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

#51
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
notb
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?
Yeah, but there's no justification for such a balls-up at any level. Maybe they knew that they were releasing it like this for some unfathomable reason?
Posted on Reply
#52
nemesis.ie
Marketing wanted to release it on the 7th and the 7th of March would have been too far in the future?

That makes as much sense as any other theory, probably. :)
Posted on Reply
#53
Easo
Almost seems like an early 1st April joke, but then you realise that this is real.

Like HOW can you even manage to do something like this? This is 2019, what is the point of even making the flagship GPU without UEFI only support in the first place? Let's be realistic, people with 700 USD cards are not gonna be the ones running in BIOS.
Posted on Reply
#54
TheGuruStud
Easo
Almost seems like an early 1st April joke, but then you realise that this is real.

Like HOW can you even manage to do something like this? This is 2019, what is the point of even making the flagship GPU without UEFI only support in the first place? Let's be realistic, people with 700 USD cards are not gonna be the ones running in BIOS.
I mean...I bought a $650 card and never use UEFI...and won't for as long as backwards compatibility is supported.
Posted on Reply
#55
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
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...
You're incorrect on this subject, card manufacturers do not provide a built-in means of flashing like motherboard makers do.

I'm sorry I'd rather not flash a $700-$1300 video card vs a $100 motherboard.

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?

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.
Dont forget those exploits from last year with blue eyeoval
Posted on Reply
#56
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
eidairaman1
I'm sorry I'd rather not flash a $700-$1300 video card vs a $100 motherboard.
Yeah, but it's more nail biting excitin' innit? :p
Posted on Reply
#57
TheGuruStud
eidairaman1
You're incorrect on this subject, card manufacturers do not provide a built-in means of flashing like motherboard makers do.

I'm sorry I'd rather not flash a $700-$1300 video card vs a $100 motherboard.
Except you have no recourse on fixing a flash on the MB except for hot flashing...which I've had to do, b/c MB manuf are idiots. The Asus MB features should be standard.
Posted on Reply
#58
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
TheGuruStud
Except you have no recourse on fixing a flash on the MB except for hot flashing...which I've had to do, b/c MB manuf are idiots.
Why the hell isn't a dual BIOS a standard feature of anything even halfway expensive? Surely it can only add a couple of dollars at the very most.
Posted on Reply
#59
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
qubit
Yeah, but it's more nail biting excitin' innit? :p
Well you see how many people I help around here.

Even then there's no guarantee that the card will work typically you need a sp I flasher to fix vega and gf 1000 series
Posted on Reply
#60
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
qubit
Why the hell isn't a dual BIOS a standard feature of anything even halfway expensive? Surely it can only add a couple of dollars at the very most.
Because you still get idiots that flash both sides of the BIOS expecting it to work

TheGuruStud
Except you have no recourse on fixing a flash on the MB except for hot flashing...which I've had to do, b/c MB manuf are idiots. The Asus MB features should be standard.
Spi flash.

Vega and gf1000 series go into write lockout
Posted on Reply
#61
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
eidairaman1
Because you still get idiots that flash both sides of the BIOS expecting it to work
Oh no eidy don't, just don't. I can't unsee it now. :laugh:
Posted on Reply
#62
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
qubit
Oh no eidy don't, just don't. I can't unsee it now. :laugh:
Lolz
Posted on Reply
#63
srsbsns
"Restatement: AMD has released a BIOS for the Radeon VII with UEFI GOP included for our AIB partners. We will also make a one click installable BIOS available to end users via AMD.com. We do not expect gaming performance differences between the non UEFI BIOS and the UEFI GOP included BIOS, although the non UEFI BIOS may experience slower boot times from cold boot. "

problem solved even for the most useless of end user.
Posted on Reply
#64
efikkan
Easo
Almost seems like an early 1st April joke, but then you realise that this is real.

Like HOW can you even manage to do something like this? This is 2019, what is the point of even making the flagship GPU without UEFI only support in the first place? Let's be realistic, people with 700 USD cards are not gonna be the ones running in BIOS.
It is ridiculous, to launch a product with two fatal flaws; a broken driver and broken firmware. Luckily the driver was quickly fixed, but this sort of stuff shouldn't happen.

But I do in fact understand how this could have happened. And I don't blame the poor developer(s) who had to throw this firmware and driver together in a rush, but whoever decided to launch a product without their normal QA procedure. Problems like this is not uncommon in development, it's in fact very normal, when management makes last minute decisions and thinks the software (firmware and drivers in this case) can be adjusted in an instance. I'm not the only developer who knows how many nasty bugs that can sneak in when merging last-minute features into a code base.
Posted on Reply
#65
theoneandonlymrk
qubit
Why the hell isn't a dual BIOS a standard feature of anything even halfway expensive? Surely it can only add a couple of dollars at the very most.
or at the very least a replaceable rom chip, ive done that before to unbrick a mobo.

Shame this will rightly mar this release but then all releases have been marred bar the 2060 which performs well for a price.

It could be easily fixed ill wager but were they caught out by the changes from the server sku or blind to it?.
Posted on Reply
#66
Raven Rampkin
If I'm not mistaken Radeons may've dropped legacy BIOS or overall older motherboard support a bit earlier than the greenies (weren't there reports of some Hawaiis (already!) not booting on LGA775 etc. unlike the period-correct Nvidias?).

And now UEFI was disabled. It almost came full circle... but we've got an official fix, it seems :clap:
Posted on Reply
#67
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
Raven Rampkin
If I'm not mistaken Radeons may've dropped legacy BIOS or overall older motherboard support a bit earlier than the greenies (weren't there reports of some Hawaiis (already!) not booting on LGA775 etc. unlike the period-correct Nvidias?).

And now UEFI was disabled. It almost came full circle... but we've got an official fix, it seems :clap:
Mine has CSM, Hawaii 1.0
Posted on Reply
#69
Shambles1980
im sure a few people here could write an app that disables the gpu flashes the bios enables the gpu then restarts the pc.. hell i could probably do it with a batch file.
amd should be able to fix it via software easy enough. its not a big issue to automate within the os but some may prefer to return for a refund and if they do i believe they are entitled to do that.
Posted on Reply
#70
Hugh Mungus
But do I have to flash my brand new radeon vii when it arrives saturday? Guys?
Posted on Reply
#72
laszlo
could this be because vega20 was intended initially for enterprise market and not for general public (gamers) ?
Posted on Reply
#73
Zubasa
laszlo
could this be because vega20 was intended initially for enterprise market and not for general public (gamers) ?
This is a rushed product that is turing into a Dumpster Fire + PR disaster for AMD.
Posted on Reply
#75
nhirsch
Anyone check the warranty to see if modding the bios is permitted?
Posted on Reply
Add your own comment