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ashasha
09-04-2004, 06:31 AM
I have been playing around with OC'ing and stuff a lot more recently due to the fact that FC is a system crippler. I have no other need to OC except for this game. Anyway I bought a Zalman heatpipe and some ramsinks and started OC'ing, it worked great. My AIW 9700 Pro was doing 370/345 without a single artifact. So I thought, "hey I am an Electronics Engineer, I can try a few volt mods." Wrong idea. I couldn't find any guides specifically for my card, although I did find one with the same exact PCB as mine. I went through and spent a lot of time doing this mod so that it would be reversible and esily disabled when not needed. I had a seperate board for test points and the 2 20 turn trimmers (10K and 20K)that would adjust the voltage. I must admit that it looked beautiful. I even set it up so that with just the press of a button on my front panel the fans would go from 7V to 12V and the voltmod would be turned on or off at the same time. This is great because with Radlinker I can OC for specific games. Push the button, the fans speed up, the card is overvolted and start the app and it OC's. Pretty good plan. Not.

I don't konw what went wrong but with the mod in line there was no adjustment, voltages would drop to exacly half of what they were supposed to be (causing artifacting obviously) and no matter what I did it wouldn't change. Until I go to the pots range of almost directly shorting the feedback voltage to ground (probably about 7 ohms or something). POP!! The system shuts down and the card never works right again. I undid everything but it is toast. There are colored blocks everywhere in DOS and just vertical lines at the login screen.

I am not so worried about the card, it wasn't what I would call new anymore and I was looking for a reason to upgrade, but the AIW 9800 Pro that I just ordered to replace it is not the card that I wanted. I was really hoping that ATi would release an AIW x800 series card. $200 for a used one with no cables on Ebay is a decent deal, but I just don't think that it is going to wow me like a "real" upgrade would. You know, like going from a TNT to a 6800 would be impressive. That is what an upgrade should be like.

But what really makes me mad is that I can't figure out what went wrong. Looking at everything I had doubled checked and triple checked everything and the circuit just wasn't right. Others have done it with no problem, even some people that just use SMD grabbers and resistors have gotten it to work. They don't even know Ohm's Law, but they did it. I get paid to do this kind of work for a living. I had a nice design and know for a fact that it was hooked up right. I just want to know what went wrong. Maybe I should think about a career at McDonald's. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Needless to say this is the last v-mod for me. I just wanted to play and I did. I lost the game though.

ashasha
09-04-2004, 06:31 AM
I have been playing around with OC'ing and stuff a lot more recently due to the fact that FC is a system crippler. I have no other need to OC except for this game. Anyway I bought a Zalman heatpipe and some ramsinks and started OC'ing, it worked great. My AIW 9700 Pro was doing 370/345 without a single artifact. So I thought, "hey I am an Electronics Engineer, I can try a few volt mods." Wrong idea. I couldn't find any guides specifically for my card, although I did find one with the same exact PCB as mine. I went through and spent a lot of time doing this mod so that it would be reversible and esily disabled when not needed. I had a seperate board for test points and the 2 20 turn trimmers (10K and 20K)that would adjust the voltage. I must admit that it looked beautiful. I even set it up so that with just the press of a button on my front panel the fans would go from 7V to 12V and the voltmod would be turned on or off at the same time. This is great because with Radlinker I can OC for specific games. Push the button, the fans speed up, the card is overvolted and start the app and it OC's. Pretty good plan. Not.

I don't konw what went wrong but with the mod in line there was no adjustment, voltages would drop to exacly half of what they were supposed to be (causing artifacting obviously) and no matter what I did it wouldn't change. Until I go to the pots range of almost directly shorting the feedback voltage to ground (probably about 7 ohms or something). POP!! The system shuts down and the card never works right again. I undid everything but it is toast. There are colored blocks everywhere in DOS and just vertical lines at the login screen.

