. Sounds good. I run mine with 6970 clocks, and have ran them as high as 935/1400.
 

donnellb

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What GPU model do you see.

What GPU model do you see. GPU-Z is showing Antilles for the GPU whcih I think is the 6990. When I installed the card in the PC it came up as a 6990 at first. After installing the driver it shows as a 6900 Series. I tried to unlock the shaers. But after it flashes the extra shaders don't show in GPU-Z. Anyone else getting this with the Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 2GB (100312-3SR). I also just got this from newegg. 09/08/2011. I will attach a GPU-Z Screen capture.
 

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LordJummy

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Weird. I thought none of the batches after May 2011 can be unlocked...

A lot of newer ones can be unlocked, just requires a modification of the original BIOS in most cases. The new cards aren't as flexible where any unlocked BIOS would work.
 

XplodedSynapses

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Flashing with Winflash after modding with RBE

i have a Gigabyte 6950 1Gb OC'd edition card. i like it. i read about unlocking shaders and flashing the Bios with the hardware mod on the BIOS chip. i have flashed my card unsuccessfully 6 times. Each posed a different problem as i learned the hard way how Checksums and 6970 BIOs's will affect my card.
i was able to return the original BIOS and the card operates as the OC edition it was intended to. i am not upset with the instructions i have read over and over. i don't recall who posted that the problem is that the several different instruction sets and BIOS editions are confusing folks, i think it's more that there are some issues somewhere in the re-saving of the BIOS with RBE after modifying to flash with atiwinflash. Every single time i tried to save the modded BIOS, whether i changed the name to 'something else.rom' or retained the name RBE wanted to call it '2D - 250, 150, 0.9 3D - 870, 1250, - - -.rom' i had BSOD's, confused information in GPU-Z and even at one point my card was UNKNOWN.
i slipped into safe mode each time, uninstalled the card which identified itself as AMD Radeon HD 6900 Series. Restarted and allowed Windows 7 (64bit) to install the generic VGA drivers, at which point i was able to use atiwinflash in CMD, since it still registered on the board as PCI-e16 card 0 and as a 6900 series card.
Each flash i attempted to resolve the problems by altering what information i had changed and tried to learn where the conflict seemed to be. What i have found may not be the exact problem, but it seems to me it's when i save the BIOS as a modded.rom with RBE, it's missing information. i have a screen shot where GPU-Z indicates i have a Gigabyte card (manufacturer ID 1458) AMD Radeon 6900 Series/ 4ROPs, 704 Unified shaders, 1.0 GPixel/s Pixel Fillrate, Bandwidth 19.2 GB/s- which is all incorrect information. It's almost as though RBE culls the title of the file from the BIN file and all the information gets moved 'up', so to speak.
i am a little frazzled by the ordeal where i was certain i bricked the card when the card came up UNKNOWN. i made it through and now have it operating at spec.
Is there another tool i can modify the BIOS with that WON'T drop information from the file when i save it?
i want to thank all of you have have worked so hard to develop concise instructions and work arounds. This is the very first gaming computer i have built where i am flashing BIOS's and overclocking. So far, i have been able to recover each screw up and so far, i am happy with the experience.
If anyone has any ideas on this, please let me know. i will be watching the thread.
 

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XplodedSynapses

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Re-Flash #8

Seems i finally had a successful Flash of the BIOS where the system didn't go haywire, but i still only have 1408 unified shaders. Damn it, anyways. i know there will be someone who figures out why the shaders don't unlock. i don't think i side with the laser cutting theory, nor do i believe that all whose shaders are just bad ones... in the same region... 128 of them ALL the time.
Maybe fused, huh?
Ehh, well. AfterBurner is gonna get a work out- after i unlock the unofficialoverclockingmode.
Any suggestions are welcome.
Thanks again.
 
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I've got a similar issue with my new 6950. It's a sapphire dual fan that is exactly the same as the dirt 3 edition 2gb model. When I copied and saved bios 1 (the not back up one) RBE said it already had the shaders enabled in the bios but GPU-Z still read 6950 shaders same as when I checked it with the bios switch in the other position after a reboot. Is there any other bios tweaking that I need to do to get this to work?
 
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