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Hello OCN,

PLEASE READ THE DISCLAIMERS & ANNOUNCEMENTS SECTION BELOW THE BENCHMARKS & STATISTICS SECTION!
Quote:
Updated Changelog For 02/16/2016:

gupsterg:
  • Revised BIOS files for cards using SAMSUNG memory modules. Please see the "BIOS Guide:" section below for more information.
Quote:
Introduction:

Okay I will do a short explanation here of how exactly the BIOS files were modded. I like to think about it this way:

1.) There are two types of BIOS "mods".
a. Soft Mods - Simple modifications like changing core clocks, memory clocks, voltage table, idle voltage, etc. These are done with HawaiiBiosReader.
b. Hard Mods - More complicated modifications that must be done from a Hex Editor. These include things like changing stock core voltage / voltage offset, changing memory from 8GB to 4GB, editing memory timings / straps, etc.

2.) To "change" an R9 390X BIOS to an R9 290X BIOS all that needed to be done was change the memory from 8GB down to 4GB and edit the "Device ID" if necessary. To "change" an R9 390 BIOS to an R9 290 BIOS you would do the exact same thing. An 8GB R9 390X BIOS file will flash to an 8GB R9 290X just fine, but it causes issues with most 4GB cards and the same goes for the R9 390 to R9 290.

3.) Unfortunately I do not currently have the knowledge to "Hard Mod" any BIOS files using a Hex Editor. I have been doing all the mods posted here with the help of @Lard (who has been doing the memory timing mods) and the HawaiiBiosReader program. I would really like to learn how to use a Hex Editor to go deeper into modding the BIOS files so I could make more for you all but unfortunately there aren't really any good guides out there yet as people are still doing research on this topic.

4.) BIOS modding is all about trial and error (within reason). So if you want to try to mod and flash an R9 390 BIOS file to an R9 290 I think you should go for it! The more people that work on this stuff to see what works and what doesn't, the more fun it is for everyone!

This thread is for the purpose of testing the new R9 390X BIOS modified to work with our R9 290/290X cards. As of right now the BIOS is modified for 4GB cards and is confirmed working on reference and near-reference PCBs ONLY. If you have a custom PCB there is no harm in trying but it may not work.
Quote:
BIOS Images:

R9 290 Stable Version 1.8 (947 / 1250 MHz): (Now with STOCK and MOD voltage tables!)



R9 290X Stable Version 1.8 (1000 / 1250 MHz): (Now with STOCK and MOD voltage tables!)

Quote:
Benchmarks & Statistics:

Quote:
Originally Posted by flamin9_t00l View Post

I have done a few more tests to compare the stock XFX Core Edition 290 Bios to the 390X NOMOD Bios.

All tests were performed at 1080p with 1100mhz core clock and 1350mhz mem clock +50 power +75mV core +19mV aux in AB.

DiRT Rally / Ultra Preset / XFX Core 290 Bios



DiRT Rally / Ultra Preset / NOMOD 390 Bios



GRID Autosport / Ultra Preset / XFX Core 290 Bios



GRID Autosport / Ultra Preset / NOMOD 390 Bios



Metro Last Light / XFX Core 290 Bios



Metro Last Light / NOMOD 390 Bios



Valley / ExtremeHD / XFX Core 290 Bios



Valley / ExtremeHD / NOMOD 390 Bios



FireStrike / XFX Core 290 Bios



FireStrike / NOMOD 390 Bios



Just to note these tests were with the v1.3 NOMOD for 290 Bios.

RESULT - A nice little performance boost well worth having.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flamin9_t00l View Post

I have re-ran the tests with the 390 MEM-MOD 1.4 Elpida Bios flashed to my 290 for comparison.

Again all tests were performed at 1080p with 1100mhz core clock and 1350mhz mem clock +50 power +81mV core +25mV aux in AB. As you can see I had to boost the voltage a little for stability in some tests but even with +100mV core I couldn't get Metro LL benchmark to complete without a blackscreen at these clocks.

