MSI reports not all RX 5600 XTs can use new vBIOS

Written by Jennifer Allen

January 27, 2020 | 15:00

Tags: #radeon-rx-5600-xt #vbios

Companies: #amd #msi

MSI has announced that not every AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT can run memory at 14 Gbps, even despite the recent BIOS update that AMD has pushed out for the card at the last minute

In a recent episode of the MSI Insider podcast, MSI marketing director, Eric Van Beurden, explained that while the new vBIOS increases the card's ability to run at higher clock speeds, the memory increase is a separate issue. Essentially, some companies are boosting the memory at their own discretion rather than as standard. 

Some cards are definitely capable of it but many aren't certified to work at such a frequency with the boost to 14 Gbps proving unstable compared to the stock speed of 12 Gbps. Product marketing manager at MSI, Pieter Arts, explained that this is because AMD supplies partners with the silicon and memory chips required to build the graphics cards and there's no guarantee that all chips have the overclocking capabilities to run at 14 Gbps. Essentially, it's a bit of a lottery figuring out which chips can and can't deal with it. 

No manufacturer can guarantee that cards can definitely cope which explains why MSI, as well as companies like Asus, have been a little cautious about applying the vBIOS to existing cards. 

In the case of MSI, it's released the RX 5600 XT Gaming Z variant which has the 14 Gbps vBIOS applied as standard, with a game clock rate of 1,615MHz and boost clock rate of 1,750MHz. 

Asus has launched the ROG STRIX TOP graphics card providing similar results with a game clock of 1,660MHz and boost GPU of 1,750MHz. 

Other than that, there's no guarantee that the new vBIOS will work safely on conventional 5600 XT cards. Perhaps more importantly, applying it could lead to RMA issues for customers.

MSI has noted that its RTX 5600 XT Gaming and RX 5600 XT Mech won't receive the new vBIOS leaving its clocks as standard, although other MSI 5600 XT will take it. 

Essentially, it's a bit of a mess for AMD and Radeon 5600 XT owners. It's likely that many cards will support 14 Gbps but wary customers may not want to take that risk. 

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