I am not so worried about the card, it wasn't what I would call new anymore and I was looking for a reason to upgrade, but the AIW 9800 Pro that I just ordered to replace it is not the card that I wanted. I was really hoping that ATi would release an AIW x800 series card. $200 for a used one with no cables on Ebay is a decent deal, but I just don't think that it is going to wow me like a "real" upgrade would. You know, like going from a TNT to a 6800 would be impressive. That is what an upgrade should be like.

But what really makes me mad is that I can't figure out what went wrong. Looking at everything I had doubled checked and triple checked everything and the circuit just wasn't right. Others have done it with no problem, even some people that just use SMD grabbers and resistors have gotten it to work. They don't even know Ohm's Law, but they did it. I get paid to do this kind of work for a living. I had a nice design and know for a fact that it was hooked up right. I just want to know what went wrong. Maybe I should think about a career at McDonald's. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Needless to say this is the last v-mod for me. I just wanted to play and I did. I lost the game though.

fabulouscoops
09-04-2004, 07:33 AM
Sorry to hear about you experience. Well, you had fun trying and learned something and got a new vid card so it is not a total loss.
I am in the same place you are in terms of getting into the hardware aspect of computers a bit more. I am planning to flash the BIOS on my 9800 pro to XT and I have even overclocked my intel mobo 4% using burn-in mode until I get a proper Asus or Abit board. A great place to get info is the overclockers.com forums... everything you ever wanted to know about computers is there with the smartest folks in the business. If you are not there already, join now. Say hi to me when you do , same nickname.

P4-HT 3.0 GHz (northwood, 800MB FSB, 512k L2 Cache) Win XP Home SP1
Radeon 9800 Pro 128MB, 256 bit (378/338), Directx 9.0C, Cat 4.9 beta
1024 MB (2x512) Mushkin PC3200 DDR 400 RAM [2-3-2-7], Intel D865PERL Motherboard
Plextor 52x32x52 CD-RW, Audigy 2ZS, SATA WD 37 GB Raptor, WD 120 GB Caviar
19" flat screen CRT @90 Hz, 400 Watt Antec PS
3DMark03 5860; aquamark3 43,700

ashasha
09-04-2004, 11:27 PM
You mean here? http://forums.ocfaq.com/showthread.php?p=18286

This was what I used as my reference. I have done a few mods in my time, nothing in the last 4 or 5 years, but I have done nicely with projects in the past, preperation and research is the secret. This is the first time that I have burned something up which is what makes it so frustrating.

I bought a 9600XT today just to see what kind of performance there was. The manager said that I could bring it back if I didn't like it since it was an open box. I spent about 20 minutes with it and was utterly disappointed. Considering that it has a 500MHz core speed from the factory and the new R350 or 360 GPU I expected something similar to my old burnt up 9700 Pro. About half the FPS in FC. I don't know why, I haven't really checked into other places for benchmarks, but I can say with confidence that my 9800Pro should trounce this and feel that much better about my purchase from E-Bay the other night. Seriously though it was bad, I guess that there is a 9600 Pro out there, but I don't see it jumping up to twice the fps of the xt.

ToranagaSama1
09-05-2004, 01:04 AM
Hi,

I'm not an EE, but below is my thoughts,

What probably happened is that the Zalman wasn't sufficient to keep the card cool as you upped the voltage and the clock.

MOST, people who do the volt mod and really push their clocks, ALSO, have superior cooling. They use some version of *Water* cooling; or they do some sort of mod using a CPU HS/F combo.

The Zalman has mixed reviews. I haven't noticed any *serious* o/cers using it.

---

Check my last post in this thread:
/syspec (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums?a=tpc&s=400102&f=170106891&m=640002107)

The 9600XT has a great clock speed, better than the 9700pro, but it still ONLY has 4 pipelines and 128-bit buswidth to the 9700pro's 8 pipelines and 256-bit buswidth!

