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Risks of flashing a HD 6950 into a 6970

By Atham
Jul 24, 2011
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  1. What are the risks of flashing a HD 6950 into a 6970, using a MSI RADEON R6950 Twin Frozr III OC? I am kind of afraid to what might happen.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 4,367   +125

  3. Atham

    Atham TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 520

    What is the chance of breaking my card?
  4. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,848   +679

    That kind of depends on how proficient you are at BIOS-flashing.

    IMO, if you're worried that you could turn the card into a doorstop, then don't do it.

    The gains are minimal even if you unlock the shaders. On the plus side, if the flash doesn't take- or the GPU becomes unstable due to the enabled shader block being defective, you can revert to the stock BIOS with a flick of the switch,
    Weigh up if you think the performance gain is worthwhile (1536 shader 6870 divided by 1440 shader 6950 = +6.7%) against the level of comfort you feel at doing the BIOS flash.
  5. Ultiweap

    Ultiweap TS Enthusiast Posts: 742

    Sorry to be a little out of subject...but what is the purpose of flashing a card? It will only slightly push the card but in temperatures the card will go higher i'm wrong?
  6. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 4,367   +125

    Of course, it's much more desirable to use integrated graphics; then you won't have much of a problem with heat at all.
    Oh wait, then you'll get less performance.

    Though, that's not to say Ultiweap doesn't have a point. The gains are minimal.
  7. Ultiweap

    Ultiweap TS Enthusiast Posts: 742

    I agree with you it is better than integrated graphics that's 100% sure.. But me I won't go for flashing my card I would rather overclock it.
  8. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 4,367   +125

    So, does overclocking not increase heat?
  9. Ultiweap

    Ultiweap TS Enthusiast Posts: 742

    Yes it increase heat but there is no such risk as flashing...with overcloking the card you are less at risk of damaging your card as much as you check the temp well.
  10. klepto12

    klepto12 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,364   +9

    IMO it is worth it you gain anywhere from 10 to 15% increases from the flash i think its worth it.
  11. Mizzou

    Mizzou TS Enthusiast Posts: 930

    Good article on how to perform the flashing to unlock the 6950 at LegitReviews.

    Quick summary of performance gains you can expect below.

    [​IMG]

    There's always an element of risk with flashing or overclocking for that matter, if you're not willing to take that risk then you should probably buy a HD 6970.
     
  12. Atham

    Atham TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 520

    I see. I might get the sapphire hd 6950 Dirt 3 Edition, as it is cheaper. I don't think it can be unlocked as it isn't a reference model, right?
  13. Mizzou

    Mizzou TS Enthusiast Posts: 930

    Not according to this review on techradar, Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 Dirt 3 Edition.

  14. Atham

    Atham TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 520

    It is one of the coolest hd 6950s. So overclocking would be better with this card than with the reference model, right?
  15. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,848   +679

    There are a few pro's and cons either way.

    Reference design uses good quality components across all vendor models (all the cards are made by PC Partner) but run hot and loud. Tolerable in a single card setup with moderate-to-good chassis cooling.
    Non-reference card fall into two categories; factory OC (DirectCuII, TFIII, Windforce etc) which tend to be more expensive, but have beefed up power regulation and dual-fans (fairly cool and quiet.)
    The second category is non-reference with standard clock rates and a single fan. These frequently sell at a lower price point because the vendor has reduced the build quality from the original reference design -cheaper VRM's, lower number of phases, and a PCB of reduced number of layers make the card cheaper to produce. It also makes the card less likely to have any significant overclocking headroom (hence the vendor removing shader unlocking).

    One other point to remember is that the 6950 uses the same 5Gb GDDR5 that the 5000 series cards utilise, while a true 6970 uses the uprated 6Gb GDDR5 memory chips - hence the number of 6950 unlocking "failures" being largely down to the flashed-6950 not being able to hold the 6970's "stock" 5500MHz memory speed.
  16. trifectangum

    trifectangum TS Rookie

    why go higher than 6950 anyway?


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