Author Topic: HINT/HEADS-UP for Sapphire 280-X Vapor-X miners with LATEST (015.041) BIOS  (Read 104884 times)

Offline liquidsnake1989

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Hi there,

So after sitting on getting my mining system to work all weekend, and still not really being satisfied with the result (see this topic also: https://litecointalk.org/index.php?topic=10196.0), I think I found out what the problem is, and would like to give a heads-up to other Vapor-X owners.

>>> MIND YOU: I'm running BIOS version 015.041.xxxxxxx on my GPU's. This was the BIOS version that was installed when I purchased the cards from the shop. If you have BIOS version 015.039 or lower, this story probably isn't relevant for you. <<<

GPU-Z screenshot of my GPU:


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The main issue is that this BIOS seems to have a built-in temperature limit, after which it will throttle itself. It seems to be somewhere between 72-75 degrees. So even if you set target-temp of cgminer to 85 or 90, you will still see a decrease in hashrate, once your GPU goes above 73 degrees. Please also watch this movie I made (dont mind the swearing, hehe): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4COEk2qPJc

The second issue is that these GPU's (well at least the two I have) DO NOT ACCEPT ANY OTHER BIOS. After having a discussion with a fellow miner who also has 2 280X Vapor-X with BIOS version 015.039, I tried to flash my 2nd BIOS to v015.039 as well. But upon rebooting, the system doesn't even pass POST test. The same goes for the Dual-X BIOSses and the HD7970 BIOSses. at this point it seems impossible to change the bios of these cards

Apart from that, this GPU is really picky when it comes to cgminer settings. Ultimately I was able to get 700 Kh/s out of each card (mind you, as long as temps are below 72-73 degrees), with the following CGMiner settings:

setx GPU_MAX_ALLOC_PERCENT 100
setx GPU_USE_SYNC_OBJECTS 1
del *.bin
cgminer --scrypt -I 13 --lookup-gap 2 --thread-concurrency 11200 --gpu-engine 1020 --gpu-memclock 1500 -g 2 --temp-target 68 --temp-overheat 70 --auto-fan -o blablabla -u blablabla -p blablabla


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Replies/feedback is welcome, but before posting comments like "Im getting 740 Kh/s no problems with this config [insert random config here]", please first check what BIOS version you have.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2013, 05:50:53 PM by liquidsnake1989 »

Offline Scynthetic

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Re: HINT/HEADS-UP for Sapphire 280-X Vapor-X miners with LATEST (015.041) BIOS
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2013, 06:08:40 PM »
Are you able to consistently run at 68 degrees? I'd try setting temp target to about 75 and set powertune to 20. Overheat at 70 is also WAY too low.

Offline nick0016

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Re: HINT/HEADS-UP for Sapphire 280-X Vapor-X miners with LATEST (015.041) BIOS
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2013, 06:19:20 PM »
Strange that you cannot update the bios, I updated my bios on my four R9 280x Dual-X cards without any problem...

Offline liquidsnake1989

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Re: HINT/HEADS-UP for Sapphire 280-X Vapor-X miners with LATEST (015.041) BIOS
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2013, 06:27:30 PM »
Are you able to consistently run at 68 degrees? I'd try setting temp target to about 75 and set powertune to 20. Overheat at 70 is also WAY too low.

My lower GPU runs at about 66 degrees atm, the upper one at 70-71. That is, at 100% fan speed :P
I could set target temp to 75, but then what? Once it reaches 73 degrees, the GPU BIOS throttles, meaning a 40-60 decrease in hashrate.


Strange that you cannot update the bios, I updated my bios on my four R9 280x Dual-X cards without any problem...

Yeah, apart from it being strange its downward stupid. But the Dual-X is not the same as the Vapor-X

Offline Scynthetic

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Re: HINT/HEADS-UP for Sapphire 280-X Vapor-X miners with LATEST (015.041) BIOS
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2013, 06:30:30 PM »
My lower GPU runs at about 66 degrees atm, the upper one at 70-71. That is, at 100% fan speed :P
I could set target temp to 75, but then what? Once it reaches 73 degrees, the GPU BIOS throttles, meaning a 40-60 decrease in hashrate.

Running your fans at 100% 24/7 isn't the best idea. You get very little gain over 85% and it just causes the fans to wear out faster. There may be something going on inside cgminer telling it to slow down if the fans are at 100% for too long as well.

Offline liquidsnake1989

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Re: HINT/HEADS-UP for Sapphire 280-X Vapor-X miners with LATEST (015.041) BIOS
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2013, 06:35:21 PM »
My lower GPU runs at about 66 degrees atm, the upper one at 70-71. That is, at 100% fan speed :P
I could set target temp to 75, but then what? Once it reaches 73 degrees, the GPU BIOS throttles, meaning a 40-60 decrease in hashrate.

Running your fans at 100% 24/7 isn't the best idea. You get very little gain over 85% and it just causes the fans to wear out faster. There may be something going on inside cgminer telling it to slow down if the fans are at 100% for too long as well.

I know it isnt good for the GPU's (and not good for the noise here as well :P), I'm still waiting for my riser cables they should arrive within next week, then I'll make a semi-custom build case, it will hopefully decrease heat by 8-10 degrees.

