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7990 Custom Bios - Remove Throttling

Discussion in 'Graphics Cards' started by AMDMatt, Nov 19, 2013.

  1. AMDMatt

    AMD Rep

    Joined: Jul 12, 2007

    Posts: 29,321

    Location: United Kingdom

    Using the stock 7990 bios the card will throttle under moderate load forcing the card into its non boost state of 1.170v 950/1500. In order to get optimum performance and smoothness from the 7990 i highly recommend flashing this custom bios to remove the throttling issues. Using this bios will allow the card to operate at its boost state of 1000/1500 @1.200v 100% of the time. If you plan to run the card at stock clocks of 1000/1500 i highly recommend experimenting lowering the default voltage using MSI Afterburner to 1.125v-1.175v. Doing so will reduce temperatures significantly. This will vary based on the Asic of your card and how much voltage it needs to be stable at a given clock.


    Bios Features V3

    Better performance over the stock bios
    GPU usage will not fluctuate so much as the card does not switch between power states
    250W Per Core TDP at 0% power tune (default is 179W Per Core with 20% power tune)
    300W Per Core TDP at 20% power tune.

    The 7990 has built in protection to stop the card from drawing too much power. It should turn off to protect itself if you add too much voltage or let temps get out of control. However i urge you to be responsible and not go overboard with the voltage. The limits have been raised so be sensible with your overclocks and voltage settings. For air cooling i recommend voltage no higher than 1.225v. For water cooling you should be ok up to 1.3v and beyond.

    I accept no responsibility for damaged cards. Flash at your own discretion.


    Bios Flashing Instructions

    You might want to write parts of this down or print it out.

    Included in step 7 is the download link to the two custom bios which you will flash. They are labeled Malta1 (master bios for gpu1) and Malta2 (slave bios for gpu2). Its very important you flash the master bios to gpu 1. If you flash the mater bios to the slave or the other way around the card will not function correctly. If you follow the guide closely you cannot go wrong. :)

    First of all you need to create a bootable usb stick to flash the cards in DOS.

    1. Download and install the USB disk format tool here.

    2. Download the Windows98 system files here.

    3. Create a folder called Win98boot on your desktop, extract the files from step 2 into the folder.

    4. Plug in your usb stick. Launch the USB disk format tool. Copy these settings, then click format. You need to select quick format, tick dos startup and select the Win98 folder, like ive done below.

    [​IMG]

    5. Click start, then ok and it should do it.

    6. Download atiflash. Extract it onto the usb stick.

    7. Download my 7990 bios. Extract it and cut and paste it into the usb stick.

    8. If you've done everything correctly your usb stick folder contents should look like this. Do not worry if you have more or less files than what appears in the screenshot. You may have more files than in the screenshot, depending on what OS you use.

    [​IMG]

    9. Make sure the 7990 in your pc is switched onto bios 1.

    [​IMG]

    10. Uninstall gpu drivers and any overclocking apps. Do not keep settings delete everything.

    11. Restart your pc. Before you hear the beep keep tapping F8. Boot from the usb stick.

    12. You should be at dos prompt. Type atiflash -i to get the adapter number for both your gpu's. Typically it will be 0 and 1, unless you have a gpu in a third pci-e slot. You need the adapter number to tell it which gpu to flash.

    13. To flash gpu 1 (master 7990) type atiflash -p -f 0 Malta1.rom and hit enter.

    Wait for it to finish. It will prompt you to restart but before we do that we need to flash the second gpu as well.

    Now do the second gpu (slave 7990)

    Type atiflash -p -f 1 Malta2.rom

    Once that has completed and you get a notification saying you can restart press Ctrl+Alt+Delete to restart your pc.

    All going well you should get a display and boot back into windows. Now you can reinstall fresh new drivers etc. Boost voltage and boost clock is disabled, your card thinks its a non boost card from now on in and you have the option to select 50% power setting as standard with every driver install.

    If something goes wrong and you get no display from the cards after flashing the bios. Turn the pc off and flick both cards bios switch to position 2 to use the stock backup bios. Turn the pc back on and all will be ok.


    Good luck. :cool:

    Thanks to Kaboom from oc.net who helped me begin to learn how to create my own bios. His thread where all this started can be found below. For anyone looking to get a bios made for them for other cards, this is the man to go to. :)

    http://www.overclock.net/t/1395490/ati-hd-7950-7970-bios-mod-thread
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2013
  2. 4737Joker

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Nov 22, 2004

    Posts: 1,406

    Another epic bios flashing thread :D

    How is the 7990 treating you matt, is it noticeable in BF4 over the 7950's?
     
