Optimized vbios settings for performance / power saving

Straight to the Anoraks VBIOS Collection Downloads!

Welcome to the Λnorak VBIOS collection

This topic will help you to understand the technical ressources your hardware has, and give you the possibility to optimize mining speed, electricity usage and cooling performance.

Disclaimer

Mining cryptocurrencies with your GPU puts the graphics card under heavy stress. Modifying the VBIOS to gain more performance, optimize electricity usage and cooling, will put your graphics cards to their limits, and beyond. Modifying the BIOS will void your warranty. This information is provided as-is. Do not blame me, or any other member of this community for the damage caused by a bad flash, incorrect flashing, or any other damage caused to the card or computer.

Why to flash a VBIOS?

Simple said, to gain more mining power! Your graphics card comes with stock settings provided by the manufacturer which include clock speeds, fan speeds, memory timings and power usage. Those settings are usually within the specs to insure that your card will work properly. Some manufactuers tune those settings to offer graphic cards with more power, for higher prices of course. There are tools available to tune and overclock your own card, to gain maximum performance or best electricity usage. Those settings are altered live within Windows/Linux and have to be reset after each reboot. By changing those values right inside the firmware (VBIOS) you can avoid resetting the values over and over again with a 3rd party tool.

How to flash a new BIOS

Altered values and impact

The roms which I provide here, come in different versions. Beside the original rom, there are usually 3 different custom types. Memshift, Overclock and Powersave.

Memshift

The memory shift modification is the most basic one to gain more performance/mining speed with most miners. The memshift versions do have modified memory timings to increase memory transferrates at lower latencies.

What are memory timings and what do they do?

The memory modules on a graphic card work at a given clock speed measured in MegaHerz (MHz). Where each Herz is a cycle in which the memory has time to do calculations and work. The timing measures the chips delay doing calculations and work internally before passing the data forward. So eventhough a memory chip is working at high clock speeds, the work it does internally is limited due to the delays that are given by the memory timings. A chip working at 2000MHz with slow timings (large delays) can perform worse that a chip with 1500MHz and fast timings (short delays).

When the timing does not match a cirtain range for a given clock speed, the memory can run into trouble and generate memory errors and miscalculations. While memory errors do not harm the hardware, it can lead to faulty calculations of your mining software, thus in rejected shares.

The memshift roms are pretty straight forward as they use the tighter and faster timings of the lower clockspeeds. For example the timing from the 1500MHz clock speed is used at 1625, 1750 and 2000MHz. That results in higher transferspeeds of data from and to the GPU. And therefore to higher hashspeeds of the mining software.

Different miners for different coins do get different effects by this, as they utilize the memory for calculation solutions more or less. Ethereum for example gets the most profit out of changing the memory timings, compared to ZCash.


Overclock

The overclock versions are pretty much the same as you can do with overclocking tools like Afterburner or Sapphire TRIXX. Those versions come with higher clock speeds for the GPU as well as memory and include the memshift. The graphic card gets higher power limits to ensure stable operation at higher clock speeds. To avoid high temperatures, the original fan settings are tweaked to perform better at higher temps. Keep in mind that those settings result in louder noise due to the higher fan sppeds.

Due to higher clock speeds, and higher power limits, you have to concider higher power draw from the wall as well as higher temperatures.

The roms provided here are overclocked slightly, you could get better results by determining the maximum clocks your card can get. But as all cards perform different according to the quality of the chips themselves, I can only provide roms that work within a more or less save range of clock speeds.

Keep in mind that higher clock speeds will wear your graphic cards more and can result in damages!


Powersave
The powersave versions are quite the opposite of the overclocked versions. In some cases, you do not want to get the best performance, but the best electricity usage and lowest temperatures.

The roms provided here come with lowered clock speeds on the GPU and lowered power draw, but still have the memoryshift modification.

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Update log


08. Dec 2016

  • Released Chapter #1 of my HEX editing tutorial

08. Dec 2016

  • Added Powercolor RX480 RedDragon 4GB Hynix
  • Added Sapphire RX 480 Nitro+ 8GB Samsung Rev53
  • Added Powercolor 380X Myst 4GB Elpida
  • Added XFX R9 390 8GB Elpida

03. Dec 2016

  • Added Sapphire RX480 8GB Reference Samsung

02. Dec 2016

  • Added XFX RX480 8GB GTR Dual Samsung
  • Added MSI R9 380 4GB Elpida
  • Added Sapphire R9 290X 4GB

