How to Flash Your RX 480 to RX 580 Step-by-Step

FrgMstr

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There has been a considerable amount of discussion since the launch of the AMD Radeon RX 580, that the RX 480 can be flashed with an RX 580 BIOS. Funky Kit has put together a step-by-step guide that outlines how to do this at home. Now why would you do this? Some users are reporting better overclocking rates, but this is going to differ card to card for sure, depending on the hardware used on your specific card. Worth keeping in mind is that this certainly comes with the risk of bricking your card, so tread lightly and weigh the rewards you might get.

"WARNING: Flashing your AMD Radeon RX 480 to RX 580 can be unstable and could even kill it! DO NOT ATTEMPT to flash your graphics card if you do not know what you are doing. Funky Kit and it’s staff or members can not be held responsible for any damages caused. You have been WARNED!"
 

SeymourGore

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I seem to recall the old 9500s being able to flash into 9500 Pros, or something along those lines. But yeah, I wouldn't have the balls to try it. Seems like the gains aren't worth the potential costs.

BTW, believe you posted this in the wrong section. Cookie for Seymour?
 

Nenu

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Chances are they are using slightly better silicon for the 580s.
I cant see it bricking a card if you try but it might not be as stable, run hotter and/or wear out a little faster.
 

Pusher of Buttons

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I'm still waiting on AMD to figure out how to flash $500 into something competitive with the 1080....

Curious if anyone tries this with luck....not sure if I'd be one to risk it but I've done stupider things.
 

Meeho

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Who wouldn't want to risk bricking their card for 5-8% more speed?
shia-labeouf-really-wants-you-to-justdoit.jpg
 

DukenukemX

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Just be aware that if you use a modified bios then you need to something about AMD's drivers. If the drivers sees that you modified the bios then it'll disable itself. Dick move from AMD. But if you flash a BIOS without modifying it, then it shouldn't be an issue.
 

wrangler

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Just did it to a stock Powercolor 480X 8GB.
Worked like a charm.

Well. At least the computer boots up and I can type to you guys.

Ima go launch some GR:WL and see if it crashes.
Will report back.
 

hydropepon

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Did it to a Strix 8G OC RX 480 with an equivalent RX 580 Asus bios and while voltage, power consumption and heat all went up - I did manage to get 20mhz more out of the core and more importantly the issue of throttling seems to have disappeared(At least that`s what I`ve been observing based on a fair amount of Fire Strike Extreme stress testing).
 
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M76

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Who wouldn't want to risk bricking their card for 5-8% more speed?
Nah it's the thrill of the thing that matters. Even if there is no or minimal gain. I miss those times where you could do all kinds of things with hardware to get more out of it. Like the graphite trick on voltage regulators, and shorting pins on Intel cpus. That's when oc'ing had soul.
 

Bandalo

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Nah it's the thrill of the thing that matters. Even if there is no or minimal gain. I miss those times where you could do all kinds of things with hardware to get more out of it. Like the graphite trick on voltage regulators, and shorting pins on Intel cpus. That's when oc'ing had soul.

I'm fine with doing mods for aesthetics. This seems like a performance mod though, and a high-risk, low-reward one. Especially given you pay for this tiny gain in much higher temps. Maybe if the cards were older and more "disposable", or if they were a lot cheaper I wouldn't mind the risk. It's just not something I'd personally do. Now if there was 20-25% more performance to be had, I might rethink that.
 

bigboxes

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The last time I flashed the bios on my video card was 9800 Pro > 9800XT. I put a Zalman cooler on it and never looked back.
 

wrangler

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Just did it to a stock Powercolor 480X 8GB.
Worked like a charm.

Well. At least the computer boots up and I can type to you guys.

Ima go launch some GR:WL and see if it crashes.
Will report back.

So.....

Some caveats...

I have no fan control. Apparently the Sapphire reference 580 uses something different from the reference Powercolor 480. (duh) Whatever the bios sets is working but I have no control and I cannot see what the rpm really is. Maybe someone will download a Powercolor 580 rom (If anybody knows of such a thing please give me a shout and I will flash again) but I doubt it will make any difference since the fan and cooler on the new cards is completely different.
The drivers installed fine and my computer reports that I am using a 580. Superposition reports a 480.
It made it through Superposition benchmark with flying colors but sounded like a hairdryer through the whole thing. Literally. Temp got to 86C and clock settled in at the ~1300 range. 1400 didn't last long at all...
I am tempted now to buy a better cooler and just mess with it...

I will now do some gaming with GR:WL like I originally intended.
Might have to get some headphones....
Will report back again if I get any crashes.
 

Susquehannock

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"Who wouldn't want to risk bricking their card for 5-8% more speed?"

Exactly. This is [H]. May have to try this on my gaming X.