  3. AMDMatt

    AMD Rep

    Joined: Jul 12, 2007

    Posts: 29,321

    Location: United Kingdom

    Yes it is noticeable, but im pretty anal about things and have more monitoring graphs on my overlay than Nasa. So whilst i can tell the difference immediately, not sure your average Joe would :D

    15-17.5% faster than 7950 crossfire, both at stock. Smoother performance, better minimums and complete silence. I had to have my 7950's at full fan speed to get anywhere near this 7990 and even then they still felt slower. The 7990 is just a quality piece of kit. A quick look at the PCB tells you that tbh.


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013
  4. SS-89

    Soldato

    Joined: May 13, 2007

    Posts: 6,950

    Location: London

    I'm not sure that is true regarding the 7990 throttling down under moderate load matt. I've not had any such issues in all my testing. Regardless good work on getting something up for those that need it!
     
  5. AMDMatt

    AMD Rep

    Joined: Jul 12, 2007

    Posts: 29,321

    Location: United Kingdom

    I could put up some examples of it happening, even with the gpu undervolted and at stock but i can't be bothered to go back to that crappy default bios lol. If you look at official 7990 reviews, they all exhibit the behaviour but most people don't even notice it. Only the anally aware amongst us pick it up.
     
  6. SS-89

    Soldato

    Joined: May 13, 2007

    Posts: 6,950

    Location: London

    I've watched GPU core clocks on my card in all my testing and never experienced any throttling, similar to how I never saw the drops you were experience in sleeping dogs! I don't deny it happens but I don't believe it is something everyone suffers from (myself included) as I'm super anal when it comes to testing my cards. Hell I think i've only played 1 hour of gaming since I got the card vs countless benchmarking :p
     
  7. AMDMatt

    AMD Rep

    Joined: Jul 12, 2007

    Posts: 29,321

    Location: United Kingdom

    Maybe your cores do not draw as much Wattage as the rest of us, or perhaps your bios has a higher TDP. If you give me your bios ill take a look. Apologies if you already gave it to me. :p
     
  8. SS-89

    Soldato

    Joined: May 13, 2007

    Posts: 6,950

    Location: London

    At work and in addition I'm now using a modified bios (asus one for memory voltage) but possibly either of those could have been true!
     
  9. teppic

    Mobster

    Joined: Jun 25, 2013

    Posts: 4,891

    Location: Warks

    Before and after benchmarks, Matt.
     
  10. murah

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Nov 15, 2009

    Posts: 2,451

    Location: East Sussex

    Nice guide, maybe I should write one for the GTX 600 series , using a custom bios here that increased power limit to prevent throttling
     
  11. Footyslayer

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Mar 16, 2009

    Posts: 1,572

    Great guide, done the worrying bit, now just reinstalling drivers and afterburner!

    LtMatt, you sir are a legend!
     
  12. Admiral Huddy

    Don

    Joined: Feb 17, 2003

    Posts: 27,808

    Location: Chelmsford & Broadgate

    Added to sticky links as request ltMatt :)
     
  13. 4737Joker

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Nov 22, 2004

    Posts: 1,406

    Which 7990 did you go for matt?

    I have been looking at upgrading my gfx card and sadly can't crossfire unless i can find a skinny 7950 or buy a new motherboard, the sata ports are in the way on my board as they are all populated. I tried a his iceq 7950 and it would not fit in straight, it went in the slot but i could tell it was putting a lot of pressure on the cables and the card.

    To be fair my single 7950 plays bf4/tomb raider lovely, but i want to push some higher fps through my 144hz monitor to see what the difference is.
     
  14. Nocky24

    Mobster

    Joined: May 19, 2009

    Posts: 2,849

    Location: Near Birmingham

    Cheers Matt, will be giving this a go for sure!
     
  15. AMDMatt

    AMD Rep

    Joined: Jul 12, 2007

    Posts: 29,321

    Location: United Kingdom

    Thank you. Happy to help.

    Cheers. :)

    XFX 7990. Got a good one as well it seems.

    The 7990 is long and thin. Really thin.
     
  16. 4737Joker

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Nov 22, 2004

    Posts: 1,406

    The width won't matter too much on a single card, it was the second slot on my board I had trouble with.

    Did you get the one with the free psu? :) seen an MSI for £399 somewhere else but I want to order through ocuk.
     
  17. Footyslayer

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Mar 16, 2009

    Posts: 1,572

    Gah, no matter what I do since doing this I cannot get the latest beta MSI afterburner to install :(
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013
  18. AMDMatt

    AMD Rep

    Joined: Jul 12, 2007

    Posts: 29,321

    Location: United Kingdom

  19. MrClark

    Gangster

    Joined: Aug 14, 2012

    Posts: 124

    Like a twizzle stick.
     
  20. Footyslayer

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Mar 16, 2009

    Posts: 1,572



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