30. Nov 2016

  • Added Sapphire RX480 Nitro+ 8gb Samsung

Initial

  • Asus RX 470 STRIX 4GB Hynix
  • Asus RX 480 4GB Dual Hynix
  • Gigabyte RX 470 G1 GAMING 4GB SK-Hynix
  • MSI R9 390 Gaming 8GB Hynix
  • MSI RX 470 Gaming X 4GB Hynix
  • MSI RX 470 Gaming X 8GB Micron
  • MSI RX 480 Gaming X 4GB Hynix
  • MSI RX 480 Gaming X 8GB Samsung
  • Powercolor RX 470 RedDevil 4GB Hynix
  • Powercolor RX 470 RedDragon 4GB Hynix
  • Powercolor RX 480 RedDevil 8GB Samsung
  • Powercolor RX 480 RedDragon 4GB Samsung
  • Powercolor RX 480 RedDragon 8GB Samsung
  • Sapphire RX 470 Reference 4GB Hynix
  • Sapphire RX 470 Nitro+ OC 4GB Hynix
  • Sapphire RX 470 Nitro+ OC 4GB Elpida
  • Sapphire RX 470 Nitro+ OC 8GB Hynix
  • Sapphire RX 470 Nitro+ OC 8GB Samsung
  • Sapphire RX 480 Nitro+ 4GB Hynix
  • Sapphire RX 480 Nitro+ 4GB Elpida
  • Sapphire RX 480 Nitro+ 4GB Samsung
  • Sapphire RX 480 Nitro+ 8GB Hynix
  • XFX R9 390 8GB
  • XFX RX 480 Reference 8GB Samsung
  • XFX RX 480 8GB Triple X Samsung
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Just hitted the 400 mark. :sunglasses:

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Nice post! Why you chosed 4GB instead of 8GB? Why You chosed 470 instead of 480?

Thanks!

Well basically the 480 were not in stock when I ordered. Besides that, the 470 have a better hash per watt ratio then the 480. Also I got a good price advantage on them.

2 Likes

Can we do anything for the nanos?

Sure thing.

What is your exact model. I will do some research for settings. I dont have a modded VBIOS at hand. But a source who is running some nanos overclocked.

Powercolour r9 nano 4gb hbm

I got a VBIOS for you - check the downloads.
But do not expect huge improvement. The Nano does not overclock that much without getting stability problems.

Also, this VBIOS lifts the power limits quite far and violates the PCIE max specs!
Heat will be a problem on this card too!

There are 2 roms with different speeds on the memory.
Use with caution and a portion of Tabasco!

I found another rom, which is the latest version 107 of the UEFI BIOS from AMD.
Clocks are even higher.

1 Like

Added Testing stability topic to

Can you give more info about your open air case?

Nothing special. :joy:

Just a cheap shoe tray. It matched the main boards perfectly with enough space for 4 psu.

I removed some of the bars at the top, and lowered one bar, so I can fit my GPUs on top of the rig.

I will make a small showcase when I get my raisers from cryptomined and post some photos.

Right now it looks like crap. When I realized that the raisers I had were broken, I disassembled everything. Nor I just run the 2 boards with 2 GPUs each, and one board also got the one and only working raiser. So 5 cards in total. Plus another 2 cards in my office PC.

2 Likes

did you test claymore v6 on your moded rx 470 4GB?

Yes. Testing right now with the 1500strap VBIOS.
Making 145 - 148 Sol/s without overclocking.

Tested with 1360 MHz on the core and 1850 on the memory, which spits out 165 Sol/s.

2 Likes

WOW, it is better than RX 480 OC!! i think it consumes 150W or more?

Yup. 160 watts with spikes into the 170s. :egg:

The cards do not exceed 65C right now, its quite cool here, so I have some headroom. But the power draw is too high for my taste. I was not able to reduce vcore power by more than 50mV to save power without crashing. I guess I limit out there with the core clock.

You mean stock settings without changing anything?

Yes, but the cards behave differently. I card gets up to 148 @ stock (with 1500strap)
The other 2 reach only 135 - 145 with the identical settings.

The 165 Sol/s was just a spike.

But it puts out 150 on average. And the watts keep around 125. That’s not too bad. I will have to test all my cards. Some do use less power than others at same settings. :sleeping:

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The number you see on GPU-Z is the power draw from the GPU core, not including memory chips and other components. The actual power draw is approximately GPU-Z number + 50 Watt. This is without memory overclocking. If you overclock the memory then it's gonna be higher.

To get an accurate number you'll need something like this to measure power draw from the wall. (Small cost to pay, compared to the whole rig)