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Thread: how to softmod a 6800/le/nu/gt to Quadro4000

  1. #1
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    Default how to softmod a 6800/le/nu/gt to Quadro4000

    Since from time to time, people have email, pm, and even repost threads on questions regarding softmod their 6800. i decided to make this thread sticky. it's a great reference to answer all your questions and doubts. enjoy

    Cheers!.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------




    here's your dream come true to convert your 6800LE/NU/GT/Ultra to a Quadro 4000.

    if you're wondering what's the difference between a commercial card and a professional one like quadro or firegl. the difference is the professional card has Hardware OpenGL aceleration capability which dramatically speeds up your workflow in 3D apps. it has NO, i repeat NO performance increase in games. in some cases, depending on the version of the drivers, it might even negatively impact your gaming frame rate by a small margin.

    here's what happened. ever since i recently graduated from college i've been working at home long hours for the past two month putting together my demo reel to start my job hunt. and the latest and the last project i've been working on has been giving me a hard time. those of you who know me know more or less that i am some kind of graphic designer. in fact, i've shifted my main focus to 3D. so this latest project i've been working on involves XSI. i've shifted away from Maya (don't ask me why). there is one problem tho. XSI and Radeon are like Venus clashing with Mars. while i was working on my model last week and saved all my animation sequences, quit and open back up the scene. BAM!... error!!... that one scene was gone. and believe me that wasn't the first time that happened. so i finally told myself that i had it with all these crashes, clunkyness and errors. i was gonna go out and actually buy a Quadro 1100 even tho my broke fresh outta college ass have no money.

    after a whole day of researching just right before i bid on a quadro 1100 on ebay. i came across some info on the net on modding a Geforce 6 series to a quadro equivalent. and yes, there is an equivalent softmod for ATI radeon to FireGL. and believe me.. i tried mine countless times with different methods and my 9800pro just doesn't seem to convert. so this new 6800 to quadro 4000 seemed like a dream. so i went out and bought a 6800LE from newegg just to try it out. BOOM!.. it took me less than 5 mins to set it up before i have a fully functional Quadro capability. if you think FreeFireGL was easy, you're gonna kick yourself on this one. it involves no BIos flashing, soldering or annoying god for saking driver patching.

    here is what needs to be done
    (NOTE! anything here on about the modification is an invention and discovery of Unwinder, the RivaTuner creator himself. i take NO credit myself. all credits and thanks goes to him. i am just here to spread the word and bash the evil spirits in the nut.)

    all you need is installing the latest RivaTUner 2.0 RC15.4 no more patching specific drivers. you're free to use any driver you want.
    once you have the card, driver(geforce driver or quadro driver doesn't matter), and riva tuner installed.
    1. go to Low Level system settings under Target Adaptor and install NVstrap.

    2.Check "use ROM strap for PCI device ID Program" and under PCI device ID click on one of the up or down arrow and select Custom. then choose Quadro FX4000 below you.

    3.Check unlock Professional Capabilities and allow enabling Hardware masked.

    HEADS UP! for LE or NU owners. by default, LE has 8X1pp and 4vp enabled and NU has 12X1pp and 5vp. the masked out pipelines "should" be functional however they might not be complete stable in some cases. which is the reason why those NV 40s are made for LE or NU coming out of the production line. just like CPU manufacturing process, the better cores that pass all the tests are assigned to be constructed as higher end cards like ultra and GT while the others go to the lower end LE or NU. in most cases those masked pipelines should function properly. in some cases they might produce a few artifacts or prevent you from overclocking. in worst case scenario, the masked pipelines will simply not work at all. in that case, you're stuck with the default pipelines. however, you'll still be able to enable the professional capabilities. so this pipeline enable method is not quarenteed for EVERYONE. youll just have to try your luck.


    4. if you're an LE or NU owner you can enable the remaining Pixel and vertex pipelines by select the drop down box that says Determined by bios and go to custom.

    5. click Customize and unlock all the masked pipelines by putting a checkmark next to it. click ok and exit out and reboot

    BOOM!.. you have a Quadro. go back to Riva Tuner and you should see that you have all 16X1pp and 6vp enabled.


    if you still don't believe it. download SpecView and run the benchmarks.

    below is an example of my SpecView benchy after the mod.

