Question Moments in GPU history were with a bit of luck, you got a much better product

Ottonomous

Senior member
May 15, 2014
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Like the evga 2060 KOs based on TU104 dies (blender), Vega 56 Samsung HBM, 6950 reference with unlockable shaders. The 1600AF being 8 cores in some batches being an example on the CPU side. 5700 flashing

I tried to think up some nvidia examples but failed. I thought the deeply informed stalwarts in anandtech could come up with examples.
 

mopardude87

Golden Member
Oct 22, 2018
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Yeah, I had a Phenom II 550BE dual core than unlocked to a quad core. And I had unlocked a 6950 to a 6970.
Friend of mine had one of those 550BE as well unlock to a quad core. Was done on some cheap Gigabyte mobo. Story gets a bit unlucky when i tried to upgrade her to a 2gb gtx560 from a 5770. Even with the latest bios it wasn't happening and this was in 2012 well after its release. Lucky for her i did did a system overhaul at the same time and she got my 2500k that she still uses to this day!
 

Stuka87

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Dec 10, 2010
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Friend of mine had one of those 550BE as well unlock to a quad core. Was done on some cheap Gigabyte mobo. Story gets a bit unlucky when i tried to upgrade her to a 2gb gtx560 from a 5770. Even with the latest bios it wasn't happening and this was in 2012 well after its release. Lucky for her i did did a system overhaul at the same time and she got my 2500k that she still uses to this day!
Pretty sure I had an MSI 760GM which actually had the CPU unlock feature built in.
 

mopardude87

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Oct 22, 2018
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Pretty sure I had an MSI 760GM which actually had the CPU unlock feature built in.
Mine had a Nvidia chipset i am certain it was the GA-M68MT-S2P or close to. Not sure if they made any other revisions but that one had only a single Bios from 2011.

Experience certainly left me sore for anything AMD for quite some time. I couldn't even stomach the idea of selling the stuff when she got my 2500k so i gave it to a friend who put like a 6670 in there and played years of second life on it.
 

Stuka87

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Dec 10, 2010
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Mine had a Nvidia chipset i am certain it was the GA-M68MT-S2P or close to. Not sure if they made any other revisions but that one had only a single Bios from 2011.

Experience certainly left me sore for anything AMD for quite some time. I couldn't even stomach the idea of selling the stuff when she got my 2500k so i gave it to a friend who put like a 6670 in there and played years of second life on it.
There is some irony in there about an nVidia chipset with an AMD CPU not being compatible with an nVidia GPU :p
 

mopardude87

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Oct 22, 2018
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There is some irony in there about an nVidia chipset with an AMD CPU not being compatible with an nVidia GPU :p
For sure yup. I know it was baffling to me. At least my friend who got it may still be using it with even the same gpu still. Last year he was at least. Kind of glad it went that way i guess cause i made 2 people happy for many years. I had plans to sell off the 2500k and i got my friend hyped about the 560 upgrade then i ran into the issue. I felt to bad about putting the 5770 back in and as i didn't really need the cash i just opted to upgrade her. Not that that i was looking forward to selling the stuff on craigslist anyways. To many wackos lowballing every chance they get LOL.
 

SteveGrabowski

Platinum Member
Oct 20, 2014
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Way back, during the AMD Duron days, there was also the "Pencil trick" that allowed you to unlock the multiplier
I had an Athlon XP 1800+ from that era but the pencil trick didn't work anymore so you ended up having to use a silver paint marker to connect the bridges and unlock it I think.
 

Shmee

Memory and Storage, Graphics Cards
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Sep 13, 2008
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Some 290s unlocked to 290X, and some Fury cards could unlock shaders fully or partially.
 

SPBHM

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Sep 12, 2012
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R300 with the Radeon 9500 non Pro, you could unlock half of the pipelines with a software trick and massively improve performance (from 4 to the full 8)

NV40, kind of the same deal some cards you could take from 8 or 12 to the full 16 pipelines

on top of that they could OC well.


Way back, during the AMD Duron days, there was also the "Pencil trick" that allowed you to unlock the multiplier
by messing with those bridges you could even unlock the full l2 cache in some model of Duron (64 to 256k),
and could convert AXPs to MP (for use in dual socket)
 

guachi

Senior member
Nov 16, 2010
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I used the "pencil trick" to turn my Athlon 900 MHz into a 1.0 or 1.1 GHz. It was only 100-200MHz but the price difference between the 900 and 1.0 CPUs was fairly large, IIRC.
 
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GodisanAtheist

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Nov 16, 2006
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There was a ton of this stuff back in the early days as has been mentioned in this thread.

Other, non-modding options would be cards like the 8800GT, which brought 8800GTS performance for a fraction of the price. Or a card like the HD4870 which provided top tier performance for relatively little at the time.
 
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railven

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Mar 25, 2010
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Radeon 9500 Pro -> Radeon 9700
Radeon 9600 Pro -> Radeon 9800

On the CPU side, for the wife we got an AMD 550BE dual core that unlocked to a quad core and OC'd relatively well.

I think more recently the only thing I can think of was a MSI 780 Lightning that I bought open box at Microcenter for like 75% of the going price. It had issues but RMA'd it and MSI sent me a new in-box replacement.
 

SPBHM

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Sep 12, 2012
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another thing, unlocking vram, the early reference RX 480s 4GB that could be unlocked to 8GB
there was also a 8800GT 256MB from ECS that with a bios flash could be unlocked to 512MB.
 

Thunder 57

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Aug 19, 2007
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Radeon 9500 Pro -> Radeon 9700
Radeon 9600 Pro -> Radeon 9800

On the CPU side, for the wife we got an AMD 550BE dual core that unlocked to a quad core and OC'd relatively well.

I think more recently the only thing I can think of was a MSI 780 Lightning that I bought open box at Microcenter for like 75% of the going price. It had issues but RMA'd it and MSI sent me a new in-box replacement.
Pretty sure you are mistaken about the 9600 Pro. The 9600 was entirely different and cheaper to make than the 9500/9700/9800. In fact the 9500 Pro was generally a better card than the 9600 Pro.

 

Iron Woode

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Oct 10, 1999
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Geforce 6800 LE could unlock disabled vertex and pixel pipelines

On the CPU side, you had unlockable cores on some Phenom II and Athlon II models.
I believe the card in question was the 6800GS. I had the BFG one and unlocked the shader and pipes. It seemed to work OK.

I have the card somewhere in my junk boxes.
 

DAPUNISHER

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I used the "pencil trick" to turn my Athlon 900 MHz into a 1.0 or 1.1 GHz. It was only 100-200MHz but the price difference between the 900 and 1.0 CPUs was fairly large, IIRC.
It has been nearly 20 years, but I think I had a 600 Morgan that pencil unlocked to a full 1GHz. The headroom and performance for the money was sick. Paired it with a Abit KT7-A I think. And while I cannot say it is "much better" flashing a Vega56 with 64 bios, undervolting and overclocking even further, is not exactly terrible.
 
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