Hey guys, I'm not very bizy atm so I decided to make a small guide on how to flash a ATI bios, my main focus here isn't to overclock or push more performance, although its also included and the process is the same, its also not directed neither at complete new users or very pro ones, but at a average crowd with some notions and some will to improve.
So objectives are decrease power consumption while idle at the same time decreasing temperature and noise from fans, making a overall more pleasant experience specially while not playing games.
Taking my 4870 has example, ATI in simple terms use two speeds one for load and one for idle, 750mhz on gpu and 900mhz on memory while loaded and 500mhz gpu, 900mhz memory while in idle, at a minimum of 50% fan speed, my problem here is even at minimum the small fans at 50% are still a bit noisy, too much imo.
Making one thing clear a good idle temperature is 40ºC, but the gpu could be at 0ºC and the fan would still be at the same noisy 50%, so what I/we will do its to allow the fan to go to much lower values even stop if possible, reducing the noise a lot.
First step is to get the tools/programs we will need, those are:
ATI WinFlash http://www.techpowerup.com/downloads..._188.8.131.52.html
Radeon Bios Editor http://www.techpowerup.com/rbe/
Press the "Save" button to make a copy of your current bios and save it in a *.rom format.
(Not sure if in English its "save" anyway there are 3 buttons its the one at the right.)
Now you have a copy of your bios that you can work with.
Open Radeon Bios Editor
Load the bios you have saved with WinFlash
Now lets start with the tuning, be aware that this is just changing the bios you have saved, so there are no direct changes to you graphics card behaviour by this alone.
I will go with the simplest form of tuning this, so it is easily accessible for basically anyone.
So first go to "Clock Settings", here press the Clock Tuning Wizard button
First you have the overclock option
Im leaving it has default in this guide, has its not the point I want to make, although if you would want to overclock by bios it would be here.
Next we have the underclock option, this referring to the idle stage of the video card.
I have changed the GPU clock from 500mhz to 300mhz, the memory from 900mhz to 600mhz, voltage to 1.083v, you can go more(less) but im trying to make this guide from a safe, easy point of view.
Values changed press next, finish in the next screen and done.
Last step lets go to the Fan settings.
Here I gone make it even easyer by just selecting the "Use transfer function" and press "Set all fan settings to recommended values"
You can change the settings to your needs, I find the recommended values very decent, much better then the stock ones, allowing for basically silent operation when it is possible and spinning the fan up nicely when needed.
Ok now without going in further details/complications its done, save the moded bios.
Go back to WinFlash, load the moded bios, by pressing the "load" button
Now and for final step press the middle button, to actually flash the bios with the moded version.
Follow the steps and restart when asked.
Presto its done.
Summary, by doing this we have reduced power consumption of the graphics card while not in load very significantly, this for me its the vast majority of the time I spent in front of my pc, by doing this we also reduced the heat load, effectively prolonging the life of your video card, and in consequence of less heat and with the better fan settings, we get a more silent system, and remember the heat generated from the graphics card doesn't only influence the graphics card itself but the whole system, so overall its a win win situation.
You can control the fan very efficiently with software like ATI tray tools, but its never has clean, and to be honest this is simpler and more efficient.
This is a stress test with a slight overclock to 800mhz, but what I wont you to notice is the lower temps, below 40ºC and with the fan almost stopped, before this change would average at well above 40ºC with the fan constantly at a noisy 50%.
So for me this change is a big plus, hope it may help you, good luck.