    Run All Summary

    ---------- SUM_RESULTS\3DSMAX\SUMMARY.TXT
    3dsmax-03 Weighted Geometric Mean = 35.40

    ---------- SUM_RESULTS\CATIA\SUMMARY.TXT
    catia-01 Weighted Geometric Mean = 26.42

    ---------- SUM_RESULTS\ENSIGHT\SUMMARY.TXT
    ensight-01 Weighted Geometric Mean = 16.70

    ---------- SUM_RESULTS\LIGHT\SUMMARY.TXT
    light-07 Weighted Geometric Mean = 26.62

    ---------- SUM_RESULTS\MAYA\SUMMARY.TXT
    maya-01 Weighted Geometric Mean = 60.68

    ---------- SUM_RESULTS\PROE\SUMMARY.TXT
    proe-03 Weighted Geometric Mean = 38.67

    ---------- SUM_RESULTS\SW\SUMMARY.TXT
    sw-01 Weighted Geometric Mean = 21.76

    ---------- SUM_RESULTS\UGS\SUMMARY.TXT
    ugs-04 Weighted Geometric Mean = 21.31


    that's all... the mod is done!

    now... if you're an overclock maniac like me... you're not just gonna stop here are you?

    for you crazy overclockers out there should have no problem overclock your GT or ULtra. there shouldn't be much difference in overclockbility. however, if you're an LE or NU owner, depending on the stability of the masked pipelines, you might or might not be able to overclock. so if RivaTuner's low level overclock can't pass the test that means the masked pipelines are not stable enough to run the overclocked frequency. but hey!.. you still got yourself a hell of a deal coming from a $230 6800LE investment. that's what i did. i went out and bought a LE and got all the pipelines functional with quadro capability. however, my maked pipelines weren't stable enough to overclock. so i was stuck with the default frequency. unlike most people, i like to overclock everything in my system. so i RMAed my LE and was planning on getting another GT. since i didn't feel like pressing my luck on getting another LE that has all the most stable 16 pipelines and also paying for another $30 restocking fee. i thought i'd just get a GT. BUT WAIT!... i couldn't believe this, just while i was looking for another GT. i finally found a way to convert my stubburn 9800pro to a FireGL . how i did it?.. well.. that's for another write up. not bad for two days of research and playing around. i now can finally get back to my project and finish what i was working on without any of the instability problems.
    Last edited by BAM!; 08-25-05 at 07:01 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Woo, nice find bam!!

    Maybe I shoulda gotten an LE then
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  3. #3
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    wow nice find bro...arent the quadros integrated into nforce chipsets though, or am i thinking of something else?
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  4. #4
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    all Geforce and Quadro share the same chip. ie. NV40 for 6800 and Quadro 4XXX. the only difference is comning out of the factory 6800's have register lock on professional capability (Hard OpenGL Aceleration) and Pipelines.
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    Yay, higher benchies
    Last edited by AzN; 04-11-05 at 12:04 AM.
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  6. #6
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    So ummm if you mess up, there is no way of fixing it right??? cuz if thats true, im gonna have to think about converting....
    [COLOR=DarkRed]AMD 64 Socket 939[/COLOR][B]|[/B][COLOR=DarkOliveGreen][SIZE=1]AMD Athlon 64 3500+ Venice @ 2.5[COLOR=Black]|[/COLOR]DFI LANPARTY nF4 SLI-DR nForce4 SLI[COLOR=Black]|[/COLOR]1 GB OCZ DDR 600 (PC 4800) [/COLOR][/SIZE]
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  7. #7
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    no, it's completely safe. since there's no bios flashing, the process is completely reversable. in fact, if you want geforce back... all it takes is a reboot. chagne the settings back in RivaTuner and reboot boom!... there you have your geforce back.


    one thing i forgot to mention.... since Nvidia do read the forums, ever since this mod came out.... they've been acting naughty. some of the new NV 40s out there now have an upgraded register cap to prevent this register unmask. so far iv'e heard some of the MSI boards have this new upgrade. although, the next update of NVstrap should fix this.
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  8. #8
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    yeh, its softmodded (software modded, so just delete the programs if you got problems).

    I've seen this mod for 6800's to 6800gt's, just don't see how softmodding it to a quadro 4000 will help. I mean, you can just get the new forceware drivers and boom I got a higher score.
    [CENTER][Size=1][FONT="Comic Sans MS"][COLOR="Red"][B][U]Socket 939 parts[/U][/B]: AMD 64 Opteron 165 @ 2.7 GHz (CBB1E 0550 VPMW), 2X1 GB G.Skill DDR500 HZ (166 Mhz, 250 Mhz 3-4-4-8 1T), DFI Ultra-D NF4
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    [COLOR="Orange"][B][U]Optical Drives[/U][/B]: Nec ND-2500A (flashed to 2510A) on Enermax 485w Noisetaker[/COLOR][/center][/size][/FONT]

