Unlock disabled Radeon RX 460 cores with this modded BIOS

Shawn Knight

Posts: 12,797   +124
Staff member

Few things excite hardware enthusiasts and overclockers more than the prospect of unlocking hidden potential in a piece of hardware. Fortunately for this bunch, such appears to be possible with select versions of AMD’s Radeon RX 460 video card.

Overclocking.guide is reporting that a simple firmware update for the Radeon RX 460 can unlock additional stream processors and TMUs that AMD disabled at the factory. The RX 480 ships with 896 SPUs and 56 TMUs but fully unlocked, those figures bump up to 1,024 shaders and 64 TMUs (a gain of 128 shaders and eight TMUs for those keeping count).

Multiple sites are having success with test cards on their end although as of writing, Overclocking.guide only has modded BIOS for the Sapphire Nitro 4G and the ASUS STRIX O4G cards. They’re working to test additional cards but for now, that’s all that’s available.

We’re hearing that the mod can result in performance gains of up to 12.5 percent in certain games.

Those interested in trying out the mod are first encouraged to back up their existing BIOS (TechPowerUp’s GPU-Z is a good option). From there, you’ll need to run the “flash unlocked bios.bat” file as part of the Asus or Sapphire modded BIOS download from Overclocking.guide, wait for it to complete then reboot your system as instructed.

A word of warning: tinkering with the BIOS can easily result in a bricked card and it’s doubtful that the manufacturer will replace it. Proceed at your own caution and don’t blame us (or anyone else) if something goes wrong.

That said, there’s a reason AMD disabled portions of the card although that reason could be one of many that may or may not have a negative impact on the card now or in the long-term. TechPowerUp only noticed an increase in peak power consumption of about four watts with an unlocked card meaning (at least in their case), increased heat shouldn’t be a major concern.

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Bigtruckseries

Posts: 583   +320
Radeon's (and the rest of AMD products) are substandard. I wouldn't trust modifying them - less watch my PC burn my house to the ground.

Either save up and buy a 1080 or get a credit card with miles/points.
 

theBest11778

Posts: 298   +127
Radeon's (and the rest of AMD products) are substandard. I wouldn't trust modifying them - less watch my PC burn my house to the ground.

Either save up and buy a 1080 or get a credit card with miles/points.
Fanboy much... The GTX 1080 is poised to become irrelevant tomorrow. Anyone buying a tier 1 GPU before AMDs announcement tomorrow is throwing their money away. As for unlocking Radeon cards this has been common practice since the Radeon 9500. No one had problems then. Doubt many will now.
 

Evernessince

Posts: 5,462   +6,140
Radeon's (and the rest of AMD products) are substandard. I wouldn't trust modifying them - less watch my PC burn my house to the ground.

Either save up and buy a 1080 or get a credit card with miles/points.
The RX 460 is a very cool card (as in temps). AMD has had power hungry and hot series in the past (300 series) but Nvidia still has the crown with Fermi.

Just as a note, substandard is a matter of your use / case scenario. Making a blanket statement like "Radeon's (and the rest of AMD products) are substandard" and you are bound to be wrong somewhere.

I think what you are exhibiting is an excellent example of Nvidia's Mindshare, similar to Apple's (which ironically you also like). Both of these companies have a subset of customers that will buy their product no matter what. For example, when Nvidia sold more GTX 680s than AMD did 7970s, even though the 7970 was faster, smaller, and more power efficient. Not to mention the 7970 had much better support and totally dominates the GTX 680 in any benchmark now. Heck, it even has DX 12 support, something the GTX 680 completely lacks (and even modern Nvidia GPUs don't support Async Compute yet).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uN7i1bViOkU
 

Kenrick

Posts: 631   +401
Radeon's (and the rest of AMD products) are substandard. I wouldn't trust modifying them - less watch my PC burn my house to the ground.

Either save up and buy a 1080 or get a credit card with miles/points.
LOL. Be prepared with the Radeon squadrons.

On the topic, not sure this is worth the time and money but Id rather run the card as it is. 12 percent gain in a low end is still produces a low end result. EVGA had the refurbished gtx 970 on sale the other day on their website which was almost the same price point. Too bad it went OOS when they posted it at slickdeal.
 
S

ScubaRhys

So it's still not as powerful as an RX470? I'm curious as to why AMD did this in the first place. Also lol at the cretin who thinks the "1080 is poised to become irrelevant tomorrow"! This forum provides endless amusement.
 

Nobina

Posts: 2,799   +2,501
Radeon's (and the rest of AMD products) are substandard. I wouldn't trust modifying them - less watch my PC burn my house to the ground.

