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HowTo: Downgrade BIOS for Gainward GTX570

It bothered me for a very long time since I fixed my PC - why is StarCraft 2 so slow on Gainward GTX570? I remembered this card to be kinda good. And my suspicious about something being wrong with my setup escalated quickly when I found an older Gainward GTX275, which was performing astonishingly better than the current one. Yes - smooth Medium with 30fps is still far better than Very Low and 12-15fps. It could be simply impossible to assume that a card being produced 2 generations later would perform so much worse. Also Windows 10 was giving some evidences, where updated nVidia drivers to latest version (» 391.35) were behaving very unstable and couldn’t even work in FullHD resolution. So each time it did happen they installed automatically I had to remove them and restored the Windows' build-in ones.

I browsed the whole Internet looking for a solution for few evenings. It looked as a lost case, until I have no idea how, I have thankfully found this video tutorial. It was done sometime in 2019 with an average quality, but described all the steps clearly enough to follow. At the end the author fixed all problems I had with GTX570, that’s why I thought it would be very good to give it a try. Then when it succeeded I had no other choice then to move it into a written form here to potentially help others. All credits go to Enterprise Videos, the author of the video.

What was the fix though? Long story short - the advice, as the title of this blog already revealed - was to downgrade to VBIOS of the GTX570 card to the previous one (» 70.10.55.00.00), which somehow worked much better with Windows 10 then the one that was distributed originally with the card itself. I have never updated to any new VBIOS myself knowingly. So here we are now.

⚠️ !! Understand the risk !! ⚠️

Playing with BIOS/VBIOS is kinda risky. It might happen that you will damage your equipment and it might brick it, if something goes wrong (for example incompatible version will be written or the card encounters a power-shortage during the upgrading process). Please remember that this might also avoid your warranty and that me nor Enterprise Videos are not responsible for that. Following this guide you understand the risk and accept it.


BTW. This card is already almost 10 years old and nVidia warranty doesn’t cover it anymore since few years for sure. It works slow. Could there be any worse situation?


Prerequisites

Tools or other required files, needed to proceed:

Step 1 - Make a copy of the current VBIOS

To do it simply run GPU-Z and use a save button next to your BIOS version, which in my case was: 70.10.55.00.01.

Step 2 - Remove EEPROM write-protection

I have stored all the tools inside D:\vga\GTX570 folder on my machine. That’s why it shows this folder as working directory for every snipped below.

You can remove the write-protection by issuing following command. To make it run you have to start Windows Command Line (cmd.exe utility) as a system administrator. To do it simply start typing cmd and proper options should be suggested automatically.

Then navigate to a folder with all downloaded and extracted tools:

C:\> d:
D:\> cd \vga\GTX570

And finally execute:

D:\vga\GTX570> nvflash --protectoff

It should print following log:

NVIDIA Firmware Update Utility (Version 5.692.0)
Copyright (C) 1993-2021, NVIDIA Corporation. All rights reserved.


Adapter: GeForce GTX 570      (10DE,1081,10B0,0401) S:00,B:01,D:00,F:00


EEPROM ID (C8,4011) : GD GD25Q10 2.7-3.6V 1024Kx1S, page

Setting EEPROM software protect setting...

Setting EEPROM protection complete.

Step 3 - Write older VBIOS

Please remember to do a copy of the current VBIOS as I described earlier.

If you have one, then type in the command below to flash the card with 70.10.55.00.00 VBIOS:

D:\vga\GTX570> nvflash.exe Gainward.GTX570.1280.110902.rom
NVIDIA Firmware Update Utility (Version 5.692.0)
Copyright (C) 1993-2021, NVIDIA Corporation. All rights reserved.


Checking for matches between display adapter(s) and image(s)...

Adapter: GeForce GTX 570      (10DE,1081,10B0,0401) S:00,B:01,D:00,F:00


EEPROM ID (C8,4011) : GD GD25Q10 2.7-3.6V 1024Kx1S, page

EEPROM ID (C8,4011) : GD GD25Q10 2.7-3.6V 1024Kx1S, page

Current      - Version:70.10.55.00.01 ID:10DE:1081:10B0:0401
               BIOS-P/N@N8893 (Normal Board)
Replace with - Version:70.10.55.00.00 ID:10DE:1081:10B0:0401
               BIOS-P/N@N8885 (Normal Board)

Update display adapter firmware?
Press 'y' to confirm (any other key to abort):

Confirm it by pressing "y" and it will start the process:

EEPROM ID (C8,4011) : GD GD25Q10 2.7-3.6V 1024Kx1S, page

Storing updated firmware image...

[==================================================] 100 %

Verifying update...

Update successful.



Firmware image updated.
 - New version: 70.10.55.00.00
 - Old version: 70.10.55.00.01

InfoROM image updated.
 - New version: N/A
 - Old version: N/A

A reboot is required for the update to take effect.

It’s almost done.

Step 4 - Reboot

As the nvflash utility printed at the end - to fully take the effect the machine needs to be restarted. Once it started again, I run the GPU-Z and see that all was successful.

VBIOS downgraded info

Step 5 - Install latest nVidia drivers

Finally after that it was possible to install newer nVidia Drivers version 391.35-desktop-win10-64bit-international-whql, which were previously source of many compatibility problems. This time however they greatly improved performance of this card. It was unbelievable, but this time I had StarCraft 2 running in FullHD with almost all settings set to Ultra with stable 45fps.

Auto-detected newer drivers

As my last words here - that was a really great achievement and I am glad I found the video and I have took the risk. Because of that I want to send a big congrats and wish all the best to Enterprise Videos for an amazing tutorial.

👍