Wednesday, April 19th 2017

Radeon RX 480 Cards Can Successfully be Flashed to RX 580

User TonybonJoby in our own forums has successfully flashed his XFX RX 480 graphics card with the BIOS from a Sapphire RX 580 Limited Edition (the one that runs at 1411 MHz Boost clocks, yes.) Having obtained the Sapphire's BIOS right here on TPU, he then flashed it onto his graphics card (which possesses a dual-BIOS setup; this is an important point which you should consider, as it gives you an extra safety net should anything go wrong) through ATIFlash. The newly-christened RX 580 thus smiles for the screenshot, with a stock clock of 1411 MHz, higher than most overclocks possible with the RX 480 cards, probably due to increased voltages on the BIOS level. The user then tested the card on The Witcher 3 and Furmark, with no problems having been reported. Just remember to back-up your BIOS with GPU-Z and make sure to peruse our forums for some details on this flashing process before you get the proverbial grease on your elbows.

Essentially, this may allow you to bypass some artificial overclocking limitation with your graphics card, probably by increased voltages on different power states of the card. You should do this at your own risk, and remember, the only guaranteed way of getting an RX 580 is... you guessed it, buying an RX 580. However, this might also give you an extra performance boost, and free performance is always good, right?

Source: TechPowerUp ForumsThanks for sharing @TonybonJoby!
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77 Comments on Radeon RX 480 Cards Can Successfully be Flashed to RX 580

#1
CAPSLOCKSTUCK
Spaced Out Lunar Tick
@XFXSupport

what do you reckon?
Posted on Reply
#2
KainXS
Solid State Brain said:
That's a bummer then. I was interested in the higher voltages and idle power state improvements.
The lower idle voltage is what draws me but the higher voltages don't mean much because I know my card can hit those clocks already. Could lower them in Polaris bios editor but I don't want to waste time with that signature bypass.

You have a Nitro+ though, your card should be more attuned to this kind of flashing than Tony's is really.
Posted on Reply
#3
Adam Freeman
I don't know what is the point in going into the hassle of flashing the bios to transform an Rx 480 to Rx 580. Flashing the bios won't transform a lower binned gpu to a better binned one that overclocks better. It's easier to try manual overclocking and adjust gpu vcore and clockspeed to obtain the best combination of voltage and frequency that result in higher performance with acceptable power draw.
Posted on Reply
#4
Solid State Brain
Nihilus said:
Price/performance beast right there.
Even at RX 480 levels, the 4GB vRam doesn't seem to give that card any penalty. http://www.legitreviews.com/amd-radeon-rx-480-4gb-versus-radeon-rx-480-8gb_183576/6
A few % drop at 4k, but not the intended resolution of that card anyhow.
The 4 GB Rx 480s are going for $200 OR LESS on the Egg. Paying $280 for an RX 580 is silly. Flash one like yours to an RX 580 and it will be at the top of the price/ performance chart alongside the Rx 470.
I'm already overclocking my card to the max it can do. I was interested in the RX580 bios because it might have allowed higher voltages and power limits (although the Sapphire Nitro power limit is already pretty high and doesn't throttle unless overclocked quite a bit) without requiring a modded, unsigned bios (which can bring some problems, like for example inability to use hardware video acceleration) or to apply a voltage offset using Afterburner, Trixx or similar programs (which is not very reliable and increases idle voltage too).

There is a third party utility called WattTool which previously allowed to increase core voltage beyond 1175 mV using the Wattman API, but starting from drivers 17.4.1 AMD introduced some limitations/checks, and the VID now cannot be higher than 1175 mV anymore, at least on the RX480.

The newer BIOS in addition to idle state improvements and higher core voltages perhaps also have better memory timings, which require a custom, unsigned bios to use on the RX480.

I've already flashed my card many times for many tests with custom BIOS, and "bricked" it a few times with some of the wackier tests. Unless the card gets physically damaged such a bricked state can be easily recovered, especially with a dual BIOS.
Posted on Reply
#5
Nihilus
P4-630 said:
Yeah... Temps could run up to 80s he said in his thread....

