==How to Flash the BFG6800GT OC into an Ultra in a safe way==

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Feb 11, 2004
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*DISCLAIMER: This flash will work on all brands of the 6800 GT series cards. In this guide, I'm using my BFG brand 6800GT. DO THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK. Although the BIOS procedure is relatively simple and quick, not following the directions carefully may result in frying your card if you don't have adequate cooling.

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Here is a quick guide to what I did to increase the stability and overclockability of my retail BFG 6800GT OC card. (BTW, this flash guide pertains to other GT cards as well--not just the BFG brand.)

Before the flash, my card could go up 420/1150MHz. At those speeds, all games and benchmarks were stable (Far Cry, 3DMark03, etc). However, it wasn't stable in one game which was very annoying--Warcraft 3. The single player mode would run fine but my BNET connection would keep getting disconnected after 30 minutes or after an hour.

After eliminating the issues of heat or inadequate PSU, I concluded that the issue must've been with the voltage being supplied to the core. My research online revealed that the GT cards receive a voltage between 1.3 V to 1.33 V. The Ultras, on the other hand, receive v1.4 V.

So, I searched for a BIOS rom that would increase the voltage to my card to 1.4 V yet not mess with any core and memory speeds and timings. After I found such a BIOS, I flashed my card with it. As promised, the BIOS didn't alter any core and memory speeds (checked with Rivatuner and Coolbits 2).

Well, how do I know the voltage changed? Although I don't have the physical tools to measure the voltage running across the board, I did notice the improved stability of my card after this flash. My OC has increased to 440MHZ stable and War3 doesn't disconnect me anymore.

Here are the steps I used:

(1) Download the nvFlash utility. I used version v4.42.

(2) DL'ed the specially modified Leadtek GeForce 6800 Ultra with voltage of 1.4 and no changes to core and memory speeds. You can find it here.

EDIT: Instead of using the Leadtek BIOS, I am now making my own custom BIOS files based on my BFG GT's rom. Here is the link to a page where all my BIOS creations are stored (about 23 dif kinds). Thx goes to [H]ard member Zok for hosting these!!

The BIOS were customized using HexWorkshop and NVCHK.

Remember to have good cooling in order to flash to this BIOS.

(3) I put the above 2 files in the same directory of my choice.

(4) Start-->Run-->cmd

(5) Browse to the folder that contains the flash tool and the BIOS rom.

(6) Typed this command in to backup my card's original BIOS:

nvflash442 -b mybios.rom

(The "mybios.rom" portion is arbitrary. You can name the BIOS to whatever you want.)

(7) With my BIOS backed up, I proceeded to flash to the new Ultra BIOS. I typed:

nvflash442 -p -u -2 ultra.rom

(The "ultra.rom" portion of the code is also arbitrary. Whatever the Ultra BIOS name happens to be, you'll be typing in that name.)

(8) The flash process took a while for me--like 1 minute. When I saw the flash successful confirmation message, I rebooted my computer.

(9) Once I reached the Desktop, WinXP detected my "new" GeForce 6800 Ultra. It asked for drivers so I installed the newest official one--the 61.77.

EDIT: If you flashed your card using one of my modified BFG GT BIOS, your WinXP won't detect the "new" Ultra. nVIDIA driver control panel will say it's a BFG 6800 GT card.

(10) Installed Coolbits 2 and verified that the clock speeds weren't altered. I slowly OC'ed my card until I reached a satisfactory level.

EDIT: The core and memory speed will be different depending on which BIOS file you used to flash your card with.

That's it! It was safe, quick, and too easy to be true.

Just like how I used to flash my 9800 Pro that I sold through this forum, the process is simple and effective as long as you pay careful attention to the details and directions.

Just make sure that you have a sufficient cooling system in place to buffer the extra heat your card will generate after the voltage increase. My idle temp went up from 51 C to 53 C.

EDIT: Now that I have a DangerDen NV-68 block on the GT on its own water loop, my idle temp is 51 C for the core and 32 C for the ambient idle (card is running at 430/1150). For more details, you can check my DD NV-68 project log. .

Good luck and have fun and be careful about your temps! Once again, thx to member Zok for hosting all those files!

-Optimummind
 

[RIP]Zeus

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that is badass dude
i think i will be doing that tonight with my BFG6800GT
btw is there any recover tools if the flash does fail and make my card retarded?
 

NoxTek

The Geek Redneck
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You know I don't think linking directly to an attatchment on another forum is exactly kosher or even polite, but aside from that this is definately interesting stuff.