DiRT Rally / Ultra Preset / Elpida MEMMOD 1.4 390 Bios



GRID Autosport / Ultra Preset / Elpida MEMMOD 1.4 390 Bios



Valley / ExtremeHD / Elpida MEMMOD 1.4 390 Bios



FireStrike / Elpida MEMMOD 1.4 390 Bios



http://www.3dmark.com/3dm/7840880

Looks like these games don't benefit from the tighter timings but the benchmarks have gained a little. Finally cracked 13K on FireStrike = RESULT.
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Quote:
Disclaimers & Announcements:

  • Please be sure UNINSTALL your AMD drivers AND disable crossfire (if applicable) before flashing to a new BIOS as this will help you avoid many possible errors!
  • Some of these BIOS files WILL report what type of GPU Memory you have incorrectly once flashed. Please be sure to check what GPU memory-type you have PRIOR to flashing!
  • Some users may experience "black screens", crahses, or no-boots when using any "MEM MOD" BIOS. If this occurs just verify you are using the BIOS with the correct memory-type for your card. If that still does not solve the issue then just use the "NO MOD" BIOS.
  • After you flash a modified BIOS, ALWAYS monitor your card with a program like GPU-Z for safety reasons until you are sure that the BIOS is safe. If everything goes smoothly and no temps are too high, etc. feel free to do some benching and comparisons with the new BIOS and your STOCK BIOS and post them here!
  • A lot of users are reporting that the "MEM MOD -- LIGHTNING" BIOS file does not work correctly and locks the voltage control. I am not sure anything can be done about this until an R9 390X Lightning is released so that we can investigate its BIOS. So for now, use that BIOS at your own risk and report back to us with results.
  • If you are unsure of which BIOS file to use / test on your card please refer to the "BIOS Guide:" below.
  • If you are unsure of HOW to flash a new BIOS to your card please refer to the "Flashing Guide:" below.
Quote:
Guides:

BIOS Guide:

1.) R9 290 Folder: Use this folder if you have an R9 290 card that you wish to flash.

[*] MEM MOD -- ELPIDA: Use this folder if your R9 290 card has ELPIDA memory modules.

- "290_ELPIDA_MOD_V1.8" --> This BIOS contains MODDED memory timings for ELPIDA memory, a MODDED voltage table and MODDED idle voltages taken from an R9 390X BIOS.

- "290_ELPIDA_STOCK_V1.8" --> This BIOS contains MODDED memory timings for ELPIDA memory, and the STOCK voltage table and idle voltages from a REFERENCE R9 290 BIOS.

[*] MEM MOD -- HYNIX: Use this folder if your R9 290 card has HYNIX memory modules.

- "290_HYNIX_MOD_V1.8" --> This BIOS contains MODDED memory timings for HYNIX memory, a MODDED voltage table and MODDED idle voltages taken from an R9 390X BIOS.

- "290_HYNIX_STOCK_V1.8" --> This BIOS contains MODDED memory timings for HYNIX memory, and the STOCK voltage table and idle voltages from a REFERENCE R9 290 BIOS.

[*] MEM MOD -- SAMSUNG FD: Use this folder if your R9 290 card has SAMSUNG memory modules.

- "290_SAMSUNG_MOD_V1.8" --> This BIOS contains MODDED memory timings for SAMSUNG memory, a MODDED voltage table and MODDED idle voltages taken from an R9 390X BIOS.

- "290_SAMSUNG_STOCK_V1.8" --> This BIOS contains MODDED memory timings for SAMSUNG memory, and the STOCK voltage table and idle voltages from a REFERENCE R9 290 BIOS.

[*] MEM MOD -- SAMSUNG FS: ONLY use this folder if your R9 290 card has SAMSUNG memory modules and is an Sapphire Tri-X 290/X New Edition model with the 8+8 PCI-E power connectors. (Revised PCB)

- "290_SAMSUNG_MOD_V1.8" --> This BIOS contains MODDED memory timings for SAMSUNG memory, a MODDED voltage table and MODDED idle voltages taken from an R9 390X BIOS.

- "290_SAMSUNG_STOCK_V1.8" --> This BIOS contains MODDED memory timings for SAMSUNG memory, and the STOCK voltage table and idle voltages from a REFERENCE R9 290 BIOS.

[*] NO MOD

- "290_NOMOD_MOD_V1.8" --> This BIOS contains the DEFAULT memory straps / timings that came with the original R9 390X BIOS, a MODDED voltage table and MODDED idle voltages taken from an R9 390X BIOS.

- "290_NOMOD_STOCK_V1.8" --> This BIOS contains the DEFAULT memory straps / timings that came with the original R9 390X BIOS, and the STOCK voltage table and idle voltages from a REFERENCE R9 290 BIOS.

