Performance boost for X800 GT cards with R480 GPU

Published on  by Gearloose ‐ In  ‐ Reading time: less than a minute

Some hackers had noticed that their Powercolor X800 GT's were being improperly identified as having R423 chips, even though they have checked and found that they are indeed R480 chips. After some poking around and bios hacking, they found that using the hacked bios rather than the Powercolor X800 GT bios at the same clock speed and both at 8 pipelines yielded at least a 100 point increase (potentially a 200 point increase) in 3dmark05 scores at X800 GT clock speeds

It's an excellent mod, and can raise your scores in 3DMard 06 up about 700 points.


You will need the following tools:

  • ATITool - Used to check your video card settings.
  • ATIFlash - Used to flash your video card with the new BIOS
  • A new video card BIOS, which can be found later in this article.

There is only really one sure way to do this, remove your heat sink CAUTIOUSLY, and scrape the thermal paste off and if your GPU says "R480" then you HAVE a card capable of the mod. Although, some cards actually have the R480 GPU, but ATi started etching R423. Either that or the card is being improperly set as a R423. ATITool can tell you what chip you have by holding SHIFT and clicking "Settings". It will say "Chip Name" and then to the right the name of your chip. (Mine was R423 before flash, and now its R480 after, but I took off my HSF (Heat sink and fan) to make sure my GPU was a R480, which it was)

Step 2: Download the BIOS
Now that your sure your card is an R480, its time to download the right BIOS for yourself. There are a few different bios, and None of these will identify the card as an X800 GT. Since ATI's driver package does not support an X800 GT with an R480, which would be why the Powercolor cards don't have it set as such.
This is the second revision of the Powercolor X800 GT bios, but modified to be identified as a Powercolor X800 GTO with an R480.
This is an actual HIS X800 GT bios from the iTurbo version, modded to R480

Sapphire.X800GTO2[GT_clocks] Sapphire.X800GTO2[GT_clocks] Sapphire.X800GTO2[GT_clocks]
The above three are a modified Sapphire X800 GTO/GTO2 bios with clocks modified to X800 GT clocks and subvendor id set to the company named in the file name.
This is the bios for the GECUBE X800 GT, modded to R480
This is the bios for the Powercolor X800 GT Evo, modded to R480
This is the first revision Powercolor X800 GT bios, modded to R480
This is the bios for the Club3D X800 GT, modded to R480
This is the bios for a GECUBE X800 GT 128 MB, modded to R480

All of the bioses are modded to 16 pipelines, so that all available pipelines will be used (all that aren't locked elsewhere).

Step 3 : Preparing for flash
Once you have the BIOS you need (double check and make sure its the right one), its time to flash your video card!
Put all the files from the "FlashROM" folder onto a floppy (sorry, CD's won't work, time to un-legacy free your pc!) Name your new BIOS something simple like "Newbios.ROM" and remember what you named it so you can flash it, also put this new BIOS on the floppy.

Step 4 : Backing Up
Boot into DOS and insert the ATIFlash floppy. Run ATIFlash.exe and type "atiflash -s 0 backup.rom" It's recommended you name your backup, backup.rom or backup.bin, or old.rom/bin. Something easy to remember if something goes wrong.

Step 5: Flashing
Boot up into DOS and insert the ATIFlash floppy. Here's the tricky part...
Run the ATIFlash.exe and now type this "atiflash -p 0"
It should give you some information then say "P/N Mismatched" and "Error 0FL01 : Press "1" to continue".

The reason for this is because the new bios your using has a different P/N number. Some BIOSes don't do this, they will just flash, which is fine, but if you get the error DON'T PANIC, IT''S NORMAL. The worst thing to do would be to shut off your PC. Now, type the following "atiflash -p -f 0 xxx.ROM" put your BIOS name in for xxx, also you can save your bios as .rom or .bin either will work.

The -f command tells atiflash to FORCE the flash reguardless of the P/N mismatch. If you still get an error, then load your old bios back on by typing this:
"atiflash -p -f 0 backup.rom" or whatever you named your backup. Now restart your PC, your card cannot be flashed.

NOTE : Sometimes ATIFlash gets finicky and you will have to type "atiflash -f -p 0 xxx.ROM". So you will have to start using the -f command right after atiflash. If that still doesn't work, your card cannot be flashed.

Step 6 : Restarting!
Now, if everything has gone correctly and the flash is good, then you can go ahead and restart your PC. If it boots up as normal then yay! Now run your benchmark of choice, or just monitor your FPS in-game, or if you spend way too much time playing games (like me) you can tell if the performance improved just by playing.

Bad Flash?
If you flashed and restarted but now your not getting picture to your monitor, you got a bad flash. Sometimes they happen, and reflashing with the new BIOS will fix it. To fix a bad flash, you will need a PCI video card and a free PCI slot. Insert the card, and boot into DOS again and follow these steps :

Run atiflash again and type :
"atiflash -p -f 0 backup.rom" or whatever you named your backup. Shutdown your PC and remove the PCI card, and boot off of your X800 again. The picture should be back. If not, your card fried, (extremely small chance) and an RMA can fix this, if your card is fairly new, if its older, time for a new card...

NOTE : All the above BIOSes are created by ShadowFlare.


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