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

460cidpower

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Optimummind said:
*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

Has anyone ever tried that with a plain 6800? (plain 6800 to GT) If a modifide bios was used? i.e. the core/mem speeds the same as stock. Would the lack of the extra 128 MB of ram mess it up? Because I know that Asus makes a 128MB GT card. So if somone modified it's BIOS to stock 6800 speeds, it may be possbile.
 

Ray-Ban

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Sep 11, 2004
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123
Ah ok, thanks for the post acaurora, I couldn't get hardforum to work last night either... I was thinking it was just a hardware swap or something like that, but maybe it was my internet.... who knows.

Sorry for not reading into the question more, I assumed it was both core and mem... I would have to think this is a manufacturer issue with XFX. It restarts to the default stock speeds of 1000MHz so the issue here is definitely not that the card can't handle those memory speeds... In any respect, I would say that you're the perfect candidate for flashing your bios, because this problem might be resolved in another manufacturer's bios (of if XFX's ultra bios is on that page you could try that too). Also, with that little bit of voltage, who knows, you could probably go up to 450 like a lot of other DD waterblock users have. That'd be damn near ultra extreme speeds... And well worth it, imo.

Good luck.
 

s10010001

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460cidpower said:
Has anyone ever tried that with a plain 6800? (plain 6800 to GT) If a modifide bios was used? i.e. the core/mem speeds the same as stock. Would the lack of the extra 128 MB of ram mess it up? Because I know that Asus makes a 128MB GT card. So if somone modified it's BIOS to stock 6800 speeds, it may be possbile.

why would you modify the 128mb ASUS GT BIOS to 6800nu speed then flahs it? whats the point?

the 6800nu is a 12 pip card, the GT is a 16pipe card, its not exactly like the 5900nus and 5900U...

There other diffrence other than clock...so its hard to say, i thought i read some peopel getting the 12 pip NUs to full 16pipe GTs...
 

The Batman

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I edited my own bios to 1.4v 3d and 1.3v 2d, and it helped with my OC just a bit. 425/1150 to 430/1200.
 

460cidpower

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I(illa Bee said:
why would you modify the 128mb ASUS GT BIOS to 6800nu speed then flahs it? whats the point?

the 6800nu is a 12 pip card, the GT is a 16pipe card, its not exactly like the 5900nus and 5900U...

There other diffrence other than clock...so its hard to say, i thought i read some peopel getting the 12 pip NUs to full 16pipe GTs...

Becasue I had heard that SOME of the 12 pipe nu s can be modded to 16 pipes using software. So one could assume that a bios flash from a GT(modded to NU speeds) could make that possible.
 

Jellox

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I have a BFG OC GT and when I use nvFlash442 through dos it gives me this error:
ERROR: PCI Subsytems and ID mismatch.
I am using the BFG 6800GT with 1.4v 400 core and 1100 ram v5.40.02.15.01.

Any suggestions?
 

typingsux

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Oct 3, 2004
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Thank you so much for this.

I now have a 6800 Ultra. :)

I had the 6800 GT that ran at 400/1100 and I'm really not that interested in pushing it further.

The core slowdown threshold was 120 C before the flash, now it's 135. I also have the warning enabled.I do so for when one of the fans die I'll know right away.

I'd just like to be able to lower the threshold to 120C again. Any suggestions?

http://zok.matrax.com/ is down for me at the moment maybe the info was there.
 

typingsux

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I was getting a few C more at idle, and really didn't feel the need to run with the Ultra BIOS since I didn't want to bother with more than 400/1100 which my GT runs with no problem.

I flashed back and will be happy with my 6800 GT OC that rocks BTW.
 

OldM3ta

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Can someone give me a link so I can do this modding my PNY 6800GT...

zok's site is down
 

Zok

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Yeah, I'm working on finding out why my host is down as we speak...
 

Edward Ng

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Nah; it already shipped out yesterday via 2-day. Means I won't get it 'til Monday, though. :(
 

Zok

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I've sent my web host a nasty e-mail about the downtime. Hopefully things will be back to normal soon.
 
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Increasing my voltage to 1.1/1.4/1.5 caused my card to crash at low speeds (temp never exceeded 55C, it is watercooled).

It does something strange everytime it crashes too, the colors on the screen turn all funky, and then digitize really badly, and then it just reboots. I'm used to my video cards simply locking up, or instantly rebooting upon a bad overclock, anyone else seeing this same thing, or did I just damage my hardware.
 
