Modded R9 390X BIOS for R9 290/290X (Updated 02/16/2016) - Page 2 - Overclock.net - An Overclocking Community

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Modded R9 390X BIOS for R9 290/290X (Updated 02/16/2016)

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post #11 of 2217 (permalink) Old 07-15-2015, 04:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Faster_is_better View Post

I see you posted in the guru3d forum and got some new 390x BIOS to try. Have you done any tests with those compared to the original BIOS? This is a bit interesting. I already need to flash one of my cards, but if this flashing to a 390x BIOS is a thing, with free performance, that would be cool. biggrin.gif

Haha you saw that did you? As a matter of fact I am indeed testing those two new bioses that were created for me. The first one has a more aggressive powerplay profile with stock clocks of 1050/1250. The second one has a lower powerplay profile with stock clocks of 947/1250. I am testing the 1050/1250 version first.

Here is how I test:

1.) First I see if it can even flash to the GPU. If not, it is a no go.
2.) If it flashes successfully I then test for 2D "Desktop / Web Surfing" and 3D "Gaming / Benching" Stability all while monitoring temps, etc.
3.) If it is a "stable" bios with acceptable temps I then move on to over-clocking to see if that has improved at all.
4.) If all of the above (give or take over-clocking) pass then it is a keeper. If not, continue the search for the perfect BIOS.

I will keep you posted here and I will post my findings in the Guru3D thread as well. biggrin.gif
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post #12 of 2217 (permalink) Old 07-15-2015, 04:54 PM
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post #13 of 2217 (permalink) Old 07-15-2015, 06:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Alright thumb.gif I will watch both threads then.

Alright, here is my post from Guru3D.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Quote:
Hello Plug2k,

I have completed my testing of the BIOS posted above. I see no reason to go back and test the other BIOS you created with lower 3D clocks and power limit because this BIOS is 95% stable! I will post the tests I ran on it down below.

2D Tests:
1.) Surfing the web and watching Youtube / HTML5 based videos was smooth.
2.) Running Microsoft Office and various other programs posed no issues at all.

3D Tests:
1.) Ran Unigene Valley on max settings at 3440 x 1440p for 30 minutes + a benchmark run after the 30 minutes was up. Score Link: http://www.filedropper.com/valleybenchmark
2.) Ran 3DMark11. Score Link: http://www.3dmark.com/3dm11/10056450
3.) Ran the full suite of 3DMark. Score Link: http://www.3dmark.com/3dm/7771999
4.) Played some random games from my steam library. (Modded Fallout 3, Battlefield 4, Etc.) Now this test is where things get curious. See the paragraph below.

REGARDING 3D TEST #4: Some of the games actually would cause a light crash in which I had to close the game via. Task Manager. I solved this issue by going into MSI AB and setting the PowerLimit from 0% to 50% and adding +50mv to the Core Voltage. Now I'm sure that is probably over-kill so I will do some testing with lowering it. But as it stands now it seems that this BIOS does not allow the R9 290 enough voltage to run 1050/1250 at stock. Could this issue be fixed somehow?

All of these tests went flawlessly except 3D test number 4. The temperatures on the core and VRM were not an issue either. I should also note that I am forcing constant voltage through MSI AB and have ULPS disabled. But other than that I hadn't done anything special.

So in the end, due to 3D Test #4 I believe that this BIOS is not quite stable for all reference R9 290/290X users just yet. With a few minor changes / updates it very well could be though! Plus another important piece of information that I am lacking is what memory-types this BIOS is compatible with. As far as I know Stock R9 290/290X BIOSes are compatible with:

4096 MB, GDDR5, Autodetect
4096 MB, GDDR5, Hynix H5GQ2H24AFR
4096 MB, GDDR5, Elpida EDW2032BBBG_DEBUG2

And are NOT compatible with:

4096 MB, GDDR5, Samsung K4G20325FD

So if you could offer any insight on that front that would be amazing. I know my Reference HIS cards have the Hynix memory but beyond that I'm not sure. Thanks again for the BIOS though. If you end up creating any newer / better revisions of it please let me know as I will be more than happy to test it.


-Insan1tyOne smile.gif

So with this, you should be able to flash this BIOS to your cards with only minor issues if you are comfortable with MSI AB. Just make sure you know what memory-type you have on them first and make sure that you know if the PCB is a reference PCB or not. Also, make sure the cards have ample cooling headroom as this BIOS does raise the temps across the board by 2-5C. Hopefully we can get an even more stable version created in the near future though!

Good Luck! thumb.gif

Edit: I received an updated BIOS late last night. I will be testing it today to see if it is more stable at stock clocks. Stay tuned!
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post #14 of 2217 (permalink) Old 07-16-2015, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Insan1tyOne View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster_is_better View Post

Alright thumb.gif I will watch both threads then.

Alright, here is my post from Guru3D.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Quote:
Hello Plug2k,

I have completed my testing of the BIOS posted above. I see no reason to go back and test the other BIOS you created with lower 3D clocks and power limit because this BIOS is 95% stable! I will post the tests I ran on it down below.

