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BIOS Flash / RAM OC up by 25 MHz. Have a 9800 with Samsung 8E-GCxx RAM? Read this.

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felinusz

Senior Overclocking Magus
Joined
Feb 26, 2003
Location
Taiwan
BIOS Flash / RAM OC up by 25 MHz. Have a 9800 with Samsung 8E-GCxx RAM? Read this.

Through a BIOS flash to my BBA 9800 Pro, which has Samsung 2.8 ns K4D263238E-GC2A RAM (rated for 350 MHz), I was able to increase my artifact and snow free RM overclock by a whopping 25 MHz, at stock voltage, and with no other changes but the different BIOS. I have copper RAMsinks installed on my card's RAM, and decent airflow over the card. The same environment, and room temperature was used in testing both BIOSes, and no changes were made except the BIOS flash.

The below explains why a BIOS flash is beneficial if you have a card with the Samsung 8E-GCxx chips.

posted by fldrice

9800Pros originally were built with RA-GC2A memory. Those chips went out of production at
Samsung in September '03 (the last order date was August '03) so during the August to October
time frame the cards were switched over to Samsung 8E-GC2A chips.

posted by fldrice

If you have Samsung 8E chips use the P/N 113-A07518-100 dated 8/29/03
(Giga-Cube Ultimate Extreme bios clocked 398/351 stock).

By using this Giga-Cube BIOS, which is apparantly optimized for the 8E-GCxx RAM chips, instead of the ATi BIOS my card shipped with, which is apparantly optimized for the now-discontinued RA-GCxx chips my card doesn't have, my maximum ATITool artifact free RAM overclock went from 384 MHz to 409 MHz.

This is a substantial increase, especially given that no changes have been made but a BIOS flash! :)

Maximum RAM speed, artifact free in ATITool

Stock ATi BIOS - 384 MHz
8E-GCxx Optimized BIOS - 409 MHZ

I also did a quick bit of 3Dmark testing, to ensure that the new BIOS does not affect card performance adversely. I ran 3DMark 01 at a conservative card speed of 452 core / 351 RAM, with my Mobile Barton clocked at 2200 MHz, RAM at 200 Mhz, 7-3-3-2.

3DMark 01 score, high of 5 runs

Stock ATi BIOS - 19200 3DMarks
8E-GCxx Optimized BIOS - 19190 3DMarks

The difference basically represents a theoretical 1 FPS difference in one of the low-detail game tests.

To tell what kind of RAM you have, take a look at the lettering on the RAM chips.

A 25 MHz RAM can make a big difference, and the scalability after a volt mod means the gains are actually much higher. I'm going to crank the voltage up to 3V, and see what I can do :)

I very strongly suggest that anyone who has K4D263238E-GC2A RAM on their 9800 NP / Pro try this BIOS out.

Attached below is a copy of the optimized BIOS file.
 

Attachments

  • 8e-gc2a.rar
    31.6 KB · Views: 256

Gautam

Senior Benchmark Addict
Joined
Feb 4, 2003
Location
SF Bay Area
Downloading right now! My 8E-GC33 can do 390, lets see where this gets it.

Edit: Nvm, I've been using this BIOS ever since I've had the card. Maybe this is why my memory was doing better than so many others' GC-2A...

Here's a discussion that might be relevant.
 
Last edited:

Sentential

Contributing Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2003
Location
Knoxville, TN
Im gonna look into this.....however Im still really shaky about flashing a video-card's BIOS... The last thing I need is a dead 9800
 
OP
felinusz

felinusz

Senior Overclocking Magus
Joined
Feb 26, 2003
Location
Taiwan
posted by Sentential

Im gonna look into this.....however Im still really shaky about flashing a video-card's BIOS... The last thing I need is a dead 9800

Don't sweat it, if something does go wrong for some reason, you can blind flash back to the original BIOS very easily :)

Simply use the FLASHROM -s 0 command to back up your original BIOS before flashing, save it as "ORIGINAL". If something goes wrong, and you get a garbled screen on re-boot, you just need to wait for your bootable floppy to start up (listen for the clicking), and then type the following when you're sure the DOS Prompt has loaded:

FLASHROM -p -f 0 ORIGINAL.rom

Hit enter, then count to 60, and restart your computer. Voila, blindflash complete :)

posted by Guatam

Edit: Nvm, I've been using this BIOS ever since I've had the card. Maybe this is why my memory was doing better than so many others' GC-2A...

