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  • Post published:09/05/2021
  • Post last modified:09/05/2021

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How to update the BIOS of the AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT

With quite a bit of consternation on AMD’s Radeon RX 5600 XT release we figured it would be a good time to talk you through the process of flashing new firmware into a Radeon graphics card. We’ll provide you the guidance and the tool to do so. Minf you that despite the title, this guide and software work with all recent Radeon RX graphics cards.

Why?

A few days ago AMD released their Radeon RX 5600 XT graphics cards. Shortly prior to release NVIDIA lowered prices on one of the competing products. AMD at that point decided to increase the specifications for the 5600 XT, requiring the cards to be firmware updated.  AMD made a 180 degree turn and pretty much created two separated SKUs for the 5600 XT. That would be the reference product, and then the factory tweaked (OC models) with enhanced specs like a 160 and/or 180 Watt power envelope (opposed to 150 W), an increase of the maximum turbo clock as well as a bump in GDDR6 memory data-rate going from 12 towards 14 Gbps (all cards physically have 14 GBps GDDR6 memory ICs on them, including the 12 Gbps clocked ones). So a firmware update will bring a lot of extra performance.

 

The new Firmware update for the 5600 XT greatly increased performance

We might be familiar with firmware updating, but the generic public likey is not. Often you need a DOS-based utility with command lines, but there is a much simpler manner to update that firmware of yours. Depending on the brand and SKU version model, the performance differential can differ, as not all brands are updating towards 14 Gbps on the GDDR6 memory. However, most manufacturers have already released new BIOS files for selected graphics cards, which bring more performance.

Radeon RX 5600 XT BIOS updates. We have sorted the new BIOS updates available:

 

BrandGraphics card modelFirwmare update 
SapphireRadeon RX 5600 XT Pulsedownload
MSIRadeon RX 5600 XT Mechremains at defaults
MSIRadeon RX 5600 XT Mech OCdownload via MSI Dragon Center
MSIRadeon RX 5600 XT Gamingremains at defaults
MSIRadeon RX 5600 XT Gaming Xdownload via MSI Dragon Center
GigabyteRadeon RX 5600 XT Gaming OC 6GBdownload
GigabyteRadeon RX 5600 XT Windforce OC 6GBpending
PowerColorRadeon RX 5600 XTremains at defaults
PowerColorRadeon RX 5600 XT Red Dragondownload
PowerColorRadeon RX 5600 XT Red Devildownload
AsusTUF Gaming X3 Radeon RX 5600 XT OC Evodownload
AsusROG Strix Radeon RX 5600 XTpending
AsusROG Strix Radeon RX 5600 XT OCdownload
XFXRadeon RX 5600 XT THICC III Ultradownload
XFXRadeon RX 5600 XT THICC III Prodownload
XFXRadeon RX 5600 XT THICC II Prodownload
ASRockRadeon RX 5600 XT Phantom Gaming D3 6GB OCdownload
ASRockRadeon RX 5600 XT Phantom Gaming D2 6GB OCdownload
ASRockRadeon RX 5600 XT Challenger D 6GB OCdownload

 

Before we continue with our guide, all manufacturers advise their own flash update instruction, we recommend you to read them. Also be aware of the fact that some graphics cards have a dual-BIOS, which is great as a fail-safe option, but often you have a silent setting flash in bios mode 1 and then say a performance mode in bios mode 2. Check that out prior to any actions.
 

Why this guide?

The 5600 XT firmware updates have become a confusing situation. Also, some manufacturers push the update via a DOS utility that is hard to understand for some people. We present a way to flash based on a windows utility, also this is not specific to Radeon RX 5600 XT, the tool works on all Radeon cards up-to-the Radeon RX series 5000. Also, all of you that already had ordered a card, might need that mandatory firmware update. Another reason could be to cheaply upgrade your graphics cards to one with the more ‘premium’ settings. The Sapphire Pulse and Sapphire Pulse OC for example, do not differ in hardware whatsoever. 

Update Radeon graphics cards with AMDVbFlash under Windows

AMDVbFlash_Win from AMD is able to provide Radeon graphics cards with a new BIOS (firmware) under Windows 10. The requirement is that the board partner of your graphics card must offer the new BIOS as a separate image you download from them. Some advisories first though.

  1. Updating the BIOS is done at your own risk and is never without risk!
  2. With graphics cards with dual BIOS, it is important to ensure that the correct BIOS is installed.
  3. It is advisable to consult the manufacturer’s instructions and follow theirs instead of ours.

Step by step flashing new firmware

Download and install the software, startup AMDVbFlash. if you cannot find it, just type ‘AMDVbFlash’ in the Windows prompt. The tool loads up and is started. 

The currently active BIOS can be read out and saved via “Save”. This step is advisable as a backup of your original BIOS is always handy.

  

   

Select the new BIOS that matches the currently active BIOS of the graphics card, via “Load Image”. Depending on the manufacturer, BIOS files often end in the suffix .BIN or .ROM. This software tool recognizes whether it is a BIOS or not and also checks whether the BIOS is suitable for the graphics card.

 

 

The new BIOS is flashed by pressing “Program”. It takes a few seconds and on slow systems a minute. Once finished it will report ‘Your VBIOS was programmed successfully’, Afterward restart your computer and be sure to reinstall your Radeon software drivers for the new parameters to kick in properly. 

 

Conclusion

As shown from the table above, most manufacturers already have provided new BIOS files for the RX 5600 XT series. Anyone who bought a graphics card with BIOS based on the old AMD specifications should be able to update. You can also simply give a ‘premium’ BIOS a try, this is especially recommended to those with a dual-BIOS (so you always have one failsafe). In the first chapter we have shown you the performance benefits, it is up to you whether or not you deem that to be interesting enough. To date, we have flashed all cards tested to date with a premium BIOS successfully. 

  • Download AMDVbFlash

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– Hilbert

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