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I've got an update.
I tried to isolate exactly what was causing to crash. Below are my test results:
Test 1:
CPU: AMD Athlon XP 1500+ @ 2.1 Ghz
GeForce 6800 GT: 1.1/1.4/1.5 @ 460/1250
Result: Crashed on 3dMark05 during second test.
Test 2:
CPU: AMD Athlon XP 1500+ (Not overclocked, default speed)
GeForce 6800 GT: 1.1/1.4/1.5 @ 460/1250
Result: Crashed on 3dMark05 during second test.
Test 3:
CPU: AMD Athlon XP 1500+ (Not overclocked, default speed)
GeForce 6800 GT: 1.1/1.4/1.5 @ 400/1100
Result: Crashed on 3dMark05 during 2nd CPU test.
Test 4:
CPU: AMD Athlon XP 1500+ (Not overclocked, default speed)
GeForce 6800 GT: 1.1/1.4/1.4 @ 460/1250
Result: Crashed on 3dMark05 during second test.
Test 5:
CPU: AMD Athlon XP 1500+ (Not overclocked, default speed)
GeForce 6800 GT: 1.1/1.4/1.4 @ 400/1100
Result: Crashed on 3dMark05 during 2nd CPU test.
Test 6:
CPU: AMD Athlon XP 1500+ (Not overclocked, default speed)
GeForce 6800 GT: 1.1/1.3/1.4 @ 400/1100
Result: Completed Benchmark.
Test 7:
CPU: AMD Athlon XP 1500+ @ 2.2 Ghz
GeForce 6800 GT: 1.1/1.3/1.4 @ 440/1250
Result: Completed Benchmark

The final test was back at my original system configuration using the default voltage settings in the BIOS. Apparently the increased voltage actually caused my card to become unstable, and lowered the overclockability of the GPU. My card has an excellent cooling setup though (Watercooled by a swiftech GPU waterblock and large copper ramsinks, with a Vantec 90mm Tornado Case fan blowing full blast over that), so overheating wasn't the issue. I'm using a 480 Watt Thermaltake Purepower PSU, which should also be providing sufficient voltage. Interestingly, I noticed it seemed to crash more often during the CPU tests as opposed to the regular game tests (I know that isn't shown by the tests I placed above, but I did many more frequency tests than I posted, and in general, it crashed much more often during the CPU tests of 3dMark05). But, lowering the CPU to the default clock setting and voltage didn't seem to alleviate the problem at all. Adjusting the voltage to the video card back to the default settings corrected all of the problems however. That being said, the CPU had no issues at all crashing while I was running Prime95 Torture tests. Any thoughts?
 

Jellox

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Butter Bandit said:
Increasing my voltage to 1.1/1.4/1.5 caused my card to crash at low speeds (temp never exceeded 55C, it is watercooled).

It does something strange everytime it crashes too, the colors on the screen turn all funky, and then digitize really badly, and then it just reboots. I'm used to my video cards simply locking up, or instantly rebooting upon a bad overclock, anyone else seeing this same thing, or did I just damage my hardware.

Thats EXACTLY what mine was doing. It did it all the time on Warcraft on Battle.net. I immediately went back to my GT bios.
 

Edward Ng

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Has anyone gotten a chance to take a look at the memory timings on these Ultra BIOSes? If certain people flashed in certain BIOSes that not only raised the voltage, but also tightened the RAM timings, then they'd certainly hit issues with the new BIOS, even at the same memory speed as the stock BIOS, particularly if they were already at the ragged edge of stability for their memory with the stock BIOS.

-Ed
 
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I actually used a BIOS modified from my original GT BIOS. So my RAM timings were unchanged. The only settings I changed in my BIOS were the 2D/3D voltage, and the 3D(Throttle) voltage. I tried all possible combinations of these 2 voltage settings, and anything above the default 1.3v 2D/3D and 1.4v 3D yielded worse performance. My GPU temps barely reached 60C, and my video RAM was more than cool to the touch (GPU Watercooled, and video RAM equipped with giant copper RAM sinks and a 90mm Vantec Tornado cooling them off)

Timings could be causing instability issues when using an Ultra BIOS, but if you modify the BIOS that originally came on your video card, you shouldn't have any issues with timing, my guess is that the GPUs simply can't handle the increased voltage.
 

rexgremlin

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In my opinion Jellox and Butter Bandit made some VERY INTERESTING conclusions. Increasing VOLTAGE as a reason of unstability for GF6800GT card? I decided to do the very same tests:

My configuration:
P4 3.0Ghz PRESCOTT, 512MB Kingmax DDR400, iNTEL PERLk MB, BFG GeForce6800GT OC (OCed by BFG to 370/1000). I use the original BFGstock double mini-fans (blue light), temperature never exceed 80C (full load).

