Flashing R9 280X for boot screens/PCI System Information

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Mr. Zarniwoop, Oct 24, 2014.

  1. Mr. Zarniwoop thread starter macrumors demi-god

    Mr. Zarniwoop

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    #76
    I didn't want to re-write the hybrid UEFI, so I picked the legacy side... which also has a UEFI that you are unlikely to use.

    The firmware I posted was my card's legacy BIOS + Mac EBC EFI.

    I left mine in legacy out-of-box, but it probably works either way OOTB without flashing.

    Should be good! You won't get 5.0 GT/s link speed until you remove the resistor mentioned previously though.
     
  2. Mr. Zarniwoop, Nov 8, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2014

    Mr. Zarniwoop thread starter macrumors demi-god

    Mr. Zarniwoop

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    #77
    In Windows 7 via Boot Camp on my 2006 Mac Pro, which is somewhat poorly ventilated in a cabinet, I overclocked my Mac-flashed MSI R9 280X Gaming 3G GPU to 1100 MHz and the memory to 1650 MHz and ran a bunch of non-stop graphics benchmarks to push the card to give you an answer on how hot/cool my card runs.

    I kept pushing with GPU load around 98-99% (according to GPU-Z) for about an hour and I was able to get it to 76° C and I couldn't get the temperature to go higher. Fan speed stayed between 36-38% around 1700 RPM, and I could not hear it.

    I imagine it would run cooler if I didn't have it stuck in my cabinet, where the Mac Pro has about 2" of ventilation on three sides but the front of the case is facing the open.
     

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  3. theitsage Suspended

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2005
    #78
    Thank you for following up on this. I checked mine just now with similar settings as yours (pushed memory to 1650 MHz and left GPU clock speed at 1100 MHz). The one thing I've noticed with my Gigabyte card is that the fans kick on much sooner and run at a faster rate of speed. They are running right around 50% to 60%. For the 2 hours or so that I'm running it tonight, it never went higher than 65° C. Ambient temperature is about 68° F. GPU under Unigine Heaven got close to 99%. Here's my screen cap.
     

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  4. Mr. Zarniwoop thread starter macrumors demi-god

    Mr. Zarniwoop

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    #79
    I would think that your results are a little better because of your newer architecture. Did you remove the R17 resistor as well?
     
  5. theitsage Suspended

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2005
    #80
    Yes, R17 is removed for PCIe 2.0. That's probably the main reason for the difference.

    On another note, I don't see an explanation as to why the same GPU running the same Heaven benchmark in OS X gets much worse result. Is this your findings as well? The most recent one I ran shows 44.2 FPS and score of 860.
     
  6. Mr. Zarniwoop thread starter macrumors demi-god

    Mr. Zarniwoop

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    #81
    Life in the big city.

    It's been this way forever, the Windows drivers have always been somewhat better optimized and perhaps a bit closer to the hardware.

    Lots of anecdotal stuff on Bare Feats buried in their benchmarks, including this 2011 article OS X versus Windows Gaming: Is there still a performance gap?.
     
  7. Earl Urly macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2004
    #82
    Works just great!

    Well, plugged in the card, it was recognized after boot. Booted to Windows 7 64-bit Pro, ran ATIWinFlash, saved a copy of default BIOS, loaded the new EBC BIOS, worked like a charm.

    Was able to get to option-boot screen immediately after flashing; worked great!

    Testing out Luxmark, OpenGL Extensions Viewer, Oceanwave, initial results show flashing improving little if at all, will remove R17 as next step.
     
  8. Earl Urley, Nov 10, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2014

    Earl Urley macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2014
    #83
    Having some problems with my old account, so I started a new one.

    Moved the MSI R280X over to my 1,1 flashed to 2,1, works fine with option boot screens there as well.

    Heart skipped a few beats during flashing, especially since the Mac EBC ROM appeared to be twice as big as the ROM it was replacing!

    If I upgrade to Yosemite, will I stop seeing "Prototype Tahiti" engine in the driver description?

    A few notes: ATI Winflash is VERY simplistic; I'm used to the CLI-style ATIFlash. But really, load and save is all you need.

    I wound up installing the latest ATI Catalyst (non-beta) drivers on the Windows side just to be safe before flashing.

