Video cards originally meant to perform in their $300 price bracket have been successfully unlocked to perform well above expectations. That’s right, owners of new AMD Radeon HD 6950 cards are able to re-flash the BIOS on their cards with a 6970 BIOS to reclaim SP and clocks that have been artificially withheld from them.
The intrepid crew over at TechPowerUp have developed and streamlined the process of updating the BIOS of Radeon HD 6950 so users have been able to unlock their card from within Windows. Initial reports have shown that a large number of users being successful in their attempts at update the BIOS of the HD 6950 to that of AMD’s full fledged flagship HD 6970.
For many of us, BIOS flashing raises red flags. What if something goes wrong while I’m flashing the BIOS? What if the power goes out? Will I be left with a ‘bricked’ card? Fortunately the AMD HD 6900 series design included a switchable bios option on many cards to allow for a more aggressive secondary BIOS . However, this also allows individuals to revert back to a secondary independent safe BIOS in the event their BIOS flash does not work. It just so happens that AMD decided to implement a similar switchable BIOS for the first time on both 6950′s and 6970′s. Coincidence? We’ll let you decide.
It should be noted that AMD neither endorses nor provides support for this BIOS Flash. This mod will put your card outside of the manufacturer recommended specifications, and may result in damage to your graphics card. Users should be aware that performing a BIOS mod will likely void your warranty with your card manufacturer.
A rather unfortunate side effect is that news of this free upgrade is likely to raise the ire of many HD 6970 owners that shelled out extra money to get the performance benefits over the HD 6950. Are you the owner of a AMD Radeon HD 6970? does this BIOS modification have you rethinking your purchase of AMD’s current flagship card? Let us know in a comment below.