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
    #126
    Curious, with the card not flashed, does removing R17 allow 5.0 GT/s speed? Or is flashing required?
     
  2. Ph.D. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2014
    #127
    No, flashing is not necessary. Removing the resistor allows 5 GT/s regardless, but it doesn't make much difference in normal usage.
     
  3. Mr. Zarniwoop thread starter macrumors demi-god

    Mr. Zarniwoop

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    #128
    Do you know if that's true in Windows Boot Camp as well?
     
  4. RCMan macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2014
    Location:
    North Carolina, US
    #129
    280x

    Is there a full walkthrough for the 280X, I am new to flashing cards (first time) and I don't walk to brick it or screw anything up. Can I just use the 280X without flashing and edit the string to change the name or will I not get the max potential?

    Cheers,

    RC

    :apple::apple:
     
  5. Ph.D., Dec 5, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2014

    Ph.D. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2014
    #130
    Zarniwoop: Remove the resistor if you like (it's very small, though. I used a stereo microscope while doing it), but I doubt it would make much difference either way, unless you care about the last few percent in certain benchmarks. I haven't used Boot Camp in years, so I personally can't say if it makes any extra difference in Windows, but I doubt it.

    RCMan: You can just use it without flashing, or changing any string or name. (Note the 3,1 problem I experienced a few posts up, though, if you have that machine.) Flashing, etc., just allows you to see the boot screen on the mac and for certain information to show correctly. Any performance difference would be imperceptible except perhaps in a benchmark or two (and even then, barely if at all). However, if you don't care about the boot screen, such as if you don't use Boot Camp (for which it's a major help) or reboot frequently, then there's little practical need to flash it. I haven't flashed mine yet, simply because it's a bit of a pain for me (I can't install boot camp at the moment, etc.), and I don't miss the boot screen.

    The performance is excellent, and the card (MSI 280X "Gaming" 3G) has proven to be completely reliable using only it's included 8->6 pin adapter. I haven't tried any all-out stress tests such as Furmark, though, simply because my usage pattern is more modest.
     
  6. theitsage Suspended

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2005
    #131
    I switched my card to the original second firmware and it runs at PCIe 2.0 speed in Windows.
     
  7. Tesseract macrumors regular

    Tesseract

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    #132
    Picked up an MSI R9 280x 6G (this one: http://us.msi.com/product/vga/R9_280X_GAMING_6G.html#hero-overview)
    V277 Ver 1.2
    EAN: 4-719027-332075
    UPC-A: 8-24142-02091

    Works great out of box without EFI bootscreen so far, but I've been mostly unsuccessful with flashing it. Tried making my own rom with the help of netkas' scripts. Was able to flash over the legacy rom switch (using hybrid efi rom switch as a base rom for the hack), and successfully got EFI boot screen, but it was crashing OSX 10.10.1 after 5 seconds of loading the desktop. Strangely, had no issues in Bootcamp Win7. Carefully monitored fan speed/power/etc. and it seemed identical to pre-hackflashed rom in benchmarks.

    Going to play around with it when I have more time and I'll post more details if needed.
     
  8. MacVidCards Suspended

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #133
    Speed in Windows is determined by resistor as well.

    As far as "Why Flash" there are some cards that work better with flash but they are ones to avoid in first place, the single DP cards. I have worked on two, one became useable after flash, one couldn't be helped either way.

    With 6870, if you flashed it and it had a name the content protection software allowed you to play DVDs while unflashed it would not. Not sure if that applies to 7xxx cards but certainly was a good reason to flash 6xxx cards.
     
  9. RCMan macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2014
    Location:
    North Carolina, US
    #134
    Can I use VMWare Fusion still? (without flashing that is)
     
  10. Tesseract macrumors regular

    Tesseract

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    #135
    Yeah I can't seem to get this thing to work with in OSX with an EFI flashed rom. EFI boot screen works just fine, and it seems mostly(?) stable in Bootcamp... but keeps crashing OSX. Maybe I'll get back to messing around with it if I have more motivation.

    Edit: Just dredged up a few 6 month old topics from netkas forums with other people getting the same results as I have. Anybody have any luck with flashing 6G 280x cards yet?

    ramble: I keep telling myself not to care, since EFI boot screen is more of a comfort than anything else but.... gotta have it man! It just doesn't feel the same without the comforting glow of that beautiful EFI disk icon set and Apple logo. Maybe I'll have to return this and get the old Gigabyte/MSI 3g instead. Not any performance difference, just harder to find. /ramble
     
  11. Mr. Zarniwoop thread starter macrumors demi-god

    Mr. Zarniwoop

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    #136
    I have not seen any reports of success, and dug around quite a bit before just buying a 3G one instead.

    ----------

    It was more curiosity, I have a 2006 Mac Pro so it won't do 5GT/s PCIe 2.0 regardless.
     
  12. RCMan macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2014
    Location:
    North Carolina, US
    #137
    I purchased the exact same card as you. I am new to flashing, and do not want to brick the card or break it. I downloaded your ROM for the card and I don't know what to do next. Is there like a rom loader or something? Could you like Skype me or something and walk me through the process?
     
  13. Earl Urly macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2004
    #138
    Did you set up a Boot Camp partition with Windows 7 or XP yet? Do that and download ATI Winflash 2.6.7.. thats what you need to save the old flash and write the new..
     
