Guide to Flash XFX Double D HD 7950 Black Edition Card for Mac Pro

VAGDesign

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Original poster
Feb 1, 2014
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Greece
Guide to Flash XFX Double D HD 7950 Black Edition Card for Mac Pro
XFX Part #: FX-795A-TDBC



Things you need:
  • Windows Partition on your Mac Pro or a Windows PC.
  • An OEM EFI card for Boot Screens and Choices (like Ati 5770 in case you’re on a Mac Pro)
  • Bootable DOS USB Dongle
  • EFI Rom from netkas
  • Original Rom from your card
  • AtiFlash to flash the EFI Rom to your card
  • Knowledge and patience.

  1. Hook up your card on your Mac Pro or your PC on a secondary PCI slot.
  2. Start Windows, go here and get TechPowerUp GPU-Z. Install it and run the program. Select the 7950 card from the list on the bottom. Next to Bios Version there is a button that lets you save the current Rom to file. Save it and keep it in place.
  3. If you don’t have access to DOS, go here and download the files, create a bootable USB dongle using the step by step guide in this page.
  4. Go here and download AtiFlash. (I prefer this instead of AtiWinFlash)
  5. Go to netkas forum and download the bundle to convert your original rom to an EFI one so you can get Boot Screens. This is the goal of this guide after all.
    NOTE: netkas has made a misspelling on the card id number, instead of 697a as he has wrote, YOU SHOULD write 679a. I wonder why this isn’t mentioned there already…
  6. Follow the netkas directions to the letter EXCEPT the above noted one. After this process you will have a file that probably will be named as “Tahiti.rom.efi.rom”. (Mine was named like this on this card model).Rename it to “7950.rom” to be readable with full name in DOS.
  7. Plug the Bootable DOS USB Dongle on your Mac Pro running Windows or your PC. Inside the mounted USB Dongle create a folder and name it “AtiFlash”. On this folder put the files from AtiFlash download and the Rom file from the previous step (6).
  8. Reboot and select as Boot device the USB Dongle.
  9. While on DOS, give the following commands:
    cd AtiFlash (this takes you to the folder we will use the program to flash the card)
    atiflash -ai 1 (remember that “1” means the second PCI card, not the main, it’s wise to have only the two graphic cards hooked on your computer. The info you will get MUST write Tahiti as the chip name)
    atiflash -unlockrom 1 , (I suggest you do this because some Bios files are in fact locked and can't be flashed until unlocked, the XFX ones are indeed locked)
    atiflash -f -p 1 7950.rom (this is the flashing process, when it’s done flashing simply CTRL+ALT+DEL to reboot to Windows on your PC or your Mac)
  10. Run TechPowerUp GPU-Z and select the second graphics card, if you see it OK with all the card's info and clock speeds, you’re done it right
  11. Shut down your Mac Pro, unplug the card from PCI slot 3 (probably) and put it in slot 1 after you remove the old OEM you have. In case of Windows PC, shut down, remove the card and put it into your Mac Pro’s PCI Slot 1. In both cases, hook up your monitor to the newly flashed card and enjoy Boot Screens and Correct System Profiler info!



INFO: The card I flashed is this one, you can flash with the same guide all 7950 or 7970 cards I think. I bought the XFX instead of any other brand because of the looks, the reviews I’ve read and the experience I’ve got from this brand. Here is a list of the factory ROMs for this type of cards from XFX at the TechPowerUp website. Make sure to view your card’s model number and the clock speeds before you download any ROM to overclock (if you want) and create a EFI Overclocked ROM to use in your Mac and/or PC. I am attaching the ROM I used to flash my card, the factory clock speeds of my card are: GPU Clock 900 / Memory Clock 1375 so this is the final EFI ROM I’ve flashed on my card. (you can use it if you have the same model and save some time)

PROS: You save money, you get a card fully recognized and functional for your Mac Pro with superior Hardware made by XFX, with great cooling, and low consumption (needs 2x6pin Mini PCIe to PCIe power cables without any internal or external PSU)

CONS: You lose 1 DVI, in my case the card has 2 DVIs and I lost the second one (red color). I don’t mind at all. Total ports in my card are: 2 DVIs, 2 mini DPs and one HDMI. If your card has only 1 DVI, you have to know that this won’t work from now on after the EFI rom is installed on the card.

CREDITS: Thanks and salutes goes to netkas, Rominator and all the websites linked in this guide. Without them, we couldn’t have these amazing cards installed in our Mac Pros.

DISCLAIMER: I am not responsible to any damage you may cause to your computer(s) using this guide, nor any other person or website I’ve provided/linked. You will loose your warranty if you flash your card with any no factory ROM, so BE WARNED! Also make sure to use the DOS commands by letter so you won’t brick your OEM/Factory cards with wrong ROM.

I hope this guide will help many of you who want to upgrade your Graphics Card to something very powerful for our old/classic Mac Pros. If I had it, I could have saved much time last night when I flashed my new XFX 7950 DD Black Edition.
You can see the Mac Pro I own at my signature.

