Grrr @ XFX

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Grrr @ XFX

Postposted on Sat Feb 03, 2007 11:30 pm

Today I got a great new toy: the 30" Dell 3007WFP. Now, before I ordered this bad boy, I made sure that my video card supports Dual-Link DVI needed to drive it at its native resolution. My video card is the PV-T73P-UDS3, and as you can clearly see from the manufacturer's webpage, it says "Dual Link DVI - Supporting digital output up to 2560x1600: YES." It also says that on the back of the box.

However, despite the fact that XFX claims it has Dual-Link DVI, it does not. Both DVI ports are detected as "Internal Single Link TMDS" by nvidia's drivers, and there's no Dual-Link TMDS on the card. So now I'm stuck running this 30" display at the cartoonishly large 1280x800. This really pisses me off that XFX claims the card has a Dual-Link DVI when what they sell does not. I'm not the only person to notice this, either: http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=78108

I'm going to call up XFX on Monday and request that they rectify this situation. I bought this model specifically because it claimed to have Dual-Link DVI (especially since I wanted some TMDS headroom since I've had prior irritating experiences).
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Postposted on Sat Feb 03, 2007 11:35 pm

May be you can PM "XFX Support".
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Postposted on Sun Feb 04, 2007 1:54 am

Flying Fox wrote:May be you can PM "XFX Support".

Yeah and email the Inquirer so that they can make a big deal out of this. You can get work done if you in the news.
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Postposted on Sun Feb 04, 2007 2:09 am

PMing XFX Support and then going to the news wouldn't exactly be polite :P .
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Postposted on Sun Feb 04, 2007 2:17 am

morphine wrote:PMing XFX Support and then going to the news wouldn't exactly be polite :P .

False advertising isn't exactly polite either.

Personally, I'd have no qualms about trying to get a news site to post it. The prospect of bad publicity is a powerful motivator for a company that is trying to sell product to get their act together.

Edit: Is it possible that this is actually a driver issue?
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Postposted on Sun Feb 04, 2007 2:20 am

Well there might be an issue with the card's BIOS and/or with the nVidia drivers (meaning the capability might well be there). And if said issue is solvable, it'd be unfair to bash XFX before a solution is attempted.

I'm game if it actually turns out to be false advertising though.
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Postposted on Sun Feb 04, 2007 5:06 pm

just brew it! wrote:Edit: Is it possible that this is actually a driver issue?

Well, there is an option to ignore the detected max TMDS bandwidth and force it to use a specific mode, but doing that simply leaves me with crazy psychedelic patterns all over the screen.

In addition to that previous link on nvidia's site, I found several other people on Dell's site who have encountered the same issue with this XFX 7600GS card not actually having dual link, despite XFX's claims:
http://www.dellcommunity.com/supportfor ... y.id=12277

One of them said that he exchanged his XFX 7600GS for a new one and it worked, so perhaps there are some floating around out there that don't actually have the advertised dual-link capability. I bought this soon after it was released, so I probably have one of the oldest ones out there (March 2006, according to the sticker). I've had bad luck with stuff like that. I bought a fairly expensive Netgear access point (one with an IXP processor) from a store -- in a retail box -- and I found out later when I tried to apply an update that it was an engineering sample that somehow found its way into a retail box.
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Postposted on Sun Feb 04, 2007 6:07 pm

isnt there a clear physical difference between a dual-link and single-link dvi port? i remember a while ago not knowing what dual-link referred to, so i looked it up on wikipedia. go there and look up dual-link dvi, and it will have pictures of how the connectors should look on the gfx card. if it matches, then its a driver issue or some other kind of software issue. if not, then bug xfx about it and make them fix it.
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Postposted on Sun Feb 04, 2007 6:14 pm

The actual plug on the back of the video card is the same for dual-link and single-link dvi. The pin out is different but the connector is the same so I dont think there is anyway to tell what it is by looking at it.

edit: I just looked at the DVI plugs on my video card. XFX 7800GTX I think it has one dual link and one single link dvi port. the plugs on the back of it are exactly the same.
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Postposted on Sun Feb 04, 2007 7:06 pm

Yes, there are a few extra pins on the dual-link connector.
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Postposted on Sun Feb 04, 2007 11:21 pm

mafropetee wrote:isnt there a clear physical difference between a dual-link and single-link dvi port?

