January 2nd, 2003, 11:54 AM
Radeon 9700 & 9500 non-pro overclocking BIOS's now available
Good stuff. Hopefully somebody will crack the 9000 non-pro BIOS soon because I'm sure that'd be one hell of a card for $60 when overclocked.
The reasoning behind these BIOS's:
The Radeon9700Pro, 9700non-pro, and 9500Pro all share the same R300 GPU.
The 9700Pro and 9700non-pro are virtually identical, albeit with different memory.
ATi chose to give the 9700Pro Device ID: 0x4E44
ATi chose to give the 9700non-pro Device ID : 0x4E45
The question I asked myself was why did ATi do this? Virtually identical hardware that share EXACTLY the same drivers!
The only logical conclusion was that they wanted to lock all of the cards with Device ID: 0x4E45
The 9700non-pro and 9500Pro both share Device ID: 0x4E45 even though they DO have a significant hardware difference (the memory bus width).
I chose to give all cards with the R300 GPU the same Device ID that the unlocked 9700Pro has...0x4E44.
There are no illl effects to doing this! The cards share the same driver set.
I think of it like this...if the 9700Pro=9700non-pro and the 9700non-pro=9500Pro (based on having the same Device ID), then the 9700Pro=9500Pro. This equivalence is based from a Device ID/driver standpoint!
Could ATi start locking Device ID: 0x4E44? Of course they could, but that would mean a FULL lockdown of every card that they currently produce. If they did this, it would be too blatantly obvious what they were up to. I don't think they would risk that kind of bad PR.
"Won't it be a matter of time before someone finds out the inf option that enables the clock locking in the first place?" Possibly, but it hasn't happened yet and everyone that makes an overclocking utility has certainly been trying. The problem with correcting this issue from the software side of it, is that ATi could easily change things around in each driver set that they release...ATi controls the software, but they can't change the BIOS on your hardware. Unless ATi goes into FULL lockdown mode, this BIOS fix will work.
I hope that everyone understands my reasoning behind what has been done to correct this BIOS issue.
I didn't need to make any significant changes to the 9500Pro BIOS to get it working. I actually did it while drinking my morning coffee.
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