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View Poll Results: Able to unlock the extra shaders on a 6950 non-reference card?
Yes, on a 2GB card 21 56.76%
Yes, on a 1GB card 6 16.22%
No, on a 2GB card 9 24.32%
No, on a 1GB card 2 5.41%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 37. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-14-2011, 01:31 PM   #1
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6950 -> 6970 Unlock Shaders on Non-Reference Cards

I take no credit for this guide, other than confirming this does work on at least 3 x MSI R6950 Twin Frozr II OC 2GB. See my GPU-Z screenshots below. The advantage is obvious - a cheaper card for less money. Many of the 6950s also come with better cooling than the reference 6970s. I have read some of the other non-reference cards may be laser locked from the factory, so this may or may not work for you. This may work with 1GB cards as well. Please report your success or failure with this mod to see how repeatable it is.

Please post below what card you used if you had success or failure.

Success:
  • MSI Twin Frozr II OC 6950 2GB
  • ASUS DirectCUII 6950 1GB
  • XFX HD-695X-ZNFC 6950 1GB (Softmod for rev VA.1 or Hardmod - YMMV)
Failure:
  • MSI Twin Frozr III 6950 2GB
  • ASUS DirectCUII 6950 1GB
  • Visiontek 6950 2GB
  • Sapphire 6950 2GB
  • HIS 6950 2GB
Since I am awesome, I am also bundling the unlock for the MSI R6950 Twin Frozr II OC 2GB in a zip file at the bottom to make this dead simple. Simply extract it to a folder, double-click on "unlockrom.bat" and reboot when it prompts you. I do not recommend you use this on any other card, because the memory timings may be different, especially for 1GB cards. Any damage to your card using this zip file is solely your responsibility and Extreme Overclocking and I accept no liability.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bystander@THG
Since I have not yet seen a good instructional guide on how to unlock the shaders of the Radeon HD 6950's, I figured I'd write a guide of my own. Be aware that this process does entail some risks and is not for everyone.

By now, we have all see loads of posts about how to flash the 6970 bios onto a 6950 card. This is the first guide I believe most of have seen: http://www.techpowerup.com/articles/...ng/vidcard/159

After following the discussion thread, it was learned that some people had been damaging their video RAM after continuous use. It is a small amount, but even a small amount is not good. I believe it was rui0317 who came up with a method to alter a few numbers in the bios that would unlock the shaders, but not alter anything else in the bios. This meant the video ram timings, fan profiles and clocks are all left alone. W1zzard packaged it up in a nice batch file to help modify a BIOS to unlock the shaders. I found that here: http://www.techpowerup.com/forums/sh...137136&page=15

I have personally used the following method on an XFX 6950 reference model, and an MSI R6950 Twin Frozr II which doesn't have a bios switch, and does not function with a reference bios. Others are having success with this method without the dual bios switch and with or without reference boards.

Step 1) Download ATI Winflash: http://www.techpowerup.com/downloads..._2.0.1.13.html (The newest version has been reported to not work).
2) Install winflash in the root directory (i.e. C:\winflash)
3) Download the script to modify the bios and extract it: www.techpowerup.com/wizzard/Mod_BIOS_HD_6950.zip
4) If you have a BIOS switch, set it to the 1 position (switched towards the back of the card)
5) Run ATI Winflash, click "Save" to save your BIOS, be sure to make a copy of this and save it some where safe in case some thing goes wrong.
6) Make a copy of the saved BIOS and rename the copy to "original.bin"
6.a) If you cannot see the file extensions, you need to open the Folder Options in the control panel and uncheck the option "Hide extensions for known file types"
7) Copy the "original.bin" file to the script folder "Mod_BIOS_HD_6950"
8) Execute the "run.bat" batch file
9) Look in the folder "Mod_BIOS_HD_6950" and copy the file "modded.bin" to the folder you installed ATI Winflash in (C:\winflash)
10) Open up the command prompt (Start->All Programs->Accessories) you may have to right click and run as adminstrator
11) Change to the ATI Winflash directory with the command "cd C:\winflash" or what ever directory you saved it in
12) Type "atiwinflash -unlockrom 0" (the "0" stands for the first PCIe card installed, "1" will work for the 2nd card)
13) Type "atiwinflash -f -p 0 modded.bin" (the "0" stands for the first PCIe card installed, "1" will work for the 2nd card)
WARNING: do not turn off your computer until step 13 is completely finished.
You should have successfully installed the modified BIOS. You will see a window pop up to say it was verified and ask you to reboot if everything went as planned.
14) To verify that you succeeded in unlocking the shaders, use GPU-Z and look to see that you have 1536 Unified shaders.

