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General Category => Rom things => Topic started by: ZZZAC on March 12, 2018, 09:40:14 PM



Title: iMac MXM card upgrade. R270x/D300- I think it could be possible
Post by: ZZZAC on March 12, 2018, 09:40:14 PM
Hi, To introduce myself i am a hardware repair technician, i know little about programming but ive done a bit of reading in here and made a few attempts myself. I have a couple of different ROM hardware programmers, allot of rework equipment and the hardware kicking around to test all this stuff out.

Im always looking for new graphics cards to put in imacs, and took interest in fitting a HD6850 chip onto a 6970M GPU and the changes in the video bios necessary to make this work.

Just as the 6970M took the HD 6850 GPU, looking at them, i think the 7970M PCB would facilitate the r9 270X GPU. This becomes interesting knowing that the R9 270X shares the same device ID as Apples Firepro D300, and that people have got r9 270X to work in mac pros (i have a pair of D300's kicking around my workshop as well)

That means that as far as i can tell:
1: a working EFI is already out there for this card
2: Apple supports the device ID of this chip
3: The 7970M PCB will take the R9-270X Chip.

Obviously a modified Vbios and EFI would need to be created (i really dont understand where to even start with the EFI of these cards) but i cannot see why this wouldn't be possible.

Would someone more clued up than me be able to tell me if im missing anything critical that would cause incompatibility.
Thanks


Title: Re: iMac MXM card upgrade. R270x/D300- I think it could be possible
Post by: dukefawks on March 13, 2018, 12:13:23 AM
I assume you want to fix the "trash can" mac pro cards. It is probably possible like I did with the 6970m to 6850 conversion with the 27" iMacs. Although I am not using that anymore as there are too many thermal issues. Now using M5950 Dell cards with modified 6770m VBIOS.

Thermal issues with the trash can will probably also arise as the R9 270 has a device ID that is not supported by the SMC and thus it will not read the thermal/current sensors on the GPU board. Same happened with the 27" iMacs but I hacked around that by attaching the ODD thermal sensor to the GPU heat sink. Luckily the system did not down clock the CPU as it does many times with missing sensors.

Lets first see if the GPUs will actually become available before thinking about messing with these. I have yet to receive one of these for repair so I have no GPU part numbers to check for availability.


Title: Re: iMac MXM card upgrade. R270x/D300- I think it could be possible
Post by: Rominator on March 13, 2018, 02:16:26 AM
biggest issue here is how the displays get mapped

On nvidia cards it is DCB table, on AMD it is "port mapping"

Fact is, when I revolutionized Mac flashing it was ;largely a result of understanding DCB tables on Nvidia cards. If you took a PC 8800GT and added the Mac EFI you got a KP on every boot.

But if you adjusted the DCB table to match the Apple standard, (and a couple other things) it would work. But until the DCB table got understood, nobody flashed Nvidia cards.

In addition, the EFI inits certain ports, that are then either taken over by the BIOS or not. If the EFI and BIOS have different ports, you may end up with something on screen, or maybe not.

Nvidia EFI also had locks based on device id and board id and another 2 digit number.

Ability to run PCIE 2.0 was also defined in BIOS, not sure how that factors into iMacs.

This is why I'm pretty sure I could figure out an iMac Nvidia Mxm card or two. I would say myself or Netkas are likely the only ones outside of Apple and Nvidia who could do this. But I haven
't the space to have a couple 27" iMacs in pieces here. It's a pity as I'm sure there are some cards that would be perfect, but will probably never happen.


Title: Re: iMac MXM card upgrade. R270x/D300- I think it could be possible
Post by: ZZZAC on March 13, 2018, 10:55:22 AM
I assume you want to fix the "trash can" mac pro cards. It is probably possible like I did with the 6970m to 6850 conversion with the 27" iMacs. Although I am not using that anymore as there are too many thermal issues. Now using M5950 Dell cards with modified 6770m VBIOS.

Thermal issues with the trash can will probably also arise as the R9 270 has a device ID that is not supported by the SMC and thus it will not read the thermal/current sensors on the GPU board. Same happened with the 27" iMacs but I hacked around that by attaching the ODD thermal sensor to the GPU heat sink. Luckily the system did not down clock the CPU as it does many times with missing sensors.

Lets first see if the GPUs will actually become available before thinking about messing with these. I have yet to receive one of these for repair so I have no GPU part numbers to check for availability.

I do imagine it will have all the same issues as the 6970 conversion.

I do have a trashcan arriving today and an extra pair of GPU's, The D300's have 6810 device id's just like the r9 270X desktop cards, iirc they are also 215 chips.

