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How to: Softmod your x800PRO into an x800XT-PE.

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Vrykyl

Tornado Guy
Joined
Dec 7, 2003
Location
UK
Following this method will involve flashing your video card BIOS to that of the Radeon x800xt which will void any warranties which you may currently have on your card. I do not take responsibility if you kill your video card.

Ok, I was recently reading an excellent guide to softmodding your radeon video card by DDR-PIII, and having not long bought an x800pro and successfully softmodded to an x800xt-pe, I was inspired to write a full guide to converting this new range of ati cards. Here goes -

Before you start the flash of your shiny new x800pro you will need the relevant BIOS and a program to flash it with. This is a list of everything you will need:

* An ATI Radeon x800pro (with succesful pipemod) or pro VIVO (which seem atm to need no hardmod) capable of 520MHz core clock and 560MHz DDR memory clock
* Flashrom v2.37 (Provided in download below)
* A copy of the Gigabyte ATi Radeon X800XT BIOS and Gigabyte Flash Utility (Both provided in download below)
* A copy of your original card type X800PRO bios (ie PRO or Pro-VIVO: both provided in download below or you can make your own)
* A copy of the final X800XT bios you wish to permanently use (Official ATI X800XT-PE bios provided in download below)
* TWO DOS boot floppy disks (WinXP dos boot disc provided in download below)
* A copy of ATI-tool 0.0.20 to verify pipes and flash success (download HERE)

Once you have downloaded the file below you should have everything you need to flash your x800pro.

Ok, firstly you will need to extract the Gigabyte archive to the first floppy disc, as this is the only flash utility to effect the pipelines. Then you will need to extract the flashrom archive to the second floppy disc, and extract one of the two provided backup pro bios' onto it as well (x8pro20.bin - if your card is a standard PRO with 2.0ns samsung ddr, or - x8pro16.bin - if your card is a VIVO with 1.6ns samsung ddr).
You now have 2 DOS bootable floppy discs, one containing the Gigabyte flash utility and the primary X800XT bios, and one containing Flashrom and both your original X800PRO bios type (part of the process and as a backup) and your final X800XT bios.

UNINSTALL ALL ATI DRIVERS BEFORE STARTING THE FLASHING PROCESS.
However, ensure whatever ATI drivers you wish to use are handy on the desktop - youll need em soon, and install ATI-tool to later verify the number of pipelines.

We are now ready to begin. Restart your computer with the gigabyte floppy disc in, boot to the dos prompt "A:\ prompt) and prepare to start the flash.

At this point before we begin the flash, if you wish to backup YOUR OWN CARDS bios instead of using one of my provided backups, swap to the Flashrom floppy disc and use the command -
" flashrom -s 0 original.bin " at the A:\ prompt.

PLEASE NOTE: the "0" in the prompt is a ZERO not an 'o'

Your own original BIOS is now saved to the floppy disk too and you can use this in case of a bad flash.

Now you are finally ready to begin the first flash. Replace\use the Gigabyte disc in the drive, and using the Gigabyte Flash Utility (NOT Flashrom) use the following command prompt-
" GVF11 -P -F x800xt.F1 "

Gigabyte Flash should begin to flash your BIOS and you should see a success confirmation message, followed by a return to the A:\ prompt.
PLEASE NOTE - the x800xt.f1 bios is a TEMPORARY bios to unlock the extra pipes, it is not good for overclocking or stability, a final x800xt bios will be installed later.

If you experience any problems DO NOT RESTART!! make sure you have the second floppy disc to hand with the backup original bios on it (your own or one of the two provided ones). As this is a dos bootable disk it will allow you to hot swap the floppy disc and reflash to your original bios. If at any stage any of the bios flashes have errors, or it becomes clear that your card is permanently hardlocked, use this method to restore your original bios.
Put the flashrom floppy disc in and use this command -
" FLASHROM -P -F 0 (bios name) "
either " x8pro20.bin " or " x8pro16.bin " depending on your card type (if using provided bios'), or " original.bin " if using your own.
Reinsert Gigabyte Flash disc and retry, ensuring the command is typed correctly.

Once the Gigabyte Flash is successful, restart your pc and boot into your OS. Be aware that after flashing your monitor may flicker on and off whilest loading windows. This is normal and your monitor should switch back on within a few seconds. Also when you are installing your video drivers the same thing will take place. Do not worry, this is also normal. Install your ati drivers and reboot. Now launch ATI-tool and check your number of pipes - it should now verify that you have just successfully unlocked all 16 pipes!!! The first stage of the flash process is complete.

