HD 6950 to 6970 Compatibility?

Discussion in 'Videocards - AMD Radeon' started by mf2385, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. mf2385

    mf2385 Banned

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    Hey guys I am going to pick up a new HD 6950 2GB video card for my new upgraded system soon and was wondering if it is any 2GB HD 6950 I can pick up now and unlock to an HD 6970 shaders and bios? Also it's basically the same performance as a stock HD 6970 once flashed and bios is changed?

    For instance would this Sapphire HD 6950 2GB be unlockable to full HD 6970 specs and everything?

    http://cgi.ebay.com/NIB-Sapphire-HD...455?pt=PCC_Video_TV_Cards&hash=item2a1304e597

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2011
  2. Psycho101

    Psycho101 Master Guru

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    As far as I can gather from my research (been thinking about Crossfire 6950 > 6970 for a second build), unless the cards have the stock cooler, a dual BIOS switch and a completely reference PCB, you're not going to be certain of an unlock.

    By stock PCB I mean the standard red PCB with "AMD" printed above the PCIe connector.

    You can probably still unlock the shaders on that card, but a full 6950 > 6970 conversion would be less likely.
     
  3. mf2385

    mf2385 Banned

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    Last edited: Aug 14, 2011
  4. Psycho101

    Psycho101 Master Guru

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    Yep, the Saphire does have a dual Bios, but from the pictures it's not a 100% reference PCB. The only difference may be the colour, or it may not. Unless anyone else has successfully flashed this exact card to a 6970, it's going to be an unknown.

    From the notes in the pictures of the second card you linked (from Amazon):
    To me, that means it's not 6950 > 6970 unlockable.

    There are two types of unlock, flashing a 6950 with a 6970 BIOS to get a true 6970 in all but name and a missing 8 pin PCIe power plug and just a simple shader unlock. The seller on Amazon is saying the card is shader unlockable, not flashable to a 6970.

    Virtually all 6950 2GB versions can be shader unlocked, but only true reference cards that meet certain criteria can be directly flashed to a 6970.
     

  5. mf2385

    mf2385 Banned

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    Gotcha man, I have to find a reference HD 6950 2GB then.. They are getting hard to find any help would be appreciated.
     
  6. Alpha

    Alpha Master Guru

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    Edit: there are a lot of custom 6950 which can be unlocked.
     
  7. mf2385

    mf2385 Banned

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    Unlocked to full HD 6970 or just shaders? If anyone knows a link to where I can snatch a ref 6950 2GB to full unlock to 6970 please link me! :)
     
  8. teleguy

    teleguy Maha Guru

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    Does it really make a difference if you fully unlock the card or just unlock the shaders and raise the clocks manually?
     
  9. Alpha

    Alpha Master Guru

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  10. mf2385

    mf2385 Banned

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    Yeah does it matter? I was kind of wondering the same thing? I guess if you just unlock the shaders and OC to 880 Core Clock it's the same thing right taking into account the bandwidth and everything right? Would it be the same doing it that way too?

    I guess if you just bios flash it it does it for you is that the difference?
     

  11. Psycho101

    Psycho101 Master Guru

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    No, it doesn't make a huge difference, however mf2385 was talking about a full unlock, which I take to mean a direct flash with a 6970 BIOS. If that were done to one of the cards linked it could well brick it, which is why I posted the information that I did.

    The MSI Twin FrozrIII unlocks viia a custom BIOS created by MSI themselves. On the very page you linked to there's a whole paragraph stating that some people have had cards that failed to unlock and all they got was an increase in OC limits, no extra shaders, so even that card is not a sure fire guaranteed 1536 shader 6950.

    The best way to unlock shaders requires a BIOS flash too. Difference being, all the flash does is unlock shaders and in some cases increase OC limits. Flashing to a 6970 changes much more, including vendor ID, VRAM timings etc.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2011
  12. mf2385

    mf2385 Banned

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    What I was saying was it it basically the same thing unlocking the shaders and overclocking to 6970 clock speeds from an HD 6950 as flashing to full 6970 bios?

    @Psycho101 Oh ok gotcha VRam timings and everything hmm ok, well hmm people are saying it's a lot safer just to unlock to 6970 shaders and overclock manually to 6970 and vram on it since the old ref boards came with better memory and the newer models have memory that has fried with full unlocks.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2011
  13. Psycho101

    Psycho101 Master Guru

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    Yep. To be honest that's pretty much what I decided to do.

    Some do prefer to seek out direct flashable cards for some reason.

    For the majority of people, unlocking the shaders and the OC limit will suffice. I guess the only thing you don't get with that is the ability to say "I paid for a 6950 and got a 6970", so bragghing rights basically. Some had issues with direct flashing too as the VRAM on their 6950's couldn't handle 6970 timings.

    Reason for that would likely be that AIB's sourced cheaper/lower binned VRAM for the 6950's due to it not needing to be clocked as high etc.

    If you still did want to get a true reference 6950 2GB, your best bet would be a small independant PC shop that has a low stock turnover. There are a couple of places near me for example. One guy still had 15 true reference 6950's last time I went in a month or so ago. Other than that, ebay might turn up something.
     
  14. BlackZero

    BlackZero Ancient Guru

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    It doesn't have to be a red pcb just have the amd written above the pci-e connector to be reference. My card's pcb is black.

    http://xfxforce.com/en-gb/products/graphiccards/hd 6000series/6950Standard.aspx
     
  15. mf2385

    mf2385 Banned

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    Can somebody find me somewhere online I can order one? It'd be muchly appreciated and I'm looking on Ebay as well. Basically what would be my best bet right now for getting an HD 6950 2GB and unlocking it to 6970.
     

  16. BlackZero

    BlackZero Ancient Guru

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  17. mf2385

    mf2385 Banned

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  18. BlackZero

    BlackZero Ancient Guru

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    I unlocked to a full 6970 first but now just have the shaders unlocked and overclock whenever I need to.
     
  19. mf2385

    mf2385 Banned

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    Oh why did you go back? Was it overheating or something?
     
  20. BlackZero

    BlackZero Ancient Guru

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    Didn't have any issues just read that the memory timings might be too tight so flashed to just unlocked shaders and left it after that.
     

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