Need Guidance but could sure use a ROM

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by RAMtheSSD, Oct 10, 2015.

  1. RAMtheSSD macrumors member

    RAMtheSSD

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    #1
    OK, I have spent the better part of the day at Netkas (supposedly the place for the 7950 roms) and I am going blind!! Aside from the petty disputes over whatever (one person said to the other "no wonder you were banned from MacRumors"), it is unclear what the process would be for making your own rom and what the effects on card A with configuration B and clock speed Y of using the reference rom or the rom for card A with configuration A and clock speed W (so same card but different configuration where the Y is faster than W).
    Here, it seemed so straightforward: install windows, back up both roms, find rom you can use, flash rom to card, return to OS X and presto! Boot Screens! Then, one discovers that making the rom itself involves editing hex and the instructions are fragmented and may or may not refer to the card in question (the forum seems to jump from 7950 to 7970 and 280 to 280x with no discernible pattern (31 pages!)

    So I got the stock rom for a 7950 and it seems that will slow my card? significantly? I gather from previous discussions here that having 2 DVI ports is bad and 2 mDP ports is good; ok, but I really would like to keep the HDMI port because I would really like to get HDMIAudio to work -an adventure in itself though success seems far more likely once the card is flashed.

    So after saying all of that (which I think demonstrates the confusion) for the question, I think one word would suffice: HELP!! (imagine a drowning man)
     
  2. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

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    #2
    There is also a thread here specifically for flashing 280x, if you want to try a "downloaded" ROM, but not making one by yourself. Go to that thread.
     
  3. RAMtheSSD thread starter macrumors member

    RAMtheSSD

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    #3
    I would not mind making one myself if I could have found a clear sequence of events in those 31 pages at netkas. For instance, on more than one occasion, it seemed that one needed to do the actual rom building in OS X after all the emphasis on doing the work in Windows.

    That was part of the problem because I would have gotten a 280x but that had the 8 pin plug as did the first 280 that I tried and the energy budget would not have supported the card without what seemed like considerable risk though if they are running at 7950 reference speeds then the power draw would have been significantly reduced. I ended up getting the only 6+6 280 that I could find and ended up with the 2 DVI which so many people have said will be quite a task all by itself without adding any complications. Do you think the 280x rom would work? In fact, if I recall correctly, your card was the only 280 on that thread. Did you use the 7950 reference rom for yours?

    In any case, H9826790, I want to thank you because you've been exceptionally helpful throughout this unplanned video card upgrade and have made something that by my normal standards is rushed, far less unpleasant and far less stressful.
     
  4. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

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    #4
    You are welcome.

    Anyway, I am using 280, and I made the EFI ROM by myself.

    This post has the step on how to make it by yourself.

    For 280, the device ID should be same as the 7950 (679a).
     
  5. Fl0r!an macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    #5
    Everything you need is in the very first post of the thread you've mentioned. :)
    netkas is a little short on words there, but he really said everything important. Dump BIOS, run script, flash back, done.
     
  6. RAMtheSSD thread starter macrumors member

    RAMtheSSD

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    #6
    This forum really could use a downloads section were the moderators place whatever tools are mentioned/volunteered so that when something is recommended one does not have to hunt for it all over creation.

    Flor!an, that is what I had in mind when I went to netkas; however, when you get there, the complications start. For instance, consider the python script: python is both readable and portable so why the recommended switch back to OS X for working with the script? Hex editors are available for just about any OS past and present and yet, at netkas, people seem to be switching back to OS X to do the editing as well. Finally, making the rom is itself a very interesting proposition: MacVidCards explanation using the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights is excellent but then, I get to the size part of the story and everything says 128k is the right size; the only size. but....

    H9826790: you have several posts dealing with a 280x were the rom is 88k and the very next posting has 256k! MacVidCards then comes on and says to erase what should be blank space until the size is 128k but I can only imagine how many carriage return characters it would take to double the size of a file. Then, you post a file (granted, the zipping may account for the size difference though how much compression could there be in 128k of text?) but tell the guy that you are sorry for giving him a non working rom -I am not bringing that up to say anything bad about you, on the contrary, it is clear that you were very generous. Having read this beforehand is why I asked you about the 280x rom and wether it would work on a non x card. Since I know you have the same card (R9 280) and for essentially the same reason (energy budget) I also know you've already done all of this and I have no doubt that given how careful you were about the energy budget, it was something you looked at very carefully before starting the process.

