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NOS HD5870 reference without voltage control

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Yes, I know these cards usually came with a Volterra chip to control GPU voltage. I owned an HIS 5850 reference not long ago, and found one of these 5870 cards in NOS for cheap. It arrived today, and came with an older reference BIOS. Voltage could not be adjusted. So I started to flashing the card, going through 5 or 6 different versions, until one of them provided me unlocked (in this case, overclocked, too) settings.

I ended up settling on an MSI 5870 Lightning BIOS, and it works well, all things are unlocked, except voltage regulation. None of the BIOS versions I tried (any Asus, ATI, or MSI based one I could find) opened that option up. I'm considering using RBE to just adjust voltage ramps manually and then test the card, but I'd rather have a good clue of what is going on before I set things more in stone. Plus, I already went through saving the card from a dead BIOS (one of the Asus files was improperly labeled and meant for a V2 board).

Anyway, has anyone else come across a reference 5870 that could not adjust voltage with an open BIOS? Currently I'm using Afterburner to adjust, and it's worked in the past, and is setup for unofficial overclocking, but no go on voltages. Not a huge deal for me, since the card runs just fine at 920/1260 Core/RAM, but I'd just like a tad more control, and would also like to know that I don't have some sheep in wolf's clothing of a card (or that I'm crazy in thinking all reference cards had adjustable voltage levels).

Thanks!
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Sovereign
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post #2 of 4

If you are sure it's a reference original design, they all have software voltage control. If it doesn't have voltage register or grey out in RBE, most probably it's not a reference dsesign. If it has Voltage control, you can use any tweak apps such as Afterburner, Trixx, Giga OC guru or Asus Smart Doctor to alter the voltage.

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post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
I would say it's reference, as the cooler is the radial flow fan (squirrel cage) toward the far end, and the power connectors are on the side edge (not the end, as I've seen in non-reference designs). Afterburner won't allow voltage control, and I have not yet looked at the card with RBE to see if that's even grayed out.
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post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Update on this:

I've spent some time trying more BIOS models, and checking them with RBE. I was able to get the unlocked Asus BIOS on the card without it failing (as it had before), and the clocks were unlocked. Voltage is still grayed out in Afterburner, after reinstalling it, drives, etc. Fan profiles and clocks work fine, though. Currently using RBE to mess with the voltage tables, and it helps some, but I don't know if anything is actually changed (as I have not taken a DMM to the card yet) since overclocking is still pretty limited to around 950/1300 core/RAM, which is an improvement, making me think something is working. *shrug* This is not a big deal, and the card runs well enough...just is a weird situation.

Oh, and half my troubles with booting with the card at all came from the onboard video, despite being disabled, not actually switching off so the 5870 would send signal.

This is a reference card, but just an odd duck, I guess, or else ATI somehow managed to use a black PCB with reference cooler, and edge power connectors, and make it a non-reference board tongue.gif
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Sovereign
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