If your card is a basic x800pro and ati-tool still reports 12pipes after this, retry your pipemod and retry the gigabyte flash process, your pipemod may not have been done properly or your card may be unlockable - If it is unlockable reflash to an original x800pro bios using the flashrom method and command prompt above.
If your card is a x800pro VIVO and ati-tool still reports 12pipes, try the gigabyte flash process again. If you still have 12pipes you may want to consider the pipemod (tho I will not recomend this as it is not undo-able and largely unsuccessful), but it is highly likely that you have one of the newer hardlocked VIVO cards. These are NOT soft or hardmodable at all. As above reflash to an original x800pro vivo bios using Flashrom and the given command prompt.

Those of you that have been succesful in your initial flash will now have a card that registers as an X800XT Platinum Edition!!! However, in most cases you will now aslo find that your maximum overclock has been greatly reduced. This is now remedied by the final stages of the conversion process.

Restart your pc with the Flashrom floppy disc in and boot to the DOS A:\ prompt.

We will now restore your overclock by reflashing to an original PRO bios.
Put the flashrom floppy disc in and REFLASH to the appropriate X800PRO bios using this command:
" FLASHROM -P -F 0 (bios name) "
either " x8pro20.bin " or " x8pro16.bin " depending on your card type (if using provided bios'), or " original.bin " if using your own.

Restart when the flash is finished and returns to the A:\ prompt as before. Boot into your OS again and check ATI-tool - You will now have your overclock back again, but you will still also have the 16 pipelines unlocked!! You now have a 16pipe PRO.

Now to complete the conversion process, simply restart and boot to DOS A:\ prompt one last time, and flash to your final choice of X800XT Bios to make your card a full fledged X800XT!
Use the command:
" FLASHROM -P -F 0 x800xt.rom"
if you wish to use the provided official ATI x800xt bios (which I have found is the best available for overclocking).

PLEASE NOTE - If using the provided final bios this file is a .ROM file, not a .bin.

Reboot to your OS and reload your drivers. Check ATI-tool !

If you have followed these steps you should now have a fully functional Radeon X800XT Platinum Edition!


VRYKYL


PLEASE NOTE -If your card will not happily maintain or reach xt stock speeds, you may need to do a pencil voltmod to 1.4v. Several brands of x800pro come with a stock voltage of 1.3v, whilst the stock voltage for an x800xt is 1.4v, so thus you may need to up the voltage slightly to reach a higher overclock. CAUTION - volt modding can seriously damage your card. I do not take responsibility if you kill your video card.


---------------------------------------------------------------------
PRIMARY DOWNLOAD HOST - (You need BOTH archives)
PLEASE NOTE - Primary Download Host has 5gb a day transfer limit

Archive File 1:
http://www.bigredwa.com/x800/stage1-gigabyte_flash.zip

Archive File 2:
http://www.bigredwa.com/x800/stage2&3-flashrom_pro&xt.zip

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

ALTERNATIVE DOWNLOAD MIRROR - (You still need BOTH archives)

Archive File 1:
http://www.swiftevo.com/Computer Stuff/X800pro/Bios/stage1-gigabyte_flash.zip

Archive File 2:
http://www.swiftevo.com/Computer Stuff/X800pro/Bios/stage2&3-flashrom_pro&xt.zip
---------------------------------------------------------------------

Hosting courtesy of BigRed and Z YA LTR :beer:


---------------------------------------------------------------------
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS:
Many thanks to - "DDR-PIII" for general bios flashing advice gleamed from his 9800pro-xt conversion thread, BigRed and Z YA LTR for hosting the files for everyone, "micamica1217" for detailed advice on all things ati, and "Krag" for inspiring me with his awesome modded x800xt and providing final x800xt bios.
 
Last edited:

Buzzdog

Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2002
Location
BFE, IN
Just placed an order for a Saphire x800 pro vivo from www.allstarshop.com $449 plus shipping. Hopefullly will have it in hand tomorrow. Thank you for the guide on the soft mod. Crossing my fingers that mind wont be hard locked!!!

It will take me a few days before I am up and running to try to mod though. Got new parts coming in. IC7-Max3, PIV 3.2e, 1gb OCZ PC4200 EL, and a new NB HSF and assorted sinks for the PLL and mosfets from sidewinder. Going to take me a day to prep the IC7 with conformal coating for the Prometia. This should give enough time for it and the epoxy for the sinks to cure up. Hopefully by weds day I should be powering up and running. Thursday is going to be a wash, I have to be in orientation all day for a new job. But that leaves Thursday night thru Sunday for testing and bench marks.

My bank account really wishes that I had not gotten the bug again!!! Although I am buying all of this equipment with the proceeds that I got from playing Black Jack at the casino boats. Just hope the luck continues with building this system. Goal is 4+ghz on the system, and some respectable benchmarks!
 