    I was expecting to use Catalyst to do the whatever adjustments might be needed but VBE7 (I haven't a clue as to what VBE7 might be) would seem to be what you used (the post on the puzzlingly entitled thread "help overclocking 12 core Mac Pro") is excellent. I totally get the process and I can imagine that the switch back to OS X is due to Python already being there, ok, but dragging the whole folder? Because it contains the original rom as well as the script?

    Guys, I can write some Python (still a babe in the woods, still learning what I would describe as the basics) and I can do some hex editing (I knew some people who could read the hex as if they were reading words but sadly, that was a long time ago) without turning colors. It just seems that editing the hex (based on MacVidCards example) would be easier than finding that Python script (which I would want to dissect afterwards to learn how it was done) but there would seem to be less risk with the script. I managed to get an original 7950 rom and based on what MacVidCards said in those postings, erasing everything after the second 55aa and then take from the 7950 rom everything after 55aa where HAMACHI in ASCII occurs somewhere after the 55aa but before 2k is over -though you still need the whole 64k and paste it in. When saved, this is the new rom? I also recall reading something about FFFFF but it is unclear what role that plays -though it seems to be the end of the rom?

    I did not start this thread because I had not read the other threads but rather because I HAD read those threads -though not the one with the puzzling title as it did not come up in the searches. I am just trying to be very careful.
     
  7. Fl0r!an macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    I think most people do the flashing in DOS, so booting to OS X for the edits is quite obvious. Personally I don't do anything in Windows beyond gaming, and I think most other Mac users do their work in OS X.
    Btw, it's a shell script, so you'll need a *nix OS to run it, no Windows.

    You're overthink this a little. If you have a card with dual BIOS it's literally impossible (well, unless someone really means to) brick the card. Just do some experiments and see what happens. If bricked, switch to 2nd BIOS to recover.

    As I said, dumping the BIOS, running the script and flashing works for most users.
     
  8. RAMtheSSD thread starter macrumors member

    RAMtheSSD

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    #8
    Hey FlOr!an, thanks for the quick reply :) see, this is one of those things that differ between the focused discussions here and the morass at netkas: the discussion over there gives the impression (including the file ext) that it is a python script (.py) rather than a shell script (.sh) . I, myself, would prefer if the entire world (including Redmond, WA; Microsoft had a chance to do what Apple did and divorce the past from the present with SCO but they sold it instead) was a UNIX world. That being said, if you haven't already, try learning Python. It solves what is wrong with C and with Cyton, you can get C output. Too bad you can't get Swift or Objective C out of it :-(

    As far as overthinking, it is a common occurrence LOL!
     
  9. Fl0r!an macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    :p

    Btw, I used Python intensively at work some time ago, and by now I could write a book about stuff that is wrong with Python either, but that would be too much off topic here :D

    To come back to some of your questions: Using a ROM form a different card is never a good idea. The ROM doesn't just contain clock speeds, but also RAM timings, connector mappings, fan curves and much more. Cross-flashing a strange BIOS might produce anything between a perfectly working card and a brick.

    You might lose your HDMI port after flashing (and will lose 2nd DVI), but I'd have to see the ROM to be sure. You might also flash and see what happens, doesn't hurt.
     
  10. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

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    #10
    I am not that care about the energy budget. I am actually running a 7950 + R9 280 by the internal power only. Each of these card only power by a single 6pin source (via a 6pin -> 2x6pin adaptor). So technically both card may pull 150W from a 75W source.

    Of course, I won't let it happen (the protection from the Mac Pro itself won't let it happen anyway). So I downvolt the card a bit, and limit the Max power draw in the firmware which makes the card won't draw more than 100W via either of the 6pin course (under extreme loading). Under normal loading (not idle), they will both work at around 75-85W range, which is totally acceptable for me.

    However, I personally won't recommend this to anyone, because it's over the limit. I don't want anyone damage their machine because of my fault.

    Anyway, back to the topic. you don't need to touch VBE7, that part is about how to OC a GPU. All you need to do is just get the ROM from your card. Follow the instruction at there to confirm the device ID, run the script, and then flash the card to test the ROM. As Fl0r!an said, it's almost impossible to brick the card, don't be afraid to try.

    I learn all these from try by error, nothing can stop me to recover the card as long as the 2nd ROM is there.
     
  11. VAGDesign macrumors 6502

    VAGDesign

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    #11
    @Fl0r!an as I've wrote here on my guide, @netkas has misspelled the device ID on this you just quoted.
    The correct one is 679a and NOT 697a.

    Just a note because I've been there before ;)
     

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