AMD Radeon RX 480

Early Radeon RX 480 4GB can be flashed to use 8GB VRAM

This puts a whole meaning to the sentence “You can download RAMs”

AMD introduced its RX 480 with two VRAM choices- 4GB AND 8GB GDDR5. But what’s recently been discovered that early adopters can get their 4GB variant into an 8GB by flashing its BIOS.  It is discovered by a Dutch-based forum member where he purchased a Powercolor RX 480 4GB. It contained eight chips of Samsung K480325FBHC25 GDDR5 ICs, a total of eight gigabytes. While there was a doubt that manufacturers would intentionally lock down a good set of 4GB extra chips, he updated the BIOS from an 8GB SKU to see if he wins the lottery.

He did!!!

While it seemed unlikely that the newer 4GB makes have the same memory configuration, or if all the older variants with the same number of chips will work after a BIOS flash. It’s not the first time where AMD’s hardware could be unlocked to give out something in ‘double’. Some selected batches of AMD 550BE and 555BE processors had the potential to be unlocked from BIOS. So much as the manufacturers added the unlock option in its BIOS. Still, it’s nothing more than a lottery.

TechPowerUp! also purchased a Sapphire RX 480 4GB GDDR5 reference version and was able to flash it successfully with 8GB variant’s BIOS using ATIFlash. With 4K resolution COD Black OPS 3, an actual 8GB RX 480 generated 24.6 FPS, while its 4GB counterpart generated 23.3 average FPS. In comparison, the flashed 8GB version generated 24.7 FPS.

Alas, the only way to know if your 4GB RX 480 has four extra chips is by opening the card. This potentially voids the warranty. You also need to know how to flash your graphic card properly as well. Would you do it? Now or once the warranty is gone?


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