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EVGA GTX 980 KPE vBIOS modding adventure


Avacado
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I scored one of 3 EVGA GTX 980 KPE's off of OCN and would like to document my adventure vBIOS modifying the card to greatness for HWBot purposes. Now this is a highly used card on HWBot and most of the top 3 are on LN2/DICE which I can't compete with. I will attempt to test the limits of voltage and wattage within the constraints of a watercooling environment. The likelihood of me destroying this card is very high. That is a risk I am willing to take.  

 

This is the card in question:

 

20220102_153220.thumb.jpg.1fbbe39313ffd2a0707bf2ab88525c5e.jpg

 

Software needed:

 

NVIDIA Drivers - 497.29

Maxwell BIOS Tweaker - v1.36

DDU - v18.0.4.7

GPUz - v2.43.0

CPUz - v1.99

Precision X1 - v1.3.0.0

 

Test System:

CPU - 12900KF @AI OC tuner settings 1.45v  max. 

MOBO - ASUS z690-A

RAM - 32GB G.Skill DDR5 5600 @XMP 36-36-36-76 2T

PSU - Super Flower 1000w Leadex

GPU WB - EK 

CPU WB - Optimus Sig v2.0

RADs - Acool 2x 480

 

This card is based on the Maxwell 2.0 architecture. It has 2x8 pin + 1x6 pin PCI-e power connectors. This gives the card a theoretical maximum of 450w. The skinny on the rest of the specifications can be found HERE

 

Preliminary benches and clocks:

 

Basline.thumb.png.580964d3011f7b2f95aa357727f59e23.png

 

Bone stock 100% Power target in X1 we scored 58715 in Cloudgate. That is good enough for #11 in the world on HWBot stock. Maxed clock at 1442.8MHz, VRAM 1752.8MHz. The card only drew 156.2w max @ 1.200v only hitting 52.1% of TDP. These last three stats are what we are going to be focusing on.

 

Stock.thumb.png.ff7e28ab4402cdc765dceaaf580b263b.png

11th.thumb.png.8164bbeccc1b4ef35d8b9e2279d0f81c.png

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Avacado
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21 hours ago, Avacado said:

I scored one of 3 EVGA GTX 980 KPE's off of OCN and would like to document my adventure vBIOS modifying the card to greatness for HWBot purposes. Now this is a highly used card on HWBot and most of the top 3 are on LN2/DICE which I can't compete with. I will attempt to test the limits of voltage and wattage within the constraints of a watercooling environment. The likelihood of me destroying this card is very high. That is a risk I am willing to take.  

 

This is the card in question:

 

20220102_153220.thumb.jpg.1fbbe39313ffd2a0707bf2ab88525c5e.jpg

 

Software needed:

 

NVIDIA Drivers - 497.29

Maxwell BIOS Tweaker - v1.36

DDU - v18.0.4.7

GPUz - v2.43.0

CPUz - v1.99

Precision X1 - v1.3.0.0

 

Test System:

CPU - 12900KF @AI OC tuner settings 1.45v  max. 

MOBO - ASUS z690-A

RAM - 32GB G.Skill DDR5 5600 @XMP 36-36-36-76 2T

PSU - Super Flower 1000w Leadex

GPU WB - EK 

CPU WB - Optimus Sig v2.0

RADs - Acool 2x 480

 

This card is based on the Maxwell 2.0 architecture. It has 2x8 pin + 1x6 pin PCI-e power connectors. This gives the card a theoretical maximum of 450w. The skinny on the rest of the specifications can be found HERE

 

Preliminary benches and clocks:

 

Basline.thumb.png.580964d3011f7b2f95aa357727f59e23.png

 

Bone stock 100% Power target in X1 we scored 58715 in Cloudgate. That is good enough for #11 in the world on HWBot stock. Maxed clock at 1442.8MHz, VRAM 1752.8MHz. The card only drew 156.2w max @ 1.200v only hitting 52.1% of TDP. These last three stats are what we are going to be focusing on.

 

Stock.thumb.png.ff7e28ab4402cdc765dceaaf580b263b.png

11th.thumb.png.8164bbeccc1b4ef35d8b9e2279d0f81c.png

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not bad considering stock. I assume you are going to Mod that BIOS and do some serious pushing with it ? Correct me if I am wrong but the Tesla M40 are close to the 980's in nature ?

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, ENTERPRISE said:

Not bad considering stock. I assume you are going to Mod that BIOS and do some serious pushing with it ? Correct me if I am wrong but the Tesla M40 are close to the 980's in nature ?

They are. Same architecture (Maxwell). Problem is that these cards are factory voltage locked. I am not entirely sure I will be able to raise the voltage. I haven't posted it yet, but last night after some modding to 1.281mv it only bumped it from 1.2v flat stock to 1.215v. I don't think I will have much headroom with the voltage, but I am hoping I can get more than the 180w max usage I have seen. The theoretical is 450w and i'd love to pull that. I had to run ID mismatch NVflash to get the first test vBIOS loaded. We shall see. 

 

Hit #6 HWbot Cloudgate last night with minor mods. 

 

Best.png.7bcf82249dde29f2131045c97ad4143f.png

Edited by Avacado
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Ahh yes same problem I have with the GTX 750 on Michele's ETF rig. It has the 6pin connector but since the driver refuses anything higher than 1.21v, it never really pulls over 50w, no matter what. I think you have to hardware mod these to trick them somehow.

 

 

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Is the power limit set at 450W, and just not pulling that much power, or are you unable to set the max power limit? 

 

My 980 KPE will push quite a bit of power (more than 250W) without issue depending on the work load.  It's been a bit since I messed around with it in Windows, but I am pretty sure I have an xoc bios and the classified voltage tool.  I'll see what I have in my notes for the 980 KPE when I get home this evening.

