Readers of our web-site are probably aware that performance config of some graphics cards can be unlocked in order to pay less but to get more powerful product. At least, this is what happened with Radeon HD 6950 that can be easily upgraded to Radeon HD 6970 with only BIOS update.
Considering that, hardware enthusiast were wondering if the same can be done with recently presented Radeon HD 6790. The last have slight changes compared to Radeon HD 6850 and Radeon HD 6870. In fact, only SP and ROP count was reduced, to 800 and 16 respectively, while clock-rates actually increased, 840/1050MHz (HD 6790) against 775/1000MHz (HD 6850).
In order to clear things up, our colleagues from X-bit labs has contacted AMD on this issue and received the following reply from Even Groenke, a graphics products manager at AMD:
It (Unlocking) is not something that should be possible on the 6790. Those SIMDs are fused off. It(HD 6790) is a card that has a lot of potential for overclocking, just take a look at overclocking results for other Barts-based graphics cards.You are going to see the Radeon HD 6790 in the channel for a while. This is the product that will be in the 6700-series for a while, it is not a temporary SKU.
In other words, it is impossible, according to AMD, to enable all shaders or even part of them that is disabled by simply updating the BIOS or any other software way.