I flashed my PNY 6800 GT with the very same BIOS last night and it increased my max 'autodetect' overclock from 390/1.07 to 418/1.13. The card is totally artifact free at those speeds, but it needs much better cooling. When the core hits 85C anything 3D will stall for several seconds until the core cools down some.

Dammit where are those aftermarket waterblocks! :p
 

Unit-0

Limp Gawd
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Dec 6, 2003
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My BFG 6800GT can work flawlessly at even 91C. After fine-tuning the wind tunnel in my case it's been at 87C max under heavy load and still works w/o stutter.

EDIT: that's an awesome tip Optimummind. I'd do it if I wasn't so concerned with fucking up and ruining my expensive uber card =P maybe when i get a PCI vid card.
 

tristam

Limp Gawd
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Dec 21, 2003
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i could only find nvflash 4.46, and when i ran it with the "-b oldbios.rom" parameter i got this error msg (using win2k btw)

"ERROR: PCI BIOS not present
NOTE: This program can only be run under DOS"

...?
 
Joined
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Messages
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I can run my BFG 6800 GT at 440/1.18. Frequency test starts reporting errors at 442. Using liquid cooling, it tops out at mid 50C temp. I might flash it for fun but I don't think my P4 3.06 @ 3.4 can drive the card more.

I wonder if the extra molex on the ultra are supplying more voltage or maybe a cleaning voltage for the ultra to OC to 470. In theory if the power supply can deliver a very clean voltage to the one GT molex, we should to be able to get the same 470 on the chip since 1.4 volts is only delivered.

So is the extra molex on the ultra supplying a different voltage or more stability because it is the same 1.4 volts or are we missing something?
 

ICE_PIMP

n00b
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Jul 1, 2004
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(2) DL'ed the specially modified Leadtek GeForce 6800 Ultra with voltage of 1.4 and no changes to core and memory speeds. You can find it here.

What is actually modefied in the BIOS? Since Ultra BIOS's already have 1.4V what is modded?
 
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ICE_PIMP said:
What is actually modefied in the BIOS? Since Ultra BIOS's already have 1.4V what is modded?

The Ultra BIOS is modified in that the clock speeds of the core and the memory has been downclocked to the speed of a GT. So basically, this flashing is for GT owners who want to experiment with high overclocks made possible with an increase in the voltage being supplied to the core.

This is a safer way then simply flashing a GT with a regular Ultra BIOS which will not only set the voltage higher but also increase the core and memory speeds for you automatically. What if after flashing to higher speeds, your card begins to artifact or overheat too quickly?

With the Ultra BIOS linked above, however, you can take your OC up a little bit at a time to find out the best compromise between OC'ing and heat.

As for my setup, I ran the HDR test for 15 minutes but the core temp. never went beyond 62 C (with Koolance GPU-180 waterblock).

My idle, however, is about 1 to 2 C higher from before the flash. But even so, that temp is around 50 - 52 C which is far from the throttling limit.
 
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tristam said:
i could only find nvflash 4.46, and when i ran it with the "-b oldbios.rom" parameter i got this error msg (using win2k btw)

"ERROR: PCI BIOS not present
NOTE: This program can only be run under DOS"

...?

You can find nvFlash v4.42 here.
 

ICE_PIMP

n00b
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Jul 1, 2004
Messages
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Optimummind said:
The Ultra BIOS is modified in that the clock speeds of the core and the memory has been downclocked to the speed of a GT. So basically, this flashing is for GT owners who want to experiment with high overclocks made possible with an increase in the voltage being supplied to the core.

This is a safer way then simply flashing a GT with a regular Ultra BIOS which will not only set the voltage higher but also increase the core and memory speeds for you automatically. What if after flashing to higher speeds, your card begins to artifact or overheat too quickly?

With the Ultra BIOS linked above, however, you can take your OC up a little bit at a time to find out the best compromise between OC'ing and heat.

As for my setup, I ran the HDR test for 15 minutes but the core temp. never went beyond 62 C (with Koolance GPU-180 waterblock).

My idle, however, is about 1 to 2 C higher from before the flash. But even so, that temp is around 50 - 52 C which is far from the throttling limit.

Sweet. I'll try this once i get my NV Silencer :) Does it say 6800 Ultra in control panel btw?
 
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ICE_PIMP said:
Sweet. I'll try this once i get my NV Silencer :) Does it say 6800 Ultra in control panel btw?

"(9) Once I reached the Desktop, WinXP detected my "new" GeForce 6800 Ultra. It asked for drivers so I installed the newest official one--the 61.77."
 