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3 hours ago, tictoc said:

Is the power limit set at 450W, and just not pulling that much power, or are you unable to set the max power limit? 

 

My 980 KPE will push quite a bit of power (more than 250W) without issue depending on the work load.  It's been a bit since I messed around with it in Windows, but I am pretty sure I have an xoc bios and the classified voltage tool.  I'll see what I have in my notes for the 980 KPE when I get home this evening.

You are a God. Thanks toc.

 

I changed the power limit to 450w and it's not pulling half of it. I assumed it was some weird issue requiring different tools.

Edited by Avacado
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2 hours ago, Avacado said:

You are a God. Thanks toc.

 

I changed the power limit to 450w and it's not pulling half of it. I assumed it was some weird issue requiring different tools.

 

If you raise the power limit to max, it should just go there without doing anything special.  On Linux I just used nvidia-smi (command line tool) to set the power limit to 500W.  You should be able to do the same thing on Windows, if you find that you can't bump the power limit up to max.  I think nvidia-smi is now in the default $PATH on Windows 10, so you should just be able to open an elevated command prompt and then set the power limit with the below command.

 

nvidia-smi -pl 500 

 

 

Here are a few BIOS for the 980 KPE, the Classified Voltage  Controller (software voltage control, either version should work, but 2.1.0 might have been for 780ti), and an old version of Precision X.  Precision X will read the actual voltage on KPE cards and you can also use kboost to lock the card to the P0 power state.  You might not get too far without going cold.  Maxwell voltage doesn't really start scaling until you get the temps way down, but you should be able to push it further than where you are at right now. Happy OC'ing. 🙂

 

kpe980_1.3v.zip kpe980_xoc.zip classified_v2.1.0.zip classified_v2.1.2.zip evga_precision-x_v5.3.6.zip

Edited by tictoc
additional info added
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On 12/01/2022 at 22:36, tictoc said:

 

If you raise the power limit to max, it should just go there without doing anything special.  On Linux I just used nvidia-smi (command line tool) to set the power limit to 500W.  You should be able to do the same thing on Windows, if you find that you can't bump the power limit up to max.  I think nvidia-smi is now in the default $PATH on Windows 10, so you should just be able to open an elevated command prompt and then set the power limit with the below command.

 

nvidia-smi -pl 500 

 

 

Here are a few BIOS for the 980 KPE, the Classified Voltage  Controller (software voltage control, either version should work, but 2.1.0 might have been for 780ti), and an old version of Precision X.  Precision X will read the actual voltage on KPE cards and you can also use kboost to lock the card to the P0 power state.  You might not get too far without going cold.  Maxwell voltage doesn't really start scaling until you get the temps way down, but you should be able to push it further than where you are at right now. Happy OC'ing. 🙂

 

kpe980_1.3v.zip 136.89 kB · 0 downloads kpe980_xoc.zip 136.91 kB · 1 download classified_v2.1.0.zip 851.42 kB · 0 downloads classified_v2.1.2.zip 851.74 kB · 1 download evga_precision-x_v5.3.6.zip 32.1 MB · 0 downloads

So far no joy. XOC bios Bricked one of the 3 vBIOS and had to get out the trusty GT710 to save it. I can't find a manual for the 4 PCB switches on the back of the card and it's frustrating. My understanding is that there are 2x.25mv switches and 2x protection switches. I just cant figure out which ones are which. I played with the classified tool, however it was not able to change voltage at all. I can only assume it is because of the voltage protection switches. I'll have to pop it out again and try another configuration. 

 

FORUMS.EVGA.COM

 

Brick.thumb.png.7bbd8e9d24d8a3d5d4a345ee7f0ea300.png

Edited by Avacado
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On 15/01/2022 at 14:44, Avacado said:

So far no joy. XOC bios Bricked one of the 3 vBIOS and had to get out the trusty GT710 to save it.

 

In the future you shouldn't have to use a secondary GPU to recover a bad BIOS flash.  All you should have to do is switch to a good BIOS, boot, and then once in the OS flip the switch to the BIOS that you want to flash.

 

To make things easier I would just run on the OC BIOS, flip both the voltage switches to on, and see how far you get with Precision X.  I think this is what I ultimately ended up doing on Windows, since I was able to pretty much max the card out that way.

I think you might have to use an old driver to use the xoc BIOS I posted.  I honestly don't really remember for sure.  I wasn't nearly as thorough in taking notes and keeping track of changes back then.  You might try the 347.88 drivers.


 

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1 hour ago, tictoc said:

 

In the future you shouldn't have to use a secondary GPU to recover a bad BIOS flash.  All you should have to do is switch to a good BIOS, boot, and then once in the OS flip the switch to the BIOS that you want to flash.

 

To make things easier I would just run on the OC BIOS, flip both the voltage switches to on, and see how far you get with Precision X.  I think this is what I ultimately ended up doing on Windows, since I was able to pretty much max the card out that way.

I think you might have to use an old driver to use the xoc BIOS I posted.  I honestly don't really remember for sure.  I wasn't nearly as thorough in taking notes and keeping track of changes back then.  You might try the 347.88 drivers.


 

I know your right. TBH I'm almost done with this card. I did flip the 2 .25mv switches and i'm still getting 1.215 max. Card still wont get more than 272w. I have been getting some decent points for the HWbot season so i'm not completely pissed about it. 

 

Managed 6th on Time Spy even at 1.215v and 272w max. Good for 20 points.

 

5th.png.187909f2d7de4bab739e8ce8f913b541.png

Edited by Avacado
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