But your right, the imac's will not support the D300's due to the imac not support that particular device ID
Thanks


Title: Re: iMac MXM card upgrade. R270x/D300- I think it could be possible
Post by: Rominator on March 13, 2018, 02:09:10 PM
That...and the 6,1 doesn't have MXM cards.


Title: Re: iMac MXM card upgrade. R270x/D300- I think it could be possible
Post by: ZZZAC on March 14, 2018, 10:55:30 AM
That...and the 6,1 doesn't have MXM cards.

I know that, i just think it would be possible to build a MXM card for a iMac 12,2 using a alienware 7970M  MXM PCB and a R9-270X chip


Title: Re: iMac MXM card upgrade. R270x/D300- I think it could be possible
Post by: Rominator on March 14, 2018, 09:52:30 PM
Are you planning to desolder the BGA core and swap?

I don't understand what the point would be. Maybe I'm missing something?

They are very similar cards and seems like a lot of bother to just end up with a similar card.


Title: Re: iMac MXM card upgrade. R270x/D300- I think it could be possible
Post by: ZZZAC on March 24, 2018, 11:58:18 AM
Are you planning to desolder the BGA core and swap?

I don't understand what the point would be. Maybe I'm missing something?

They are very similar cards and seems like a lot of bother to just end up with a similar card.

Yes, well that was the idea, I thought by fitting a chip that has an the same device ID that a native mac pro ships with, that it would be easier to get working properly, but i guess the main issue is the display routing anyhow?
Thanks


Title: Re: iMac MXM card upgrade. R270x/D300- I think it could be possible
Post by: DarthnVader on April 14, 2018, 01:10:56 PM
Custom ROM's for graphics cards often only get done when it will create a marketable product. iMacs are just far too difficult for the average end users to disassemble and reassemble, shipping costs can be prohibitive, and MXM cards are not really available in any quantity to make it a real option for value added resale.

   


Title: Re: iMac MXM card upgrade. R270x/D300- I think it could be possible
Post by: Rominator on April 15, 2018, 01:53:46 AM
You are 100% right.

What's sad is that I'm pretty sure the GT650/GT750M iMac EFI could be used to make other Kepler MXM cards work.

I actually bought a variety of cards and started work on it but finally lost interest. Real issue is the flashing/testing.

The only real way to do it would be an iMac with a PCIE/MXM extender so that the card would be exterior. The card itself would have a socket for SOIC-8 EEPROM. It would also need an external heatsink for use during testing.

After much testing we could find a few cards that would be perfect. Then testing in the machine for power/heat would need to happen.

Finally a product would be ready.

At that point used cards from Ebay and other sources would need to be bought, tested, flashed, tested again and finally prepared for sale.

Once sold it would be up to end user to install. I have found out the hard way that people will find many ways to screw up an install.The first GTX580 I ever sold the guy ran the 6 & 8 from a single 6 pin. Burned up 580 and screamed at me about it.

Most end users are hard pressed to install a standard GPU, the myriad ways an iMac install could go wrong could lead to misery for both ends.

This is why I have looked for an iMac repair shop in LA to develop with. They would provide testing gear, I'd write rom, they'd do installs.

Hard to imagine it working for standard end users, I think there would be much trouble.


Title: Re: iMac MXM card upgrade. R270x/D300- I think it could be possible
Post by: FaDaWay on April 26, 2018, 08:33:51 PM
Rominator,
I can do this work for you and from France
I have all iMac as testing device and I have already many MXM card from PCs.
I'm sure together we will succed to modify Bios for iMac and help many people as it's really hard to find MXM cards for iMac now.
You don't need to be with me to flash and install card into iMac.

I send you a picture of one of my testing devices, you will understand that i'm ready to help you.

I have of course all the stuff to make an extender and flash Bios really quickly directly on the MXM board

I know also all kind of problems that you can find with iMac MXM cards so I can test with my tools and validate if a card can be used.



Title: Re: iMac MXM card upgrade. R270x/D300- I think it could be possible
Post by: Rominator on April 27, 2018, 03:49:04 AM
Wow.

That is certainly another way to make testing cards easy.

And it will solve cooling issues.

It seems you are serious.

Which Kepler MXM cards do you have?

Ideally thermal profile should be similar to card being replaced.


Title: Re: iMac MXM card upgrade. R270x/D300- I think it could be possible
Post by: FaDaWay on April 27, 2018, 06:04:10 PM
Hi Rominator,
Actually I tried some cards really closes from Apple.

So today I worked on 6790M From Dell

When I use Apple Bios , I have a Boot screen , the iMac can pass the ASD and everything seem to work , exept of 1GB of memory instead of 2GB of course.
but I can't boot most of the time the result is a White Screen just before the desktop and some graphic issue with 10.7 OSX



Title: Re: iMac MXM card upgrade. R270x/D300- I think it could be possible
Post by: FaDaWay on April 28, 2018, 04:30:01 PM
So I have a black screen at boot with both of the last rom and with sound at startup.


