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.