Ati 3870 Bios

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by H00NER, Jul 9, 2008.

  1. H00NER macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2007
    #1
    Could someone please post the BIOS/ROM from the new Mac/PC ATI 3870 card?

    You can write the BIOS file from within Windows/Bootcamp by using GPU-Z. If you do not want to post it here, please consider adding it to the VGA Bios Database at techPowerUp!.

    I ask not just for myself, but for the "community." :)
     
  2. G5isAlive macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2003
    #2
    I have never flashed a rom so I ask out of ignorance...

    but... what are the legalities? If ATI wanted the BIOS to be public wouldn't they put it under downloads on their web site? Is the reason to put on techpower up is that it's anonymous?

    I am asking because I don't know the answer. Not pointing a finger.
     
  3. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    #3
    As far as I'm aware, its completely legal to extract BIOS files from video cards. ATI does from time to time release new BIOS files for their cards in the form of updates but since all the cards that they sell come with perfectly good bios files, there's no need to supply a copy of it online.

    Some people still prefer to remain anonymous though because they don't want to be 'the one' that released the BIOS to the public.

    From ATI's point of view though, I doubt they care very much. At the end of the day, people buying an ATI 3870 Mac edition or an ATI 3870 PC card are still buying an ATI card. They're still getting the money. Yes the Mac edition cards cost slightly more but then they're warranties will remain intact and users can get support for them whereas if you flash a PC card with one of these BIOSes then you waive your warranty and right to support.

    Personally, I'll be keeping my order for an official Mac 3870 card but have ordered a PC one now with the hope of flashing it to tide me over until the official one gets delivered and for future use in Crossfire mode. I don't mind about the warranty of the PC card since its only the Mac one that I require to be mission critical.
     
  4. parkie macrumors member

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    Oct 31, 2007
    #4
    is there any news on what the rom size is and whether a standard pc 3780 will be able to handle the mac/pc bios?

    p
     
  5. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    #5
    I should be getting a PC 3870 delivered in a few hours time so really would like the bios to test out. *Please* can someone extract it for me? The 3870 Mac editions have been delayed by three weeks here and I'd really like something to use until then!
     
  6. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    #6
    Ok, I managed to get a hold of a bios dump of the 3870. I won't say who gave it to me yet though because I don't know if they want to remain anonymous or not.

    I've managed to flash my PC 3870, however, it doesn't work. It looks like the EFI part of the BIOS isn't being extracted.

    The Mac 3870 also appears to have a *smaller* bios file, 62464 bytes vs 62976 bytes for the PC version.

    I've attached the Mac 3870's bios dump file in case someone else has any other suggestions.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. H00NER thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 13, 2007
    #7
    That is disappointing news. :( Many thanks for trying. I think the next step is to try a different program to dump the BIOS from the card. I initially recommended GPU-Z since it is easy to use. However, I think someone needs to try dumping the BIOS from the new Mac ATI 3870 using ATIFlash. The command line code for doing so would be something like:

    "A:\atiflash -s 0 oldbios.bin"

    The "0" indicates which card to dump. If there are more than one ATI card installed, you would need to correctly specify which is the Mac card by using either "0" or "1". The command "atiflash -i" will give you information about the cards installed so that you can identify the correct card (i.e. the Mac ATI 3870).

    Sorry I can't do this myself.
     
  8. H00NER thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 13, 2007
    #8
    Flashing the BIOS should technically work. It did work with the BIOS for the ATI X1900 card, which had a similar mixed BIOS/EFI ROM.

    http://www.tenthousandpercent.com/?section=other&article=76

    I looked at your dumped BIOS posted above in Radeon Bios Editor. It doesn't appear to have any markings that suggest it is from this new Mac/Win hybrid card. It even has a vendor code listed as Sapphire. Did your supplier of the BIOS extract it from the correct card? Maybe he had two cards installed and dumped the BIOS from the Windows only card?

    [​IMG]
     
  9. jons macrumors 6502

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    Apr 24, 2008
    #9
    Would really like to get ahold of this bios as well. Somebody has to have it! :)
     
  10. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    #10
    I'm sure that BIOS is from the Mac card, I've seen photos of the box and am sure he hasn't got any others. The card I'm trying to flash is actually a Sapphire board and looks nearly identical although the BIOS file *is* different to the one he sent me. My BIOS is a little bigger than the Mac one.

    Maybe Sapphire are the ones manufacturing this board for ATI?

    I spent some time looking into the flashing of the original 1900 XT and it looked like you could only see the EFI BIOS on a Mac and only the PC compatible BIOS on a PC. As far as I know, he extracted the BIOS file in Windows running on his Mac Pro in Boot Camp.

    If I had a card myself here I could give you more details but they're not due for another three weeks here. :(
     
  11. AGDenton macrumors newbie

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    Feb 19, 2008
    #11
    You do have to use ATIFlash, as running an extractor from Windows will only give you the BIOS part of the ROM (and not the EFI part). This in turn requires that you boot DOS (there are a few threads dedicated to this here).

    The size of the BIOS ROM, however, suggests that flashing the full ROM will require a 128KB chip. Those of you with PC 3870s might want to check for that in ATIFlash.
     
  12. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    #12
    I think the 1900XT had similar sized roms but only a 64kb bios chip so there's some wizardry going on somewhere.
     
  13. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    #13
    Another kind user sent me a bios dump from Boot Camp and unfortunately its identical to the previous one I posted. It does look like only the BIOS part is being extracted. I don't know if even ATIFLASH will work since it will be working in DOS where I would have thought BIOS would have already activated. ATIFLASH is a real hassle to use on the Mac Pro since you have to create bootable cds and use usb memory sticks or dos accessible partitions so I don't really want to ask that of anyone.

