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Question about alernative overclocking methonds

 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-25-2009, 08:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Alternatives

Flashing and Unlocking are two popular ways to gain performance out of a video card, without technically overclocking.
Flashing refers to using the firmware of another card, based on the same core and design specs, to "override" the original firmware, thus effectively making it a higher model card; however, 'flashing' can be difficult, and sometimes a bad flash can be irreversible. Sometimes stand-alone software to modify the firmware files can be found, i.e. NiBiTor, (GeForce 6/7 series are well regarded in this aspect). It is not necessary to acquire a firmware file from a better model video card (although it should be said that the card in which firmware is to be used should be compatible, i.e. the same model base, design and/or manufacture process, revisions etc.). For example, video cards with 3D accelerators (the vast majority of today's market) have two voltage and speed settings - one for 2D and one for 3D - but were designed to operate with three voltage stages, the third being somewhere in the middle of the aforementioned two, serving as a fallback when the card overheats or as a middle-stage when going from 2D to 3D operation mode. Therefore, it could be wise to set this middle-stage prior to "serious" overclocking, specifically because of this fallback ability - the card can drop down to this speed, reducing by a few (or sometimes a few dozen, depending on the setting) percent of its efficiency and cool down, without dropping out of 3D mode (and afterwards return to the desired full-speed clock and voltage settings).
Some cards also have certain abilities not directly connected with overclocking. For example, NVIDIA's GeForce 6600GT (AGP flavor) features a temperature monitor (used internally by the card), which is invisible to the user in the 'vanilla' version of the card's BIOS. Modifying the BIOS can allow a 'Temperature' tab to become visible in the card driver's advanced menu.
Unlocking refers to enabling extra pipelines and/or pixel shaders. The 6800LE, the 6800GS and 6800 (AGP models only) and Radeon X800 Pro VIVO were some of the first cards to benefit from unlocking. While these models have either 8 or 12 pipes enabled, they share the same 16x6 GPU core as a 6800GT or Ultra, but may not have passed inspection when all their pipelines and shaders were unlocked. In more recent generations, both ATI and Nvidia have laser cut pipelines to prevent this practice.[citation needed].
It is important to remember that while pipeline unlocking sounds very promising, there is absolutely no way of determining if these 'unlocked' pipelines will operate without errors, or at all (this information is solely at the manufacturer's discretion). In a worst-case scenario, the card may not start up ever again, resulting in a 'dead' piece of equipment. It is possible to revert to the card's previous settings, but it involves manual firmware flashing using special tools and an identical but original firmware chip.
Would any of these methonds work with any of the 200 series cards
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-25-2009, 08:40 PM
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I've heard of flashing newer cards, but unlocking??? All those models are 4 or 5 generations old. A 295 is an SLI card so I don't think porting that to a 275 would work.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-25-2009, 08:41 PM
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the 285 and 275 are physically different, they have different memory widths and would not work interchangeably

and no unlocking would not work on any of these cards

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-26-2009, 01:02 AM
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The short answer is no.

The longer is that, yes, the bios flashing method can be used to make one's overclock more 'permanent' (i.e. your card will be OC'd all the time, not just in windows, via the driver), or adjust fan speeds at the bios level, that sort of thing. It can be handy, but not in the way described in the above article, which is soooooo ... 2005.

Things have changed since the days of 'unlocking the pipelines' on our 6800's.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-26-2009, 01:07 AM
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I flashed my GTX260 to a higher 3D/extra voltage, allowing me to get a better OC. After extensive stress testing, I flashed it agan to make the OC permanent.

Anyway, the frequency of successful unlocks is far smaller with modern cards than it once was. For it to happen you need a virtually identical PCB, and a GPU extra ROPs,TMU, Shaders, etc that have not been physically disabled.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-26-2009, 01:11 AM
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Yeah unlocking is only for those older cards, although I wish they make some cards that can be unlockable again.

I used to have both the 6800 (unlocked to 16 pipelines) and X800GTO (unlocked to 12), and had some great fun with them

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