Apparently, it’s possible flashing your Radeon RX 480 to an RX 580 BIOS. A forum user over at TechPowerUp downloaded the BIOS from a Sapphire RX 580 Limited Edition card and successfully flashed his XFX RX 480 with it. The card is now recognized as a Radeon RX 580 boasting a boost clock of 1,411MHz.
AMD RX 480 can be Upgraded to an RX 580 for Free
Flashing AMD’s previous generation cards is easy because most board partners are using the same PCB design for the new Radeon 500 series custom models. Furthermore, the dual BIOS feature of the the RX 480 provides the users with a sort of safety net because even if something goes wrong, you could revert back to your original working BIOS.
The Sapphire RX 480 user from the TPU forums was able to test his newly flashed graphics card in The Witcher 3 and Furmark without any issues.
It’s worth mentioning that any attempt to overclock the card using MSI afterburner caused an immediate driver crash. In other words, this flashing process is not for you if you can already achieve 1.4GHz OC on your RX 480 as you are not going to have any additional headroom.
The question is if there is any substantial risk involved in flashing your Radeon RX 480 to an RX 580 BIOS? If yes, is the procedure worth the risk?
Should you Try Flashing your Radeon RX 480 to an RX 580?
First things first, if you own an RX 480 featuring a six-pin PCI Express then you could run into problems. Here’s why this is likely to happen:
If you remember, the Radeon RX 480 reference card was caught into a controversy at launch over drawing too much power from the PCI Express slot as the power connectors weren’t enough to feed the GPU. This resulted in PCI Express slots dying, which prompted AMD to release a new driver to decrease the power draw of RX 480 cards.
If you try to push your six-pin PCI Express RX 480 to higher clock speeds, the problem may easily reappear. This shouldn’t affect custom board designs from AIB partners, but if you own a card based on AMD’s own reference board, you should better not try this particular tweak.
The second problem is related to the increase in power consumption and associated higher temps of the Radeon RX 580. The Polaris 20 based card draws more power than its predecessor, and although it will vary depending on the clock speeds and cooling capability, the gap is significant.
This would also increase VRM temperatures of the newly flashed card, which could result in burning the PCB after all it’s probably not rated to handle higher temps.
The other thing to consider is whether the risk of flashing your RX 480 is worth taking. Benchmarks comparing a reference RX 480 against the RX 580 in aggregate, show a 7-12 percent performance gain in games.
To sum it up, you get an extra 10 percent performance when you upgrade from the Radeon RX 480 to an RX 580 with a BIOS, but the process is not without risk. Personally, I don’t think the increase in performance is worth tackling the project. The risk is substantial and you may end up spending another $240 on a new GPU.
What are your thoughts on this? Will you attempt flashing your Radeon RX 480 to an RX 580? Let us know in the comments below.