AMD’s newest Radeon R9 290 graphic card seems to be doing pretty fine for its start with the higher affordability and higher gaming performance. And with the aid of a simple BIOS flash, the card can also be unlocked into the Radeon R9 290X which is the much faster version. Most of the cards don’t come with the option which allows them to be unlocked however those that do seem to be going away at a fast pace.
Just as people would be anxiously waiting for the retailers to stock up on the cards, a report from Ocaholic has revealed that the new Radeon R9 290 models will not be able to be unlocked. A member of a forum was successfully able to unlock his Powercolor Radeon R9 290 into the full fledged Hawaii XT chip which featured 2816 Stream processors and had a 1000 MHz clock speed. After the success of this unlocking event, there were multiple bios delivered on the internet which led the way to the unlocking of the cards and allowed them to be transferred to the XT variants.
Pre-flashed Radeon R9 290 GPUs were also being offered and these had been completely unlocked to the full Radeon R9 290X model and also came with a warranty of two years. Overclockers.Co.Uk was among the first to make these pre flashed models available. The bad news has finally hit us that this is soon going to end since the current models of the Radeon R9 290 cards are coming to an end. Only certain manufacturers were giving away cards which could be unlocked. The ones from ASUS, Sapphire or MSI cannot support the BIOS flash and hence cannot be unlocked.
After a few days investigation it looks like only R9 290 graphics cards, which have a chip from before the 38th production week can be unlocked. All cards with chips after production week 38 can’t be unlocked anymore.