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The guide to soft-modding

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james.miller

Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2002
Location
Dunstable, uk
The softmod explained.


Q. what is the "softmod", what does it do?
A. The softmod is a software hack that enables the 4 extra disabled rendering pipelines on the 9500non-pro. It has exactly the same effect as the hardware mod (link provided below) but it doesnt require any bios flashing/hardware modification. As a result it is generally more successful (hardware mods easily go wrong) and is the prefered method.

Q. what cards does the mod work on?
A. the 9500NON-PRO and the 9800SE only. all other cards based on the r300 gpu - the 9500PRO, 9700NON-PRO and 9700PRO, and all the other 9800's (non-pro,pro and xt) have all 8 pipelines already enabled.

The 9600's only have 4 pipelines period - there are no other pipelines to enable.

Q. After doing the mod i now get checkerboards - what is this?
A. Unfortunatly, you have a core with broken/faulty pipelines. there are solutions that can help, such as disabling "hierarchical Z" or "hyper Z" via rage3d tweak (link below), but it's a long shot.

Q. If i try the softmod and it fails, can it damage my card?
A. No. No damage will be done. removing the hack is as simple as re-installing the drivers. Just download the official driver and install them without the hack.

Q. Can the cards with the "in-line" memory be modded?
A. yes. All 9500non-pro's and 9800se's can potentially be modded, regardless of wether they have "L" (256bit) or "I" (128bit) ram arrangements.

R300 core

64mb 9500np "I" >> hybrid 64mb 9500p (there arnt any "real" 64mb 9500p's)
128mb 9500np "I" >> 100% 9500pro
128mb 9500np "L" >> 100% 9700non-pro.

r350 core

128mb 9800se "I" >> hybrid 9500pro with an 350 core (instead of the 9500's r300)
128mb 9800se "L" >> 100% 9800non-pro or better.

Here's a picture of the type types of memory arrangements (applies for both the 9500np and 9800se):

128_256.jpg



The Various Procedures:

There are 3 main ways you can open up your 8 pipelines. You can either:
1) Download the modified ATi Cat's from wizzards site HERE
2) Download the Omega ATi Drivers HERE. These allow you to choose between running 4 or 8 pipelines on installation.
3) If all else fails, modifiy the Ati Cat's manually. Here's how it's done:

  1. 1) First off, if you have already installed drivers and now want to try this mod, you must first uninstall the drivers, reboot, then delete ati2mtag.sys from C\windows\system32\drivers. Now reboot and you're good to go.

    2) download the drivers and the "patched ati2mtag.sys" from:
    http://www.ocfaq.com/softmod/

    3) run the driver setup and continue through the setup and let it unpack the files into its defult directory - once the files are unpacked, cancel the setup.

    4) Unzip the patch ( the file inside will be called "ati2mtag.sys" ) and copy the file to:
    C:\ATI\SUPPORT\wxp-w2k-radeon-7-88-030430m-008946c-efg\2KXP_INF\B_09006

    5) Delete "ati2mtag.sy_" from that directory.

    6) Run the setup.exe once again from:
    C:\ATI\SUPPORT\wxp-w2k-radeon-7-88-030430m-008946c-efg

    and carry through to the end of the installation.
    [/list=1]
    Remember:
    • You do NOT have to flash the bios for this to work, or to overclock the card - 9500np's and 9800se's are unlocked from the factory.

    Interesting and useful links:
    UPDATE:
    9800se's can apparently be softmodded aswell. If anybody has any more info/personal experiance, please either PM me or post it here. Thanks.
 
Last edited:
OP
james.miller

james.miller

Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2002
Location
Dunstable, uk
the softmod is totally reversable, software-only. solution. the prefered method since it doesnt require any hardware modifications

The hardware mod is also reversable, but is a rather more "perminant" solution. it requires taking the heatsink of and moving the position of a resistor. then a bios flash is required. After that, the card really is a 9700 and hacked drivers arent needed.

Its risky buisness though - most people can't solder well enough to attempt moving that surface mount resistor - the reason why the softmod is so popular.
 

Namagomi

Disabled
Joined
Mar 20, 2001
Location
Dallas, Texas and Tulsa, Oklahoma
But hardmod can be successful where softmod fails?

Also, is there a link to show which resistor, etc, etc?

If it comes to that, I'll just go to my handy-dandy local TV repair shop to get a resistor soldiered on!
 
OP
james.miller

james.miller

Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2002
Location
Dunstable, uk
no. both do exactly the same thing. the hardmod just enables the card to regester as a 9700, negating the need for the hacked drivers. if anything, the softmod is more successful because its easier to do.

the hardmod
 

D2DM

Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2001
Location
NL
there's no need to move the tiny resistor.
Conductive material bridging the gap, leaving the resistor in place, will also work.
 

MrMarbles

Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2003
Location
New Jersey, US
Damian said:
Pretty nice... I vote for a sticky.

ditto .. its getting annoying having to explain same stuff over and over again.

btw james, renaming ati2mtag.sys isnt necessary (or at least wasnt in my case)
 
OP
james.miller

james.miller

Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2002
Location
Dunstable, uk
thanks guys:)

@Mr.Marbles - yes that's right - i remember lol. i read over old posts here and there was an old thread that i actually posted about that in. 'Totally forgot lol

i will update it shortly. more info on the mod itself will be added.
 
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Nolo31

Member
Joined
May 4, 2003
Location
Sheboygan Falls
This isn't working out for me, sorry to say :(. I do everything like you have described, then after it reboots and runs its self test (screen turns black for a couple seconds) and i set the resolution to 1024x768, I get major checkerboarding. I tried this with the original bios and warp11's bios. Both result in the same thing. Any other suggestions? By the way, this card doesn't like me overclocking my system aswell. It crashes benchmarks, even when the video card is on stock settings. I'm not impressed with this card so far.

By the way I have a 9500 np L shaped memory.
 

Shade00

Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2002
Location
Louisiana Tech University
Wish you hadn't made this thread. I'm feeling the need to give the softmod another go. :p Last time I did it was on an old unformatted setup. Maybe my luck will change this time.
 
OP
james.miller

james.miller

Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2002
Location
Dunstable, uk
Nolo31 said:
This isn't working out for me, sorry to say :(. I do everything like you have described, then after it reboots and runs its self test (screen turns black for a couple seconds) and i set the resolution to 1024x768, I get major checkerboarding. I tried this with the original bios and warp11's bios. Both result in the same thing. Any other suggestions? By the way, this card doesn't like me overclocking my system aswell. It crashes benchmarks, even when the video card is on stock settings. I'm not impressed with this card so far.

By the way I have a 9500 np L shaped memory.
there really isnt much you can do, no - not if its that bad. it's no fault of the mod, its just that your core sems to be one with the faulty pipelines.
 

hoppelswat

Registered
Joined
Jun 24, 2003
Location
Bethesda/Maryland
Re: The correct way to do the softmod

Originally posted by james.miller 3) Delete "ati2mtag.sy_" from that directory.

  • if your running winXP, then you must have "hide extentions for known file types" unchecked to do this - otherwise you cant change the extention from ".sys" to ".sy_"


  • Why do I have to change an extention ? I just deleted the ati2mtag.sy_ file and then copied the hacked driver in the same folder...did I do that right ? I get checkerboards...
 

katka

Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2003
Location
South Carolina
I have a question. Is there a program I can get that will let me apply and unapply the softmod without having to uninstall the drivers and reinstall them?

Oh and does it hurt the card to have it softmodded it you get artfacting (I get little dots on the screen, but it's not that bad and doesn't really bother me)?