Still comfortable to him he said...:ohwell:

IMO 75C is really hot and personally I try to keep my GPU temp below 65C during summer...:ohwell: thats just me..
Both Copper and Silicon melt at over 1000* C. I have crunched with AMD cards at 85*C for months on end. I have folded with this 980ti card for over a year at 80*C. Yes, you will fry a card for applying to much voltage, but it will NOT break down for the occasional gaming at 75*C. These cards have built in safeties if things get too hot. He has absolutely nothing too worry about as long as the voltages are safe.
Posted on Reply
#6
GorbazTheDragon
Adam Freeman said:
I don't know what is the point in going into the hassle of flashing the bios to transform an Rx 480 to Rx 580. Flashing the bios won't transform a lower binned gpu to a better binned one that overclocks better. It's easier to try manual overclocking and adjust gpu vcore and clockspeed to obtain the best combination of voltage and frequency that result in higher performance with acceptable power draw.
Flashing gives you the higher voltage and power limits that you need to get the faster 580 clock speeds
Posted on Reply
#7
Nihilus
Adam Freeman said:
I don't know what is the point in going into the hassle of flashing the bios to transform an Rx 480 to Rx 580. Flashing the bios won't transform a lower binned gpu to a better binned one that overclocks better. It's easier to try manual overclocking and adjust gpu vcore and clockspeed to obtain the best combination of voltage and frequency that result in higher performance with acceptable power draw.
What's to get? RX 480 cards can be found for cheaper than any Rx 580 cards. This allows them to overclock to Rx 580, so I am not sure where the confusion. I am guessing you thought HD 7970 GHz were "better binned" than standard HD 7970 cards. And RX 280s were better binned still. From my experience, they were the same damn thing (actually got better O/C from the 7970 card). The only difference then was that artificial limits were not built into the Bios, so you could push the card further without a bios flash.
Posted on Reply
#8
Rosie Scenario
Hi all. Enjoying the thread so I might as well chime in here...

July 2016 shopped a 1060 Asus dual OC (for the looks). Really inexpensive then (1.50 pounds+ /$. Had a look around the net and noticed the board was identical to the strix, (Buildzoid recently confirmed with close-ups) without the fan headers (traces were there but no plugs, you get what you pay for).

So day one I flashed to strix OC, from TPU naturally. I wanted the zero fan speed.

Guess what? Works perfect as ever after nine months. Cool, quite and amazingly good. I don't bother to manual OC apart from 9.5Ghz on the mem., I just use the OC mode in Asus' software.

So GPU flashing is indeed a thing, but I guess you should research your board in order to ensure there is a match componenet-wise.
Posted on Reply
#9
9700 Pro
natr0n said:
wow when did trixx get so pretty ?
For me, it looks like a control panel of a space ship or something. I personally like the traditional MSI Afterburner skin, so much easier to use.

But I was not surprised about this at all, since it's just a rebrand. Just like people had flashed R9 280/X bioses to their HD7900 cards back in the day.
Posted on Reply
#10
KainXS
Adam Freeman said:
I don't know what is the point in going into the hassle of flashing the bios to transform an Rx 480 to Rx 580. Flashing the bios won't transform a lower binned gpu to a better binned one that overclocks better. It's easier to try manual overclocking and adjust gpu vcore and clockspeed to obtain the best combination of voltage and frequency that result in higher performance with acceptable power draw.
Solid is right, ever since the last 2 drivers AMD gimped overvolting on the 480 but its still possible, it just takes more time on some cards but the lower voltages is something you cannot get unless you edit the bios and then bypass the signature check which breaks too much to be viable for some whereas with the 580 bios you don't have to deal with that.
Posted on Reply
#11
Adam Freeman
Even if the flashing unlocks more voltage, putting too much voltage(above 1.2 for example) might not result in a higher stable clock speed since all of the custom cooled Rx 480 cards are equipped with only 8-pin power connector which limits the board power to 225w unlike some of the new Rx 580 which have additional 6-pin power connector.that helps in stabilizing the higher frequency with higher gpu vcore.
Posted on Reply
#12
GorbazTheDragon
Rosie Scenario said:
Hi all. Enjoying the thread so I might as well chime in here...

July 2016 shopped a 1060 Asus dual OC (for the looks). Really inexpensive then (1.50 pounds+ /$. Had a look around the net and noticed the board was identical to the strix, (Buildzoid recently confirmed with close-ups) without the fan headers (traces were there but no plugs, you get what you pay for).

So day one I flashed to strix OC, from TPU naturally. I wanted the zero fan speed.

Guess what? Works perfect as ever after nine months. Cool, quite and amazingly good. I don't bother to manual OC apart from 9.5Ghz on the mem., I just use the OC mode in Asus' software.

