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Discussion in 'Graphics Cards' started by WalderX, Oct 27, 2013.

  1. WalderX

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Oct 15, 2013

    Posts: 1,097

    As many of you will know, the Asus bios for the 290X has unlocked voltage control so allows for much greater OC potential over all the other brand bioses. I see many people asking how to flash the card, across many forums, and I myself had no idea how to do it so have spent this afternoon gathering all the correct tools and bios files needed. I have written a complete step by step guide below, and can confirm I am now running the Asus bios and have a much higher overclock as a result :)

    Following the techpowerup guide that others have given links to does work but it links to the wrong atiflash (older version), and the command to flash is missing the -f switch.
    I have spent a bit of time today finding the correct atiflash and some bios files and have put them all together into a zip file you can grab here:


    Unzip that and you will have all the correct bits needed. You will need an empty USB stick (the HP tool will format it).

    1. Run HPUSBDisk as Admin
    2. Select Device, Change Volume label if necessary.
    3. Check "Create a DOS startup disk using system files located at:"
    4. Point it to use the win98boot files included in my zip file.
    5. Press "Start"

    Now that is done you need to copy atiflash.exe & asus.rom to the same USB stick.

    Before performing the flash I went into the AMD OverDrive control panel and set it back to defaults and unticked 'Enable Graphics OverDrive'. This meant I was back to stock and minimised risk of any problems when it booted back up with the new bios. I performed the flash in 'Uber Mode' (switch on card flicked towards the front of the computer case). You might be able to flash in 'Quiet Mode' too but I didn't see the point as I was going to be overclocking it, so uber mode made sense.

    Reboot your PC, once booted into the USB stick with the files copied you can get flashing! Firstly I ran the following command:

    atiflash -s 0 backup.rom

    This gave me a copy of my sapphire bios incase I want to reflash in future, or any problem occurred with flashing the asus bios. I have included this bios image in the zip file above (sapphire.rom).

    You are now ready to flash the Asus bios as follows:

    atiflash -p -f 0 asus.rom

    If you don't use the -f switch you will get an SSID check error and it won't go through with the flashing. If you have multiple cards you just need to run the command again, incrementing the number until all your cards are flashed.
    Reboot, remove USB stick and you're done!

    Now you will need to use Asus GPU Tweak software to do your overclocking, as far as I am aware MSI afterburner doesn't work properly with this card yet, but I haven't even tried it myself. You can get the latest GPU Tweak direct from Asus here:


    I've got mine running at 1150 core & 6000 mem @ 1.350v. Make sure you always have the power target slider set at the max of 150%, to ensure that the card can draw the power it needs when required.

    Hope this guide helps! The Asus bios rom is from Gibbo so many thanks to him for getting hold of it for us :D
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2014
  2. Gibbo


    Joined: Oct 17, 2002

    Posts: 32,012

    Location: OcUK HQ

    No problem on supplying the BIOS. :)

    I'll try to get an Asus none X BIOS as well for the regular 290. :)

    Though you can flash the X bios to the regular 290 it causes some motherboard in-compatibility issues particular with none Asus main boards.
  3. weldon855


    Joined: Oct 21, 2013

    Posts: 633

    Location: Ireland

    Nice guide it took me ages to find the updated atiflash lol
  4. VincentHanna


    Joined: Jul 30, 2013

    Posts: 20,214

    Is it stable 'under volting' it and could it do long term damage? Could do with trying to get it a bit cooler.
  5. humbug


    Joined: Mar 17, 2012

    Posts: 32,704

    I don't know for a fact but i don't see anything wrong with undervolting.

    I have been running my GPU at 1.19v for 6 Months, down from stock volts of 1.256v, and 150Mhz, or 225Mhz @ 1.21v overclocks, its been running beautifully, with nice low temps.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2013
  6. RedvGreen


    Joined: Dec 2, 2009

    Posts: 3,914

    Location: Midlands

    Wow, running it for over 6 months... and the card hasn't even been out a week yet! :eek:
  7. humbug


    Joined: Mar 17, 2012

    Posts: 32,704

    Sorry, i ninja edited my post, it now says "My GPU" :cool: its a 7870XT for those who must know :)
  8. sieze2


    Joined: Jul 26, 2009

    Posts: 684

    Good thread, and thanks for taking the time to share.
  9. Dirkscooby


    Joined: Jul 8, 2005

    Posts: 824

    Many thanks for this. Just did mine, and now I have voltage control. Yayyyy
  10. DarkBahamut


    Joined: Mar 24, 2011

    Posts: 464

    I'm quite interested to see how well these do undervolted.

