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The Radeon RX 480 can be flashed to RX 580

After many weeks of sifting through early/leaked information, the RX 500 series has officially landed and as we have known for a while, the new range is a Polaris refresh. Given that the chips under the hood are so similar, it looks like some are experimenting with flashing their older RX 400-series cards. In fact, someone has already managed to flash their XFX RX 480 with a Sapphire RX 580 BIOS.

The clever tinkerer in this case popped up on the TechPowerUp forums and goes by the name ‘Tonybonjoby’. In his post, he went over the process of flashing his XFX RX 480 with a Sapphire RX 580 BIOS.

Using TPU’s handy BIOS archive, he decided to flash the BIOS on his XFX RX 480 to a Nitro+ Limited Edition RX 580 from Sapphire. This new BIOS comes with slightly higher clocks for both the GPU and RAM. The flashed card now performs at 1411 MHz GPU and 8400 MHz GDDR5, or a 123 MHz / 400 MHz boost, respectively.  As his original XFX graphics card comes equipped with dual BIOS, he’s been able to come and go from the new settings at will, reducing his risk. His experience is continuing as we speak.

GPU-Z Screenshot after the BIOS flash

The report goes on to say that after a gruelling session of Witcher 3, his card got a little hotter than pre-mod, but still at a fairly reasonable 75~80ºC, while the voltage reached 1.188v. In exchange for the trade-off, he eked out approximately 9% of free extra perfomance. Some forum members have warned of increased wear on the VRMs, but if proven of the same quality as a “legitimate” RX 580, this point should be relatively moot.

Now that one person has successfully achieved it, we’ll likely see more attempting to reflash their RX 480s with the 580 BIOS to take advantage of the free performance bump.

KitGuru Says: While we don’t endorse voiding your GPU warranty, the 480 to 580 BIOS switch does seem fairly simple. 

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