Topic Title: Overclocking R9 290Xs & BIOS changes...
Topic Summary: Questions on Overclocking R9 290Xs & possibility of BIOS changes...
Created On: 06/11/2014 06:30 PM
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 06/11/2014 06:30 PM
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HoneyBadger84
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Posts: 197
Joined: 06/10/2014

Howdy,

Now that I got my main issue resolved I can work on what I've been wanting to do more experimenting with.  Let me preface this by saying I bought these cards used, they were not in the best shape as far as coolers go (they needed cleaning, badly, which they got, to the best of my ability with q-tips & air cans), and they were previously used for coin mining of some sort, with temperature limits on them supposedly to avoid overheating, and they passed all benchmarks with no issues.

The reason I mention that is the ladder part of my title:  It seems the guy using them for mining in his wisdom, messed with the BIOS of one card but not the other.  Now I know they have a dual BIOS switch, this is how I discovered he'd done it.  What he did, as far as I can tell, is move the "UBER" stock BIOS to the "Quiet" setting, and then put a new, foreign BIOS on the "UBER" switch setting.  The "Quiet" setting on that card reads out as the exact same XFX BIOS as is on my other card in "UBER" mode.  They run the same on these BIOSes together & have no issues what so ever. 

The other BIOS however, is labeled plainly "ATI" and I cannot tell what to think of it, as it caused so many issues when it came to me trying to fiddle with the card's clocks that I immediately switched back to the other one (I of course did uninstall, clean & reinstall drivers each time I messed with things... long process but worth it to avoid issues).

So to the point of the ladder part of my title, is there a place I can A: get the original BIOS for the "Quiet" setting and then swap them back to where they should be according to the switch on that card, or B: get a possibly nicer, more overclockable BIOS that I can replace the weird BIOS on that one, and the "Quiet" BIOS on the other card with?  What program would I use to do this that you guys would recommend? 

I've done BIOS switching before but never on AMD cards, only on NVidia.

And that leads me to the other part of my topic:

Overclocking: Who here has experimented with OCing their cards, what software did you use, what clocks were you able to achieve & with what settings?  Currently I am using MSI Afterburner, now 3.0.1, and in the bits of testing I've done (keep in mind these are XFX Core Edition cards, so they run pretty warm, but I keep'em cool, load temps have never seen past 74C, and rarely go upwards of 70C for long) I've managed to hit:

+25% Power Limit, Core: 1050MHz, vRAM: 1375MHz

+50% Power Limit, Core: 1080MHz (+50mv in AB), vRAM: 1375MHz

I can't seem to get the vRAM to budget much higher than that and get artifact-free benchmarking.  I'm doing the overclocking mostly for benchmark scores, so they aren't for 24/7 stability, I just don't want to submit scores for leaderboards that have artifacted-runs in them.



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CPU: i7 3930k @ 4.6GHz 1.29V (Corsair H110-cooled) ~ Motherboard: Asus RoG Rampage IV Extreme 
RAM: G.Skill Sniper Gaming Series (4x4GB 2133MHz, CL9) ~ PSU: Corsair AX 1200W ~ Case: Enermax Fulmo GT
GPUs: 3x HIS R9 290X Reference (Core) Editions in TriFire, Max Load Temps: 71C/70C/71C during OC testing :-P

 06/22/2014 09:51 PM
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backFireX64
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Hello, HoneyBadger84.

 

For original xfx vBIOS, see this link:

http://www.techpowerup.com/vgabios/index.php?manufacturer=XFX&model=R9+290X

Flash with RBE:

http://www.techpowerup.com/rbe/

 

My advice is to not push the vram a lot. It's fine on a 1375 mhz already.

Vram is more prone to heat and malfunctions due to oc in the long run.

 

For oc see here:

http://www.hardocp.com/article/2014/02/24/xfx_r9_290x_double_dissipation_overclocking_review/3

 

http://www.overclock.net/t/1447763/amd-r9-290-290x-overclockers-club

 

I point you to links since i do not own or have experience with this card.

If you want to be absolutely sure for the stability of the oc, i suggest to just run a good, maxed-out, playthrough with Crysis 3 for a 20-30 min.

If you ctd, bsod or get the "dxgi remove device" error message, then you are not stable. Best real-time oc benchmark.



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gigabyte X58A-UD3R rev.2, core i7 975 3.9ghz (stock voltage), windows 8.1 64-bit, corsair 12gb DDR3 1600mhz 7-7-7-20 RAM, sapphire HD 6990 (stock clocks), coolermaster ultimate 900w PSU.
amd catalyst 14.6 RC2 june23

 06/23/2014 06:03 AM
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HoneyBadger84
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Well the OCs are just for benchmarks. My main concern was trying to get the second card back to the BIOSes it should have on it, in the right order, aka I want the Quiet BIOS on the right side of the switch, and the uber BIOS back where it belongs.

I suppose I could get a BIOS flasher like the one you suggested,  get the BIOS off the card thats fine, and put them on the card that has the wrong one on it. I'll check that out. 



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CPU: i7 3930k @ 4.6GHz 1.29V (Corsair H110-cooled) ~ Motherboard: Asus RoG Rampage IV Extreme 
RAM: G.Skill Sniper Gaming Series (4x4GB 2133MHz, CL9) ~ PSU: Corsair AX 1200W ~ Case: Enermax Fulmo GT
GPUs: 3x HIS R9 290X Reference (Core) Editions in TriFire, Max Load Temps: 71C/70C/71C during OC testing :-P

 06/25/2014 04:15 AM
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HoneyBadger84
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So I got WinATIFlash, and put both XFX cards in... and discovered something even more idiotic the previous owner did.