2D Tests:
1.) Surfing the web and watching Youtube / HTML5 based videos was smooth.
2.) Running Microsoft Office and various other programs posed no issues at all.

3D Tests:
1.) Ran Unigene Valley on max settings at 3440 x 1440p for 30 minutes + a benchmark run after the 30 minutes was up. Score Link: http://www.filedropper.com/valleybenchmark
2.) Ran 3DMark11. Score Link: http://www.3dmark.com/3dm11/10056450
3.) Ran the full suite of 3DMark. Score Link: http://www.3dmark.com/3dm/7771999
4.) Played some random games from my steam library. (Modded Fallout 3, Battlefield 4, Etc.) Now this test is where things get curious. See the paragraph below.

REGARDING 3D TEST #4: Some of the games actually would cause a light crash in which I had to close the game via. Task Manager. I solved this issue by going into MSI AB and setting the PowerLimit from 0% to 50% and adding +50mv to the Core Voltage. Now I'm sure that is probably over-kill so I will do some testing with lowering it. But as it stands now it seems that this BIOS does not allow the R9 290 enough voltage to run 1050/1250 at stock. Could this issue be fixed somehow?

All of these tests went flawlessly except 3D test number 4. The temperatures on the core and VRM were not an issue either. I should also note that I am forcing constant voltage through MSI AB and have ULPS disabled. But other than that I hadn't done anything special.

So in the end, due to 3D Test #4 I believe that this BIOS is not quite stable for all reference R9 290/290X users just yet. With a few minor changes / updates it very well could be though! Plus another important piece of information that I am lacking is what memory-types this BIOS is compatible with. As far as I know Stock R9 290/290X BIOSes are compatible with:

4096 MB, GDDR5, Autodetect
4096 MB, GDDR5, Hynix H5GQ2H24AFR
4096 MB, GDDR5, Elpida EDW2032BBBG_DEBUG2

And are NOT compatible with:

4096 MB, GDDR5, Samsung K4G20325FD

So if you could offer any insight on that front that would be amazing. I know my Reference HIS cards have the Hynix memory but beyond that I'm not sure. Thanks again for the BIOS though. If you end up creating any newer / better revisions of it please let me know as I will be more than happy to test it.


-Insan1tyOne smile.gif

So with this, you should be able to flash this BIOS to your cards with only minor issues if you are comfortable with MSI AB. Just make sure you know what memory-type you have on them first and make sure that you know if the PCB is a reference PCB or not. Also, make sure the cards have ample cooling headroom as this BIOS does raise the temps across the board by 2-5C. Hopefully we can get an even more stable version created in the near future though!

Good Luck! thumb.gif

Edit: I received an updated BIOS late last night. I will be testing it today to see if it is more stable at stock clocks. Stay tuned!

Nice work, didn't you say your cards were really terrible overclockers also? So maybe that is partially why you needed to bump up the core voltrage and power limit?

Also can you post your before/after 3dmark numbers? Firestrike would be nice, since I can relate to that one easily. 17xxx is a pretty nice score but I don't know what you came up from to judge.

If you get into any more heavy testing of the card I would like to see some game benchmarks run. There is an AVP benchmark here, Farcry 2 had a benchmark utility if you own that game, I think one or both Metro games have benchmarks available as well. They would be good to test different fps gains. Apparently all of these games have some type of built in benchmark available too:
BioShock Infinite Metro 2033 Metro: Last Light Shadow of Mordor Thief Tomb Raider Sleeping Dogs Batman: Arkham City Dirt 3 HAWX 2 Crysis 3 Grand Theft Auto 5 (run the benchmark in-game after completing the prologue). Lol I think most of those are AMD evolved titles.

Realistically, unless the cards perform noticeably better, the extra heat may not be worth switching from a stock BIOS. This is still pretty interesting though, funny these 290/x cards have such a huge lifetime and still going strong. I think drivers can keep them relevant for quite a while yet.


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post #15 of 2217 (permalink) Old 07-16-2015, 11:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Faster_is_better View Post

Nice work, didn't you say your cards were really terrible overclockers also? So maybe that is partially why you needed to bump up the core voltrage and power limit?

Also can you post your before/after 3dmark numbers? Firestrike would be nice, since I can relate to that one easily. 17xxx is a pretty nice score but I don't know what you came up from to judge.

If you get into any more heavy testing of the card I would like to see some game benchmarks run. There is an AVP benchmark here, Farcry 2 had a benchmark utility if you own that game, I think one or both Metro games have benchmarks available as well. They would be good to test different fps gains. Apparently all of these games have some type of built in benchmark available too:
BioShock Infinite Metro 2033 Metro: Last Light Shadow of Mordor Thief Tomb Raider Sleeping Dogs Batman: Arkham City Dirt 3 HAWX 2 Crysis 3 Grand Theft Auto 5 (run the benchmark in-game after completing the prologue). Lol I think most of those are AMD evolved titles.

Realistically, unless the cards perform noticeably better, the extra heat may not be worth switching from a stock BIOS. This is still pretty interesting though, funny these 290/x cards have such a huge lifetime and still going strong. I think drivers can keep them relevant for quite a while yet.

