How to mod a Radeon RX 480 to RX 580: BIOS | Max/OC (& why you shouldn’t do it)

How to mod a Radeon RX 480 to RX 580: BIOS | Max Settings | Step By Step : We will start with the standard formula – all modifications are made at your own risk and they may end up destroying the equipment!

History knows cases of graphics cards that we could unlock / mod to a higher model, thus obtaining real profits. In order not to look far, we could easily change some copies of the Radeon R9 290 to the R9 290X by unlocking additional stream processors.

Currently, however, manufacturers of graphics cards rarely allow us such “magic”. It has been known for some time that the Radeon RX 480 can be modded to the RX 580 by simply replacing the card’s BIOS. However, we do not unlock additional stream processors, but only slightly increase the clocking of the graphics core. Why mod at all in this case, not just tweak? Here we can collide with the power limits of the RX 480 models, which will simply prevent overclocking to the RX 580 level.

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We remind you that such operations can be risky. The possibility of damage can be limited by using a card with two BIOS chips, it is also worth having a second graphics card (or integrated) at hand – in case the patient (i.e. the card we start modifying) completely stops displaying the image.

The Big Bang Theory

Haven’t put you off yet? Do you check any damage to the card? Okay, what will we need?

  • proprietary version of the Radeon RX 480 (with an 8-pin power plug)
  • BIOS karty RX 580
  • ATIFlash software

In our case, we took the ASUS ROG STRIX RX 480 08G Gaming card – a construction with solid cooling and an eight-pin power socket. If you are the owner of the reference model, we advise against any modifications. The first versions of the RX 480 had a problem with power consumption from the PCI Express slot and at best we will have them return. The 6-pin power socket of the reference models may not work after converting to the RX 580.

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Now it is enough to obtain the appropriate BIOS – they are archived, among others, by the TechPowerUp service and it is a legitimate base that is worth using. Radeon card flashing software can also be found on this site.

The ATIFlash package includes both a windowed version and a command line version. We use the latter, because the “Windows” version probably cannot force flashing with one card in the system. In the second version, enter “atiflash -p 0 new_name” in the command version -f “. It’s a good idea to back up the original BIOS before flashing!

Attempt # 1

For starters, I chose the BIOS of the most powerful ASUS RX 580 (of course, you can try with other manufacturers’ BIOSs), which had a core clock of 1411 MHz. The flashing process was painless and the computer restarted normally after the reset.

“Warming up” in the GPU-Z test showed higher temperatures, power consumption, and the fans jumped at much higher revs, which made the card well audible. The whole thing, however, was stable. Until, and more specifically, to run the 3D Mark FireStrike test. Every second test was unsuccessful, and the Elex game that I used for real tests “crashed” after several seconds.

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Attempt # 2

This time, I chose the BIOS RX 580 with standard clocks (1360 MHz). Flashing again went smoothly.

Similarly apparent success? GPU-Z shows higher temperatures and power consumption after a 15-minute warm-up, fans speed up – but not as much as before.

Okay, it’s time for 3D Mark, which was completely stable this time.

3DMark Fire Strike – Overall Score
[punkty]

RX 580 1411 MHz (unstable) 12605
RX 580 1360 MHz 12491
RX 480 1310 MHz 12010

3DMark Fire Strike – the result of the graphics layout
[punkty]

RX 580 1411 MHz (unstable) 14832
RX 580 1360 MHz 14612
RX 480 1310 MHz 13960

Let’s just say we’ve had moderate success. Time for more real testing – in Elex.

Elex – 1920 x 1080, Max Settings, FXAA

Well, we went crazy …

I would like to add that the computer’s power consumption during the game jumped from 270 to 320 watts (Ryzen 1800X processor + 3000 MHz RAM). However, even longer sessions before the game showed no instability in operation.

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In sum…

I risked destroying the card, I increased the computer’s power consumption by 50 W, the volume of the cooling system and the GPU temperature (I prefer not to think about the power section of the card), so I shortened its life and got 50 MHz more on the core, slightly higher results in benchmarks and one (1 !) frames per second in Elex (average). But my system says I have a Radeon RX 580.