    All in all I'm very satisfied with the total compatibility the EBC ROM gives me. Thanks to Mr. Zarniwoop and MacVidCards for doing such a great job for the community!

    I may pick up the R280 this week because the $200 deal on Amazon seems to good to pass up if it can work as well, especially if all ports function with the patched ROM.
     
  9. Mr. Zarniwoop thread starter macrumors demi-god

    Mr. Zarniwoop

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    #84
    Note the R280 (non-X) won't work with the EBC firmware I posted near the top of the thread, but I'm willing to help and trying making a new one for the R280 (non-X)... I suspect it'll work per my posts above.
     
  10. popcorn-in-sac macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle, WA area
    #85
    Thanks for the offer

    I just recently ordered one from Amazon for $200 as well. It's arriving on Wednesday this week. I greatly appreciate the offer of help, and will happily upload the ROM image from the card when I get it installed and copied.

    Mark
     
  11. Mr. Zarniwoop thread starter macrumors demi-god

    Mr. Zarniwoop

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    #86
    Sounds good. This is the post with what I think will be the steps to get the R9 280 (non-X) to work.
     
  12. digitalmatt, Nov 10, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2014

    digitalmatt macrumors newbie

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    Jun 22, 2012
    Location:
    Ashland, OR
    #87
    popped it in, booted, this is what i've got
     

    Attached Files:

  13. MacVidCards Suspended

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #88
    679a so you can use 7950 EFI
     
  14. digitalmatt macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2012
    Location:
    Ashland, OR
    #89
    two questions.

    will flashing do anything other than give me a boot screen? say any performance differences?

    will the r17 removal make any difference that i will notice? the most demanding things i do is photoshop, autocad, and solidworks. i haven't gamed in a long time. biggest reason i upgraded was because my 5770 was dying.
     
  15. Mr. Zarniwoop thread starter macrumors demi-god

    Mr. Zarniwoop

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    #90
    Primary benefit is boot screen. The Mac Pro will also properly recognize the card, probably all the ports (they might be ok now though, depends on the card), and right now your PCI section in System Information is probably borked. People do report a very minor performance increase, probably simply because the card gets properly initialized and recognized.

    If you look at the benchmark above, mine was 2.5 GT/s PCIe 1.1 and ongnoi's were 5.0 GT/s PCIe 2.0.

    Looks good. I bet we can flash it.

    Boot Camp to Windows, run GPU-Z to dump your ROM and let's have a look.

    I'm looking for the legacy BIOS MSITV277MS firmware, not the hybrid BIOS MSITV277MH firmware. So if GPU-Z shows "MH" at the end, flip your BIOS switch.
     
  16. Earl Urley macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2014
    #91
    MSI includes a printed insert entitled 'HYBRID BIOS introduction' that shows the BIOS switch's location on the card, usually near the top of the card on the left of the first fan. Position #1 (switch to the right) is the Hybrid BIOS, Position #2 (switch to the left) is the Legacy BIOS, that's the one you want to flash to / save the image from in ATIWinflash so Mr. Zarniwoop can check it out.

    Might be different on the R280 so just double check.

    ----------

    It's worth the risk of flashing because someday will come that day when your main hard drive dies or something happens to your machine and you need to boot to an alternate drive, and all you have to do is hold down the option key and you'll get the boot drive list.

    Also peace of mind because the gray screen is proof that at least the machine and the video card have passed POST and if there's anything wrong that happens afterward at least you can discount the video card and logic board as possible grief sources. If that black screen never goes away...
     
  17. popcorn-in-sac macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle, WA area
    #92
    ROM image from the MSI R9 280 (non-x)

    My card arrived today. I've used GPU-Z to save the Legacy (switch position #2) BIOS to a file, and I've attached a compressed version of that file here.

    I did also confirm the device ID as 679a, so looks like this should work.

    Thanks for the help with getting this image modified.

    I won't be able to try it out for a few days since I didn't actually have the second PCIe power cable required -- my 2010 model with 5770 only came with one as it turns out, and I've had to order another, which I won't get right away.

    Mark
     

    Attached Files:

  18. digitalmatt macrumors newbie

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    Jun 22, 2012
    Location:
    Ashland, OR
    #93
    i did the exact same thing....
     