2.)R9 290X Folder: Use this folder if you have an R9 290X card that you wish to flash.

[*] MEM MOD -- ELPIDA: Use this folder if your R9 290X card has ELPIDA memory modules.

- "290X_ELPIDA_MOD_V1.8" --> This BIOS contains MODDED memory timings for ELPIDA memory, a MODDED voltage table and MODDED idle voltages taken from an R9 390X BIOS.

- "290X_ELPIDA_STOCK_V1.8" --> This BIOS contains MODDED memory timings for ELPIDA memory, and the STOCK voltage table and idle voltages from a REFERENCE R9 290X BIOS.

[*] MEM MOD -- HYNIX: Use this folder if your R9 290X card has HYNIX memory modules.

- "290X_HYNIX_MOD_V1.8" --> This BIOS contains MODDED memory timings for HYNIX memory, a MODDED voltage table and MODDED idle voltages taken from an R9 390X BIOS.

- "290X_HYNIX_STOCK_V1.8" --> This BIOS contains MODDED memory timings for HYNIX memory, and the STOCK voltage table and idle voltages from a REFERENCE R9 290X BIOS.

[*] MEM MOD -- LIGHTNING: ONLY use this folder if your R9 290X card is an MSI R9 290X Lightning model.

- "290X_LIGHTNING_MOD_V1.8" --> This BIOS contains MODDED memory timings for SAMSUNG memory, a MODDED voltage table and MODDED idle voltages taken from an R9 390X BIOS.

- "290X_LIGHTNING_STOCK_V1.8" --> This BIOS contains MODDED memory timings for SAMSUNG memory, and the STOCK voltage table and idle voltages from the latest MSI R9 290X LIGHTNING BIOS.

[*] MEM MOD -- SAMSUNG FD: Use this folder if your R9 290X card has SAMSUNG memory modules.

- "290X_SAMSUNG_MOD_V1.8" --> This BIOS contains MODDED memory timings for SAMSUNG memory, a MODDED voltage table and MODDED idle voltages taken from an R9 390X BIOS.

- "290X_SAMSUNG_STOCK_V1.8" --> This BIOS contains MODDED memory timings for SAMSUNG memory, and the STOCK voltage table and idle voltages from a REFERENCE R9 290 BIOS.

[*] MEM MOD -- SAMSUNG FS: ONLY use this folder if your R9 290X card has SAMSUNG memory modules and is an Sapphire Tri-X 290/X New Edition model with the 8+8 PCI-E power connectors. (Revised PCB)

- "290X_SAMSUNG_MOD_V1.8" --> This BIOS contains MODDED memory timings for SAMSUNG memory, a MODDED voltage table and MODDED idle voltages taken from an R9 390X BIOS.

- "290X_SAMSUNG_STOCK_V1.8" --> This BIOS contains MODDED memory timings for SAMSUNG memory, and the STOCK voltage table and idle voltages from a REFERENCE R9 290 BIOS.

[*] NO MOD

- "290X_NOMOD_MOD_V1.8" --> This BIOS contains the DEFAULT memory straps / timings that came with the original R9 390X BIOS, a MODDED voltage table and MODDED idle voltages taken from an R9 390X BIOS.

- "290X_NOMOD_STOCK_V1.8" --> This BIOS contains the DEFAULT memory straps / timings that came with the original R9 390X BIOS, and the STOCK voltage table and idle voltages from a REFERENCE R9 290X BIOS.

Flashing Guide:

FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO DO NOT KNOW HOW TO FLASH THE BIOS ON YOUR CARD:

Note: BEFORE FLASHING BE SURE TO DISABLE ULPS AND CROSSFIRE IF YOU HAVE MULTIPLE GPUS AND ARE GOING TO BE FLASHING MULTIPLE GPUS.

The Setup:

1) Create a bootable MSDOS (Win98) USB KEY by following this guide HERE.
2) Download ATIFLASH.EXE and unzip it to your boot USB from HERE. BE SURE TO RENAME the ATIFLASH.exe program to "atiflash" or it will not work correctly!
3) Before attempting to flash ANY BIOS files to your card be sure to use GPU-Z to save a back-up of your current file in-case the flash does not work.
4) Create a backup folder on your machine. Store a copy of all the BIOS files that you have saved. Do not edit or change your "stock" BIOS files.
5) Save / rename the new BIOS file that you wish to flash as 0_NEW.ROM on to your MSDOS USB. Notice we append _NEW to the filename. Do that for any additional BIOS Files on your USB stick. Not overwriting them.

