Monday, February 11th 2019

AMD Radeon VII Has No UEFI Support

In what is turning out to be a massive QA oversight by AMD, people who bought retail Radeon VII graphics cards report that their cards don't support UEFI, and that installing the card in their machines causes their motherboard to engage CSM (compatibility support module), a key component of UEFI firmware that's needed to boot the machine with UEFI-unaware hardware (such as old storage devices, graphics cards, NICs, etc.,).

To verify this claim, we put the stock video BIOS of our Radeon VII sample in a hex editor, and what we found out startled us. The BIOS completely lacks UEFI support, including a GOP (graphics output protocol) driver. A GOP driver is a wafer-thin display driver that runs basic display functions on your GPU during the pre-boot environment. Without UEFI support for the graphics card (i.e. with CSM running), Windows 10 cannot engage Secure Boot. Since UEFI Secure Boot is a requirement for Microsoft Windows 10 Logo certification, we are having doubts whether AMD can really claim "Windows 10 compatible" for Radeon VII, at least until a BIOS update is available.
ASRock is the first AMD AIB (add-in board partner) to release a corrective BIOS update. Although designed for its Radeon VII Phantom Gaming graphics card, this BIOS ROM works with any reference-design Radeon VII graphics card. All Radeon VII cards are identical, so flashing the ASRock BIOS onto a Radeon VII from AMD or any other board partner will not cause any issues.

Parsing the ASRock BIOS ROM file through a hex editor lets us see telltale signs of UEFI support, including the GOP micro-driver. Please pay attention to the highlighted UEFI-magic, which, when read in Intel byte-order, becomes "0EF1" aka "UEFI" in leetspeak. This magic sequence of bytes tells the rest of the system that the BIOS on this specific device reports that it supports the UEFI standard.

It is highly likely that most, if not all, Radeon VII graphics cards shipped so far lack UEFI support, and in the coming days, all AIB partners could come up with BIOS updates. Trouble is, updating video BIOS isn't anywhere near as easy as updating motherboard BIOS, and not everyone is skilled or confident enough to tinker with it. One option AMD could try is an encapsulated one-click BIOS updater that can run from within Windows.

Last year, NVIDIA corrected widespread DisplayPort issues in its "Pascal" graphics cards using such an approach. Until something like that happens, you can grab the updated Radeon VII Phantom Gaming video BIOS from the TechPowerUp VGA BIOS Database, linked below. The ATI/AMD BIOS flashing software can also be found in our downloads section.

DOWNLOAD: ASRock Radeon VII Phantom Gaming BIOS Update with UEFI Support

Update Feb 12: AMD has confirmed that they will release a one-click BIOS updater on AMD.com very soon, and that their board partners have received a UEFI capable BIOS. Source: Discovery Thread on our Forums
Add your own comment

81 Comments on AMD Radeon VII Has No UEFI Support

#1
VSG
Editor, Reviews & News
Oh dear, just when they were hoping to get back some goodwill with the pro features enabled.
Posted on Reply
#2
efikkan
Oops! :oops:
It's so easy to forget something important when things are rushed. I've learned that the hard way…

BTW, have you reached out to other reviewers if they can confirm the same problem?
Posted on Reply
#3
MrGenius
Non-issue. Non-"problem". Just flash the ASRock UEFI BIOS for now. Already been discussed here.

A UEFI updater tool that can add the latest AMD GOP version(2.5.0.0.0 which can both be downloaded here) also already exists. I just can't confirm it works(as in results in a BIOS that will boot) with the Radeon VII BIOS(as I don't own a Radeon VII). You still need to know exactly what you're doing with the tool. But I've already done it twice now for the Radeon VII BIOS(with 2 different AMD GOP versions). Which is a walk in the park for me. Since I've been doing the same with other AMD BIOSes for quite a while now.
Posted on Reply
#4
the54thvoid
MrGenius said:
Non-issue. Non-"problem". Just flash the ASRock UEFI BIOS. Already been discussed here.