  19. Mr. Zarniwoop, Nov 15, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2014

    Mr. Zarniwoop thread starter macrumors demi-god

    Mr. Zarniwoop

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    #94
    Flashing R9 280 for boot screens/PCI System Information

    Great!

    Give this a shot on your R9 280 (non-X). Hoping it provides you a boot screen and proper PCI recognition in System Information.

    Flash this new modified Mac R9 280 (non-X) firmware in Windows (on a PC or via Boot Camp on your Mac Pro) using ATI Winflash with the firmware switch still in the "Legacy BIOS" position which you can now think of as a "Hybrid Mac/PC" position if this works!

    If it doesn't work, flash back the original ROM you posted earlier.

    Information on the EBC firmware linked here: MSI R9 280 Mac EBC.efi.rom.zip (link to cosmetically-corrected version below)

    Device ID: 0x679a
    PC legacy BIOS (stock as shipped): 113-MSITV277MS.3E0 TAHITI B0 C38660 GDDR5 3GB, BIOS Version 015.044.000.005.000000
    Mac EBC EFI: (added): ATY,Hamachi, ROM Revision 113-E2080C-101, EFI Driver Version 01.00.624

    As before, based on netkas and Rominator's work. Fingers crossed.

    WARNING: THIS HYBRID PC BIOS/MAC EFI FIRMWARE WAS BUILT FOR THE MSI R9 280 Gaming 3G, AND NOT THE MSI R9 280X Gaming 3G model! The 280 (non-X) and 280X are related but slightly different AMD Radeon R9 Series cards:
    • slightly different GPUs: Tahiti PRO (280) with 1792 stream processing units and 112 texture mapping units vs. Tahiti XTL (280X) with 2048 stream processing units and 128 texture mapping units
    • slightly different clock speeds: 933-1000MHz core/5000MHz memory (280) vs. 1000-1050MHz core/6000MHz memory (280X)
    • different device IDs 0x679a (280) vs. 0x6798 (280X)
     
  20. popcorn-in-sac macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle, WA area
    #95
    Thanks! It works.

    Thank you for the help. I've flashed the BIOS on my MSI R9 280 card with the ROM that Mr. Zarniwoop provided and it works great. Boot screens come up as hoped/expected.

    I did go ahead and do the R17 resister removal as well, and am now receiving the 5.0 GT/s PCIe speed -- again, as hoped/expected.

    I think I'm all set - thanks again.

    Mark
     
  21. Mr. Zarniwoop thread starter macrumors demi-god

    Mr. Zarniwoop

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    #96
    Fantastic!

    Can you post a screenshot of how the card gets recognized like in the first post?
     
  22. popcorn-in-sac macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle, WA area
    #97
    Screenshot

    Here is the screenshot of the system overview screen. It does reflect the 7950 instead of R9 280. I wasn't sure how involved that was to change...looked like some hex editing.
     

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  23. Mr. Zarniwoop, Nov 16, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2014

    Mr. Zarniwoop thread starter macrumors demi-god

    Mr. Zarniwoop

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    #98
    Yeah, I thought I addressed that... Hmmm... I will take a look tonight, perhaps I somehow zipped up the wrong version as it was the last thing I changed before re-packaging the ROM.

    UPDATE: Nope. Did it wrong in haste. Try this one, it should be exactly the same thing but identify as "AMD Radeon R9 280" everywhere.

    Same warning NOT TO FLASH THIS ON THE MSI R9 280X! This is strictly for the MSI R9 Gaming 280 (non-X) that had its legacy PC BIOS posted above.
     

    Attached Files:

  24. popcorn-in-sac macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle, WA area
    #99
    That did it

    Thanks again. That seems to have done the trick.
     

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  25. Mr. Zarniwoop thread starter macrumors demi-god

    Mr. Zarniwoop

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    #100
    Awesome. Thank goodness the R9 280 series are based on a known GPU!

    Now maybe someone can tweak the firmware for the R9 290X to work on a Mac Pro. The hardware seems an evolution, rather than a radical departure, so perhaps editing for the frame buffer and ports is enough to get some functionality working? Or a kind soul inside Apple or AMD could leak some source code...
     

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