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Gods I'm hardcore - Her Most Regal Majesty, the Queen of Snark
void where prohibited, except by law
Gods I'm hardcore
(Yes, that was flippancy. I should definitely get signs made up or something. The other night I managed to nark off, to a greater or lesser degree, several role-player project managers by flippantly commenting that someone couldn't be a real roleplayer on the grounds they were too organised. Of course it was just typical that I was sitting right next to three roleplayers who are organised for a living, and thus took it personally. I mean it's not even as if it were meant seriously, but of course it was taken seriously. Oh dear.)

Sometimes I just get the urge to tinker. I can't help it. So, coming across the fact again that my current graphics card, an Asus N6200, was in fact just a firmware crippled 6600 chip, I experimented with enabling the missing turned off bits using a bit of software called RivaTuner. This led to my display developing a rather bad case of red dots in graphics mode.

Ah well, thinks I, it was not to be. This must've been one of the units that did actually fail QA as a 6600 and thus had the malfunctioning bits disabled. However, thinks I, it didn't actually crash, so it's just conceivable that it's an incompatibilty between the N6200 BIOS with all the pipelines, or whatever thingamajub was disabled, enabled. So I have a quick look around for an ASUS 6600 BIOS that matches my cards spec., and flash it just for giggles. This is the hardware equivalent of living dangerously. If there's some unforseen difference between the two cards, things can go seriously titsup and a non-booting computer may be the result. I was having visions of having to boot the machine blind to restore the old BIOS.

Anyway, not only did I not brick my machine, the card works flawlessly with the 6600 BIOS. Woo and yay! The upshot of this is that I appear to have got myself about 40 quids worth of extra graphics card for no money. Go me.

Or maybe not. I'm certain that the BIOS has flashed, because I can download it from the card and it's definitely the 6600 BIOS. However, RivaTuner reliably informs me that Pixel Unit 1 is still not enabled. Sure enough, enabling it using RivaTuner brings back the red dots again, so the knackered pixel unit theory seems to hold up after all. However, and this is the weird thing, I'm still getting a boost in performance of about 25% using the 6600 BIOS. Given that without the pixel unit, there shouldn't be a difference, I'm not complaining, however.
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fractalgeek From: fractalgeek Date: January 25th, 2006 01:22 am (UTC) (Link)
I have a Sapphire X800, which performs extraordinarily well for the cost. After buying it, I discovered that there are actually two versions, and what the difference is, is that one comes with on-chip temp sensors, and the other doesn't. The "Self-overclocking" feature basically winds the speed until it gets too hot for comfort.

There is a third-party utility to "cook" the GPU. It gradually winds up the speed, until it sees errors from the GPU, then back off a bit, tries another combination of parameters..... Of course, this doesn't work if you don't have the same exterior temp forever without rechecks, but even by taking half the suggested increase as safe, I still got another 5%
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