7 Replies Latest reply on May 13, 2013 10:06 PM by gamberger

    Fixed *all* issues with Ati Radeon 5850 HD Graphics Card.

      Discussion of the above

      Well I finally completed my goal, a permanent , innate, fix -- not a hack, or memory software change within the OS making things flicker in and out upon Power play changes, and clock speeds.

      But ultimately -- My 5850 (and a 5870 for that matter) are bug free as far as I can test them).

      It all started when I built a new state of the art system from the ground up about a month ago.  After some careful review, I chose the ATi 5850 HD as a balance between not TOO outrageous of a price for performance (at $300).. and well within reach of future compatibility with its clock speeds and "future-proof" specifications (and ability to CF if needed).


      Well,.. immediately upon powering on my new build, it showed glitches.  My monitor was flickering.  I sighed a little.

      I have a 120Hz LCD (Only 2 on the market worth buying) .. and I ultimately, at first, had to put it at 110Hz to eliminate the flickering in 2D mode in general windows. 

      As the day progressed,.. I noticed that with Youtube, as I played a video .. It would stutter, flicker,.. (sometimes the driver would fail and recover).. (sometimes the driver would fail, and give you the verticle line of some color lockup screen).  --Not good.

      Further,.. At random the cursor would become 10times its normal size, for no apparent reason.  Just bam.

      In games, there would be lockups, system crashes,.. MORE flickering,.. screen wrap around on itself and artifacts, depending.

      The bug list went on and on.

      For sake of length, I won't go on much further on the processes I took to reach my conclusion.. but after much troubleshooting, tinkering, using memory addressing hacking, tools, gathering information from within the card.  Observation of what the card was doing , and when.. and figuring out 'why'.  I came up with a solution.


      I ended up changing the BIOS drastically.  There are some not so important or conversation worthy changes that were applied that ultimately allowed the following to be applied and the ATi Catalyst drivers to accept the card properly.

      The 2D and ACPI clock speeds were adjusted,.. and their voltages slightly increased .  We are talking from .95 to 1.0, nothing major.  Slight increases in speeds as well.

      The problem is ultimately in the 5xxx series cards being underpowered due to Powerplay downclocking and under volting to such a low level (in this case 157/300 @0.95) that errors not only would,.. but DID cause an unreasonable amount of instability issues.

      Prime example:  The card would be slightly more stable (before my change) when I plugged the DVI cable into the second (bottom) output.  Simply due to the voltage being a HAIR higher (measured via DVM).

      There are a host of other people in so many forums with cards ranging from 4870's (I think the powerplay issues are intertwined, but I don't think all issues are quite as similar as

      The 5770, 5850, 5870, 5970  (Basically all of the 57xx/58xx/59xx) Series, with a strong emphasis on the 58xx and 59xx being very similar.

      At any rate, these other people report some or all of these problems (I listed only a few.. there is a list a mile long.)  I didn't experience them all, as no one does, of course.

      I won't claim this fix is the miracle cure for any and all issues -- but I do think it is a great step , at minimum, a great 'hotfix-temporary fix' until ATi can come up with something to fix all these issues.

      The procedure is simple, a Bios Flash.  Checksum/CRC/Md5 is adequate for security/validity purposes.  Otherwise, people who don't know what to do with this file, or can't figure it out,.. should just wait on ATi.

      Posting this as well so that maybe ATi/AMD (Devs) *if they even glance here* might take notice of how easily this was corrected.  I'm sure it can be done with more energy savings by the 'pros'.

      5850 Bios Modified for Stability

      Hash (CRC-32): 2886A4B6

      Hash (MD-5): 15B979351AF9AAE636AF3E7EB445AD92

      Use at your own risk.  Otherwise, let us enjoy the benefits of DX 11, and improvements of infant Drivers over the months to come.

      Take care,


        • Fixed *all* issues with Ati Radeon 5850 HD Graphics Card.

          Thanks for this, it works better than the previous one.


          I had a lot of problems too with this card and vx2268wm (one of the two worthwhile 120 hz´s).