Guatam, it's kinda funny because I found out about this indirectly when you mentioned to me that your 9800 NP had seen signifigant gains through use of a different BIOS, optimized for the card's RAM. What was your maximum RAM clock using the factory-shipped 9800 NP BIOS? I'd like to see if the gains I'm seeing are fairly standard.

With the memory at 2.9V, it seems my snow-free limit is 414 MHz. 0.2V for 5 MHz is awful, the RAM volt mod is overrated :-/.

This BIOS has clock speeds set in it that are slightly above those of a factory stock 9800 Pro. It is set to 398 core / 351 memory by default.

I altered it manually with factory stock speeds, and uploaded the file below. The below BIOS is the 8E-GCxx BIOS set to factory stock 9800 Pro speeds of 378 core / 338 memory.
 

Attachments

  • 98-fstock.rar
    31.6 KB · Views: 172

Sir Random

Registered
Joined
Mar 12, 2004
Location
Ireland
Just checked, and my 9800Pro R360 has K4D263238E-GC2A RAM :D

I flashed it with a generic samsung 128Mb XT BIOS, but didn't really gain any ram speed (380).
My 3DMarks went up ~400 at same clock speeds and my current max is 430/380.
I'll try this gigacube BIOS and see how it does. I presume I don't need to uninstall drivers going between two XT bioses? I'll post back in a while...
 
OP
felinusz

felinusz

Senior Overclocking Magus
Joined
Feb 26, 2003
Location
Taiwan
This BIOS is a standard 9800 Pro BIOS, it is not a 9800 XT BIOS. The second .rared BIOS archive I uploaded has been edited by myself for proper factory-stock 9800 Pro speeds, the original BIOS has speeds slightly above factory-stock, because it's for an "Ultimate-Extreme" version of the card.

Some manufacturers did stuff like that, I'm guessing so that they could sell their cards for more money ;)

You probably will need to re-install drivers, unfortunately.

Let me know how it goes though, and good luck!
 

Sir Random

Registered
Joined
Mar 12, 2004
Location
Ireland
felinusz said:
This BIOS is a standard 9800 Pro BIOS, it is not a 9800 XT BIOS.
Damn, I should have checked that. I just assumed it was an XT BIOS since most flashes are Pro to XT.
Anyway, as soon as I saw it was a 9800Pro, I cancelled the 9800Pro driver install and flashed back to the XT. Now I'm wondering is there an XT BIOS that's optimised for this ram? A lot of people talked about the gigacube BIOS giving best results but I don't know what ram that's for, time to google it :)

Thanks anyway, felinusz.
 

Sir Random

Registered
Joined
Mar 12, 2004
Location
Ireland
UPDATE:
Just tried the gigacube E-Die BIOS and so far I've gained 15Mhz on the ram and still no sign of artefacts in 3DMk03

I was getting 380 (382 gave artefacts) but now I'm up to 395 and still going.

I just benched at 425/395 and gained 40 marks over my 430/380 score
http://service.futuremark.com/compare?2k3=2498565

I should break 7200 with 430 core :D
 

Dukemurmur

Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2004
Location
USA, Vermont
ok can someone give me a crash flash tutorial 4 vid cards please.....as i have nvr done it b4 and i am not sure what to use or really how to do it......lol
thnxs
 

glock19owner

Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2002
If anyone tries this flash with the RA-GC2A, post your results please...

I already hit 391 without ramsinks with the RA-GC2A chips...but I also use the 5-23 BIOS...supposed to be the best for the RA-GC2A chips...

My only concern is the 389/351 default...my default is 412/365...and no this is NOT a XT BIOS...but my own modded BIOS...
 

glock19owner

Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2002
glock19owner said:
If anyone tries this flash with the RA-GC2A, post your results please...

I already hit 391 without ramsinks with the RA-GC2A chips...but I also use the 5-23 BIOS...supposed to be the best for the RA-GC2A chips...

My only concern is the 389/351 default...my default is 412/365...and no this is NOT a XT BIOS...but my own modded BIOS...

Ok, I became my own guinee pig...with the BIOS as it was...wasnt impressed...lowered my overall OC...then broke out radeditor and set the BIOS to what I like...