Booting To ATIFlash:

1) Reboot your computer that has the Graphics cards attached and press F10 or similar to bring up a boot choice menu. Select the MSDOS USB drive you just created. You will see the CMD prompt from Win98.

Completing The Flash:

1) TYPE the following into the CMD: "ATIFLASH.EXE -f -p 0 0_NEW.ROM" (gpu slot 0).
2) The first number in the command is the PCIE SLOT number of your first card. So if you have a card in your top PCIE SLOT the number will be 0. If you have a motherboard with 4 PCIE slots the numbers will be 0-3. So just make sure to know what slot your card(s) are in while flashing.
3) You can do this for other cards attached (Crossfire) also as follows:

ATIFLASH.EXE -f -p 1 1_NEW.ROM (gpu slot 1)
ATIFLASH.EXE -f -p 2 2_NEW.ROM (gpu slot 2)
And so on...

4) Wait for the confirmation message which will display various details about your card.
5) ATIFlash will tell you to reboot. Go ahead and flash any other cards using the correct name for their files. (Ex. 1_NEW.ROM)
6) After rebooting back into Windows your screen may flash a few times, do not worry, this is normal. The card is just completing it's BIOS update.
7) After the screen is done flashing be sure to check CCC and make sure that none of your settings have reset as for some reason CCC likes to do that after you flash the BIOS.
8) You are done!
Quote:
Acknowledgements:

Last but not least, I would just like to say thank you to Plug2k over at the Guru3D forms for making the previous roms in the beginning and introducing me to Hawaii Bios Editor. You can follow the R9 390X BIOS Thread over at Guru3D here: http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?t=400050.

I would also like to thank Lard for injecting the memory mods for all of these BIOS files and The Stilt for creating the memory modifications in the first place. And Synyster Gates for fixing the R9 290 ID mis-match.

Lastly, my biggest thanks goes out to gupsterg for all of his various research and for his work on V1.8 of these BIOS files. He has really been going above an beyond with this project. Be sure to check out all the work he has done over in the Hawaii Bios Editing thread I posted above.

Remember, whenever you flash a modified BIOS or any other BIOS to your card you are doing so at your own risk. I, nor anyone else, will be responsible for any damage that may occur to your card.
Quote:
Enjoy Everyone!

- Insan1tyOne
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im also looking to flash my reference r9 290s, not sure what I should flash them to.

Bump for the best reference 290 bios.

(im watercooled btw)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by simsin View Post

im also looking to flash my reference r9 290s, not sure what I should flash them to.

Bump for the best reference 290 bios.

(im watercooled btw)
Glad to see Im not the only one!
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Atiflash -i to get cards info.
Atiflash -s N backupN.rom to backup current bios.
Atiflash -p N new.rom to flash new bios.
N = 0, 1, ... n - card number.
If you'll experience issues with cards other than 0, disable ULPS or flash from dos.
Good windows version of ati flash is in Asus gpu tweak.

Do not use customized bios in reference card. It may or may not work.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by tx12 View Post

Atiflash -i to get cards info.
Atiflash -s N backupN.rom to backup current bios.
Atiflash -p N new.rom to flash new bios.
N = 0, 1, ... n - card number.
If you'll experience issues with cards other than 0, disable ULPS or flash from dos.
Good windows version of ati flash is in Asus gpu tweak.

Do not use customized bios in reference card. It may or may not work.
Thank you very much for posting this! So it is the general consensus that any vBIOS made for a "reference" PCB will work with any other reference PCB regardless of manufacturer, and that any vBIOS made for a "custom" PCB will most likely not work with a reference PCB?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Insan1tyOne View Post

Thank you very much for posting this! So it is the general consensus that any vBIOS made for a "reference" PCB will work with any other reference PCB regardless of manufacturer, and that any vBIOS made for a "custom" PCB will most likely not work with a reference PCB?
It's very hard to say about reference PCB and custom PCB BIOS interoperability.