  9. #9
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    like i said, it doesn't help you in gaming. a quadro only helps in 3d content creation apps. however, you can still enable the masked pipelines without enabling the pro capability.
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    ******.poppetsfloral********** - The one stop shop for all your floral arrangement needs. (Wedding flowers, Bouquets, Boutonnière, Bridal Showers, Baby Showers, Bridal Flowers, Groomsman Boutonnieres, Special Occasions, Floral Design, and Events)

  10. #10
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    is the overall graphics performance better with the quadro or a regular geforce...someone mentioned that the geforce is better than the quadro for gaming , of course, but can a high quadro also be used in gaming? any benchmarks out there? - cause this stuff is kinda interesting. still though getting a 6800LE is a risk in itself because the reward of unlocking the pipelines is 50/50 and its a win/lose really bad situation. still, if you ever got a 6800LE you should be shot and either have gotten a 660gt or a 6800nu because the 6600gt has a better overall value and if your ass was just patien enough to gather up about 20 more bucks, you couldve gotten a sweet 68oo that you can unlock in 16 pipes and 6 shaders...
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  11. #11
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    yes but for people who don't have $350 bucks or more to toss around. they settle for a $230 LE and can still get hella good deal by unlocking all the pipelines. even if some of the masked pipelines aren't stable enough for overclock, it still beats the price. minus the clock speed and extra 128mb of ram, you get everything out of a NV40 chip.

    i wouldn't recommand enabling the professional capability if you're not doing any 3d content creation. you'll see no difference in gaming performance. in fact, like i mentioned before, in some cases it can even negatively imppact your gaming speed. the only time you'll see the difference is in Maya, Max, CAD, XSI and all the 3D Apps. basically if it ain't broken, don't fix it.
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    ******.poppetsfloral********** - The one stop shop for all your floral arrangement needs. (Wedding flowers, Bouquets, Boutonnière, Bridal Showers, Baby Showers, Bridal Flowers, Groomsman Boutonnieres, Special Occasions, Floral Design, and Events)

  12. #12
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    Hmmm... So ur saying that if i convert it. I'll have bad gaming graphics???
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  13. #13
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    its fine... since I'm using it... but had to reinstall drivers.
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  14. #14
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    Thats a b!tch......... So i guess i'll convert when i run benchmarks and then get it back to the 6800 gt...
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  15. #15
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    Well, it works, what can I say?

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  16. #16
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    yeah it works. but its just identifying itself as a quadro... pretty much it I think.
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  17. #17
    Crax Guest

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    I've kinda wondered about that lol, I'm gonna look around and see if I can find any big differences in performance.

    Have you been using forceware drivers or givin the quadro drivers a shot yet? I'm considering trying that out...

    One thing I have noticed is that my temps have risen about 5C I dont know if that means anything yet or not... /shrug
    Last edited by Crax; 04-14-05 at 01:16 AM.

  18. #18
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    what are you using it for anyway if i may ask. because you wo'nt see any changes unless working in a 3d enviroment like CAD, maya, max or xsi.

    you can also run SpecView to see the benchmark of the pro capability. normally the scenes would run extremely slow with Gforce but with quadro enabled it'll run up to 20-60 fps. or you can simply run both in the benchmark to compare.
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  19. #19
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    AH SWEET, nice find, i've come across this thread a couple times with no time to read through, ima try it, not that i need it, i jsut wanna see it for myself

  20. #20
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    GOD I think I should stop using the quadro. I get as low as 20 fps on de_aztec on CS, and 50 fps average after a while. Heh.
    [CENTER][Size=1][FONT="Comic Sans MS"][COLOR="Red"][B][U]Socket 939 parts[/U][/B]: AMD 64 Opteron 165 @ 2.7 GHz (CBB1E 0550 VPMW), 2X1 GB G.Skill DDR500 HZ (166 Mhz, 250 Mhz 3-4-4-8 1T), DFI Ultra-D NF4
    [B][U]Video Card[/U][/B]: eVGA 7950GT 256MB (thx NotMyBest2Day for the backup card MX400, still going to use it )[/COLOR]
    [COLOR="DarkOrange"][U][B]Sound Card[/B][/U]:Soundblaster Audigy 2 ZS
    [B][U]Hard Drives[/U][/B]: 300 GB Maxtor Diamondmax 10 SATA, 160 GB Seagate IDE[/COLOR]
    [COLOR="Orange"][B][U]Optical Drives[/U][/B]: Nec ND-2500A (flashed to 2510A) on Enermax 485w Noisetaker[/COLOR][/center][/size][/FONT]

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