Test:

1... ORIGINAL BIOS, 1.1/1.3/1.4 volts @ 370/1000
3DMark05 v1.1.0: 4644 points.

2... ORIGINAL BIOS, 1.1/1.3/1.4 @ 400/1100
3DMark05 v1.1.0: 4924 points.

2... ORIGINAL BIOS, 1.1/1.3/1.4 @ 420/1100 (!)
3DMark05 v1.1.0: 5067 points.

4... MODIFIED BIOS, 1.1/1.4/1.4 @ 370/1000 (thx 2 optimummind)
3DMark05 v1.1.0: crashed during 3rd test.

5... MODIFIED BIOS, 1.1/1.4/1.4 @ 400/1100 (thx 2 optimummind)
3DMark05 v1.1.0: crashed during 2nd test.

Well well well, this findings reveal quite a shocking fact - increasing the VOLTAGE makes it all worse - card is not stable and overclocking is not that easy. So the question is: Why don't we just stick to the original BIOSes? I will.

PS: With 1.1/1.4/1.4 volts settings Far Cry sometimes crushed down, now it never does, running with original BIOS @ 400/1100.
 

Edward Ng

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Then perhaps there is some merit to nVIDIA's decision to utilize dual PWM circuits on the Ultra boards...
 

HighwayAssassins

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now that i think about it, when i used Ultra bios and put the speeds to 400/1100, it would crash...but if i used the same bios and overclocked to that speed or over, it worked fine...wierd
 

Edward Ng

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Being that I happen to have the OCZ PowerStream with the, "special," molex connectors, I'll try the Ultra BIOS with and without the filtered power line, to see if there's any difference.

I also have a pair of the separate molex filter cables as well, and I can test one of those on it, too.

When the mobo arrives, that is.

-Ed
 
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Here is another update:

My card is at 430MHZ/1150MHZ at 1.1V/1.4V/1.4V.

My 3DMark03 is 5443--no artifacts and crashing. All games such as Far Cry, Doom 3, Thief 3, Warhammer, Leisure Suit Larry, Sims 2, Full Spectrum Warrior, Rome: Total War, etc run fine.

I'm guessing that some users are having problems with the higher voltages due to either heat, mobo's electrical circuitry that can't handle the additional voltages, or the card itself. Maybe, it's the power supply, who knows?

My card has been flashed since day one when I bought it in July.
 
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Another update that may be of interest to everyone. My GPU temps dropped from 55C to 49C, and I was able to increase my overclock to 450/1250 (and it is rock solid) by setting the 2D voltage to the same setting as my 2D/3D, and then setting 2D clock speeds to the same as the 2D/3D. My settings are 1.4/1.4/1.4 and 450/1250 for 2D and 2D/3D. I think alot of the stability issues come from the video card switching between the different voltages and clock speeds, by forcing it to run at the same voltage and clock speeds all the time, you can increase the stability. As for the temperature drop, I don't have an explanation.
 

jak-c

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ok ok. Im very new to overclocking (what am i doing here u ask) But ive got a MESH dekstop turning up on Monday with a 6800GT in it. It twas supposed to be an ultra but they were outta stock and i was impatient and went for a load of extra goodies instead.

Aneeeeehow. I dont have a water-cooling set up ,just the regular standard fans, but i wanna OC the thing. Ive looked at all the advice on this Thread but theres so much its hard to know which one to take. Someone guide me through this, I just want some extra power/speed. Lamens terms please. Which drivers should I get or BIOS files? Help. :mad: :eek: :mad:
 

typingsux

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jak-c said:
ok ok. Im very new to overclocking (what am i doing here u ask) But ive got a MESH dekstop turning up on Monday with a 6800GT in it. It twas supposed to be an ultra but they were outta stock and i was impatient and went for a load of extra goodies instead.

Aneeeeehow. I dont have a water-cooling set up ,just the regular standard fans, but i wanna OC the thing. Ive looked at all the advice on this Thread but theres so much its hard to know which one to take. Someone guide me through this, I just want some extra power/speed. Lamens terms please. Which drivers should I get or BIOS files? Help. :mad: :eek: :mad:

I have the BFG and it runs a little hotter according to some sites but I haven't had any problems running it at 403/1.06. This is what I get when I select "detect optimal frequencies" I can put it higher but it's mere percentage points so I don't bother.

This is with drivers 6.6.81
 
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jak-c said:
ok ok. Im very new to overclocking (what am i doing here u ask) But ive got a MESH dekstop turning up on Monday with a 6800GT in it. It twas supposed to be an ultra but they were outta stock and i was impatient and went for a load of extra goodies instead.