Either save up and buy a 1080 or get a credit card with miles/points.
Fanboy much... The GTX 1080 is poised to become irrelevant tomorrow. Anyone buying a tier 1 GPU before AMDs announcement tomorrow is throwing their money away. As for unlocking Radeon cards this has been common practice since the Radeon 9500. No one had problems then. Doubt many will now.
Both of you are talking nonsense. AMD never burned anyones house down and when it comes to temps it's as good as any Nvidia card. GTX1080 won't be irrelevant because AMD has history of releasing weaker cards for little lower price. Even if it's more powerfull it's surely going to be a really small difference.
 

p51d007

Posts: 2,613   +1,906
Showing my age...the last time I overclocked, was the old Celeron 300A, to 450mhz.
These days, if I want faster, I just go out and buy it. My gaming days are way long since
past. The only time I upgrade, is when photoshop feels SLOW. ;)
 

Forebode

Posts: 197   +44
Radeon's (and the rest of AMD products) are substandard. I wouldn't trust modifying them - less watch my PC burn my house to the ground.

Either save up and buy a 1080 or get a credit card with miles/points.
Fanboy much... The GTX 1080 is poised to become irrelevant tomorrow. Anyone buying a tier 1 GPU before AMDs announcement tomorrow is throwing their money away. As for unlocking Radeon cards this has been common practice since the Radeon 9500. No one had problems then. Doubt many will now.
? it came out in MAY... anything coming out from ANYONE, to compete, this time of year SHOULD be better.
 

mbrowne5061

Posts: 1,724   +979
Radeon's (and the rest of AMD products) are substandard. I wouldn't trust modifying them - less watch my PC burn my house to the ground.

Either save up and buy a 1080 or get a credit card with miles/points.
Thats funny, it seems like any product you dont personally endorse risks burning peoples house down. how odd.
Can you blame him? I wouldn't like any product that burns people's houses down either.
 

OcelotRex

Posts: 558   +302
The RX 460 is a very cool card (as in temps). AMD has had power hungry and hot series in the past (300 series) but Nvidia still has the crown with Fermi.

Just as a note, substandard is a matter of your use / case scenario. Making a blanket statement like "Radeon's (and the rest of AMD products) are substandard" and you are bound to be wrong somewhere.

I think what you are exhibiting is an excellent example of Nvidia's Mindshare, similar to Apple's (which ironically you also like). Both of these companies have a subset of customers that will buy their product no matter what. For example, when Nvidia sold more GTX 680s than AMD did 7970s, even though the 7970 was faster, smaller, and more power efficient. Not to mention the 7970 had much better support and totally dominates the GTX 680 in any benchmark now. Heck, it even has DX 12 support, something the GTX 680 completely lacks (and even modern Nvidia GPUs don't support Async Compute yet).

Why I agree with your sentiments about brand loyalty I don't think the red statement above is still accurate.

Anandtech dug deep into this issue with their 1080 and 1070 Founder Edition review (LINK HERE). I am not going to pretend I understand everything they report on that page but their results with the "Time Spy" benchmark show that Pascal does benefit from Async Compute but AMD's Polaris gets twice the benefit:



Taking a quick run of the benchmark, on a relative basis we see a 10.8% gain from using async compute plus concurrency for the RX 480, and a 5.4% gain for the GTX 1070. This is but one benchmark (and technically not even a game at that), but for what it’s worth this is the kind of trend I’m expecting to see in future games as they get better about exploiting workload concurrency via async compute.
 

theBest11778

Posts: 298   +127
Both of you are talking nonsense. AMD never burned anyones house down and when it comes to temps it's as good as any Nvidia card. GTX1080 won't be irrelevant because AMD has history of releasing weaker cards for little lower price. Even if it's more powerfull it's surely going to be a really small difference.
Today AMD "should" be announcing their Vega GPU lineup. From all accounts the GPU should be technically faster, but in reality probably on par with NVIDIA's Titan xp GPU and will be a direct competitor for the upcoming GTX 1080ti. Much like the R9 290x I see the price point in the $500-$600 range with a cut down version coming to the $350-$400 price point later on. Now none of this is confirmed yet, but since we'll know in a few hours for sure buying a GTX 1080 at $600+ right now is a very bad idea.
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 2,135   +2,772
Radeon's (and the rest of AMD products) are substandard. I wouldn't trust modifying them - less watch my PC burn my house to the ground.

Either save up and buy a 1080 or get a credit card with miles/points.
The RX 460 is a very cool card (as in temps). AMD has had power hungry and hot series in the past (300 series) but Nvidia still has the crown with Fermi.

Just as a note, substandard is a matter of your use / case scenario. Making a blanket statement like "Radeon's (and the rest of AMD products) are substandard" and you are bound to be wrong somewhere.