I used to use a AIW too, but found that you get locked into a AIW upgrade path (since there's only one AGP slot); and the AIWs always cost more.

I think it better to get a separate PCI TV card along with a non-AIW card.

In any event, if I were upgrading now, I'd look into a 9800 pro and flash to XT speeds; or, a 9800XT w. 256 megs of RAM, which can be flashed to x800; or an x800 pro w. 256 megs of RAM which can also be flashed; or, if you just wanna be cost conscious a 9500 which can be flashed.

You'll need to check the specifics as memory is failing, at the moment. But, the above is *generally* correct. Gotta do the homework.

I don't think you're necessarily going to get that *WOW* factor going from a 9700pro to a 9800pro. For that I think you need to go x800 w. the 16 pipes, etc.

Here's a 9700pro vs. 9800pro comparison review:
9700pro v 9800pro (http://www.hardocp.com/article.html?art=NDQ4LDE=)

Wish I had the skills to do the volt mod, perhaps when I have more time.

Here's a link to a 9700pro vmod review at Xbit:
ATI RADEON 9700 PRO Extreme Overclocking Experience (http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/radeon9700pro-overclocking.html)

Luck!

NumBeeK
09-05-2004, 01:17 AM
If you're thinking of flashing agp bios, look at this excellent site for guides and files.
http://www.mvktech.net/

Come Die With Me........

ashasha
09-05-2004, 05:15 AM
Yeah, I saw the 9700 vs 9800 Pro comparison, the one thing is that they downclocked the 9800 to the 9700 speeds so that makes a difference. I was real close to going with a seperate PCI or USB2/firewire capture solution, but I have so many peripherals that I didn't want another thing hanging out of the box and I have gone through all of the growing pains of MMC and know it pretty well. What works, what doesn't and realtime MPEG2 capture is pretty nice to have. Plus the truth is that a new x800 or even 9800XT plus a capture card is going to set me back a lot more than $200, more like $400-500. There's that whole price vs. performance ratio that I think that the AIW 9800 maximizes a little better than the x800+seperate capture solution. Atleast for right now. The flash solution was a heavy consideration, but the truth is that the biggest difference between the 9x00 series is just clock speeds. If I can OC just a little bit it is not a difference that I can't make up. The extra pipes are a huge difference, but you know as well as I do that that mod is not 100% guaranteed. Sometimes the extra pipes are locked because they are flakey. Kind of like the 875 vs 865 chipset and GAT/PAT. They bin speed these chips and the ones that fail become the slower/economy products. I also know that it is more money for them to retool a factory for another chip and it is cheaper for them to put the same chip on the same PCB with a different BIOS for the more affordable line. There are a lot more options out there for me to play with, but the AIW 9800 was in the price range that I wanted, does everything that I need and I know that as it is it will work for me. There aren't a lot of mods for this series, most AIW guys don't mod them, but as I said before that was the last v-mod atleast that I do for quite sometime. Until I can see one in person that works I won't be trying it. It is too expensive when you screw up and I was actually trying to clock to 9800 speeds. This way I can do it without tweaking anything.

I now for a fact that the cooler was fine for what I was trying to do, mainly because I never even got the v-mod to work as intended. The voltage never changed until it was basically shorted to ground, no cooler was going to save that. I think that I either burned up the feedback loop on the voltage regulator, the regulator itself, the clock oscillator, or even something stupid like one of the pipelines. The RAMDAC and that whole part of the path is fine since I do have a video output, it is just corrupted. If I knew what the circuit was like and even knew what was likely to be the burnt component/s I could replace them (if I could even get the parts) and get it running again, but even though I am SMD certified I don't have a real good soldering station available and doing kind of work without even a waveflow tip is a nightmare.

I may do some test comparisons to see if there are any major differences in resistance or maybe even voltage on the two cards just to try to fix the 9700, but by the time that I get back up and running my interest will more than likely dwindle away.