Shorty

Gawd
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One thing... have we ruled that the voltage is set in the BIOS or drivers?

If it's set in the BIOS... does anybody know where I can find a GeForce 6800GT BIOS at 400/1100 and 1.4v? I succesfully tried the Leadtek one but I'm not real happy with the whole Leadtek memory counter at startup.
 
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Shorty said:
One thing... have we ruled that the voltage is set in the BIOS or drivers?

If it's set in the BIOS... does anybody know where I can find a GeForce 6800GT BIOS at 400/1100 and 1.4v? I succesfully tried the Leadtek one but I'm not real happy with the whole Leadtek memory counter at startup.

If you want the BIOS for the Leadtek Ultra where the voltage is set to 1.4 AND both the core and mem are set to Ultra speeds, shoot me a PM with your e-mail addy.

In answer to your question, the BIOS from my first post is sets the voltage to 1.4 within the BIOS, not the drivers.
 

[RIP]Zeus

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get this prob with the nvflash 4.42

"ERROR: PCI BIOS not present
NOTE: This program can only be run under DOS"

how would one go about getting pasted this or a fix for it?
 

[RIP]Zeus

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IT WORKED....w00t w00t w00t w00t......here some pics
they are fairly large...=]

but here you go

GTTOU.jpg

temp.jpg
 

ozziegn

The man behind the curtain...
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Optimummind

so is there any real reason why I should flash the BIOS on my GT that already does 420/1100 without flinching?

yes, I know that you're getting 430/1150 but honestly, I wouldnt highly doubt the meager increase in speeds would be worth the effort.

please give me some good reason(s) why I should attempt this other than risking ruining my $400+ video card. :p
 

NoxTek

The Geek Redneck
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May 27, 2002
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Ozzeign, it will increase your voltages by 0.1v and should net you a better max overclock but at the cost of higher temps. I personally would look into better cooling before I started pushing the core beyond 420 anyway reguardless of the BIOS you are using.

Many people that have tried this say that the Ultra BIOS provides more clock for clock performance than the GT BIOS does, but I havent yet confirmed this with my own eyes. :)
 

JonDo[H]

Limp Gawd
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Jul 29, 2004
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Can I confirm you can flash back to original bios with ease having flashed up to the Ultra bios? If so, will definitely give this a go...

Cheers :D
 

t5brick

Supreme [H]ardness
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Optimummind, how did you get nvflash to run from a command line in windows?
 

NoxTek

The Geek Redneck
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JonDo[H] said:
Can I confirm you can flash back to original bios with ease having flashed up to the Ultra bios? If so, will definitely give this a go...

Cheers :D

Yes, you can. You simply flash back to your original BIOS using the same command line switches with nvflash 4.42,

Before you flash you should backup your current BIOS using the -b switch, ie:

nvflash442.exe -b oldbios.rom

If you are using the windows CLI version of nvflash 4.42 make sure you copy that backup rom file and a copy of the DOS version of nvflash in case you need to do an emergency recovery. You should also have a PCI vga card handy in case you DO fuck up the flash and your card POSTS with no video. This would allow you to boot and reflash your card with the old BIOS. (I don't even use a PCI card, I can flash blindly if I fuck something up heh).

It all sounds a lot more difficult and complicated than it really is. Reguardless, if you are looking to flash your GT with the Ultra BIOS this is the way to go. Use the BIOS listed in the first post of this thread since it will make your card an Ultra, but at stock GT speeds (350/1000). THEN overclock and see what your limit is. :)
 

ChiMan

Weaksauce
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Blue Falcon said:
You should also have a PCI vga card handy in case you DO fuck up the flash and your card POSTS with no video. This would allow you to boot and reflash your card with the old BIOS. (I don't even use a PCI card, I can flash blindly if I fuck something up heh).

Wouldn't it require a working vid card for a computer to start up? If the AGP vid card is messed up and there is no PCI one at hand, how would one go about flashing the old BIOS back?

Just asking in case I come across this problem.:)
 

archevilangel

[H]ard|Gawd
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ChiMan said:
Wouldn't it require a working vid card for a computer to start up? If the AGP vid card is messed up and there is no PCI one at hand, how would one go about flashing the old BIOS back?

Just asking in case I come across this problem.:)
I'm pretty sure that you can just make a boot disk, and edit the autoexec.bat with the command to flash back. Don't be too scared while it flashes though, because even if you reset at the wrong time, or something else happens, there shouldn't be any further harm.
 

Syphon Filter

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One question/point...