  14. RCMan macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2014
    Location:
    North Carolina, US
    #139
    Can I use that card with VMWare??
     
  15. h9826790 macrumors G4

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #140
    You CANNOT flash your graphic inside a virtual machine.
     
  16. Ph.D., Dec 6, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2014

    Ph.D. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2014
    #141
    Hehe... right! I tried that (using VirtualBox). I should have known better.

    Boot Camp has an annoying issue whereby it cannot be installed on a RAID system or on a disk that has already been partitioned, etc. (hence my try with V.B.), but that would work if you can manage it.

    An alternative is to use FreeDOS (a live CD version, probably). I haven't gotten around to trying that, but there are instructions for using this around somewhere in all the thousands of threads here or on netkas.

    But once again: running the stock firmware has no performance penalty (at least with a card that is highly compatible in the first place like the MSI 3G version). If you don't care about the boot screen, then there's no real need to stress over flashing it.

    About the 6G card discussed above: Just say no. It uses more power and few if any people have had luck running it.
     
  17. Earl Urly macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2004
    #142
    Also VMWare substitutes its own screen driver that is supposed to support 3D acceleration, but unless you do some config tricks running the ATI Catalyst installer will fail.

    And if you run MSI Afterburner, it doesn't 'see' the actual card, it only sees 'VMWare SVGA driver' or something similar.
     
  18. Mr. Zarniwoop, Dec 7, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2014

    Mr. Zarniwoop thread starter macrumors demi-god

    Mr. Zarniwoop

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    #143
    I'm wall-to-wall busy and use Macrumors as a quickie distraction that I enjoy as a break, so a hand-holding walkthrough will have to wait until around the holidays.

    But honestly, it's not that hard if you have identical MSI R9 280X 3G hardware to mine. If you have the same exact version of the card:
    • Boot into actual Windows on a PC or via Boot Camp on your Mac Pro (VMware doesn't access real hardware, virtualized or emulated Windows won't work)
    • Use ATI Winflash with the firmware switch on the card in the "Legacy BIOS" position to save a copy of your card's legacy BIOS just in case.
    • Only after backing up the original firmware, flash the new MSI R9 280X 3GB Mac EBC.rom firmware.
    • Reboot with the card in your Mac Pro.
    If it doesn't work because of hardware differences because it's actually a different card, you can always re-flash the legacy BIOS you backed up, or flip the switch to get to the hybrid BIOS which still boots like a non-flashed card in a Mac Pro. This process seems to have worked for others on this thread, including a few that seemed to have a slightly different variant of the MSI R9 280X 3G card. That doesn't mean there are no variant MSI R9 280X 3G cards that will need different firmware built (which we can do in this thread), just that we haven't encountered any yet.

    UPDATE: I take that back. The MSI R9 280X 6G card is known not to work after flashing. There may be a way to edit the EBC firmware to address the issue, but I don't think anyone so far is bothering to do so as the 3G version works pretty much-out-of-box once you get the right cables.
     
  19. Earl Urly macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2004
    #144
    Yeah, and I got to test both v1.0 and v.1.1 of the MSI boards so as long as you get one of those the card should work fine, even if you don't flash it.

    I'll post the EAN and UPC numbers of the v1.1 board hopefully tomorrow when I have to do some servicing on the MP.
     
  20. stmp macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2012
    #145
    Thanks for giving the last bit of confidence I needed to pick one of these up on ebay!

    I ordered this cable for the 8pin power -

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/PCI-E-Mac-P...d-power-cable-connector-adapter-/281225900526

    Can anyone confirm that it acts the same as a 6 pin to 6 pin + 6 to 8 adapter?

    I can't imagine the electricity involved is any different, but would hate to make a silly assumption.

    Any help much appreciated in advance.
     
  21. Earl Urly macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2004
    #146
    Looks like it should work but I am not 100% certain because I've never used that cable before.

    If you got a MSI R9 280X Gaming 3G with the original box and cables, one of the cables is a 6 to 8 pin adapter. I'm using that adapter with this cable:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002UR1654

    Actually two of the above cable, as there is a 6-pin port on the R9 280X as well.

    If you aren't getting any power cables with the card, make sure to get a standard 6 pin to 6 pin as shown above because you need power from both the PCIe power ports in the Mac Pro. What model MP are you installing it in?
     
  22. Mr. Zarniwoop thread starter macrumors demi-god

    Mr. Zarniwoop

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    #147
  23. stmp, Dec 19, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2014

    stmp macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2012
    #148
    Thanks much for these replies gents -

    Just wanted to report another successful flash following Mr. Zarniwoop's instructions in this thread.

    I had the exact same model - MSI R9 280X 3GB Ram Gaming Edition

    Used an old PC and ATIWinflash-

    First set the BIOS switch to Legacy and backed up the Legacy BIOS,

    Then flipped the switch to the Hybrid UEFI and rebooted,

    Then loaded Mr. Zarniwoop's custom ROM (big thanks of course to MVC and Netkas).

    Screenshots attached - thanks again!
     

    Attached Files:

  24. Ph.D. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2014
    #149
    stmp,

    I don't quite get it: You backed up the legacy BIOS but flashed over the hybrid BIOS?
     
  25. stmp macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2012
    #150
    Yup, that was my understanding of the technique - I don't claim to have any deep knowledge of the decision making here, but that's what the instructions said and all worked great.
     

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