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AMD RX 460 BIOS unlocked for 1024 Stream Processors

by Mark Tyson on 12 December 2016, 10:05

Tags: AMD (NYSE:AMD)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qadb5c

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AMD's Polaris 11 GPU has a possible 16 Compute Units composed of 64 shaders each to provide a grand total of 1024 Stream Processors. However, as noted in the HEXUS review of the Sapphire Radeon RX 460 Nitro 4GB, the RX 460 graphics cards have only 14 Compute Units enabled, resulting in 896 Stream Processors available. Just ahead of the weekend der8auer from Overclocking.Guide published a guide detailing how to update your RX 460 BIOS to unlock those extra Stream Processors.

At the time of writing only the Sapphire Nitro 4G and the ASUS STRIX O4G versions of the RX 460 have been tested and have modified BIOS files available. 5x Asus cards and 1x Sapphire cards were tested successfully. If you have one of these models the process is "pretty simple," says der8auer, and outlined in step-to-step fashion on the guide website, as linked above.

First you should backup your current video card BIOS using the function in TechPowerUp's GPU-Z software. Then you download and unpack the appropriate (Asus or Sapphire) unlocked BIOS files from Overclocking.Guide. From the unpacked file payload you run 'flash unlocked bios.bat' and wait the requisite 15 seconds or so. Restart your system once the above step is complete, and enjoy your extra 128 Stream Processors. An approximate 8 per cent performance uplift should be precipitated by the BIOS unlocking. This is backed up by a couple of benchmark tests in 3DMark Firestrike, and The Witcher 3, as below.

 

Over the weekend I've noted at least two tech websites verify that Overclocking.Guide Stream Processor unlocking via BIOS update works. VideoCardz unlocked another Sapphire NITRO successfully. TPU also was successful in using the BIOS mod but noted a 4W increase in peak power consumption in its more rigorous tests.

AMD Crimson ReLive BIOS verification

Please note that updating the video card BIOS could be risky, and the above description of the process isn't a recommendation to go ahead and modify your RX 460. Also of note is that AMD has locked the new Crimson ReLive drivers to work only with cards possessing verified BIOS signatures. So, if you do this BIOS mod you will have to use the previous Crimson 16.11.5 driver suite.



HEXUS Forums :: 8 Comments

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I'm glad you mentioned the new AMD drivers picking up on these BIOS Mods, Do it at your own risk!
Wow,it actually hardly changes power consumption either:

https://www.techpowerup.com/228601/amds-rx-460-unlocked-bios-update-liberates-8-tmus-128-stream-processors

The Asus Strix gains nearly 10% overall in performance just from the unlocked shaders.



So basically AMD just made the GTX1050 look better for no reason.
CAT-THE-FIFTH
… So basically AMD just made the GTX1050 look better for no reason.

Probably the early yields weren't good enough to produce enough fully-enabled cards. They'd have looked a lot worse if 1 in every 10 cards was borked straight out of the box, and we've only had, what, 7 confirmed successes with this technique so far? Plus they were obviously reserving the top bin dies for the professional cards which have a much higher margin.

Yields should have improved over time, so I'd expect to see a fully enabled RX 465 down the line…
scaryjim
Yields should have improved over time, so I'd expect to see a fully enabled RX 465 down the line…

It still doesn't beat the 1050 on performance, so if it hurt the £90 starting price of the RX 460 I think it would be a backwards step.

An extra crippled 470 might be a better move.
DanceswithUnix
It still doesn't beat the 1050 on performance, so if it hurt the £90 starting price of the RX 460 I think it would be a backwards step.

An extra crippled 470 might be a better move.

The Witcher 3 generally runs better on Nvidia cards anyway.

If you look at the TPU review of the GXT1050,its considered to be around 10% faster on average(TPU also tends to be harder on AMD cards,too if you look at the GTX1050TI vs RX470 performance difference),so a fully enabled Polaris 11 would probably be around GTX1050 level performance.

This is why the RX460 4GB should have at least launched as a fully enabled chip IMHO OFC.