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Thread: Chances Of Softmodding a 6800LE / Performance when Overclocked

  1. #1
    MurphmanL
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    Chances Of Softmodding a 6800LE / Performance when Overclocked

    Just wondering bout this card, seems like one of the only "higher" tier cards besides the 9800 pro, and FX 5950 i can obtain at this exact moment in time...
    Thoughts guys?
    Agent I'd be particularly interested in what you have to say considering you have some softmodded
    the main question I got is what performance is like at stock and what its like at overclocking if the softmod goes to pot?

    Been googling but either im blind or there are hardly any reviews for this card I can actually get a good read from... and knowing my luck by time i go to pick this card up from cex after xmas they'll have sold the bugger

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    HEXUS.social member Agent's Avatar
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    Every gainward 6800LE ive had has softmodded without a problem : However these cards have a design fault which means they will stop working when in 3d app's (its known by gainward, but they are doing sweet FA about it). So DO NOT get a gainward, you will only have to RMA it.

    If you can, stretch to a 6800 no ultra. You can get them for £170 from LOW, and every one ive had has softmodded to 16/6. Its WELL worth spending the extra few pounds and getting this. Even if it doesnt softmodd, they overclock pretty well to. Im sure iMc will jump in now and say his hasnt softmodded , but look over the threads and it looks like an issue with RT and not the softmodding process. However, remember that not every card will softmod !
    Softmodded and overclocked im getting about 4k on 3dmark 05, and im sure there is many more things i can tweek. Thats only on a 2400XP / gig ram. Quite a few of my games are being bottled by the CPU now.
    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    And by trying to force me to like small pants, they've alienated me.

  3. #3
    iMc
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    Mine is from lowestonweb and didnt softmod so beware. They are also up to 185quid now, just in time for xmas. havent OC mine yet so i cant comment.

    got 3186 on 3dmark05 at stock.
    HEXUS|iMc

  4. #4
    MurphmanL
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    Sounds very reasonable indeed...
    Agent I have a similar setup to you by the sounds of things, 2400XP and 1.25gb of ram.
    In reality, im guessing the 6800 LE can handle most things on max graphics for the time being, even at being a 4 pipe disadvantage?

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    It totaly depends on the game as to how badly it will be hit by the lack of pipelines, but the 6800LE is still a pretty good buy if you can get it for around £140 or less.
    What brand are you looking at ?
    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    And by trying to force me to like small pants, they've alienated me.

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    i can imagine its a very competant card since the 6600gt is very similar to it and that can run Far Cry, Doom 3 and Far Cry at 1280x1024 fine even with low filtering options turned on

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    The author of RivaTuner (which I guess is what everyone is using to unlock the cards) reports that the vast majority of cards do not unlock the disabled pipelines without artefacting which means its a unsuccessfully mod.

    If people have unlocked cards successfully without any minor or major degration in image quality, then that's great, but if you're playing the percentages, odds are that you're not going to be successful, so don't buy a card with the expectation that you'll get 16/12 pipes instead of 8 etc.

    I've tried 3 6800 cards and none of them softmod without artefacting (or to phrase it another way, they all softmod but all show major artefacting thus requiring the mod to be reversed).

    The performance of the LE is pretty bad at 1280x1024 with any sort of AA/AF enabled. Even my 20% overclocked 6800 struggles in HL2 at that resolution with 4AA/8AF. As a very rough guide, an extra quad pipe+shader is equivalent to about 20% core/memory overclock in performance terms. Doom3 is a bit different and shouldn't be used as a guide because its a Nvidia graphics demo

    Don't go expecting miracles from a £140 LE - its unrealistic. If it were realistic, there'd be no market for the £300-£350 6800GT/Ultras, 800Pro/XTs and 850s.
    Last edited by davidstone28; 10-12-2004 at 02:08 AM.

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    I duno Dave, while i agree it is largly the luck of the draw, i must have been VERY lucky to have 4 6800nu's mod and 2 LE's into 16/6's. I think it has a lot to do with the batches that the cards come from. I know my 6800's were all from the same batch, one after the other, so i suspect this has somthing to do with it.

    Later on when the chip yields and better, we may see more mod fine; but i worry that this method wont work then....
    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    And by trying to force me to like small pants, they've alienated me.

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    I read an article somewhere where the author talked about the whole issue of pipes, manufacturing processes and the QC procedures adopted by Nvidia when rejecting cores with defective or dysfunctional pipelines. Cores with 16 fully working pipes go into the GT/Ultra bin, then they do clock testing under stress etc, 12 pipes into the 6800 bin and so on and so on. Not that I'm an expert on manufacturing processes or anything but it seems very different to the processes adopted by CPU makers where they churn out batch silicon but just rebrand as 2500+, 3000+, 3200+ etc. Given how expensive the production process is, it would surprise me if Nvidia simply rebranded expensive GT or Ultra cores as LE just to cater for the lower end market.

    I'd be interested to know whether the same bit fields on cards are always hardware masked (read faulty/dysfunctional). For example, do all 6800s have bit 01 masked but 02,03, and 04 working, or can you get 02 masked, but 01,03,and 04? Obviously there will be two bits masked on an LE. If the faulty bit numbers vary from card to card, I'd hazard a guess that the pipes are genuinely faulty or can't be enabled without artefacting. Out of interest, of the cards you've managed to unlock successfully, are all the working bit numbers the same?
    Last edited by davidstone28; 10-12-2004 at 01:32 AM.

  10. #10
    iMc
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    The bit numbers definitely do change, I have seen screenshots on the guru3d forums as well as comparing them to my own card.

    btw it looks like Unwinder on the guru3d forums (creator of rivatuner) has found a way to make the softmod stick on cards that reject it like mine. so hopefully I will be able to at least test for atifacting etc. Will be added to rivatuner 15.3.

    Agent what average overclocks do you get on your 6800. Just wondering what to expect from mine...
    HEXUS|iMc

  11. #11
    MurphmanL
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    The one i was looking at was a Original Vanilla Nvidia Model with the mermaid on the cooler. THe Nvidia 6800 LE OEM edition.

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    Senior Member skuzgib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MurphmanL
    The one i was looking at was a Original Vanilla Nvidia Model with the mermaid on the cooler. THe Nvidia 6800 LE OEM edition.
    I had one of those - would softmod to 6 vertex shaders but non of the pipes would unlock without artifacting, though I know of some people who have succesfully.

    Word is that Nvidia will be bringing out a new core with only 12 pipes and 5 verts for the 6800nu/le, so tht would put a stop to all the softmodding

  13. #13
    MurphmanL
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    Smart move by them, saves them losing profits but bad news for us
    Ive been nosing around looking at this 6800 LE and it seems even without overclocking it can provide me a decent gaming experience with high settings in 1024* with no AA/AF as this is the only resolution i play games in
    So I'm guessing a 9700 Pro>6800 LE will be a nice little boost?

    One more thing, if I softmod it (providing i get enough £££ after xmas and the card is still there lol) and it all goes down the toilet and I have a virtually snowing desktop... is there any way to reverse the proceedure, or is it a gamble of breaking the card? If it cannot be reversed, then that sucks and i wont bother trying

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    Got one here that mods to 12 pipes and 6vp, quite happy with that, not clocked it yet but scored 8.7k 03 on my rig running at stock, should easy break over 9K overclocked, not bad for £140
    http://service.futuremark.com/compare?2k3=3419335

  15. #15
    MurphmanL
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    According to some site benchies, i believe they can do around 60+ fps in Doom III on high settings at stock?

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    Senior Member skuzgib's Avatar
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    It's a softmod, not a hardmod - it's totally reversable

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