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AMD Radeon RX 480s prove flashable to RX 580 specs

AMD Radeon RX 480s prove flashable to RX 580 specs

AMD's Radeon RX 480 8GB graphics cards can be flashed with an updated BIOS to turn them into the latest-generation RX 580 models, with a little tweaking.

Users have confirmed that AMD's freshly launched Radeon RX 580 graphics cards are closer to their previous-generation predecessors than you might expect, to the point where selected Radeon RX 480 cards can be turned into an RX 580 with no more than a simple firmware update.

Designed to bridge a gap between the company's previous-generation Radeon RX 400 series graphics cards and the upcoming Vega microarchitecture, the Radeon RX 500 family is largely an exercise in rebranding. Little has changed in the hardware itself, bar improvements made to the production process allowing for higher default clocks than when the cards launched in the 400 series, and that could spell a cheap "upgrade" for some: Users have confirmed that selected Radeon RX 480 cards can be flashed with Radeon RX 580 BIOSes.

First documented on the TechPowerUp forum by 'Tobybonjoby' the process is as simple as flashing RX 580 firmware, but there's one major caveat: There's no guarantee of stability or even full functionality. The new stock clocks on the RX 580 cards come courtesy of improved silicon, and if your RX 480 was at the lower end of the bin it's not likely to be able to maintain the same clocks. 'Tobybonjoby' and others in the thread have shared power and fan profiles, however, which work around this and have proven stable, though when running as an RX 580 their cards generated considerably more heat than in RX 480 mode.

As for whether the process is worth it, benchmark results show an extremely minor gain: The FurMark stress-test benchmark went from 75 frames per second to 77 frames per second under the new BIOS, while the PassMark benchmark went from 4,417 to 4,553. Those running cards with dual-BIOS functionality, of course, can upgrade one BIOS and leave the other stock to gain the ability to switch between RX 480 and RX 580 modes at will.

Instructions on flashing the updated BIOS to Radeon RX 480 8GB cards, as well as a list of cards with which the trick is known to work and produce stable results, can be found on the forum thread.

13 Comments

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adidan 20th April 2017, 11:05 Quote
This makes the 580 pricing all the more bonkers.
Vault-Tec 20th April 2017, 11:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by adidan
This makes the 580 pricing all the more bonkers.

It's looking like it rarely works though, and you lose your Displayport on certain cards.

You would need a card that is able to maintain at least close to the clocks of the 580 or it will just crash when loading up games.

The 580 is nothing but a binned and slightly refined 480 any way.
N17 dizzi 20th April 2017, 11:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Article
First documented on the TechPowerUp forum by 'Tobybonjoby,' the process is as simple as flashing firmware ever is but with a major caveat: there's no guarantee of stability. The new stock clocks on the RX 580 cards come courtesy [of] improved silicon, and if your RX 480 was at the lower end of the bin it's not likely to be able to maintain the same clocks

Slight grammatical/lexical errors. Feel free to delete this post once found to be helpful, or indeed unhelpful.
proxess 20th April 2017, 11:16 Quote
1- Grab a second hand 480 and flash it.
2- Increase overvoltage, cooling and credit card limit for power bill.
3- ???
4- Profit!
Vault-Tec 20th April 2017, 11:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by proxess
1- Grab a second hand 480 and flash it.
2- Increase overvoltage, cooling and credit card limit for power bill.
3- ???
4- Profit!

That would be very hard to achieve, because just in order to keep the stock 580 clocks stable you also need to tweak the software. So basically if you sold it to some one they would put it in their PC and it would crash, meaning you'd get it back.

As I said, the 580 is a binned and slightly refined 480. What I mean is as AMD continue on making these Polaris chips they will get a bit better and will slowly start to clock higher meaning they've refined it. Same as anything really, CPUs, GPUs etc. They may then be binning them too to make sure they are fully stable at those clocks.

A 480 is not the same, thus you will probably have to ramp the fans up etc to cope with the extra heat clocks and voltage.
Gareth Halfacree 20th April 2017, 11:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by N17 dizzi
Slight grammatical/lexical errors. Feel free to delete this post once found to be helpful, or indeed unhelpful.
The 'of' is optional when saying "comes courtesy [something],' and I can't see any change you've made to the other emboldened section of text - but I'm perfectly happy to assume I'm just being dense.
adidan 20th April 2017, 11:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vault-Tec
It's looking like it rarely works though, and you lose your Displayport on certain cards.
Got a dual bios and you don't have much to lose in trying I guess.
N17 dizzi 20th April 2017, 11:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
The 'of' is optional when saying "comes courtesy [something],' and I can't see any change you've made to the other emboldened section of text - but I'm perfectly happy to assume I'm just being dense.

Fair enough. I found the first sentence I highlighted not very clear, which is most likely me being dense.
Gareth Halfacree 20th April 2017, 11:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by N17 dizzi
Fair enough. I found the first sentence I highlighted not very clear, which is most likely me being dense.
How's this: 'the process is as simple as flashing RX 580 firmware - but there's one major caveat [...]'?
N17 dizzi 20th April 2017, 11:47 Quote
Perfect! Feel free to comment on my professional performance from your armchair. I shall try to maintain the same level of patience.
Gareth Halfacree 20th April 2017, 11:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by N17 dizzi
Perfect! Feel free to comment on my professional performance from your armchair. I shall try to maintain the same level of patience.

Hey, I welcome it - if something's unclear (or, as I frequently do, I've dun goofed with a typo) then please do point it out so I can make it betterer!
Vault-Tec 20th April 2017, 11:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by adidan
Got a dual bios and you don't have much to lose in trying I guess.

True.
IanW 20th April 2017, 12:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Hey, I welcome it - if something's unclear (or, as I frequently do, I've dun goofed with a typo) then please do point it out so I can make it more betterer!
FTFY! ;)
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