5081.JPG


Bring on the 6000's...and just think...I still have the v mods to do :eek:
 

redken

Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2003
Location
Puerto Rico
I have been looking everywhere for someone that can edit an AIW 9800P Bios with the "optimized" memory settings of the Giga-Cube BIOS for the regular 9800P's. I believe it should work, I just don't know how to do it, maybe I'll have someone luck here.;)
 

Dukemurmur

Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2004
Location
USA, Vermont
Hey Sent it worked guess i will give it a go tonight then and find out what i can do. What did it raise your 01 and 03 marks by(this question is 4 everyone.....)
 

Sentential

Contributing Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2003
Location
Knoxville, TN
Dukemurmur said:
Hey Sent it worked guess i will give it a go tonight then and find out what i can do. What did it raise your 01 and 03 marks by(this question is 4 everyone.....)

Yes.... 3D01 is up about 200-300 points and 3D03 is up almost 250 points
 

Sir Random

Registered
Joined
Mar 12, 2004
Location
Ireland
Dukemurmur said:
Hey Sent it worked guess i will give it a go tonight then and find out what i can do. What did it raise your 01 and 03 marks by(this question is 4 everyone.....)

Ram clock went from 380 to 402 (+22Mhz)
3DMk01: Up 275
3DMk03: Up 100

:D
 
OP
felinusz

felinusz

Senior Overclocking Magus
Joined
Feb 26, 2003
Location
Taiwan
Nice, looks like my gains are about average; ~25 MHz :)

My only concern is the 389/351 default

I have uploaded two BIOS files, in .rar archives. The first one is a "stock" Giga-Cube BIOS with the clock speeds set to 398/351 in the BIOS.

The second BIOS I uploaded is a version of the Giga-Cube BIOS that I edited, with the speeds set to "factory-stock" ATi Radeon 9800 Pro speeds of 378/338.

The second one is probably the better one to use, if you are accustomed to using inside-OS video card overclocking utilities. If you use RadEdit to overclock your card by setting the internal, "stock", BIOS clock speeds, then it doesn't really matter which you use :).

Glock - your card has the "old" RAM, the original stuff :). Apparantly the best BIOS for you would be the PowerColor 9800 Pro BIOS, which supposedly contains optimizations for the RA-GCxx chips.

I have been looking everywhere for someone that can edit an AIW 9800P Bios with the "optimized" memory settings of the Giga-Cube BIOS for the regular 9800P's. I believe it should work, I just don't know how to do it, maybe I'll have someone luck here.

I have no idea how this would be accomplished, although it might be possible through use of a Hex editor. RadEdit, the Radeon BIOS editing tool, only gives access to Fonts, onboard region features and refresh rates, CAS latencies (changing them just messes things up, typically), and clock speeds. And all 9800 Pro/NP cards have the CAS latency set to 2 in the BIOS.
 

glock19owner

Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2002
felinusz said:
Glock - your card has the "old" RAM, the original stuff :). Apparantly the best BIOS for you would be the PowerColor 9800 Pro BIOS, which supposedly contains optimizations for the RA-GCxx chips.

As mentioned in my other thread...the PC 5-23 was the best...that is what I was using to get to 500...but my card did not like the CAS1 settings in it...now with this GC BIOS...my card loves the CAS1 settings...and as you can see...the max OC did increase on core...memory...well I am about on my limit as it is...and I honestly dont think ramsinks will give me 400...not without a v mod at least...

Here is my BIOS...

WARNING:
Just becasue this BIOS worked on mine...DOES NOT mean it will work on yours...use this BIOS at your own risk...and as always when flashing a video cards BIOS...always expect to blind flash it...this way when it works you are too happy ;)...

Changed settings:

default timings: 412/365
memory timings: CAS1

Glocks BIOS
 
OP
felinusz

felinusz

Senior Overclocking Magus
Joined
Feb 26, 2003
Location
Taiwan
I'll give it a try Glock, thanks for the file :)

I'll just repeat exactly what you said:

Because of the CAS 1 timing, Glock's BIOS might give you a scrambled, un-readable boot screen.

ALWAYS BE PREPARED TO BLIND FLASH.

Save your original BIOS image, write the filename down, write *everything* down, and have a PCI video card handy if you can :).