Offline 777aaron

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Re: HINT/HEADS-UP for Sapphire 280-X Vapor-X miners with LATEST (015.041) BIOS
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2013, 09:13:55 PM »
I have tried running my vapor-x fan at 100 just messing around, card actually hashes less, and power is not the issue.

Offline Mattzees

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Re: HINT/HEADS-UP for Sapphire 280-X Vapor-X miners with LATEST (015.041) BIOS
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2013, 02:56:44 AM »
Not being able to reflash a BIOS is the same garbage that Gigabyte pulled with the 7950 WF3 cards.  Those were the perfect cards until the FT0 BIOS came out, which could not be reflashed.  We never did manage to crack the protection/encryption they used on it, otherwise I'd still be using those cards.

Offline 2516

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Re: HINT/HEADS-UP for Sapphire 280-X Vapor-X miners with LATEST (015.041) BIOS
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2013, 03:14:23 AM »
That's one of the funniest videos I've seen all year!!

Offline BearOx

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Re: HINT/HEADS-UP for Sapphire 280-X Vapor-X miners with LATEST (015.041) BIOS
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2013, 03:16:35 AM »
What error do you get what you can't flash? I'm trying to flash one of my cards, and it says the adapter is invalid or not available. I used atiflash.exe while booting up.

Offline liquidsnake1989

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Re: HINT/HEADS-UP for Sapphire 280-X Vapor-X miners with LATEST (015.041) BIOS
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2013, 09:37:53 AM »
@BearOx: Well, I can flash the cards, but upon rebooting, the system simply doesn't boot past POST. Ya know, normally you hear the BIOS beep (if you have an old school motherboard speaker), but now you don't. And obviously, all you see is a black screen and furthermore nothing happens.

That's one of the funniest videos I've seen all year!!

Glad to make your smile :P
« Last Edit: December 16, 2013, 09:41:32 AM by liquidsnake1989 »

Offline nameBrandon

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Re: HINT/HEADS-UP for Sapphire 280-X Vapor-X miners with LATEST (015.041) BIOS
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2013, 02:16:06 PM »


The second issue is that these GPU's (well at least the two I have) DO NOT ACCEPT ANY OTHER BIOS. After having a discussion with a fellow miner who also has 2 280X Vapor-X with BIOS version 015.039, I tried to flash my 2nd BIOS to v015.039 as well. But upon rebooting, the system doesn't even pass POST test. The same goes for the Dual-X BIOSses and the HD7970 BIOSses. at this point it seems impossible to change the bios of these cards

Not doubting you, just want to confirm you have tried flashing the bios with the switch in position 1?

Offline lazydaemon

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Re: HINT/HEADS-UP for Sapphire 280-X Vapor-X miners with LATEST (015.041) BIOS
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2013, 02:34:06 PM »
I also have 2x SAPPHIRE R9 280x Vapor-X OC cards and playing around for days now to find the optimal settings.
I can tweak what i want, i always have round about 60-70kh/s difference between GPU0 and GPU1. Right now i'm running at:






Code: [Select]
"intensity" : "13",
"worksize" : "256",
"kernel" : "scrypt",
"lookup-gap" : "2",
"thread-concurrency" : "8192",
"gpu-threads" : "2",
"gpu-engine" : "1050",
"gpu-memclock" : "1500",
"auto-fan" : true,
"scrypt" : true

Any idea how to get roughly the same hash rate for both cards?

My setup:

- Asus Rampage IV Extreme
- 1000W PSU
- i7 3,6GHz

Btw.. i see a difference in the BIOS Version of those cards. GPU0 has 113-2104XTLBG6A-U42 and the other one has 113-2104XTLBG6A-V42. Where do you actually download other BIOS versions? Can't find them.

Offline miter_myles

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Re: HINT/HEADS-UP for Sapphire 280-X Vapor-X miners with LATEST (015.041) BIOS
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2013, 11:06:42 PM »
It appears when you press in the "overclock" button the card it will switch the BIOS from "V" to "U"

I'm still having issues with one card have a super hot VRM... messing with this button didnt help

Offline alvino

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Re: HINT/HEADS-UP for Sapphire 280-X Vapor-X miners with LATEST (015.041) BIOS
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2013, 05:44:59 AM »
liquidsnake, first of all thanks for sharing all your info. I too have spent hours figuriong this shiit out. have the same exact card(bios 041) and more than enough power supply for 2 cards 850watts seasonic gold 80+

almost gone thru everything you have been thru. my final take is the throttling of the gpu clock to 500mhz.

Try using GPU-z, go to sensor part. after hours of analysing, ithe main culpruit is VRM1 temperature. once it hit 110degrees the card goes into haywire throttle mode. GPU load will go 64-66% and spike back to 100% when its cooler.

I have flashed to old 039 bios which like your case, can't boot for christ's sake as well.
guess meanwhile we have to suck thumb bearing the 500+khash performance.

dont bother too much with the TC etc parameter, no amount of changes will help. trust me i tested everything. even resorted to under volting. which didnt feel too stable anyway.

below are two screen shot to show what i am referring to.

hope theres a solution for us here man. such a bitchh considering we paid good money for it. my dual-x 280x is doing 750kh happily.