Mr.Guvernment

Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2003
Any benchs for this from the x800 then the modded x800 ??? basically is there proof the other pipe are in fact activated and being used?
 

Nuclear_Fuzion

Member
Joined
May 28, 2004
I have proof Mr.

Before doing the mod, i could squeeze 11K out of my system with my PowerColor X800Pro VIVO, at lower clocks after the flash...It scored well over 12K. I'm now well into the 13K range and still haven't stressed the system.
 
OP
Vrykyl

Vrykyl

Tornado Guy
Joined
Dec 7, 2003
Location
UK
Ok, main post now updated to include our primary download host courtesy of BigRed, and Ill be updating the post again later with a mirror download host (courtesy of Z YA LTR) incase BigRed runs outa bandwidth. Grab those files while theyre still hot!

And yes, the converted VIVO x800pro's do perform the same as a genuine x800xt after this conversion, as they are essentialy an x800xt with the 'wrong' bios in them! Everyone I know (inc. myself) who has done this flash using the method above has gained a minimum of 1000 3dmrk03 onions at x800pro stock speeds, with this increasing to identical x800xt performance when flashed to the full xt bios and clocks (highest pro-xt conversion 3dmrk03 score Iv seen in person is 15,389 - tho he was using a waterblock and pelt on the gpu).
Non-vivo pro's perform almost as well as the real thing when flashed, but due to the fact they have the slower 2.0ns samsung ram on them some people have found they perform better as 16pipe pros.
 

BigRed

Caffinated Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2001
Location
Mount Vernon, WA
Vrykyl said:
Ok, main post now updated to include our primary download host courtesy of BigRed, and Ill be updating the post again later with a mirror download host (courtesy of Z YA LTR) incase BigRed runs outa bandwidth. Grab those files while theyre still hot!

As long as no more than 8,332 people download those files a day ill be fine on bandwidth ;)
 
OP
Vrykyl

Vrykyl

Tornado Guy
Joined
Dec 7, 2003
Location
UK
BigRed said:
As long as no more than 8,332 people download those files a day ill be fine on bandwidth ;)

LOL, i wasnt suggesting there'd be that many people downloading but wasnt sure if they were sharing bandwidth with any pictures you might be hosting too, thought it couldnt hurt to have a mirror ;) Thanks for hosting em tho.

*edit* Main Post updated to included both primary and mirror download hosts - all files now always available - now theres no excuse for not trying this mod!!
 

BigRed

Caffinated Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2001
Location
Mount Vernon, WA
If the x800 XT doesnt get back in stock soon im just going to buy a x800 Pro vivo and give this a shot :)
Any brand I should look out for?
 

Sentential

Contributing Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2003
Location
Knoxville, TN
Are the VIVOs not only gaurnteed XT flashers, but also clock like em? I would get one now, but am afraid I will get screwed. :temper:
 

Ian Cody

Member
Joined
Dec 26, 2003
Location
Alaska
Even if it doesnt mod successfully, i would think its still a good card...

so whats the success rate on different cards? i found out about the vivo pros being good after i got my regular pro. spose ill hafta look into this more.
 
OP
Vrykyl

Vrykyl

Tornado Guy
Joined
Dec 7, 2003
Location
UK
Powercolor and Connect3d are the only no-failures yet manufacturers that iv had experience with at the moment. GeCube and Sapphire have had quite a bit of success but a LOT more failures (iv had 4 from a batch of 9 i bought for resale from saphire fail the mod). Out of the combined 27 flashes iv done with my method and files for the first 2 manufacturers NONE have failed - all flash fine and clock like XT's. Its up to you, but iv done almost 40 conversion attempts, those are my results, not had any experience with other brands, only whats readily available here in the uk :D Basically:
Powercolor and Connect3d flawless at the moment
Sapphire and GeCube are hit and miss

NOTE - ALL the cards & manufacturers I have dealt with and havce recomended ARE VIVO x800PRO's - NOT standard ones.
 

Ian Cody

Member
Joined
Dec 26, 2003
Location
Alaska
Spose i could try the mod, will hafta do pipemod first tho, will that funk stuff up if it fails? in the overclock archive deal there are lots of failed ones, so im going to make an *** out of u and me(har har... get it? assume?) its as safe as these things can get.(please correct me if im wrong)
 
OP
Vrykyl

Vrykyl

Tornado Guy
Joined
Dec 7, 2003
Location
UK
Ian Cody - The majority of the standard pro pipemods fail im afraid, you can have a go, but very few people have managed to do it....and afterwards your warranty is completely shot - a bad bios you can unflash back to original and rma, scraping away at the pcb cant be undone....