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Radeon BIOS Upgrade

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by CENSORED, Jun 7, 2003.

  1. CENSORED

    CENSORED
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    Got a Sapphire 9700 with Samsung memory and will shortly take the plunge and upgrade to Mufu's 9700 Pro bios. Problem is I don't have a floppy drive on any of my PC's. Logic says I should be able to make a bootable cd to upgrade the bios but I'm not sure how to do it! Has anyone else changed a graphics card bios using a cd? I assume I can just copy across the contents of a bootable floppy to a cd and change the boot priority in my PC's bios to look for the cd drive first! Can it really be that simple? I suspect not. Help!
     
  2. philipb

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    Pretty much that simple. If you're creating a bootable disc just use a CD-R instead of a floppy, or copy the bootable floppy to the CD-R.

    Re-boot the PC and press DEL to get into the BIOS. Change "first bootable device" to CD-ROM, exit the bios and when the machine boots it will show you a message "press any button to boot from CD". Press a button and the PC will boot from the CD drive.

    I have a Sapphire 9000 Radeon - what's so special about this version of the BIOS?
     
  3. nathan_silly

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    Some burning software allow you to create bootable CD's. Use this feature, and also include the .EXE and HEX code for the BIOS upgrades.

    Simply copying over the files from a floppy to the CD won't work. Try copying files from a bootable floppy, onto your HD and then copy then back onto another blank floppy. Boot from that floppy- it won't work.

    Don't know why, but the /S command must copy over the MBR or something (which DOS doesn't)
     
  4. CENSORED

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    Thanks chaps. Decided to Ghost my C: drive in the end and load up Windows 98SE. Dropped into DOS and flashed the new bios onto the 9700 from a folder on C: then reloaded the Ghost image of my XP setup and voila!

    Philipb, Mufu's bios is for Sapphire 9700 non-pro's. If you've got decent memory on the card (2.8 Samsung in my case) this bios basically turns the card into a 9700 Pro. Worked a treat and upped my 3DMark 2003 score from 4221 to 5098. For anyone interested, that score comes from 1024 x 768 @ 75Hz with no AA or AF. Nice :smashin:
     
  5. MuFu

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    Yo,

    Sorry I didn't see tis thread earlier. Glad the BIOS helped. :cool:

    Basically it's just a R300 binary with timings set for Samsung DDR (at a default clock of 310MHz). Also seems to work pretty well for cards with Hynix memory. Those with Infineon DDR need not bother.

    As CENSORED said, in most cases you can effectively turn your 9700NP into a Pro if you have Samung or Hynix DDR by just flashing the BIOS. Plus, in the case of the former it's normally possible to get similar overclocking results to the Pro cards on boards which don't use speed-binned ASICs (so most 3rd party AIBs) - the memory limit is really more to do with an internal or TL limit than it is the memory itself. We found an extra SM capacitor on some of the NP boards and thought it might have been a way of "hardware retarding" the memory clockspeed, but since it was around the bottom edge of the FCPGA and didn't seem to be related to whether or not the boards can reach Pro speeds it's much more likely something to do with the AGP timing.

    MuFu.
     
  6. CENSORED

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    Mufu,

    Yeah that capacitor thing had me worried for a while. Soon as I saw the photo's showing it's position on the PCB I checked my own card, needless to say it wasn't there. In fairness I was happy to just have the Pro setup but I'm now considering pushing the card to see how far I can go. I would never have considered this without your bios and the truly excellent feedback you've given people who have tried it. Well done mate.
     
  7. MuFu

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    Heh, cheers man - glad that all my pissing about is appreciated. Been drinking since 1pm (uni exams over!) so 'scuse me if I get over sentimental. :D ;)

    Yeah - it's great of you can find a card that's receptive to the flash and a clock bump. 9700 Pro for £170-£180 certainly is an attractive prospect! Nice that there's a crossover between some of the more "hardcore" GPU boards (R3D, nVnews, B3D) and this place too.

    Going to look into that ATi filter mod next. Have you seen that? This guy completely replaced the post-DAC signal filter stages of an AIW 7500 and is selling the upgrade as a (very expensive) HTPC component that's designed to give Radeon cards the same analogue output quality as some high-end scalers/vid processors. Doesn't matter for DVI output of course, but there's still alot of RP/CRT users that are very serious about picture quality. Can't be too hard to "clone" with a little EE knowledge.

    MuFu.
     
  8. CENSORED

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    Mufu,

    This is getting scary. Don't forget to post back here when you start erm 'pissing about' again. There are some heave duty dudes in the CRT and HTPC forums that will be wet for some quality scaling kit on a budget. Sounds like a career opportunity to me ;)
     

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