If your system becomes unstable after you reboot, you'll have to reflash the original saved BIOS back onto the card following steps 10-13 and using the "original.bin" BIOS in place of "modded.bin".

If you cannot boot from this card and have the dual BIOS switch, switch it to the number 2 position, and boot up and right before you flash the original BIOS back, flip the switch to the number 1 position.

If you don't have a dual BIOS switch and you cannot boot up from the card, remove the card from your system, install it in a 2nd PCIe slot and install a working card in the first slot. You can then boot up from the first card. After you boot up, you can install the drivers for the 1st video card but not for the one that you just attempted to modify the BIOS on. Do not reboot if requested. Now follow steps 10-13 using the "original.bin" BIOS you saved and using "1" in place of "0" for the commands you type. The "1" is so that the 2nd card is flashed and not the 1st card which is not the one you wish to flash. Be very careful to use "1"s and not "0"s this time, because the card is no longer in the 1st PCIe slot.

If you still have trouble, boot in safe mode, open up the device manager and uninstall the bricked card from the list of display adapters. Reboot into windows and you should not be able to flash the card back to it's original BIOS. (I bricked my XFX 6950 reference card and tested that I could recover from a bricked card, and I could. I had the dual BIOS switch had things gone wrong, but this was a good test incase you do this without a dual BIOS switch).

Good luck, but please be careful and be aware of the risks involved in modifying your BIOS.
Source

Edit: Hardmod also available for write-protected (Unable to erase ROM/ERROR 0FL01) cards in post #13.
Attached Thumbnails
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Attached Files
File Type: zip MSI_6950_FrozrII_2GB_ShaderUnlock.zip (455.0 KB, 842 views)
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Old 06-14-2011, 01:45 PM   #2
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Will be trying this on XFX HD-695X-ZNFC Radeon HD 6950 1GB tomorrow.
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Old 06-14-2011, 01:59 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlaveOnDope View Post
Will be trying this on XFX HD-695X-ZNFC Radeon HD 6950 1GB tomorrow.

Subbin' this up. If my mining rakes in good enough cash this month I'll be using it to buy another miner and it will likely be an XFX 6950.

My 585x-ZNFC ended up having voltage control so hopefully that means the x-ZNFC's are the cards to get from XFX.
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Old 06-14-2011, 03:11 PM   #4
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Making me want to ditch my 470 and go to two 6950s....

Alas, I may just hack my PC to run SLI.
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Old 06-14-2011, 03:46 PM   #5
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Didn't work for my non-reference design. My BIOS is apparently also non-reference so it's not going to work. Neither RBE nor the script can unlock the shaders. RBE greys the area out and the script says it can't find the byte sequence.

I'm not surprised by this at all, being this is the cheapest HD 6950 on the market. I'm surprised that I even have voltage control with it.
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Old 06-14-2011, 04:36 PM   #6
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Old 06-14-2011, 04:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WiCKeD View Post
HIS? 10char
Indeed it is.
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Old 06-14-2011, 04:52 PM   #8
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If it is this one, it shares the same PCB as this HIS 6970 Turbo. I would try flashing to this BIOS. Make sure to have a PCI VGA card on hand if it fails. I think you can also recover using that second 5850.

As a tip for anyone where the OP does not work for, look for a similar 6970 PCB on Newegg and try flashing to the matching 6970 BIOS. TechPowerUp has a collection of them. That's how we did this back in the day...

Edit: I can confirm that the MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III PE/OC 2GB version with dual bios switch is not unlockable, unfortunately. I have tried this method and several others. Possibly still modifiable with the MSI Lightning 6970 BIOS, but it is not publicly available yet. Hopefully someone will upload it to the TechPowerUp database.
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Old 06-14-2011, 09:12 PM   #9
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Using RBE, I have been able to unlock the shaders on my reference V1.2 XFX 6950 2GB with success. It has the pre-2nd revision board so it has the dual BIOS switch.

I didnt try the OP's method but it sure looks simpler than using RBE.
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Old 06-15-2011, 12:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WiCKeD View Post
If it is this one, it shares the same PCB as this HIS 6970 Turbo. I would try flashing to this BIOS. Make sure to have a PCI VGA card on hand if it fails. I think you can also recover using that second 5850.

As a tip for anyone where the OP does not work for, look for a similar 6970 PCB on Newegg and try flashing to the matching 6970 BIOS. TechPowerUp has a collection of them. That's how we did this back in the day...

