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
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81 Comments on AMD Radeon VII Has No UEFI Support

#26
EsaT
I think this just confirms this card wasn't in any of AMD's longer term plans and materialized when Nvidia's pricing left opening to release this expensive to make card for consumers.
Posted on Reply
#27
Gasaraki
Jeez, I don't even know what to say here.
Posted on Reply
#28
notb
MrGenius
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.
I wonder how many PC users today know how to use BIOS... 30%? Less? Any guess?
You write these theories like everyone was into this kind of things. And people really aren't.

I'm really disappointed. Not by AMD, because - let's be honest - it's their way of doing stuff.
I'm disappointed no one has came up in this thread to say that's it is better this way because it is "fun" and that's what real "enthusiasts" do. :-)
Posted on Reply
#29
Emu
Ironically, flashing a GPU BIOS is a lot safer then flashing a motherboard BIOS. If your GPU BIOS flash fails then you can still boot your computer using a second GPU and then attempt the flash again. If your motherboard BIOS flash fails then you are probably up for a RMA on the board...
Posted on Reply
#30
Ferrum Master
It ain't the first time... 7970 had the same, so what?
Posted on Reply
#31
notb
Emu
Ironically, flashing a GPU BIOS is a lot safer then flashing a motherboard BIOS. If your GPU BIOS flash fails then you can still boot your computer using a second GPU and then attempt the flash again. If your motherboard BIOS flash fails then you are probably up for a RMA on the board...
Flashing anything is a procedure no PC user should be forced to do, ever.
If you like this kind of things because of adrenaline and you're not fit enough to try skydiving, then go ahead - flash your GPU every day.

I wonder how would people react if they had to flash their cars or ovens. :)

As was already mentioned: in this case recall is the only action a serious company would take. We'll see how serious AMD is.
And remember! It's a great pro card, right? Let's see how they treat pro clients. ;-)
Posted on Reply
#32
delshay
Mysteoa
You do understand that AMD can only provide BIOS update for their reference cards, not for boardpartners cards.
I'm fully aware. What I want to see is, if their was a BIOS update available it will flag-up in the Radeon Software & with a single click it will download, then you will be ask do you want to update firmware. Logitech software does this, it detects software & firmware updates with very simple clicks to update. What I wanted is a safe way for all users with reference cards to update their firmware. Besides this it will always be maintained & you will always have the latest flash utility built-in. That's call supporting your own product firmware & I would like AMD Radeon Software to follow the same route as Logitech.

EDIT: User(s) that intended to flash their cards I recommend removing all overclocking before flashing. This goes for all devices when updating firmware.
Posted on Reply
#33
IceShroom
Well good for those OEM dell system then.
Posted on Reply
#34
the54thvoid
Nkd
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.
The physical instal of a device and a simple software instal (driver) is less stressful than a bios flash. I think too many folk on these forums assume everyone has a competency with this level of 'involvement'. That's simply not true. For most people, installing a piece of hardware is a mystery, let alone, a magical bios flash. And if it hadn't escaped attention, how many bios flash threads warn about the possible issues? I'm a tech noob but my work colleagues think that I know way more.

Anyway, in the grand scheme of things, the UEFI issue simply adds to the notion that AMD really rushed this release. And I don't understand why they felt the need.
Posted on Reply
#35
Raven Rampkin
It's a VERY rushed product for sure.
Navi, we need your help :cry::respect:
Posted on Reply
#36
turbogear
@btarunr
Thanks a lot for the info.
I just flashed mine Sapphire Radeon VII with the ASRock bios with zero issues using the ATIFlash.
As always ATIFlash is very useful tool. :toast:

By the way, GPU-Z is not working properly on my system ever since I moved to Radeon VII.
The different clock frequencies (GPU, Memory) are always shown empty. :confused:

My screen shot looks different than what you have attached.

Posted on Reply
#37
W1zzard
turbogear
By the way, GPU-Z is not working properly on my system ever since I moved to Radeon VII.
The different clock frequencies (GPU, Memory) are always shown empty. :confused:
Yeah I'm aware of this and working on it, will have something this week, hopefully.
Posted on Reply
#38
turbogear
W1zzard
Yeah I'm aware of this and working on it, will have something this week, hopefully.
Thanks a lot.
As always I am thankful for the nice tools TPU provides to us. :lovetpu:
Posted on Reply
#39
lynx29
I really hope Nvidia is still not on a 2-3 year cycle for new cards... Intel dedicated GPU will be high end they said... let's hope it brings competition in late 2020.
Posted on Reply
#40
Mysteoa
delshay
I'm fully aware. What I want to see is, if their was a BIOS update available it will flag-up in the Radeon Software & with a single click it will download, then you will be ask do you want to update firmware. Logitech software does this, it detects software & firmware updates with very simple clicks to update. What I wanted is a safe way for all users with reference cards to update their firmware.
The portion of people that by reference cards is too small compared to cards from boardpartners and they only sell them until custom variants become available. Also not every model number gets a reference variant. I'm not saying this is not a good feature, but the possible user base is small for the investment.
Posted on Reply
#41
XXL_AI
pytorch and rocm will rock the world but amd making it painful to experiment.
Posted on Reply
#42
Hugh Mungus
Soooo, can I start my pc with radeon vii in it if it's brand new?

Luckily I have a r7 240 to put in it and get things going till I get my radeon vii saturday!
Posted on Reply
#43
TheGuruStud
Jokes on UEFI and secure boot, b/c I don't use it!
Posted on Reply
#44
IceShroom
Mysteoa
You do understand that AMD can only provide BIOS update for their reference cards, not for boardpartners cards.
Well ABI could use that tool the same way we use ATIflash, but in secure and official way to update UEFI.
Posted on Reply
#45
Nkd
turbogear
@btarunr
Thanks a lot for the info.
I just flashed mine Sapphire Radeon VII with the ASRock bios with zero issues using the ATIFlash.
As always ATIFlash is very useful tool. :toast:

By the way, GPU-Z is not working properly on my system ever since I moved to Radeon VII.
The different clock frequencies (GPU, Memory) are always shown empty. :confused:

My screen shot looks different than what you have attached.


This usually happens if you change cards and GPUz will have issue in fully recognizing the card and specs. use DDU to uinstall drivers and then do a fresh driver install and you should be good.
Posted on Reply
#46
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
Oh FFS, only AMD could score an own goal like this! :shadedshu: I mean, how does something so fundamental on a new product even happen?

This looks like a quality control issue and a real embarrassing humdinger. No wonder I'm sticking with NVIDIA, high prices or not and if I can't afford to upgrade, I stay with my trusty GTX 1080 until I can.

I could keep ranting so I better stop here.
Posted on Reply
#47
turbogear
Nkd
This usually happens if you change cards and GPUz will have issue in fully recognizing the card and specs. use DDU to uinstall drivers and then do a fresh driver install and you should be good.
Thanks I will try it. :)
Posted on Reply
#48
plonk420
and what we found out startled us
>____>

no clickbait words pls
Posted on Reply
#49
notb
qubit
Oh FFS, only AMD could score an own goal like this! :shadedshu: I mean, how does something so fundamental on a new product even happen?
Everyone's praising AMD for aggressive pricing. Where do you think that comes from? Electricity is cheaper on their side of the road? They get free toilet paper?
Posted on Reply
#50
nemesis.ie
@notb
Sky-diving? Probably not. However, see avatar. ;)
Posted on Reply
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