When I originally read this I thought that the modified ram timings meant that someone had taken the 290X bios modified it to work with 4GB of ram and then on top of that modified it to work better for the 290X Hynix or Elipida ram. Then reading a few posts up it seems that the ram timings are timings from the 390X...
Is that the case?
Doesn't anyone remember people ruining their 6950 from running an unmodified 6970 bios simply because the ram timings where different and so it slowly destroyed the cards. Cards would run fine but slowly start having issues. The bios change was to get the extra shaders.
So what are these timings from?
Would could we ask about possibly getting the 290X factory timings put into these BIOSes?
It is totally possible that the faster benchmarks are from running tighter timings and although you might not expect that to ruin the ram because it wouldn't ruin the ram on a PC that is apparently not the case for GDDR5 as like I just mentioned it has ruined 6950s... it was completely possible to instead modify a 6950 bios to get the shaders and leave the timings alone BUT this time around thats not going to be the case. TOO MUCH is different in the 390 bios for anyone to have a CLUE what AMD really did. So IMO the absolute best bet is to change as much as possible to match up with the stock 290X bios. Timings, voltages, GPU speeds, even idle speeds and voltages...
If AMD actually improved this bios in truly special ways then we shouldn't need to keep voltages, timings and idle things from the 390 bios... those shouldn't be what make the BIOS BETTER since those are things that are simple enough to change with the current bios editors anyways.
IF there are any actual bios improvements by AMD that matter to us they are not found in those settings.
You asked about if anyone had a guide to modifying these BIOSes... It seams one certainly does exist.
Right now I am dealing with both of my grandparents being recently diagnosed with cancer and I have to drive them back and fourth between appointments and procedures so this is not something I have time to read over and experiment with. BUT THIS IS THE LINKhttp://www.overclock.net/t/1561372/hawaii-bios-editing-290-290x-295x2-390-390x/0_20
From what little I have read through this is NOT hard at all BUT you need to pay attention!!! Especially with the voltages because verbally the rules that they explain contradict each other on accident (just not written well ie they knew what they where talking about but wrote it down wrong).
This is something where if your not very very careful about getting stuff in the correct spot and the correct way that you can get lost and confused very quickly and unfortunately I am quite certain that a mistake or two in these bioses is not going to cause the card to stop working... instead it will just cause very hard to diagnose tiny little issues or performance problems since much of this stuff is dynamic.
IF you have the time to set up the virtual machine and play around with this and possibly collaborate with others I would highly recommend that you work on 2 bioses.
One with the stock IDLE and LOAD speeds and voltages as well as stock memory timings from a reference 290X as well as one that has enhanced voltages that would allow people to overclock there GPUs simply by bumping up the speed and power target in CCC and not have to mess with voltage from MSI Afterburner.
I have not had time to really read through and debate with the guys who devised the memory timings but I just don't see timings as something safe to play with. To my knowledge AMD never made different bioses for elpida and hynix ram and given the issues that occured in the 6950s i don't feel it is safe to mess with the timings UNLESS someone knows what it was about those timings that destroyed the cards and knows how to avoid that issue with the 290X mods.Edited by givmedew - 8/27/15 at 10:34pm