A UEFI updater tool that can add the latest AMD GOP version(2.5.0.0.0 which can both be downloaded here) also already exists. I just can't confirm it works with the Radeon VII BIOS(as I don't own a Radeon VII).
But it is an issue. Some people are not willing to do such software modding. It's okay for those, like yourself, who are competent but many folks that buy cards are not. I flashed a couple of VGA bios mods when I had an OG Titan and each time I had anxiety issues. Not fun for some.
Posted on Reply
#5
delshay
This is why when AMD on reddit ask users what features their like to see in Radeon software, I was the only one to post in that thread can we have BIOS update built-in into Radeon Software.
Posted on Reply
#6
efikkan
Something that requires a BIOS flash can't be called a non-issue, that's a big issue from the customer's perspective, we can't expect customers to be able to figure out and solve this. Most customers would have to RMA these.
It's no accident that cards usually go through a round of external QA before launch, to catch such obvious problems.

I guess it's kind of fortunate that only a few hundred(?) cards have been shipped so far.
Posted on Reply
#7
ArbitraryAffection
What, no one plugged the finished card into a system just to check everything is ok before shipping?
Posted on Reply
#8
ironwolf
Lawsuits in 3..2..1..BAM :eek:
Posted on Reply
#9
efikkan
If this problem affects all cards shipped to date, then there is really only one thing to do; a full product recall. It will be faster and cheaper to RMA these cards than to guide each end-user through a complicated and risky procedure.

As with all such problems, it's always cheaper in terms of actual cost and PR to deal with it immediately instead of deflecting and denying. Dealing with it properly builds customer confidence, but it's when companies fails to do so they are risking lawsuits.
Posted on Reply
#10
MrGenius
efikkan said:
Something that requires a BIOS flash can't be called a non-issue, that's a big issue from the customer's perspective, we can't expect customers to be able to figure out and solve this. Most customers would have to RMA these.
It's a non-issue as far as the functionality of the card. All you would need to do is disable secure boot for the card to work perfectly fine in any system. Secure boot is a motherboard thing. NOT a Windows 10/OS requirement. You can run W10(or any OS since Windows 8 for that matter) with, or without, secure boot enabled in the motherboard's UEFI/BIOS(still running Windows 7 or earlier? VBIOS UEFI support is meaningless/makes no difference whatsoever). NON-ISSUE! RMA is not necessarily going to fix it either. It could, if they decided to flash a BIOS with UEFI support on it and ship it back to you. If not, you'll be getting a card back that is the same as the return.

Full product recall? JFC! You can't be serious. This is solvable by a BIOS update for Christ's sake. And the card will still work fine in the mean time without it. You're blowing this WAY out of proportion.
Posted on Reply
#11
Ubersonic
Well, in fairness, as issues go it's not as bad as the RX400 and RX500 ONLY having UEFI support (at a time when many boards still didn't) xD
Posted on Reply
#12
kastriot
Prolly only the 1st batch has this issue, some will flash bios some will rma card and get same card with updated bios etc etc.
Posted on Reply
#13
trog100
i flashed another bios on my palit 2080ti card.. it came as a downloadable exe file.. no messing just a double click and its done.. amd need to come up with something similar..

trog
Posted on Reply
#14
MrGenius
trog100 said:
i flashed another bios on my palit 2080ti card.. it came as a downloadable exe file.. no messing just a double click and its done.. amd need to come up with something similar..

trog
ASRock already did that. You just can't use the .exe on other branded cards. I'm fairly certain within the next 24 hours or so every other manufacturer will follow suit.

Chill out people. This is not a catastrophe!
Posted on Reply
#15
dozenfury
MrGenius said:
It's a non-issue as far as the functionality of the card. All you would need to do is disable secure boot for the card to work perfectly fine in any system. RMA is not necessarily going to fix it either. It could, if they decided to flash a BIOS with UEFI support on it and ship it back to you. If not, you'll be getting a card back that is the same as the return.

Full product recall? JFC! You can't be serious. This is solvable by a BIOS update for Christ's sake. And the card will still work fine in the mean time without it. You're blowing this WAY out of proportion.
Well sort of, having to disable secure boot is not a small issue. Not everyone uses it, and definitely most home users don't. But some do. Either way having no UEFI support and having to disable a security feature in the bios to make a new and expensive card work is a jaw dropping oversight.