          Starts out with me setting 100/120 hz in win. It gets corrupted and I need to reboot. So then I get no choice of putting 100/120 hz in ccc/windows.


          I have tried a lot of different infs in accordance with http://www.cadred.org/Forums/Thread/83946/ or http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/7947-force-dvi-hdmi-resolutions-refresh-rates-17.html


          I can get it to work well enough but I get ~1mm vertical bars all over the screen.

          So what worked for me earlier was:


          Uninstall ccc

          Use drivercleanerpro

          install 9.12

          install hotfix

          then I could get 100/120 hz in win/ccc and ofc play my games.

          But with this bios it works better. Most of the time I get the choice of setting 100/120 in win, which means it works in my game of choice atm (bf2).

          Thanks a lot for posting this logikos. Funny that your bios is so much better than ati´s.


            • Fixed *all* issues with Ati Radeon 5850 HD Graphics Card.


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                • Fixed *all* issues with Ati Radeon 5850 HD Graphics Card.

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                    • Fixed *all* issues with Ati Radeon 5850 HD Graphics Card.

                      Well, update nearly 2 years later.


                      Still using *my* fix of the BIOS.  Anyone know if AMD fixed the issues with the Flicker, and 120Hz monitor with 5850/70 and so on cards?


                      Just curious is all.



                        • Re: Fixed *all* issues with Ati Radeon 5850 HD Graphics Card.

                          Logikos -- I do not have a 120Hz monitor (mine is running 60Hz) but my monitor is a new widescreen 23" WLED (@ work right now, don't have all the monitor specs onhand). But I don't think your vBIOS ROM fixes exclusively the 120Hz monitor issues. What it seems to fix are all of the common problems that I've found ALL OVER the internet when trying to find out what was wrong with my Radeon 5850.


                          Background: I have two friends who bought 5850s at the same time and placed them into their PCs. Now I'm not 100% familiar with their PC's specs (mobo, processor, monitor), but suffice it to say that they were different machines with comparable amounts of power (and, speaking of which, both had 600+watt PSUs). One friend has zero trouble with his 5850. The other person has loads of trouble: the red-dot pattern artifacts, screen flicker, full system crashes. This happens to him sometimes in "idle" state (in Vista and then 7), and also during certain games he played (most were stable, but he had a lot of trouble with Battlefield: Bad Company 2). Eventually he got tired of it, bought a new card (not sure which model, but it's a 6xxx Radeon) and had no problems. He sold his 5850 to me at a bargain price. I believed I'd have better luck than he did.


                          I put the card in, have all the same problems he does. Now I know most readers (and surely all AMD customer support reps) would look at this scenario and say "aha!" the card is bad, it's RMA time." Nope. This 5850, we tried interchanging it with the one my OTHER friend has (the one who's never had problems with his 5850). Works fine in his machine. Hmmm...


                          Reading around the internet, the 5xxx series (esp the 58xx series) seems to have this problem with certain configs, and no one can seem to figure it out. But I think Logikos was on to something regarding the power management.


                          I experienced all the same problems as the guy who sold me the 5850 card: red-dot artifacts, screen flicker (with notification "driver failed, restarted" from Win7), and the inevitable system crash after a few screen flickers in a row. It rarely happened during intense-processing games, but just simply browsing the web or going INTO A MENU in a game (example: static menus in Oblivion or Skyrim) were opportune times for my card to fail w/ screen flicker or system crash. Over the span of 48 hours I tried nearly every conventional and unconventional fix known to man, and nothing was working. I even griped about it to the @AMDRadeon account on Twitter. Their reply, by the way: "what Catalyst driver are you using?" Well let's see: I wiped drivers, used the most current ones you had, then wiped those and tried a few other variants recommended by Internet "gurus." Nothing prevented it.


                          I was at a loss, when finally I decided to try Logikos' fix (which he claims is not a miracle cure, but I beg to differ). The only thing I fault you for, Logikos, is this statement from 2009:


                          "The procedure is simple, a Bios Flash.  [...] Otherwise, people who don't know what to do with this file, or can't figure it out,.. should just wait on ATi." -- I'd remove the phrase "don't know what to do with this file," because it's worth learning, or having a friend who gets it to help you. Clearly, waiting on ATi is a terrible solution, because here we are in 2012 and they have yet to fully resolve this issue with software/firmware updates.