As others have mentioned, there are different single and dual-link plugs, but most female DVI ports are keyed for dual-link -- because then you can use either a single or dual-link cable. Just because the card has a port capable of accepting a dual-link cable does not mean that the TMDS is dual-link capable. In fact, my old Geforce 2 has a DVI port that would accept a dual-link cable, but I can assure you that it doesn't have a dual-link TMDS.
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Postposted on Tue Feb 06, 2007 11:26 am

The 7600GS is capable of dual link resolutions from the bottom most DVI port. It very well may be a bios issue. Please start a support ticket at http://www.xfxforce.com and PM me the number. Also please PM me the serial number, and version of the card and bios. I have seen where customers for one reason or another had a single link DVI monitor cable instead of a dual link DVI cable, but it appears you may have already checked that. In any case our 7600GS is capable of that resolution and for any reason if a customers card is not working properly we will resolve the situation for them. I look forward to hearing from you.


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Postposted on Tue Feb 06, 2007 3:23 pm

XFX Support wrote:The 7600GS is capable of dual link resolutions from the bottom most DVI port. It very well may be a bios issue. Please start a support ticket at http://www.xfxforce.com and PM me the number. Also please PM me the serial number, and version of the card and bios.

I opened a ticket over the weekend and I've PM'd you the relevant information. Thanks for your help.
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Postposted on Tue Feb 06, 2007 3:49 pm

Isn't there a different cable that has to be used also? I haven't found much info on the Dual Link DVI either. Maybe I should go to Wikipedia... :-?
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Postposted on Tue Feb 06, 2007 3:56 pm

titan wrote:Isn't there a different cable that has to be used also? I haven't found much info on the Dual Link DVI either. Maybe I should go to Wikipedia... :-?

Yeah, a dual-link cable has six extra pins between the two 3x3 square blocks of pins on single-link DVI. I'm using a dual-link cable -- it came with the monitor (and I checked just in case Dell included the wrong one).
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Postposted on Wed Feb 07, 2007 1:53 pm

I had our support staff send you a BIOS update. Please let me know how it goes.


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Postposted on Wed Feb 07, 2007 7:36 pm

I got a BIOS image, but it won't flash because the board IDs don't match. My BIOS says I have a G73 p345, but the BIOS I was sent is a p501. The board ids are 0123 and 1901 respectively.

The email they sent me said, "This is a windows based BIOS so you will not need to use a floppy." At that point I hoped that it was a Windows flashing tool and a separate BIOS image so I could use FreeDOS and nvflash. Unfortunately it was just one blob exe. I sent back a reply immediately that I needed a separate rom file rather than a Windows-only executable, since I don't have Windows.

I haven't received a reply yet, but I'm impatient, so I decided to try to extract the ROM from the executable. It wasn't packed in the usual ways, so I dumped my VGA BIOS to a file (dd if=/dev/mem of=vgabios bs=1 skip=786432 count=64k) and looked at the first bytes using od to see if I could find a signature. The first bytes were 0x55AA, and there was only one instance of this in the executable, so I gave it a shot. I dumped 64k starting at that point and opened it in NiBiTor (running under Wine), and looked at the expected BIOS size. I then truncated the image to that size and the checksum matched and NiBiTor said it was a valid BIOS.

At this point, however, I was concerned that this is not the right card because the Product string doesn't match, the Board IDs don't match, and the boot screen says G73 P501 SKU 0007 VGA BIOS. Mine is a G73 p345, not a p501. Also, the GPU core clock was set to 900 (should be 500 for this XFX 7600GS)! I also noticed that the voltage in my card's BIOS was 1.05, rather than 1.1 (although, AFAIK, 1.1V is the expected voltage). Everything else looked normal, though. I set the core down to 500 and saved it and decided to give it a shot (I have a PCI video card in case something goes wrong).

I booted into FreeDOS via a USB stick, dumped my BIOS to a file, and then loaded the image temporarily into RAM using VGABIOS. That worked fine, so I rebooted and tried to flash the image, but it wouldn't let me because the board IDs don't match. At this point I'm not sure what to do.
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Postposted on Wed Feb 07, 2007 10:13 pm

bitvector wrote:...

I booted into FreeDOS via a USB stick, dumped my BIOS to a file, and then loaded the image temporarily into RAM using VGABIOS. That worked fine, so I rebooted and tried to flash the image, but it wouldn't let me because the board IDs don't match. At this point I'm not sure what to do.

I'd say you need to get them to send you the right BIOS.

I wonder if maybe the card was mislabed (or in the wrong box) when you bought it?
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Postposted on Wed Feb 07, 2007 10:36 pm

I will say that I like seeing XFX support here, and they seem to be listening and responding to you.

The only other company that was like that to me was BFG, so now I am happy to add XFX to my list companies whose products I buy.

(My bro and I each bought a XFX card as our last video card purchases)


Not to digress, but eVga on the other hand can kiss it.

Please keep us updated on what happens with this situation.
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Postposted on Wed Feb 07, 2007 11:20 pm

just brew it! wrote:I'd say you need to get them to send you the right BIOS.

I wonder if maybe the card was mislabed (or in the wrong box) when you bought it?

