BIOS Hunting/Flashing... w/Linux

theclamtheclam Member Posts: 91

qty gpu bios name
11 113-D0090101-100
4 113-1E3470U.O60
4 113-2E3471U.O55
3 113-2E3472U.O54
2 113-P10XT-XFX1328-8GB-W80
2 113-2E3470U.O5Y
1 113-XFXD009-100
1 113-349PRO4-U45
1 113-47045HYF1-W80

29 Cards in total over 5 Rigs --

Considering they are all stock BIOSes, I am pretty happy with the hash rates / energy consumption. 4550 watts/hour for 710 H/s for ETH and 4750 Watts/hour @ 6400 H/s ZEC....but I think it's time to get flashing!
Hoping to pick up an additional 80-120 H/s by flashing all the BIOSes in ETH mode and drop Wattage down to 4000.

What's the best way to find the energy efficient BIOSes and then flash the cards via Ethos/Ubuntu/Mac -- No windows here only Linux and Macs... Also being able to flash by BIOS name would be awesome vs doing one card at a time...



  • magickmagick Member Posts: 67
    The only working flashing tool requires Windows, unfortunately. (Why, I don't know. I'm not aware of anyone trying with wine or the like.) It does have a command line switch to select by BIOS part number. Unlike the switches by board name and SSID I am not convinced that this switch works; it might have been user error, but I managed to flash a 480 with a 470 BIOS by mistake while using that switch, so, be careful.

    Suggested approach for your scenario would likely be to make a bootable Windows USB key from a Windows system somewhere with WinToUSB (I understand this works for flashing, but haven't yet used it for the purpose myself), then to configure a batch file so as to do what you want (we hope) on a headless rig. You'd pretty much need a Windows box with at least one AMD GPU on it to get that working right. There's a thread here that may be useful to crib from but note: version 2.74 which you'll need DOES NOT work from a DOS bootable disk; it requires Windows including to run the command-line version of the tool.

    Thus, you'd want a bootable Windows image which runs ATIFlash from a batch file for all cards in the system and then shuts down or restarts. That batch file could perfectly well run ATIFlash with different ROMs per slot as long as you can figure out which adapters are in what order on what systems. In theory you could iterate over the adapters in a system fetching the bios p/n and selecting the payload accordingly. (As a Linux user myself I dread the thought of doing that in a Windows batch file, but it could be done).

    Ideally, rather than a USB key that demands messing around with BIOS to boot it, you'd get this into an image that could be booted from GRUB, on which it should flash the intended payload and reboot. You can then leave the grub default set at the Linux install and perform a one-time reboot into Windows (or any other GRUB entry) using grub-reboot. I use this to toggle a dual-boot system remotely between Linux and WIndows; it defaults to Linux with a "reboot into WIndows" option using grub-reboot. With a working auto-flasher image, launching it from GRUB would save the hassle of trying to run up a USB based system on a headless rig. Sounds like a complicated pain in the backside, really, which may be why I haven't done it yet. You'll also need Windows for the Polaris Bios Editor, you likely don't want to flash a downloaded BIOS versus backup from the actual card, modify, then flash accordingly. For the same reason I'm not sure how much time it's worth spending trying to make it work under Linux versus coopting Windows into doing what you need. So far I've just flashed cards on a dual-boot desktop, which is a pain in the arse as it only supports 3 cards at a time.

    As to what you can expect - your figures seem broadly realistic. On your numbers above, not knowing or caring which cards are which, you're using 6.4W per Mh/s on the average and pulling 24.48Mh/s per card. On my rigs (Sapphire 470s and 480s, Ubuntu, 1750MHz strap, 2150Mhz mem), the highest output I can readily achieve is around 27.5Mhs per card at 5.9W/Mhs, while the sweet spot seems to be around 27Mhs per card at 5.7-5.8W/Mhs. If that's anything to go by, you should achieve a 10% increase in hash rate quite easily; I think you'll struggle for 15%. Along with which I could reasonably see a 10% decrease in power use (YMMV of course).

    Hopefully that assists in deciding whether it's worth the hassle. On a crude assessment with today's prices, my numbers and my power costs, it would leave you about $4.20 a day better off, an increase of 31-35% on net returns; your mileage may vary but that's a good starting point.

    If that's too much to put together, my suggestion would turn one of your rigs into a dual-boot setup for BIOS editing and flashing, ideally one with a bunch of similar cards on it, as I've been doing with my desktop. If the rigs are identical you could clone it; if not, you'll have less work to swap 6 flashed cards onto another ethOS rig than to take Windows to each rig and not muck about with the wiring.

    I shall shortly have to decide to do one or the other, as I've a new rig to set up and some changes to make to existing ones; I'll post back if I come up with anything useful. Good as the auto-flashing notion is, Win7 Pro licenses are cheap and Win10 accessibility upgrades are still free, so I can see me going the dual-boot route, but I have fewer rigs to deal with and one pending install anyway, so incentives may be different. Good luck!
  • theclamtheclam Member Posts: 91
    Wow - what a detailed reply - thank you for taking the time! I bought another SSD and loaded windows 10... Now when I have some time, I'll find all the save a copy of all my BIOSes then find the BIOSes for those cards and flash them all... What a pain...
  • magickmagick Member Posts: 67
    Once you've downloaded the BIOS for a given type of card, you can quickly mod it and save a copy with the Polaris Bios Editor, then flash it to compatible cards.

    It may make sense to put your backup / flashing commands into one batch file per rig, even when working in Windows, both so you have a record of which files are which and for a quick method of redeploying. If you create batch files as you dump what's there now, you've an easy way of restoring stock BIOS when needed and a template for flashing the modded ones.

    Let us know what results you do get - hope it goes smoothly.

  • theclamtheclam Member Posts: 91
    edited March 2017
    atiflash works fine in ethos and I was able to find a bios for 2 of my cards. Anyone have clue how i can find Modded bios for my other cards?
  • REtherMinerREtherMiner Member Posts: 16
    Hello, did you find a modded bios for the 2 cards with BIOS Part Number
    If so, can you please share? Thanks
  • theclamtheclam Member Posts: 91

    Hello, did you find a modded bios for the 2 cards with BIOS Part Number
    If so, can you please share? Thanks

    This one worked for me ->

    It is the only one I found. still looking for the ROM files for my other 27 cards :(
  • Wolf0Wolf0 Member Posts: 329 ✭✭✭
    Atiflash for linux leaked AGES ago!
  • theclamtheclam Member Posts: 91
    huh, yeah it's been out for a long time... Flashing is not the problem. The challenge is there is not a Polaris Bios editor for Linux. So without windows, you can't change the timings. You need a ROM from someone so you can use atiflash.
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