Greetings from Greece and good luck flashing, remember I said that Knowledge and patience is one of the things required but never mentioned on this guide so far, now you need’em ;)

-VAG.

EDIT: Added a screenshot by System Profiler
 

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Last edited:

Fl0r!an

macrumors 6502a
Aug 14, 2007
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Congrats to your new "Mac Edition" card! ;) Just a few notes:

- Cards with reference layout (2x mDP, 1x DVI, 1x HDMI) shouldn't lose any ports after flashing. Some cards have a non-standard HDMI port mapping (you can only tell by looking at the PC BIOS), those will lose HDMI.
- There might be a chance to enable all 5 ports by trying out different framebuffers, but this work would only be sensible if you'd really want to have 2 DVI ports.
- It's not very wise to force-flash (atiflash -f) since this disables all security checks.
 
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VAGDesign

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Feb 1, 2014
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Hello Fl0r!an, thanks!
About your notes, you're right about them and specially about the atiflash -f.
I thought it was needed cause XFX locks it's BIOS... anyway it worked fine!
About the DVI ports I didn't knew, but I need only 1 in that case.

Thanks again for the feedback!
 

VAGDesign

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 1, 2014
344
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Greece
Resurrection of this thread but it's for a good reason.

Today I got my first 4K monitor. After some research I ended up with Dell P2715Q. It gives me 60Hz but...
  • On the System Preferences there is no 4K resolution (3840x2160) I use a "Retina" kind of resolution as you'll see on the screenshot.
  • I don't see boot screen with monitor connected and ON while boot.

The connection to the card is through Dell's mDP (GPU) to DP (Monitor).

Any suggestions?

PS: I didn't tried it on Windows 10 and El Capitan yet. It's the first 30mins of using it.

I'm on Yosemite 10.10.5 :)
 

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Fl0r!an

macrumors 6502a
Aug 14, 2007
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From my knowledge 4K bootscreens are possible with specific combinations of the exact GPU model and your screen. If it doesn't work for you, I don't know of anything one could do.
I guess setting your screen to DP 1.1 mode (=> 30Hz) will show a boot screen if you need it every now and then...
 

VAGDesign

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 1, 2014
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So, the solutions I have are:
Either boot at 30Hz
or
As I did yesterday, to use a secondary monitor via DVI to see Boot Screens.

Hmm, I know must be a hack or trick to make the boot.efi be able to work on 4K 60Hz for all of us.
If @Pike R. Alpha and of course @PeterHolbrook with @mikeboss consider this I am able to help and provide GFX if needed for boot process. Until then... I will choose the 2nd monitor.
 

yomibro

macrumors regular
Feb 24, 2008
220
6
I upgraded my display to the P2715Q yesterday and noticed that the PCI fan in iStat went up around 200 rpm during idle and 300 rpm when watching a video. When I had my 2707WFP connected all fans were hovering at 600 rpm idle/video watching, is the 4K display more tasking to my video card (Sapphire 7950 Mac Edition) that it requires more airflow?
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
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Hong Kong
Do you have single or dual monitor setup?

For dual monitor, the 7950 will never go back to the 300/150MHz state, but stay at 500/1250MHz, so the idle power consumption will jump from 15W to 50W, which cause the GPU stay warmer and PCIe fan to spin up a bit.

If you only has single P2715Q connected, you may check iStat, the current of the PCIe BoostA and B should below 1A when idle at 300/150MHz, but above 1A if idle at 500/1250Mhz.

TBO, I don't know if the P2715Q will make any difference, but my 4K TV doesn't.

If you don't like that, you can always use MacsFanControl to force the fan stay at idle. However, since the PCIe fan itself is much quieter than the 7950. I prefer to let the system to control the fan speed, rather than force it at idle.
 
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VAGDesign

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Greece
The XFX 7950 has 2 fans, while idle with one monitor connected, only one fan works, when you connect a second monitor, both fans work. As @h9826790 said, the GPU identifies the more power needed and draws more energy when you have 2 or more monitors connected.

As about @bokkow's question, I think it has no problem to drive 2 4K monitors. I don't have a second 4K monitor to test, but have seen setups on YouTube with more than 1 4K driven by a 7950/7970.
 
Last edited:

yomibro

macrumors regular
Feb 24, 2008
220
6
@h9826790 - Only have 1 P2715Q connected, was just curios but I'll just let the system manage the fans automatically.

@bokkow - Not sure if it supports a 2nd 4K display on the 2nd mDP, don't have another 4K display to test with at the moment.
 

jimborae

macrumors newbie
Sep 13, 2018
2
2
Re: "If your card has only 1 DVI, you have to know that this won’t work from now on after the EFI rom is installed on the card"

I just flashed my Gigabyte HD7970 and can confirm that its single DVI connection Does work after it's been flashed.
 