I will give AMD the benefit of the doubt and assume this was simply due to it being so early on the first wave of cards and it will be addressed very shortly. But it's amazing that the card would get this far with that significant of an issue in place, and it raises questions to me about the VII being rushed and what other issues we'll come across. So if I were in the market for one I think I'd have to lean towards skipping the launch day cards. That's a lesson I'd say applies to both AMD and NVidia. EVGA had VRAM overheating issues with their launch NV 1080ti's. It's kind of the same reason they say to not buy the first year of a new car model, since it always takes them about a year to work the issues out.
Posted on Reply
#16
Bruno Vieira
So.. without the UEFI Support, its possible to mod the bios freely? Cause the Vegas didnt allow bios mod because of some ms requirement check in bios.. they said something like that
Posted on Reply
#17
Nkd
the54thvoid said:
But it is an issue. Some people are not willing to do such software modding. It's okay for those, like yourself, who are competent but many folks that buy cards are not. I flashed a couple of VGA bios mods when I had an OG Titan and each time I had anxiety issues. Not fun for some.
Not sure about that. if you are competent enough to install a gpu you can follow instructions to manage a few clicks and update the bios. Not that complicated. I doubt many gamers are noobs like that purchasing a $700 Graphics card.
Posted on Reply
#18
vMax65
I am one of those who absolutly does not like updating a GPU BIOS, CPU yes no problems but GPU just worries me that I might end up with an expensive brick....and if I make a mistake at the worst I would be without my GPU for some time be it days or more for a replacement via warranty...
Posted on Reply
#19
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
ironwolf said:
Lawsuits in 3..2..1..BAM :eek:
Not that big of an Issue.

PowerColor and I believe Sapphire are pretty good about updates as long as you are totally honest and give all info from the card that is requested.

dozenfury said:
Well sort of, having to disable secure boot is not a small issue. Not everyone uses it, and definitely most home users don't. But some do. Either way having no UEFI support and having to disable a security feature in the bios to make a new and expensive card work is a jaw dropping oversight.

I will give AMD the benefit of the doubt and assume this was simply due to it being so early on the first wave of cards and it will be addressed very shortly. But it's amazing that the card would get this far with that significant of an issue in place, and it raises questions to me about the VII being rushed and what other issues we'll come across. So if I were in the market for one I think I'd have to lean towards skipping the launch day cards. That's a lesson I'd say applies to both AMD and NVidia. EVGA had VRAM overheating issues with their launch NV 1080ti's. It's kind of the same reason they say to not buy the first year of a new car model, since it always takes them about a year to work the issues out.
There have been times MS has asked people to disable that function due to OS problems...
Posted on Reply
#20
Mysteoa
delshay said:
This is why when AMD on reddit ask users what features their like to see in Radeon software, I was the only one to post in that thread can we have BIOS update built-in into Radeon Software.
You do understand that AMD can only provide BIOS update for their reference cards, not for boardpartners cards.
Posted on Reply
#21
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
Mysteoa said:
You do understand that AMD can only provide BIOS update for their reference cards, not for boardpartners cards.
yep considering a AIB bios are different than reference.

Talk about card bricking
Posted on Reply
#22
ironwolf
eidairaman1 said:
That sounds pretty ignorant...

Non Issue.
Sure it could be an issue and far from ignorant. People have sued for lesser things. Never said it sounded right, just being realistic as an American in this sue happy universe.
Posted on Reply
#23
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
ironwolf said:
Sure it could be an issue and far from ignorant. People have sued for lesser things. Never said it sounded right, just being realistic as an American in this sue happy universe.
Yeah that is true people do sue for the stupidest things
Posted on Reply
#24
ironwolf
eidairaman1 said:
Yeah that is true people do sue for the stupidest things
I sometimes think there needs to be some kind of mental stability check when filing a lawsuit. :laugh:
Posted on Reply
#25
c12038
Personally I would not buy any new card until all the bugs are ironed out this way its shows the manufacturers whos boss them or us the consumer..... SPEAK WITH YOUR WALLET don't buy shoddy goods
Posted on Reply
Add your own comment