Monday, 25 October 2010 08:57

AMD officially confirms some 6850 with 1120 Shaders

Written by Fuad Abazovic

Update: Blames partners
A very well known graphics overclocker who went to work for AMD, Sami Mäkinen, has sent us some official comments on our “out of spec” 6850 samples story posted here. Sami works for AMD Tech PR these days.

This is what AMD said officially:

“Apparently a small number of the AMD Radeon HD 6850 press samples shipped from AIB partners have a higher-than-expected number of stream processors enabled.

This is because some AIBs used early engineering ASICs intended for board validation on their press samples. The use of these ASICs results in the incorrect number of stream processors. All boards available in the market, as well as AMD-supplied media samples, have production-level GPUs with the correct 960 stream processors."

Of course, the easiest is to blame it on someone else, but we also like to go on conspiracy theory side and believe that AMD set the final shader number after it shipped first 6850 samples, and some simply didn’t get the new bios that will keep the shader number to 960.

Update: AMD has contacted us again: "Your assumption wrt BIOS is simply not accurate. In fact a BIOS update can not fix these early ES ASIC boards to operate according to 6850 spec." So much for special BIOS dreams, it's all in the hardware it seems.

Last modified on Monday, 25 October 2010 13:40

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+67 #1 spede 2010-10-25 09:09
No wonder Ati/AMD never sends Fudzilla any samples.
-9 #2 Kob 2010-10-25 09:39
My theory is that since HW review sites put up their reviews either very close to intro date or no later that a few days afterward - otherwise they will be "stale", vendors send their stuff tweaked to the max - either by implementing special tweaks to known benchmarks or, in this case, "an unintentional speed-up".
The reviews come out superb, the great unwashed go out and buy the stuff, and when they realize (if at all) that the bought product does not reach the as-reviewed specs then either they blame their own setup or wait a few months for the next "best in class".
Almost no review site will go out and re-test after the product hits the shops, since this is already "old news" and who cares...
+9 #3 Bl0bb3r 2010-10-25 10:41
@Kob, you're assuming that the reviewers are also part of the "great unwashed" who don't know better.
You're wrong!

It's not the first time this has happened, and sure you can blame it on partners this time, it's their job to properly flash their cards to fit the specs especially given the past events.
+6 #4 Sethroque 2010-10-25 11:38
This don't look related to BIOS, it's only the wrong ASIC chip. Read here:
"** update -- as it is right now looks like a BIOS update is not possible and that the extra shaders are dealt with at ASIC level."
+1 #5 The_Wolf88 2010-10-25 12:06
The lucky one whose getting it !
-3 #6 Stewox 2010-10-25 13:09
This is probably the same thing what is amd doing , letting advanced users unlock the bios and enable more stream processors on HD 6850.
-6 #7 Nerdmaster 2010-10-25 15:28
That means that Amd may release in the future 6850 with 1120 shaders enabled to replace 6850.
+2 #8 mrgerbik 2010-10-25 16:22
I'm too lazy to look it up now and I'm probably wrong, but didn't AMD "officially" state that PhenomII/AthlonII CPUs couldn't be unlocked because they were fused at the fab as well?
+1 #9 Bl0bb3r 2010-10-25 16:43
"In fact a BIOS update can not fix these early ES ASIC boards to operate according to 6850 spec"

So much for past experiences... in the 4830 link I posted it was said clearly that a SIMD was not set in BIOS, and when tested the performance of 4830 with 560 shaders was below that of 640.

That it can't be "fixed" as in effectively removing the extra SIMDs, OK, that's true. But we are only looking to bit-mask the extra ones in BIOS so that benchmarks score just as they would with 960 shaders for a proper review. Everything else is irrelevant since there are just a limited number of such cards.
0 #10 yourma2000 2010-10-26 16:20
So much for the free 6850 upgrade

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