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.
January 2nd, 2003, 07:17 PM
yeah, the 9000 bios is the one i'm waiting for, bet no one does it for the vivo's tho..
January 3rd, 2003, 03:23 PM
My Radeon 9000 (non-Pro) is a bit disappointing when it comes to overclocking. When I set the memory at 250MHz (up 50MHz from default), it got artifacts all over the screen, even though the memory chips are 4ns parts (hence should run at 250MHz). I think my problem is that my board was designed poorly, so at 250MHz, the signals to and from the memory are all messed up when they go along the board.
Oh well, I did buy a cheap card - made by Connect3D. The performance at default speeds is fine for me though. Kicks the crap out of my old GeForce 2 MX for only £60.
January 3rd, 2003, 04:41 PM
i've not been able to o/c my board, I can wind up the settings in rage3d but the card defaults back to stock.
I am however impressed with the card at stock speeds, it just bugs me that I can't get the full performance that it should be capable of
January 3rd, 2003, 07:48 PM
Nah, the hardware is easily capable of 250/250MHz+. But that's the problem - ATi have locked down the cards in a way that isn't easy to bypass, so that people don't get Radeon 9000 Pro's for "free". I'm sure somebody will crack it eventually, but for the moment they remain virtually clock-locked.
Originally posted by USSVoyager
I think my problem is that my board was designed poorly, so at 250MHz, the signals to and from the memory are all messed up when they go along the board.
January 3rd, 2003, 07:54 PM
Is it not possible to convince someone with a 9000Pro to save their BIOS and put it up online so people with 9000's can just flash the BIOS to remove that little BIOS lock code?
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January 3rd, 2003, 07:58 PM
I'm sure that was one of the first things they tried. I read something from warp11, the guy that cracked the R300 BIOS's and he said it was not at all obvious what was going on in the RV250 (amateur) one. Perhaps it is hardware-locked?
January 4th, 2003, 02:52 PM
So you think my problems weren't related to a poor design, but rather the overclocking software wasn't working properly? Damn you ATI. If I hadn't got a bargain, I'd be pissed
January 4th, 2003, 03:32 PM
The fact that ATI "locked down" the BIOS is sad.
January 4th, 2003, 03:57 PM
Well they have a reason too. They would like to ship some cheaper versions of their card to fill in more of the product line-up without designing a whole new card. At least it is possible to get around it, but it makes it less worth while for for the casual overclockers out there to mess with. Experienced ones usually flash BIOS's anyways.
With all this gripping it will likely not stop them from doing this, but some of the card manufacturers like PowerColor might unlock them for people to make there card more friendly for "tweeking". Either way the CPU industry has been doing locking their CPUs for years and ***** as we might Intel is not likely to stop locking their P4s for us.
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