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macagain

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Jan 1, 2002
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I can also confirm that the XFX Radeon 7950 Core Edition (XFX-795A-TNFC) flashes and works great, in Sierra, HS, and Mojave. DVI-D, both mDP ports work (did not test HDMI). Link speed is 5.0GT/s if running 138.0.0.0.0 firmware, 2.5 on older fw.

Procedure is as OP described, except I used the latest ATIWinFlash (2.84) (https://www.techpowerup.com/download/ati-atiflash/) in Windows.

 
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eminorb5

macrumors newbie
Apr 13, 2017
10
1
Bangkok, Thailand
I just done for my Gigabyte HD7970 3GB (2 fan) today after use without boot screen for 6 month :D
everything went smoothly, just only link speed 2.5 GT/s (not 5 GT/s), will consider hardware mod (remove some Resister) if significant affect to my everyday work, but still satisfy with the OpenGL and OpenCL score.

for anyone using the same model can give a try my mod rom with your own risk.
 

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h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
14,107
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Hong Kong
I just done for my Gigabyte HD7970 3GB (2 fan) today after use without boot screen for 6 month :D
everything went smoothly, just only link speed 2.5 GT/s (not 5 GT/s), will consider hardware mod (remove some Resister) if significant affect to my everyday work, but still satisfy with the OpenGL and OpenCL score.

for anyone using the same model can give a try my mod rom with your own risk.
Do NOT do the resistor mod. It's NOT required anymore.

If you want 5GT/s, flash your cMP to 5,1, and upgrade the firmware to 138.0.0.0.0
 
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eminorb5

macrumors newbie
Apr 13, 2017
10
1
Bangkok, Thailand
Do NOT do the resistor mod. It's NOT required anymore.

If you want 5GT/s, flash your cMP to 5,1, and upgrade the firmware to 138.0.0.0.0
I've finished the firmware upgrade, also with High Sierra running now, everything went smoothly with my flashed Gigabyte HD 7970 3GB, enjoy the new benefit of new firmware now

My step from El Capitan:
- Run install High Sierra to get firmware from MP51.007F.B03 to MP51.0084.B00
(not yet update to High Sierra at this point, only firmware update)

- Update OS to High Sierra to allows new firmware from Mojave
(now my OS is High Sierra 10.13.6)

- Install Mojave to get firmware to 138.0.0.0
(now got New video link speed from 2.5GT/s to 5.0GT/s with Metal supported)

Again, Million thanks for the remind me.
 

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StudioT

macrumors newbie
Oct 10, 2018
3
0
I've finished the firmware upgrade, also with High Sierra running now, everything went smoothly with my flashed Gigabyte HD 7970 3GB, enjoy the new benefit of new firmware now

My step from El Capitan:
- Run install High Sierra to get firmware from MP51.007F.B03 to MP51.0084.B00
(not yet update to High Sierra at this point, only firmware update)

- Update OS to High Sierra to allows new firmware from Mojave
(now my OS is High Sierra 10.13.6)

- Install Mojave to get firmware to 138.0.0.0
(now got New video link speed from 2.5GT/s to 5.0GT/s with Metal supported)

Again, Million thanks for the remind me.
I can confirm it works of a sorts too..

What ROM did you use?

Mine has One DVI, One HDMI and two MDP. My HDMI now doesn't work.


Has anyone else has this problem or got it working?

Thanks
 

eminorb5

macrumors newbie
Apr 13, 2017
10
1
Bangkok, Thailand
I can confirm it works of a sorts too..

What ROM did you use?

I am now using 138.0.0.0.0 from Mojave (System info. display only 138.0.0), but downgrade from High Sierra to Sierra because of some user interface delay, lagging experience sometime.


Mine has One DVI, One HDMI and two MDP. My HDMI now doesn't work.

I don't have any HDMI display to test it, just DVI only.

Has anyone else has this problem or got it working?

Thanks
 

Enricote

macrumors member
Oct 7, 2018
32
12
Madrid, Spain
I have bought in ebay a very affordable Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 VaporX 3Gb. I am still waiting for two mini 6pin to 8 pin cables for the power.

Any experience flashing that card? What about installing Mojave in Mac Pro 5,1 upgrading from High Sierra with that card?

Thanks for any information and help
 
Last edited:

mckyvlle

macrumors 6502a
Nov 21, 2007
565
1
London, UK
I'm slightly confused here, when plugging in the 7950 in a secondary PCIe slot, do you need to hook up the extra power cables (2x6 pin) for the flashing to succeed?

I currently have the stock 5770 installed, and that already takes one of the 6-pin power cable.

Thanks!
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
14,107
6,730
Hong Kong
I'm slightly confused here, when plugging in the 7950 in a secondary PCIe slot, do you need to hook up the extra power cables (2x6 pin) for the flashing to succeed?

I currently have the stock 5770 installed, and that already takes one of the 6-pin power cable.

Thanks!
Yes, you MUST plug-in BOTH 6pins.

You don’t need the 5770 at there. Better remove it, which can avoid flash the wrong card etc.
 
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