Aneeeeehow. I dont have a water-cooling set up ,just the regular standard fans, but i wanna OC the thing. Ive looked at all the advice on this Thread but theres so much its hard to know which one to take. Someone guide me through this, I just want some extra power/speed. Lamens terms please. Which drivers should I get or BIOS files? Help. :mad: :eek: :mad:

My advice is this. Don't mess with your voltage. Search the internet for Coolbits, download and install it. Then right click on your desktop, go to properties, settings, advanced. Then go to the GeForce 6800 GT tab, and then to the Clock Frequencies sub-menu (you have to install coolbits to see this menu). I suggest setting your 3d settings to 400/1100 (those are 6800 Ultra frequencies, and you should be able to reach those easily). Don't mess with the 2D settings. Apply those settings, then run some benchmarks to make sure your setup is stable. If it freezes or locks up, clock it down by about 5 to 10 mhz and try again. Experiment with both your memory and GPU clock speeds until you find the best combo. Good luck, and if you have any questions, someone here will probably know the answer.
 

[BB] Rick James

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Messages
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Hey guys my card (BFG 6800 GT OC) runs stable at 429/1.11GHz. What are your thoughts on me trying the Ultra flash to my card? My temp right now is 50C and in games its 58C. I'm looking at getting the NV5 to go along with this. I know that just becuase my card does this doesn't mean it won't wreck it. But since I can run these speeds at these temps I'd think I'd have a good chance of being ok.

So what do you think Flash or No Flash?
 
Joined
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Messages
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Maybe its not all the GPU's in particular, remember than no two cores are the same on the atomic level or even the microscopic level. So maybe how much juice your GPU can take is simply luck of the draw, most GPU manufacturers use chips on their lower cards that don't quite cut it being top dog. An example of proof of this is the 4 extra pixel pipelines on the 6800 NU, alot of ppl that enable them are finding that they are not working correctly.
 

[BB] Rick James

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Messages
2,810
I keep getting this.. Is ther anything you guys can see that I'm doing wrong?

bios.JPG
 

etruscan

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So, I've been playing with modifying my Bios, not flashing to an Ultra Bios. I should note that my setup is minimal, the GT is currently in a box that has almost nothing else. 1.6A P4, 1x512MB PC2100 (generic), 1 hd, 1 optical, Antec TruePower 330W. I'd worry about voltage, but with 17A on the 12V rail and nothing else in the box, it's a decent tester.

My card is a BFG 6800GT OC (old one, green PCB).

So, my initial bios was

1.1 V in 2d, 1.3 V in 3d. Stable overclock of 421/1140, at 76C.

I changed the bios, did not install an Ultra bios.

1.1 V in 2d, 1.4 V in 3d. Stable overclock of 429/1200, at 81C.

I declared an overclock stable if I could run RTHDRIBL in fullscreen mode for over an hour without any artifacting. I have an NV Silencer on my card.

I should note that the throttle voltage was grayed out in my bios editor, so I ignored it.
 
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I successfully flashed to a modified BIOS i made with that one program(its listed onthis forum, to lazy to look it up), any how, i have a BFG 6800 GT OC, now i changed only the gpu volts to 1.4 from 1.3 and lowered the default clock speed to 350 in stead of the 370(since it is factory oced) just to make it as close to reference card as possible. Then i oced with coolbits2 through the drivers to 410/1100(might go higher,but i haven't tryed it yet), My 3d mark went form 11450 to 12110 and picked up 5 fps average in D3. But after running the benchmarks several times my scores keep decreasing little by little, until they bottom out at a certain score(i lost 1 and 1/2 fps average in D3 before it stopped lowering and 300 points in 3dmark03). Has anyone else experience this problem? I'm thinking there are 2 reasons, first being that i untweaked the default core clock speed (meaning i should of just left it at 370 because the BFG bios's are "tweaked" from what i've heard) or my card is getting to hot, but i dont' think heat is the case, it runs at about 76c when running 3D mark and D3(both which are plenty intensive to heat things up). I may try making another moded BIOS from the stock one only this time only changing the gpu volts and leaving everything else default. Maybe that BIOS underclock has more adverse affects since the card was modified to run at no lower than 370 gpu.
 

etruscan

Limp Gawd
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Messages
286
I've never had any program improve performance without restarting windows. Just a thought. Windows has horrible memory management, and usually leaves a few processes running. Restart the comp and see. If that's not what you mean, I don't know.
 
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