So GPU flashing is indeed a thing, but I guess you should research your board in order to ensure there is a match componenet-wise.
1060 6GB? How does the Dual run? I'm on the fence about getting one, but I'm not really convinced by the cheaper 1060s in general... My alternative is a 980Ti...
Posted on Reply
#14
Solid State Brain
KainXS said:
Solid is right, ever since the last 2 drivers AMD gimped overvolting on the 480 but its still possible, it just takes more time on some cards but the lower voltages is something you cannot get unless you edit the bios and then bypass the signature check which breaks too much to be viable for some whereas with the 580 bios you don't have to deal with that.
I think the limitation goes deeper than that. When I discovered this I also tried editing in the BIOS a higher voltage than 1175 mV for the highest power state, for example 1206 mV. After 1-2 seconds under load the VID gets throttled back to 1175 mV. It seems that higher voltages can now only be achieved with an offset. It's not clear if the RX580 would allow a higher VID than this.

Adam Freeman said:
Even if the flashing unlocks more voltage, putting too much voltage(above 1.2 for example) might not result in a higher stable clock speed since all of the custom cooled Rx 480 cards are equipped with only 8-pin power connector which limits the board power to 225w unlike some of the new Rx 580 which have additional 6-pin power connector.that helps in stabilizing the higher frequency with higher gpu vcore.
The 8 pin connector itself is not a limitation from what I've seen, and neither was the 6 pin connector on reference cards with an increased power limit (for example when water cooled). When heavily overclocked my Sapphire Nitro RX480 consumes more than 225W.
Posted on Reply
#15
notb
buildzoid said:
He got pretty lucky that he has one of the few RX 480s that doesn't use the IR 3567B because that would probably not work at all.
I think it's more about statistics than luck...
I bet many other have tried. It's just that you're usually not very proud of bricking your $250 GPU, so you don't announce it on a forum. :P
Posted on Reply
#16
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
notb said:
I think it's more about statistics than luck...
I bet many other have tried. It's just that you're usually not very proud of bricking your $250 GPU, so you don't announce it on a forum. :p
He also has a dual bios card. Just like the Nitro's so if things go bad flip the switch reflash the correct BIOS and move on.
Posted on Reply
#17
Rosie Scenario
GorbazTheDragon said:
1060 6GB? How does the Dual run? I'm on the fence about getting one, but I'm not really convinced by the cheaper 1060s in general... My alternative is a 980Ti...
Hi. What can I say? It runs great. It looks so beautiful in my unusual desktop (no case, MB sits under a glass shelf with monitor and speakers on-top). I get 2195Mhz in peaks but usually (far cry 4 at the mo) 2050 constant. Temps @61C but I live in a cold place. The fans were noisy out of the box but I just set them to 49%. Perfect. Oh, and the power.... 1.125V max (I'll have to check that). I have an XTR 550 (love it) so I want low-power, no-sound, no-heat.
Posted on Reply
#18
gr33nbits
Yes this is great when i heard of the RX500's that was my thought flash the RX400 to the 500.
Let's see if the RX460 and RX470 will do the same that would be great.
Posted on Reply
#19
intelzen
why one would want to flash a bios for +100mhz overclock (and worse performance/TDP) ??
Posted on Reply
#20
ShurikN
gr33nbits said:
Yes this is great when i heard of the RX500's that was my thought flash the RX400 to the 500.
Let's see if the RX460 and RX470 will do the same that would be great.
460 and 560 are not same chips. (unlike x80 and x70)
Posted on Reply
#21
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
natr0n said:
I got a bad feeling about this.

The die shrink has to cause some issues with the older cards I'm sure.

heat basically
natr0n said:
Did the news cards get a die shrink or not ? I'm confused.


die got refined :kookoo:
No die shrink and no die refinement. It was rumored the new cards would use the LPP process instead of the LPE process the old cards used. This isn't a die shrink, this isn't really even a new process, it is really just the same process slightly matured. All it really does, I believe, is reduce leakage. So they can push more volts through the core, and get higher reliable clocks.
Posted on Reply
#22
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
intelzen said:
why one would want to flash a bios for +100mhz overclock (and worse performance/TDP) ??
Because the number of people who give a rats behind about power consumption in the real world isn't very high, the number of people who give a rats behind about a free 5FPS however is reasonably good.
Posted on Reply
#23
peche
Thermaltake fanboy
Radeon RX 480 Cards Can Successfully be Flashed to RX 580
in my humble opinion, for some n00bs that title says : go scew your card cuz TPU said that was possible....
Posted on Reply
#24
scaramoosh
I got mine sorted, but the card just crashes my whole system, I underclocked it to 1200mhz and tried upping the voltage, every time it hits 85c and then my PC just crashes.
Posted on Reply
#25
9700 Pro
peche said:
Radeon RX 480 Cards Can Successfully be Flashed to RX 580
in my humble opinion, for some n00bs that title says : go scew your card cuz TPU said that was possible....
Aren't all unofficial modifications that "do it at your own risk" type things? ;)
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