Can you switch bios on the R350 core. Im looking to get a higher overclock without voltmodding. Will changing my bios increase my overclock? Thanks. Btw, How do you switch bios on a R350 9800 pro? Do you use a floppy or program?
You can flash an XT bios, but a higher overclock is not guaranteed. Some people have had some success getting a few more mhz, but most people don't get much of anything. It is my understanding that the only thing flashing to the XT bios does is change the memory timings.
The BIOS you use does indeed have some somewhat-major effects on how your card overclocks.
Depending largely on the RAM that your card has, the stock BIOS (the one it came with) might not be the best one for your card.
For example, my card has Samsung 8E-GC2A RAM chips on it, at stock voltage with my card's stock BIOS, my stable RAM limit was ~384, with the Giga-Cube BIOS it went up to 409, and a volt mod added another 5 MHz on top of that.
9800 (NP/Pro) video cards have had a lot of 'revisions' over time; different RAM chips have been used, different PCBs have been used by diffferent manufacturers, and presently even different cores and parts intended for more expensive 9800 XT cards are being used in 9800 Pros, to save costs by shutting down fabrication of old, out-dated hardware, like R350 cores.
As such, the BIOS your card ships with is almost certainly not the best one for your card. A few examples, if you have an R360 with an XT PXB, you want to use an XT BIOS - if you have Samsung 8E RAM there is a specific BIOS that will probably be best for your card - if you have Hynix RAM there's an optimized BIOS for you as well - etc. etc.
The only real solution is to check out your card's RAM and core, write the numbers down, and start doing some research on the best BIOS you can use. Or you can just try a bunch, and decide based on results .
Read this thread HERE for some more info on the Giga-Cube BIOS I'm using, which is optimized for 8E-GCXX RAM chips.
I got really lucky and got an awesome card. I modded the cooling with an 80 mm fan and an old heatsink I had around also. That helped get me up to 485 on the core.
*You may want to read the sticky in the ATI section on modding your 9800 to an XT*. Many of the people that posted there had artifacting and other graphical anomolies after flashing an XT bios. Also, I will say again that most people do not get much more of an overclock. You may get a few more mhz on the ram due to the loosening of the memory timings, but your core will stay the same. If you really want to overclock, look into some better cooling and maybe even taking the time to learn how to voltmod your card. Good luck.