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Good reason to update 5870 BIOS?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hi guys. I searched on here, and did find a little info about updating BIOS on a 5870 card, but still do not understand all the benefits yet. I know the "if it ain't broke...." saying, but I have one of the first runs of the XFX HD5870 cards from last fall. I found a link to TechPowerUp with many more newer versions.

My basic question is, Do I really need an updated BIOS for my gfx card? I am starting to play with OC'ing stuff, but don't completely understand all of it yet, and don't want to do something bad/un-needed.

Thanks, and take it easy on me... obvious NOOB here!
    
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post #2 of 10
Unless you've seen proof that newer bioses improve performance, don't bother. Not sure if the reference XFXs had overclocking limits, but thats the only reason to flash to an ASUS bios. I did with my Sapphire card, because they limited the core clocks.
     
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post #3 of 10
New BIOSes have little or nothing to do with any performance improvements. Look to driver updates for that kind of thing. Like you said, if it ain't broke, don't update the BIOS.

MrLinky is right - some reference 5870s have a BIOS lock on overclocking to something like 900/1250. You can flash with ASUS reference BIOS to get around this. Don't do this if you don't have a reference card, you'll brick it.
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post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Cool. Thanks guys.

I have not read anywhere that XFX cards benefit, but I have not found where they do not, either. Along those same lines, I don't know if I have a OC limit or not, or even how to tell that.

As far as being a reference card, that is determined by the AMD logo right where it plugs into the MB, correct? I'm pretty sure I remember seeing that.
Edited by Matt Clark - 6/11/10 at 4:10am
    
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post #5 of 10
Not sure exactly how to tell if its a reference model or not, but if you picked one up when they first launched, its gotta be and origianl reference design.

If you can't overclock the card past 900/1300 then the xfx bios limits your clocks. This is where the asus, msi, or custom xfx bios would be a good reason to flash.
     
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post #6 of 10
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post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Just looked at things after I got home. I do have a reference card (AMD logo, fan towards the end of the card), and CCC only will go up to 900/1300. I'll have to do the "OC your ATI GPU" instructions on here and see how high I can really go.

If I do not hit the ceiling of 900/1300, am I correct in assuming that I don't need to update BIOS anyway? Or would a BIOS update change things enough I can go past that barrier?
    
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post #8 of 10
Try first with the method in that thread: MSI Afterburner after setting EnableUnofficialOverclock = 1. If you can clock past 900/1300 from MSI Afterburner then, you don't need any kind of BIOS flash.

If you still have the limit after that, then you will want to flash with an Asus reference 5870 BIOS to get past the limit.
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post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Well, I just tried Afterburner like you said, and it keeps dropping things back to 400/1200. The only way I can get above 400 Core Clock, is to set it with AMD GPU Clock Tool. I can do an AutoClock thru CCC, but again, it doesn't stay over 400. I've set it at 800 & played without issues, so maybe that is a BIOS thing too?

I'm out of town all this week, so I will try the BIOS flash when I get back, and update here how I make out. Thanks again.
    
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post #10 of 10
That's not a BIOS thing. That's the PowerPlay feature of your driver. I assume you've got Catalyst 10.5. Anyway, when 3D functions are not actively being accessed, your core/mem clocks go down to 400/1200 to reduce power use/heat. (It used to go down to 137/300 with Catalyst 10.4 and previous but that's a whole other story.) Install the MSI Kombustor benchmark tool (it should be in the same .zip file as Afterburner) and run it while Afterburner is active; I bet you'll see your normal clocks.
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