Well, the card I have is exactly what I expected (model number wise and features, save the dual-link): it's a passively cooled, dual DVI, PCI-E 7600GS with 256MB of DDR2. The model number is T73P-UDS, which is what I ordered, and what is coded in the BIOS -- and the bootup screen says "G73 T73P-UDS Dual DVI BIOS." They don't make any other PCI-E dual DVI passively cooled 7600GS model that doesn't also claim to have dual-link DVI.

The BIOS I was sent, on the other hand, says "G73 P501 SKU 0007 VGA BIOS." My card is a G73, but it's not a p501 PCB design, it is a p345 PCB.

Edit: In fact, the only reference I can find on a p501 PCB is referring to the 7950GX2.
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Postposted on Thu Feb 08, 2007 12:42 am

Okay, I finally got it myself. I found a hint on a Dell message board that BIOS 5.73.22.25.90 works for someone with an XFX 7600GS, so I found a copy of that BIOS for a similar XFX card (a lower clocked 7600GS) on mvktech.net. I loaded up the BIOS in NiBiTor, and changed the GPU and memory clocks to match my card. I rebooted, flashed the BIOS, and it worked like a charm.

Now, I'm humming along at 2560x1600!

(--) NVIDIA(0): Connected display device(s) on GeForce 7600 GS at PCI:3:0:0:
(--) NVIDIA(0): DELL 3007WFP (DFP-0)
(--) NVIDIA(0): DELL 3007WFP (DFP-0): 330.0 MHz maximum pixel clock
(--) NVIDIA(0): DELL 3007WFP (DFP-0): Internal Dual Link TMDS
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Postposted on Thu Feb 08, 2007 1:43 am

Hmm... I hope XFX Support is still watching this thread.

If there's a little confusion on their end regarding which BIOSes go with what, they need to get that sorted.
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Postposted on Thu Feb 08, 2007 8:55 am

bitvector wrote:Okay, I finally got it myself. I found a hint on a Dell message board that BIOS 5.73.22.25.90 works for someone with an XFX 7600GS, so I found a copy of that BIOS for a similar XFX card (a lower clocked 7600GS) on mvktech.net. I loaded up the BIOS in NiBiTor, and changed the GPU and memory clocks to match my card. I rebooted, flashed the BIOS, and it worked like a charm.

Now, I'm humming along at 2560x1600!

(--) NVIDIA(0): Connected display device(s) on GeForce 7600 GS at PCI:3:0:0:
(--) NVIDIA(0): DELL 3007WFP (DFP-0)
(--) NVIDIA(0): DELL 3007WFP (DFP-0): 330.0 MHz maximum pixel clock
(--) NVIDIA(0): DELL 3007WFP (DFP-0): Internal Dual Link TMDS
So you get credits back for solving your own ticket? :P
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Postposted on Fri Feb 09, 2007 11:50 am

Glad to see you got it working, odd that the bios sent to you didnt work as I used it to flash another 7600GS in testing before it was sent. In any case should you even have a hiccup from it let me know and we can get it replaced for you.


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Postposted on Fri Feb 09, 2007 12:03 pm

bitvector wrote:Okay, I finally got it myself. I found a hint on a Dell message board that BIOS 5.73.22.25.90 works for someone with an XFX 7600GS, so I found a copy of that BIOS for a similar XFX card (a lower clocked 7600GS) on mvktech.net. I loaded up the BIOS in NiBiTor, and changed the GPU and memory clocks to match my card. I rebooted, flashed the BIOS, and it worked like a charm.

Bravo. Acted like a true geek
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Postposted on Fri Feb 09, 2007 12:16 pm

XFX Support wrote:Glad to see you got it working, odd that the bios sent to you didnt work as I used it to flash another 7600GS in testing before it was sent. In any case should you even have a hiccup from it let me know and we can get it replaced for you.


XFX Support



How about a nice shout out to XFX Support, for trying to help out.

Keep up the good work.
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Postposted on Fri Feb 09, 2007 3:04 pm

Aye. I'll admit I hadn't seen XFX as one of the top-tier makers, but this show of good support in direct contact with your customers certainly puts you guys *very* much in the map for me.
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Postposted on Fri Feb 09, 2007 3:33 pm

morphine wrote:Aye. I'll admit I hadn't seen XFX as one of the top-tier makers, but this show of good support in direct contact with your customers certainly puts you guys *very* much in the map for me.

Ditto.
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Postposted on Fri Feb 09, 2007 3:52 pm

Isnt XFX a subsidiary of PNY?
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Postposted on Fri Feb 09, 2007 3:55 pm

Every Nvidia card I've ever purchased with the exception of a geforce 3 ti, has been an XFX brand. Never an issue. Cool for us that we have our own XFX forum rep now :)
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