Title: Re: iMac MXM card upgrade. R270x/D300- I think it could be possible
Post by: DarthnVader on May 02, 2018, 10:53:49 AM
Remember those after market clear cases for the G4 Cube?

Why won't someone make them for the iMac, with access doors on the back.

Only instead of clear plastic, transparent aluminum. :P


Title: Re: iMac MXM card upgrade. R270x/D300- I think it could be possible
Post by: FaDaWay on May 05, 2018, 09:56:26 AM
Hi Rominator,
We can work on another card if you want.
I think that card 7970M or 8970M could be good candidates ?
Or perhaps GTX 980M ?

What card do you have in stock in LA.
I can order the same and work from France on it.



Title: Re: iMac MXM card upgrade. R270x/D300- I think it could be possible
Post by: Rominator on May 06, 2018, 04:12:11 AM
The AMD cards may be doable.

You need to compare how 7970 rom was made from 7950.

Only changed device id in rom header for EFI.

I just ordered some cool MXM to PCIE boards. Will allow me to flash and test in Mac Pro classic.

Ideally we should find lower power cards than the AMD cards that are burning themselves up.

So, a GTX660 would be nice replacement for 6750 or 6770. Something that releases less heat than card it replaces.

Also, I'm 90% sure I could write a working 660 rom since Apple put Kepler cards iMacs so EFI exists.


Title: Re: iMac MXM card upgrade. R270x/D300- I think it could be possible
Post by: FaDaWay on May 06, 2018, 09:28:29 AM
I don't understand why I have to compare 7970 and 7950 it's because an EFI is available for 7950m ?


For the MXM to PCI did you bought the NVIDIA version or the AMD ?

https://www.ebay.com/itm/MXM3-to-PCIe-NVidia-Riser-Card-for-MXM-3-0b-3-1b-NVIDIA-GPUs-for-desktop-PCs/132503008933?hash=item1ed9cb76a5:g:OPYAAOSwIBxagepj

https://www.ebay.com/itm/MXM3-to-PCIe-AMD-Riser-Card-for-MXM3-based-AMD-GPUs-w-o-GPU/112812107426?hash=item1a442026a2:g:pDwAAOSwceNageeJ

GTX660 seems to be a good choice as replacement because of his price
but do you think that 980M could be also a good candidate, it's the same kind of GPU as the 6970M so the heat sink will certainly be used without any modification.


Title: Re: iMac MXM card upgrade. R270x/D300- I think it could be possible
Post by: FaDaWay on May 06, 2018, 10:16:07 PM
I've found also this adapter for mining in China for less than 10$

https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a230r.1.14.89.70251735XwlXSp&id=567403942570&ns=1&abbucket=4#detail


Title: Re: iMac MXM card upgrade. R270x/D300- I think it could be possible
Post by: FaDaWay on May 23, 2018, 01:56:17 PM
Hi,
I tried a 7970M card from dell but nothing works
Black Screen at start with dong , and with team viewer I can see that the card is not detected at all
with the original Bios and of course the modified one with Netkas script for 7970

It's seems that this card can't work inside an iMac


Title: Re: iMac MXM card upgrade. R270x/D300- I think it could be possible
Post by: Fl0r!an on May 24, 2018, 11:27:03 AM
I guess the device ID is just missing in the drivers.

Modifying the ROM with the 7970 script will most likely result in lots of dead ports due to mismatched connector settings both in EFI and framebuffer personality.


Title: Re: iMac MXM card upgrade. 7970M
Post by: Rominator on May 25, 2018, 07:12:51 AM
I think we are missing something here. It looks to me that it IS in the drivers.

In 10.13.4 I was able to launch Luxmark and it began running the benchmark, so OpenCl is working.

I think the issue is more to do with output.

I read somewhere (I HATE it when people use this phrase to justify half baked theories) that 7970M of one type was used in machine with Intel iGPU and so display routing takes this into account.

May have been a reference to tonymac. Point is, check with Hackintoshers with laptops with these cards.

I have tossed one in 2 machines here. In cMP in 10.13.4 it shows like normal card, but on the MXM/PCIE buck the 2 ports I can use (DP and HDMI) had no output.

I then tossed it in X-Serve (has an MXM slot). The X-serve only has a MDP video outlet, so it's like an iMac (I hope) in that the primary display output is main thing card is for. On the other hand, they id it as "MXM slot" while iMac 2011 hid this little fact in System Profiler.

And it's likely that the EFI would be better from an iMac 6770 or 6970. It would have display outputs more likely to match iMac. The issue is going to be the BIOS itself, AMD cards use a much messier set up for display routing.