                          Anyway, for any like-minded people who are stuck, here's what I did and what you'll want to do:


                          1. Grab a USB stick or external HD that you're okay with having wiped for the present.

                          2. Use a tool like HP drive key boot utility to install a bootable DOS partition onto your USB drive (and this is really awesome, just keep it on there forever, this way you'll always have a booting tool). Note: your system BIOS has to be capable of using USB as its own boot. If you can't do this, create a bootable CD as a last resort, but be sure to...

                          3. Write atiflash.exe (available widely on the web) and Logikos' ROM to that same boot disk (in its normal read sector, not as part of the DOS boot partition. LOL, "DOS-boot," I'm sure there's been plenty a pun on that re: the WWI submarine flick).

                          4. Clear all graphics drivers, ATI CCC, VISION Engine, everything you possibly can before doing the next step.

                          5. Start up your PC with your bootable device selected (most BIOS's have a boot menu or boot-order setup where you can select what to boot first).

                          6. Once in command prompt, in case you're worried Logikos' fix won't work (which, hey, it might not for you), backup your current vBIOS by typing:


                          atiflash -s [num] old.rom


                          The [num] you can find out for your GPU device by typing atiflash -i ... for most people with just 1 card it should be 0, but it might be something else, so check.


                          7. Once you have your backup of the old ROM saved, you can feel safe to try out Logikos' new vBIOS. I renamed it 5850.rom just to keep it short, so my command prompt entry was:


                          atiflash -p 0 5850.rom -f


                          Note: the -f was required because the SSIDs didn't match and a normal rewrite wasn't allowed. -f is a force write that bypasses security. Again, if you're afraid that's a dangerous thing to do, just remember that you can rewrite your backup ROM at any time using the same tools.


                          After this, I restart the computer, reinstall most current graphics drivers, and here's the difference...


                          EVERY TIME I booted my PC with the 5850 in, up until now, as long as the drivers were enabled, there was one GUARANTEED quick screen flicker (to black and back) that happened during the first 30 seconds of Win7 starting up: as items in my tray were loading (usually around the time Steam booted up) I'd get one screen flicker. Guaranteed. Every time in about 30 restarts across 72 hours of attempts. Now, with Logikos' custom vBIOS in place, this flicker did not happen.


                          I spent hours browsing the web, as did my wife. I booted up games, they ran smooth as hell, absolutely no problems to report. I intentionally spent lots of times in menus too since I knew that was a problem spot with the previous config.


                          So here's the deal AMD/ATi -- CLEARLY there's some sort of power management problem here. I'm no doofus: I'm installing the proper drivers, I have the hardware installed properly, and the card isn't bad and does not need to be RMA'd. The problem is the power settings. And note: before I tried this vBIOS, I DID go into power management settings available via Catalyst and VISION Engine and tried to give as much power as I could. Nothing seemed to help. Strangely, I did get a small boost in stability when I went into my System BIOS and looked for options that I *thought* might force more power into my GPU (the only thing I could find was "Enable Virtualization," and this actually brought some stability prior to using Logikos' fix -- say, one red-dot-doom screen flicker every 10-20 minutes instead of every 4 minutes).


                          tl;dr summary: the 5xxx series of cards appear to be unstable in many machines and AMD seems to turn a blind eye to it or claim the problem is anything but what's going on. Moderate/advanced PC users will find themselves in a nightmare of "I already tried that" frustration with AMD customer service, meanwhile Logikos' hotfix works like a charm, but most people will be afraid to try it because the vBIOS is a somewhat difficult thing to change. Do the flash if you have the problems described here: it is certainly worth the effort. THANK YOU Logikos for your fix!

                  • Re: Fixed *all* issues with Ati Radeon 5850 HD Graphics Card.

                    Would this fix work with the Mobility 5850? I have an HP laptop with a Mobility 5850 and it's having these problems, it would be great if this would fix it, rather than having to adjust voltages myself.