All Ultras have 2 molex connectors...now i am assuming that Nvidia spec'd it like this for a reason...

a GT only has one, when you flash to an ultra BIOS and start running ur card at those speeds off just one molex is there not a chance that it will get flakey? I am thinking back to what Carmack said about oc'd cards/unused transistors etc...
 

ozziegn

The man behind the curtain...
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okay, I cant believe I just actually entertained this idea but I oh well. I went for it anyway...

I flashed my GT to the Ultra and it O/Ced to 440/1150 where as before with the GT BIOS it would only go to 420/1100. the load temps only went from 65C to 70C between the two BIOS versions. idle temps were only 3C apart.

okay, I left it at 440/1150 and decided to play a round of UT2004 and the game ran fine for about 5 minutes or so. all of the sudden, the entire screen turned into a bunch of pixels and stuff. you know, the kind of screens that you get when you've killed a video card?

so after I picked up my lower jaw from the floor after I dropped it ( :D ), I quit the game and I flashed the card back to the GT BIOS and I rebooted. my GT is okay and she now runs normal again in 3D stuff so I'm not fuc*ing with it anymore. the way I look at it, the card is already plenty fast straight out of the box. so you then O/C it and it gets even better. so why risk destroying a card thats already nice "as is"?

anyways... I got lucky that I didnt screw my card up and I'm taking that as a sign from up above not to do anymore BIOS "adjustments"....
 

t5brick

Supreme [H]ardness
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ChiMan said:
Wouldn't it require a working vid card for a computer to start up? If the AGP vid card is messed up and there is no PCI one at hand, how would one go about flashing the old BIOS back?

Just asking in case I come across this problem.:)

it's also possable to do a "blind flash" manually. basically you flash your video card with no display. it worked for me on my first bad flash.
 

Roach

Limp Gawd
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Is there anyway to increase the "Core slowdown Threshold" in the bios? I don't want it to thermal throttle when I'm overclocking. ;)
 

Sparky

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Roach said:
Is there anyway to increase the "Core slowdown Threshold" in the bios? I don't want it to thermal throttle when I'm overclocking. ;)


There is an utility to make your own bios with whatever settings you want it to have.
 
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ozziegn said:
okay, I cant believe I just actually entertained this idea but I oh well. I went for it anyway...

I flashed my GT to the Ultra and it O/Ced to 440/1150 where as before with the GT BIOS it would only go to 420/1100. the load temps only went from 65C to 70C between the two BIOS versions. idle temps were only 3C apart.

okay, I left it at 440/1150 and decided to play a round of UT2004 and the game ran fine for about 5 minutes or so. all of the sudden, the entire screen turned into a bunch of pixels and stuff. you know, the kind of screens that you get when you've killed a video card?

so after I picked up my lower jaw from the floor after I dropped it ( :D ), I quit the game and I flashed the card back to the GT BIOS and I rebooted. my GT is okay and she now runs normal again in 3D stuff so I'm not fuc*ing with it anymore. the way I look at it, the card is already plenty fast straight out of the box. so you then O/C it and it gets even better. so why risk destroying a card thats already nice "as is"?

anyways... I got lucky that I didnt screw my card up and I'm taking that as a sign from up above not to do anymore BIOS "adjustments"....

Good to hear that no permanent damage has been done to your card. Like I've mentioned before, I would recommend you have some waterblock if you wanna OC that high.

My Koolance GPU-180 keeps my load temp at 63 C max even after running the HDR demo for more than 30 minutes.
 

tristam

Limp Gawd
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Dec 21, 2003
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just to let you all know, i tried this last night, successfully flashing the bios, reinstalling 61.77 drivers, and overclocked to Ultra speeds and its doing great so far. 3dmark03 ran w/o a hitch, rthdribl ran fine and the core temp went from 55 to 84 after about 10-15 min of it running at nearly fullscreen. My card is an eVGA 6800GT that before this flash could not get above 390/1050 without throttling for some reason or getting artifacts
 

Shorty

Gawd
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See... I'm not looking for an Ultra BIOS. I'm looking for a BIOS that will keep the card as showing up as a GeForce 6800GT but with 1.4v and with 400/1.1 speeds.
 

Toad21

Limp Gawd
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Jun 29, 2004
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Ok, I flashed it with the ultra bios and my results were as follows:

10mhz increase in GPU core speeds.

0mhz increase in RAM speeds.

NEGATIVE 500 3dmarks. Yes it actually made my card perform lower with the extra 10mhz.

Plus it makes that annoying Leadtech Ram counter at startup that i hate.

I flashed it back to original, and wont be flashing it to ultra again unless there is a version where the ram counter doesnt come up when the computer boots.
 
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