Yes, unfortunately my cards do seem to require a lot more voltage than most to push higher clocks. It is a bummer but hopefully with this BIOS I can finally break past that! And as for direct comparison tests with stock BIOS and this modded BIOS that will probably have to wait until I get the BIOS stable on my card first. My goal is to get the BIOS so that my card can do the 1050 / 1250 Mhz clocks without having to bump the voltage in MSI AB. Hopefully the next revision (v1.5) fixes that!

Lastly, while I agree with you on the fact that if the performance gains aren't size-able then the added heat and voltage isn't really worth it, I do have to say that I am not really in this for the added "performance". I really just want the updated BIOS. I mean if you think about it, the original BIOS I had on my reference card this whole time was compiled back in September of 2013. This new BIOS was compiled in June of 2015. I think having all of the internal improvements to the card that must have been made over that 2-year span is what is important even if we can't necessarily "see" their effects like we can with boosted stock clocks and such.

But hey, if this BIOS increases the over-clocking ability and the over-all stability of my cards along with the other internal updates that is just a nice bonus on the side. thumb.gif

*Edit: Just got the latest revision of the BIOS (v1.5) from Plug2k. I will be eager to test this out tonight. Hopefully I will no longer need to use MSI AB at all and maybe even achieve higher clocks than 1050 / 1250 Mhz. smile.gif
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post #16 of 2217 (permalink) Old 07-16-2015, 02:27 PM
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The more I dig around it seems that this vBIOS: http://www.techpowerup.com/vgabios/155514/msi-r9290-4096-140218.html is the newest revision for "reference" R9 290 PCBs. All of the other later revisions are for non-reference PCBs.

Sapphire Tri-X 290 OC edition bios is ref PCB. The one I owned had the silk screen AMD logo near PCI-Express fingers.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

Version 015.044.000.011.000000 , UEFI & Non UEFI roms, this has +25mv GPU Core Voltage preset, these roms have not been modded in any way.

SapphireR9290TriXOCBIOS.zip 378k .zip file

MD5 Checksum: E66CB84DACF5D10687960E3533D366AB

This rom supports Hynix AFR & BFR.
Attached Files
File Type: zip SapphireR9290TriXOCBIOS.zip (378.1 KB, 170 views)
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post #17 of 2217 (permalink) Old 07-16-2015, 02:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Sapphire Tri-X 290 OC edition bios is ref PCB. The one I owned had the silk screen AMD logo near PCI-Express fingers.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

Version 015.044.000.011.000000 , UEFI & Non UEFI roms, this has +25mv GPU Core Voltage preset, these roms have not been modded in any way.

SapphireR9290TriXOCBIOS.zip 378k .zip file

MD5 Checksum: E66CB84DACF5D10687960E3533D366AB

Hey nice find @gupsterg! I'm glad to see that there is an even newer "reference" BIOS floating around out there. That might be the one I fall back to if this whole R9 390X BIOS thing doesn't work out. But hopefully it does, I mean 015.044.000.011.000000 (Reference 290) vs 015.049.000.000.000000 (R9 390X) is still a pretty big leap forward!
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post #18 of 2217 (permalink) Old 07-16-2015, 02:38 PM
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If you really want a good update, you should use better memory timings.biggrin.gif
The 390X memory timings looks like they are slower.
I moded the Hynix memory timings from The Stilts MLU BIOS into your BIOS.
r9_390x_4gb_1.33v_TEST345Stilt.zip 99k .zip file

You can compare them with OpenClMembench, or CompuBench thumb.gif
oclmembench.zip 174k .zip file
Attached Files
File Type: zip r9_390x_4gb_1.33v_TEST345Stilt.zip (99.0 KB, 180 views)
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post #19 of 2217 (permalink) Old 07-16-2015, 02:41 PM - Thread Starter
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If you really want a good update, you should use better memory timings.biggrin.gif
The 390X memory timings looks like they are slower.
I moded the Hynix memory timings from The Stilts MLU BIOS into your BIOS.
r9_390x_4gb_1.33v_TEST345Stilt.zip 99k .zip file

You can compare them with OpenClMembench, or CompuBench thumb.gif
oclmembench.zip 174k .zip file

Holy cow! You modded tighter memory timings into the latest v1.5 BIOS? That is awesome! I am going to continue my tests tonight with this version then instead of the default version. Hopefully the altered memory timings don't cause any flashing issues or instability though! Thanks for this! biggrin.gif
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post #20 of 2217 (permalink) Old 07-16-2015, 02:43 PM
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That rom I've had since Jan 15, IIRC is on TPU, I gained via Sapphire forum. Members share updated roms from Sapphire Support via PM as you can't post them there.

I sort of get why people wish to flash to 390 / X but for me it doesn't float my boat, for various reasons. Some the The Stilt has posted here and other forums.

I had that card for roughly 6mths with that rom, that card was one of the best Hawaii out of the 3 I've owned.

It did 1100 / 1475 on +25mv all day long, I had many hours of gaming / benching and even had several 48hrs plus [email protected] sessions with it and never a black screen, artifact or a hitch.

Damn I wish I'd never sold it at times.
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