I remember opening up the extra pipes on my Leadtek 6800nu making it run at 6800gt specs, and the thrill experiencing no artifacts or instability.
Saved near $100, with nice performance jump as well.
 

westrock2000

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Memory lane? Last time I did this was a 6800LE to 6800GT. Man I was risky as fuq in my youth.
 

wrangler

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ok

So after an hour of GR:WL no crashes or graphical anomalies.
It wasn't as much of a hairdryer as during the Superposition benchmark but it is definitely borderline hairdryer. Much louder than it came as a 480.

I think I'm for sure going to put a better cooler on it.
 

wolfofone

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Did this a few years ago. In fact, sadly, I'm still using that same 6950. :(

haha same here!! at least it's water cooled. I will uae it til it finally dies and gives up the magic smoke or u til I cant play any new games anymore.
 

Bandalo

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What site are we on again?

>[H]int<

Meh, there's a difference between an OC and this type of mod IMO. I can OC my CPU and GPU all day with little risk of permanent damage, and huge potential gains. This mod is a bit higher risk and less gain.
 

RedWagnum

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haha same here!! at least it's water cooled. I will uae it til it finally dies and gives up the magic smoke or u til I cant play any new games anymore.
Water cooled here too! A little unstable at max clock on GPU and RAM but one step down and she's all good.

Damn I want a 1080 though...
 

BloodyIron

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Lol love to hear about BIOS flashing like this. Especially the nVidia ones that produce Quatros!
 

M76

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I'm fine with doing mods for aesthetics. This seems like a performance mod though, and a high-risk, low-reward one. Especially given you pay for this tiny gain in much higher temps. Maybe if the cards were older and more "disposable", or if they were a lot cheaper I wouldn't mind the risk. It's just not something I'd personally do. Now if there was 20-25% more performance to be had, I might rethink that.
It's not about aesthetics. And when did that ever contain any risk? Apart from making it uglier.
I first voltage modded my card that I bought for cash that I could hardly scrape together during high school, and it worked, but the card died in 2 months. I still remember fondly of the occasion, I never thought of it as a mistake.
 
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Nenu

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Lol love to hear about BIOS flashing like this. Especially the nVidia ones that produce Quatros!
Hey, a mechanoid mod!
His gfx card became a Transformer in Disguise?
Or was that a Quadro :p
 

Dr. Righteous

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MMmmmm, no.
The RX480 is more than enough for me since I game at 1080p. Dang, this is the first video card I've ever purchased that exceeded my expectations.
 

Bandalo

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It's not about aesthetics. And when did that ever contain any risk? Apart from making it uglier.
I first voltage modded my card that I bought for cash that I could hardly scrape together during high school, and it worked, but the card died in 2 months. I still remember fondly of the occasion, I never thought of it as a mistake.

I guess it depends on how much cash you have to play with...If you can afford to just chuck the 480 in the trash and get a new card if the mod doesn't work, then it's probably a fun thing to try. If when the 480 is toasted you're stuck with onboard graphics for a few months until you can save up for a new card, it's probably a terrible risk to take.
 

wrangler

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So...

Turns out that I do have fan control and can monitor the fan speed. Just a dummy I guess... I was going quickly last night figuring things out. I think there is a zero fan condition on the new cards. Once I downloaded Afterburner and set a fan curve it started working. Odd thing is I had done that in Wattman and was having no joy. But, now even Wattman is seeing it correctly and reading fan speed. :)

Also, this thing now idles much cooler than when it was a 480. Guessing a better low power setup during idle on the Sapphire bios? Kind of goes with the zero fan speed?
Oh, under the old bios this thing was finicky about sleep. Now it sleeps like a baby.

Still a hairdryer. Going to order an Accelero TT 2.

Was looking at this thing last night and the screws are tiny. I have a set of mini screw drivers that I have always used for this work and the smallest one is too big.
Guess it's time for a new tool set as well.

Will update again once the new cooler is on with stable boost speeds and temps.
 

Nenu

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I did the AMD 290 -> 290X. Wasn't that long ago.
I did that then converted it to a 390x.
It takes 390x drivers but still says its a 290x.
(When the 390 cards first came out they had separate drivers, not sure if the drivers are still separate as I dont have the card any more)
 

funkydmunky

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I don't get all of the negativism/wussyness that is being promoted here.
Has there been mass reports of bricking's ? It is a simple BIOS mod correct? So are there not simple recovery measures to restore if it isn't a pure success?
Sorry for all the questions, but as i am seeing it, the 480 and 580 are really the same card, but with firmware tweaks and AIB improved cooling.
Match up on the cooling front and I do not see how a flash could go wrong.
 

Snowdog

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What site are we on again?

>[H]int<

Stupid mod is still stupid.

All this gets you is an overclock of about 100 MHz or less. You can overclock without flashing your bios, and the performance Anand saw in their review was only and average of 3% better.
 
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