If you're a proud owner of a Radeon HD 6950 then AMD has in fact handed you a Christmas gift - a Radeon HD 6970. All you need to do is unlock the hidden features.
Yes, that's right, the Radeon HD 6950 is in fact a detuned Radeon HD 6970, and the GPU can be unlocked via a simple software mod. The software modification unlocks the deactivated shaders in the HD 6950, boosting it from 1408 to 1536.
TechPowerUp has the details of the mod:
- Grab ATI Winflash from here (32 & 64-bit).
- Download HD 6970 BIOS. The Sapphire one I linked to will work on all reference design cards from any vendor.
- Make sure the BIOS switch on the card is set to the 1 position (pictured further down if you don't know where it is).
- Run ATI Winflash, click Save to save your BIOS, so you have a backup in case something goes wrong.
- Load the HD 6970 BIOS into Winflash by clicking Load Image, followed by Program.
- Let the flashing process complete and reboot your system.
- Check the shader count using GPU-Z, it should show 1536. Make sure you use version 0.5.0 or newer, the official 0.4.9 version does not support HD 6900 Series properly. If you see a shader count of 1600, your GPU-Z version is outdated.
- To ensure maximized performance open Catalyst Control Center, go to the Overdrive tab and set the PowerTune slider to the +20% setting. The "Testing" section of this article has more data on that.
- Check stability in Windows desktop applications and games.
HD 6950 cards from AMD, HIS, ASUS, PowerColor, Sapphire, XFX, Club3D, Gigabyte and Diamond have been successfully upgraded using this mod.
The design of the card makes it hard to screw up your hardware when carrying out this mod, but be warned that this is an unofficial mod, and if things go wrong, you 're on your own!