Edit: I can confirm that the MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III PE/OC 2GB version with dual bios switch is not unlockable, unfortunately. I have tried this method and several others. Possibly still modifiable with the MSI Lightning 6970 BIOS, but it is not publicly available yet. Hopefully someone will upload it to the TechPowerUp database.
Tried that and bricked the card. Unfortunately I did not save the BIOS beforehand because I thought I did, but it was in fact another backup of my HD 5850's BIOS. I'm now in dire need of the H695FN2G2M BIOS, because it doesn't seem to be available online.
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Old 06-15-2011, 12:14 AM   #11
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good idea for a thread. I was wondering if it's possible w/ any cards on the market.

I had no probs w/ xfx 2gb ref when they came out.

Cheers, Tomek
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Old 06-15-2011, 02:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sephious View Post
Tried that and bricked the card. Unfortunately I did not save the BIOS beforehand because I thought I did, but it was in fact another backup of my HD 5850's BIOS. I'm now in dire need of the H695FN2G2M BIOS, because it doesn't seem to be available online.
Sorry to hear that... Try any of the other HIS BIOSes. You have nothing to lose.

I have seen people talking about successfully unlocking shaders on 1GB cards so it definitely is possible. Worth investigating further, if you are looking to save more money.
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Old 06-15-2011, 11:43 PM   #13
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HardMod Unlock

XFX HD-695X-ZNFC VA.3 Radeon HD 6950 1GB

XFX is being stubborn about letting you flash their bios now. It's a hardware level lock out and whenever you attempt to flash you will be greeted with ERROR 0FL01 unable to write. Even using -unlockrom or -f commands.

Pm25LV010 is the problem.

Solution



Result



Progress 900mhz on stock 1.1v
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Last edited by SlaveOnDope; 09-14-2011 at 09:56 PM.
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Old 06-15-2011, 11:55 PM   #14
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very nice
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Old 06-16-2011, 12:48 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlaveOnDope View Post
XFX HD-695X-ZNFC VA.3 Radeon HD 6950 1GB

XFX is being stubborn about letting you flash their bios now. It's a hardware level lock out and whenever you attempt to flash you will be greeted with ERROR 0FL01 unable to write. Even using -unlockrom or -f commands.
That's the exact problem I'm having with my bricked HD 6950. It won't flash any BIOS no matter what, but I successfully flashed two different BIOSes before this happened. Super weird.
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Old 06-16-2011, 03:18 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sephious View Post
That's the exact problem I'm having with my bricked HD 6950. It won't flash any BIOS no matter what, but I successfully flashed two different BIOSes before this happened. Super weird.
Ive seen others report the same. Your pcb has the same or similar hardware lock bios in the same location. If you do the mod you will be able to flash again.
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Old 06-16-2011, 09:22 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlaveOnDope View Post
Ive seen others report the same. Your pcb has the same or similar hardware lock bios in the same location. If you do the mod you will be able to flash again.
I've got it all taken care of as of this point, but it'll definitely be useful in the future if I decide to try to flash again.

Thanks a lot for the post!
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Old 06-16-2011, 08:31 PM   #18
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I am planning to flash my non-ref Sapphire 6950 2GB. I am a bit paranoid about it and want to be sure I'm doing everything correctly. Card clocks great right now at 1010mhz core/1330mhz++ mem @ 1.3v (watercooled with fan on vreg).

That one :
http://ncix.com/products/?sku=60346&...cture=SAPPHIRE

I've used RBE to make a backup of my stock bios and a modded one.
Both are in the .zip file. If anyone got a bit of spare time to check if both are fine. (Is it ok to rename the .rom ?)

Do you flash them in windows orwith a dos thumbdrive ?

Thanks
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Old 06-16-2011, 08:34 PM   #19
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You can flash in Windows or via bootable thumb drive. Doesn't make a difference. ATIWinFlash can do everything ATIFlash can, via the commandline.

ROM/BIN doesn't make a difference. They'll both work fine.
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Old 06-16-2011, 08:37 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sephious View Post
You can flash in Windows or via bootable thumb drive. Doesn't make a difference. ATIWinFlash can do everything ATIFlash can, via the commandline.

ROM/BIN doesn't make a difference. They'll both work fine.
Both of my bios are ok to flash ? (paranoid much )

What to do if it fails

EDIT

meh, just noticed that stock.rom is actually the 6970 modded one.
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4GB Buffalo Firestix DDR2 @ 1104mhz
Asus P5Q Pro + Sapphire 6950 (1015/1300)
60GB Ocz Vertex2 + 6 x 2TB WD Carviar Green Raid0+1
Asus Xonar DX + AKG K702 + M-Audio AV40
Cooler Master 1000w Silent Pro Gold + HAF932
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