I think what you are exhibiting is an excellent example of Nvidia's Mindshare, similar to Apple's (which ironically you also like). Both of these companies have a subset of customers that will buy their product no matter what. For example, when Nvidia sold more GTX 680s than AMD did 7970s, even though the 7970 was faster, smaller, and more power efficient. Not to mention the 7970 had much better support and totally dominates the GTX 680 in any benchmark now. Heck, it even has DX 12 support, something the GTX 680 completely lacks (and even modern Nvidia GPUs don't support Async Compute yet).

And you are displaying Red Team Koolaid Syndrome.

First of all, the 7970 had issues at launch. AMD's trademark driver issues were abound in the early days of the 7000 series (AMD wouldnt achieve parity with nvidia driver quality until the 300 series). This, combined with the cool heels of AMD fans following the lukewarm 6000 series, is what played a large part in the 600 series selling better. Not saying there isnt an nvidia mind-share, but people blow it way out of proportion.

The radeon 460 may be "cool running", yes, but it has lower performance per watt then the sub 75 watt 750ti, to say nothing of the 1050ti. As far as the intended purpose of the 460, being a cheap, low power card, it fails in comparison to the pascal cards.

As for the 680, it only features DX12_0 support, not DX12_1 or DX12_2. But saying it doesnt support DX12 at all is wrong. It CAN run DX12 games, just not with all the features of DX12.

Nvidia has screwed up as well, not properly supporting parts of DX12 is a big one, but AMD's biggest enemy has been their utterly incompetent management. Now, with proper drivers, AMD can sell well. They just need some hardware that is competitive with half of nvidia's lineup. the 1070, 1080, and titanXP have had no competition for half a year now.
 

Fbarnett

Posts: 210   +30
Radeon's (and the rest of AMD products) are substandard. I wouldn't trust modifying them - less watch my PC burn my house to the ground.

Either save up and buy a 1080 or get a credit card with miles/points.
Fanboy much... The GTX 1080 is poised to become irrelevant tomorrow. Anyone buying a tier 1 GPU before AMDs announcement tomorrow is throwing their money away. As for unlocking Radeon cards this has been common practice since the Radeon 9500. No one had problems then. Doubt many will now.
Both of you are talking nonsense. AMD never burned anyones house down and when it comes to temps it's as good as any Nvidia card. GTX1080 won't be irrelevant because AMD has history of releasing weaker cards for little lower price. Even if it's more powerfull it's surely going to be a really small difference.
AMD has not burned anybody's house down not yet but maybe Samsung will buy them?
 

Mr Dude

Posts: 64   +47
Radeon's (and the rest of AMD products) are substandard. I wouldn't trust modifying them - less watch my PC burn my house to the ground.

Either save up and buy a 1080 or get a credit card with miles/points.
Fanboy much... The GTX 1080 is poised to become irrelevant tomorrow. Anyone buying a tier 1 GPU before AMDs announcement tomorrow is throwing their money away. As for unlocking Radeon cards this has been common practice since the Radeon 9500. No one had problems then. Doubt many will now.
How are the two things related? Will all 1080s just up and die tomorrow? Will all computers?!

Is Radeon gonna release an uber nVidia-drivers-killing virus tomorrow and nobody told me?!

Because I don't see how any given graphics card instantly renders its contemporary alternative irrelevant.
 

theBest11778

Posts: 298   +127
How are the two things related? Will all 1080s just up and die tomorrow? Will all computers?!

Is Radeon gonna release an uber nVidia-drivers-killing virus tomorrow and nobody told me?!

Because I don't see how any given graphics card instantly renders its contemporary alternative irrelevant.
If rumors are true the 1080 at $600+ price point will become irrelevant as it would no longer make sense to buy one. Honestly the card was never worth the extra $200 Nvidia tax in my opion to begin with. If AMD announces the 12.5tflop RX490 in that price bracket (as is expected,) and the 1080 drops to $450 it would then become relevant again. I wouldn't hold my breath on Nvidia dropping prices until the new year though.
 

OcelotRex

Posts: 558   +302
If rumors are true the 1080 at $600+ price point will become irrelevant as it would no longer make sense to buy one. Honestly the card was never worth the extra $200 Nvidia tax in my opion to begin with. If AMD announces the 12.5tflop RX490 in that price bracket (as is expected,) and the 1080 drops to $450 it would then become relevant again. I wouldn't hold my breath on Nvidia dropping prices until the new year though.
http://www.amd.com/en-us/innovations/new-horizon

The event today appears to be the preview of the Zen CPU.

Vega is rumored to be launching "first half 2017." I am missing the connection where new video cards are being announced/launched today.