As a general rule, BIOSes must not be mixed between different cards, sometimes even between different revisions of the same card. But in reality most models share the same crucial components, what's why mixed BIOSes usually do work. This also differs greatly between GPU models. For example, Tahiti-based cards like HD7970 / R280X are much more diverse than Hawaii-based R9290's. With Tahiti you can probably brick or even burn the card by flashing it with alien BIOS due to many different VRMs used. For R9 290 VRM design is usually the same, so most BIOSes are working. Even R9 390X BIOS works in R9 290, despite supporting totally different memory type and size.

As for reference PCB interoperability, possible caveats are memory type and fan profile because same PCBs could be equipped with different memory chips and cooling solutions.

I think the main differences in BIOSes are:
- VRM type - you can brick or burn the card with alien VRM's BIOS;
- display connector set - some connectors may fail with alien BIOS;
- memory type - some incompatibility is possible here;
- fan type and control - wrong fan speeds are possible.

As a general rule its always preferable to use the original BIOS intended for your card model and revision. But, usually nothing goes really wrong with mixed BIOSes.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
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Originally Posted by tx12 View Post

It's very hard to say about reference PCB and custom PCB BIOS interoperability.

As a general rule, BIOSes must not be mixed between different cards, sometimes even between different revisions of the same card. But in reality most models share the same crucial components, what's why mixed BIOSes usually do work. This also differs greatly between GPU models. For example, Tahiti-based cards like HD7970 / R280X are much more diverse than Hawaii-based R9290's. With Tahiti you can probably brick or even burn the card by flashing it with alien BIOS due to many different VRMs used. For R9 290 VRM design is usually the same, so most BIOSes are working. Even R9 390X BIOS works in R9 290, despite supporting totally different memory type and size.

As for reference PCB interoperability, possible caveats are memory type and fan profile because same PCBs could be equipped with different memory chips and cooling solutions.

I think the main differences in BIOSes are:
- VRM type - you can brick or burn the card with alien VRM's BIOS;
- display connector set - some connectors may fail with alien BIOS;
- memory type - some incompatibility is possible here;
- fan type and control - wrong fan speeds are possible.

As a general rule its always preferable to use the original BIOS intended for your card model and revision. But, usually nothing goes really wrong with mixed BIOSes.

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.

I wish that I could get my hands on a modified 4GB version of the reference R9 390 bios. The R9 390 is the same card as the R9 290 and the R9 390 bios's have build dates that are very recent where as the newest build date for an reference R9 290 bios is back in January of 2014.
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Discussion Starter #9
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Originally Posted by Faster_is_better View Post

Did you end up flashing your cards?
I did indeed! I used this guide: https://www.reddit.com/r/ScryptMiningRigs/comments/1xi194/bios_flash_guide_r9_270_and_270x/
and was able to flash this BIOS to both cards:
http://www.techpowerup.com/vgabios/155092/gigabyte-r9290-4096-140119.html.
It worked out great! No issues so far.

Now that I know I can do it fairly easily I am going to go grab the modified R9 390X BIOS from Guru3D and try to put that on the cards. Everyone that can get it to flash to their cards is reporting lower temperatures / power consumption and higher bench scores. Should be a good adventure!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Insan1tyOne View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster_is_better View Post

Did you end up flashing your cards?
I did indeed! I used this guide: https://www.reddit.com/r/ScryptMiningRigs/comments/1xi194/bios_flash_guide_r9_270_and_270x/
and was able to flash this BIOS to both cards:
http://www.techpowerup.com/vgabios/155092/gigabyte-r9290-4096-140119.html.
It worked out great! No issues so far.

Now that I know I can do it fairly easily I am going to go grab the modified R9 390X BIOS from Guru3D and try to put that on the cards. Everyone that can get it to flash to their cards is reporting lower temperatures / power consumption and higher bench scores. Should be a good adventure!
wink.gif
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.
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Quote:
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.
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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.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster_is_better View Post

Alright
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I will watch both threads then.
Alright, here is my post from Guru3D.
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!
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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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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.
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
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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!
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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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Discussion Starter #15
Quote:
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.
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*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.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Insan1tyOne View Post

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.

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.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by gupsterg View Post

Sapphire Tri-X 290 OC edition bios is ref PCB. The one I owned had the silk screen AMD logo near PCI-Express fingers.

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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Discussion Starter #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lard View Post

If you really want a good update, you should use better memory timings.
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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
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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!
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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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