He put whatever weird-stupid BIOS he put on the one card on the OTHER one on the QUIET setting... so:

Card 1: Quiet BIOS switch setting = weird ATI BIOS, Uber BIOS switch setting = Normal XFX Uber BIOS
Card 2: Quiet BIOS switch setting = Uber XFX BIOS, Uber BIOS switch setting = weird ATI BIOS

SO what I had to do was put both on Uber, copy the Uber from Card 1 to Card 2, then put them both on Quiet, and copy the BIOS from Card 2 to Card 1...

Now one thing I noticed during this, the ATI BIOS in question apparently had HALF the ROPs disabled, it was reading out 32 instead of 64... so naturally I thought "Hey, maybe I'll get a performance gain, somehow, from this, yeah?"

After it was all said & done, I tested all 4 settings to make sure both cards were good to go on both BIOS settings in terms of not artifacting (used 3DMark11 & FireStrike to test on Performance & Extreme settings), I retested the cards with my OCs I know they can run applied to them and lo & behold...

3K performance gain in 3DMark11 P setting, 300pt gain in 3DMark11 X setting, and small gains in FireStrike as well. So I dunno what all this changing around did, but it did something good :-D

Credit mostly goes to OCN forums as they helped me figure out how to do this easily.



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CPU: i7 3930k @ 4.6GHz 1.29V (Corsair H110-cooled) ~ Motherboard: Asus RoG Rampage IV Extreme 
RAM: G.Skill Sniper Gaming Series (4x4GB 2133MHz, CL9) ~ PSU: Corsair AX 1200W ~ Case: Enermax Fulmo GT
GPUs: 3x HIS R9 290X Reference (Core) Editions in TriFire, Max Load Temps: 71C/70C/71C during OC testing :-P

 06/27/2014 02:12 PM
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backFireX64
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I think that's a lesson for all of us, especially the less experienced, on how the vBIOS can affect stability and performance.

 

I have mismatched bios version twice myself.

It didn't go that well ......



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gigabyte X58A-UD3R rev.2, core i7 975 3.9ghz (stock voltage), windows 8.1 64-bit, corsair 12gb DDR3 1600mhz 7-7-7-20 RAM, sapphire HD 6990 (stock clocks), coolermaster ultimate 900w PSU.
amd catalyst 14.6 RC2 june23

 06/28/2014 07:14 AM
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HoneyBadger84
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That's what made this so weird is why would he do it the way he did.  One had the BIOSes opposite the other in terms of BIOS switch position.  Very odd. And they didn't get along well at all when on opposing BIOSes either, which is normally not the case,  I.e. You can run one card on quiet and the other on Uber with normal matched cards no issues. But these, they had to both be on the opposite switch positions of eachother to get along. 

Least it was a relatively easy fix once I figured out the whole story and got the info on how to use the atiwinflash tool to do what I wanted to do.



-------------------------

CPU: i7 3930k @ 4.6GHz 1.29V (Corsair H110-cooled) ~ Motherboard: Asus RoG Rampage IV Extreme 
RAM: G.Skill Sniper Gaming Series (4x4GB 2133MHz, CL9) ~ PSU: Corsair AX 1200W ~ Case: Enermax Fulmo GT
GPUs: 3x HIS R9 290X Reference (Core) Editions in TriFire, Max Load Temps: 71C/70C/71C during OC testing :-P

 06/28/2014 08:46 AM
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-rascal-
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Joined: 01/15/2011

Hmm...this is quite interesting.

Well, some of the idiotic things Crypto Miners do to their cards...



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Phenom II X6 1090T @ 4.1GHz FX-8350 @ 4.8GHz // ASUS Crosshair V Formula 990FX // Sapphire Radeon HD Dual-X 7970 @ 1150/1500 // Thermaltake Frio w/ push-pull (using Antec Formula 7 Nano-Diamond + Cooler Master JetFlo fans) // 8GB (2 X 4GB) G.Skill RipJawsX 2133MHz  // Corsair TX850 850W // Corsair Force GT 120GB SSD (OS) // Kingston V200+ 120GB SSD // WD Caviar Black 1TB // Windows 7 Ult x64

 06/28/2014 08:50 AM
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HoneyBadger84
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Joined: 06/10/2014

Originally posted by: -rascal- Hmm...this is quite interesting.

 

Well, some of the idiotic things Crypto Miners do to their cards...

 

 

Indeed. I'm still quite happy both cards work perfectly other than the BIOSes needing fixing. And I got'em both for just about retail of a single new card, bout $20 less per card than they've been going for on EBay more recently.



-------------------------

CPU: i7 3930k @ 4.6GHz 1.29V (Corsair H110-cooled) ~ Motherboard: Asus RoG Rampage IV Extreme 
RAM: G.Skill Sniper Gaming Series (4x4GB 2133MHz, CL9) ~ PSU: Corsair AX 1200W ~ Case: Enermax Fulmo GT
GPUs: 3x HIS R9 290X Reference (Core) Editions in TriFire, Max Load Temps: 71C/70C/71C during OC testing :-P

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