    :(
     
  14. Chilz0r macrumors regular

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    Jul 20, 2007
    #14
    Obtaining the EFI & BIOS firmware will require you to use a bootable CD & a DOS utility for dumping, the same goes for NVIDIA cards.
     
  15. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    #15
    Creating a boot disk is quite easy, even putting the necessary software on is easy - its the saving of the bios that's the tricky part though since you'll be in a write only environment on the cd and won't have access to mac formatted hard drives. I was unable to access even my FAT formatted partition when I was running from a boot disk. :(

    Ideally we need someone who knows their way around DOS etc, has a Mac Pro and buys a Mac 3870 and a PC 3870 - someone that would be getting the PC card for Crossfire in Boot Camp only, for example. I'll be exactly this type of person but since I don't live in the states, it'll take another few weeks until I get my Mac card. :(
     
  16. H00NER thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 13, 2007
    #16
    One of the other posts in this forum mention how similar the Mac version of the ATI 3870 looks to the Sapphire PC version. I think this explains why the extracted BIOS posted above has Sapphire markings in the vendor entry.

    I agree. Extracting the BIOS from DOS using ATIFlash is probably our best bet. Since you can't write the extracted BIOS to the CD-ROM, you will need to attach a USB flash memory device. Often these devices don't work, but many people have reported success from DOS when using older (pre USB 2.0) flash drives/memory cards.
     
  17. iPoodOverZune macrumors regular

    iPoodOverZune

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    #17
    Out of curiosity, may I suggest that hackintosh community regularly use EFI to put in their com.apple.boot.plist files and avoid having to use a specific inject file for identifying the card. Is it possible that you can take the BIOS whatever you have got right now, get the EFI for 3870 card (w/ 512 mb ram) from OSX86 website and put that in com.apple.boot.plist (in /library/preferences/systemconfiguration) and see if that helps. I agree the best case scenario would be to have both things on the card, but at least this could be test if flashing will work on the pc card. Just throwing in options! :confused:
     
  18. parkie macrumors member

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    Oct 31, 2007
    #18
    anyone got this sorted yet? I'd be interested in giving it a try.

    p
     
  19. chewietobbacca macrumors 6502

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    Jun 18, 2007
    #19
    Try posting this on the techpowerup forums?

    The admin there, w1z, is a wiz at BIOS's and wrote mots of those programs
     
  20. pipomolo42 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    #20
    Hello,

    To fully dump the ATI rom from Windows, you can try Winflash, which you can get here:

    http://www.techpowerup.com/downloads/1122/Winflash_2.0.1.2.html

    Then, you simply open a command prompt (as Administrator in Vista), "cd" to where you extracted it and then type:

    Code:
    ATIWinflash.exe -i
    Which will display infos about the flash type and size, would be nice if you could give us those

    Code:
    ATIWinflash.exe -s 0 3870.rom 20000
    Which will in this case dump 0x20000 bytes of rom from adapter 0 and save it to the file 3870.rom. You'll want to change the adapter id and rom size with the values returned by the first command to be sure that the dump is clean and complete.

    Also, ATIWinflash always displays a message saying "Please wait, flashing in progress", even if it's only displaying its help dialog, so don't be afraid: it won't actually flash anything in the above process ...

    Here's a screenshot of it if you want to double-check the command lines I gave you (you can obtain this screen by typing "ATIWinflash.exe /?"): http://img507.imageshack.us/my.php?image=sanstitreni6.png.
     
  21. Mr. Zarniwoop macrumors demi-god

    Mr. Zarniwoop

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    Jun 9, 2005
    #21
    The Apple ATI 1900XT gets its PC BIOS from the Mac Pro 2006 firmware, which actually has a PC 1900XT BIOS embedded in it. The Apple ATI 1900XT EFI firmware is actually very small, under 64KB, partly because it doesn't have a PC BIOS.

    This is also why the Mac Pro 2008 can only run the Apple ATI 1900XT in OS X/EFI mode and *not* in Boot Camp. Its firmware no longer includes the embedded PC 1900XT BIOS and it cannot run the Apple ATI 1900XT in Windows/Boot Camp.
     
  22. H00NER thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 13, 2007
    #22
    The conclusion I take away from this is that the Mac-version ATI 3870 likely has a 128K ROM. We know that the PC BIOS for the card is not in the MacPro firmware since the PC BIOS posted above was extracted directly from the card. I doubt that my PC-version Sapphire ATI 3870 has a 128K ROM, which means that I would be unlikely to be able to flash the extracted Mac-version ROM onto my PC-version card. Apparently, even the new PC-version 4870 cards have 128K ROM chips, even though they have just a single PC-version BIOS.

    Does anyone know if there is any way to confirm the BIOS ROM size on a card (ie. visual inspection or otherwise)?
     
  23. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #23
    I'd use visual inspection. Write down the chip numbers, and search.
    It should be one of the smaller components (likely 8 pin pkg.).
    Try searching here, and please let us know. :D

    If you have any questions, just ask, and I'll try to help.
     
  24. pipomolo42 macrumors member

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    Aug 29, 2006
    #24
    Hi,
    As I explained in post #20 of this thread, you can simply get this info using the "ATIWinflash.exe -i" command from Windows.

    And similarities between the Mac and Sapphire versions can probably be explained by the fact that many 3rd party VGA card resellers simply reuse the reference design created by ATI, and just put different stickers, or cooling systems ...
     
  25. macz1 macrumors 6502

    macz1

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    Oct 28, 2007
    #25

    Do you really mean the 4870? (not 3870) And how do you know they have a 128K ROM?
    If this is true a future flash of that card (in a year or two, when the mac version eventually will appear) should be easily possible...

    I think I'll buy one for bootcamp...
     

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