    Sticking to the standard 95c/40% default profile, if you have some reasonable wriggle room on the voltage it may be possible to get some extra performance while undervolting, since performance in 'quiet' mode is limited by thermals.
  11. WalderX

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Oct 15, 2013

    Posts: 1,097

    No problem, glad to hear you guys got it flashed OK! I figured there will be hundreds of people wanting to do this so thought it worth having a full guide on the forums here.

    I actually got some gaming in today, played BF3 and was getting around 120fps on ultra - what an upgrade this is from my 580! Crysis 3 runs as smooth as butter maxed out too, didn't check the fps though.

    Deffo sold my 580 at the right time, got £160 for it on eBay - I doubt I would have got anywhere near that price in a month or two's time...
  12. Donpaolo


    Joined: Oct 23, 2013

    Posts: 62

    Just wanted to say thanks for posting that worked great. Gone from a sapphire to the asus bios getting 1100/6000 easy @1.3v like you said going to keep playing with it think there might currently be a driver issues or monitoring issue with gpu tweak as the gpu core seems to be up and down same as the load going from 100% to 0% then back up but temps are ok humm will keep messing about :)
  13. WalderX

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Oct 15, 2013

    Posts: 1,097

    Make sure the 'Power Target' is at the max of 150%, this doesn't actually increase the voltage however it just allows the GPU to draw as much power as it needs, based on the max voltage you set. Also I set my fan to manual 60% when gaming, a bit loud but I game with the speakers turned up or headphones so no problem for me!

    To test this I enabled logging in GPU Tweak (under the settings tab of the monitoring panel), and with the fans set to auto I only saw my gpu clock hit it's max of 1150 for less than 20 seconds during a 5 minute BF3 session. It was usually hovering around 1000 or less due to the temp being at 94 degrees. Tried again with fan set at 60% and it was hitting 1150 much more often, or close to that, all the time which must have been due to the temp never going above 80 degrees, so the card wasn't throttling it's speeds as dramatically.

    So in short, try with power target at max and fans at at least 55% or more and test again.

    Going to get a custom cooler for mine on payday =D most likely this one:

    Prolimatech Black Series MK-26 Multi-VGA Cooler

    Once that is installed it should allow the same/higher overclock with much quieter fan speeds :D

    And yes the general consensus is the current driver is buggy, however this is pretty standard for us release-day adopters and to be fair to AMD it is listed as a Beta driver so they acknowledge it has issues too.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2013
  14. BaDBoY_uK


    Joined: Oct 5, 2009

    Posts: 5,067

    Used this to flash to the latest MSI 280x drivers. Huge thanks!
  15. Donpaolo


    Joined: Oct 23, 2013

    Posts: 62

    I think i am going to get one as well let me know how it goes dude i have seen online that the temps can drop about 30c but that seems very high can it really be that good lol time will tell :)
  16. bru


    Joined: Oct 21, 2002

    Posts: 7,202

    Location: kent

    I am quite surprised that there is this many people willing to invalidate their warranties on cards this new and this expensive.
  17. Rangerjr1


    Joined: Sep 13, 2013

    Posts: 2,591

    I did this, and ive had nothing but problems :(
  18. Styaz


    Joined: Nov 29, 2013

    Posts: 2

    Tank you for this guide, but the download's Link for the bios is dead, can you ré up please?
  19. thewanted


    Joined: Jul 27, 2007

    Posts: 4,838

    You can get the files from HERE, but do not use the BIOS in that .zip file to flash your 290X. It's for a 290 card. I'm not sure where you can get the ASUS 290X BIOS from, sorry. Try the forums at overclock.net.

    The .zip file I linked to contains the MS-DOS files, USB bootdisk utility and ATIFlash v4.17.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2013
  20. Orangey


    Joined: Aug 22, 2008

    Posts: 8,308