If you recently bought an AMD Radeon RX 480 or 470, only to now be feeling pangs of RX 500 series envy, you might be able apply a DIY solution. There are reports by several TechPowerUp forum members of successfully flashing Radeon RX 480 cards to become working RX 580 cards. Similarly, some Guru3D forum members have been chatting about successful BIOS flash upgrading Radeon RX 470 cards into RX 570 ones.
Considering the Radeon RX 480 to RX 580 BIOS flash upgrade first, TPU forum user TonybonJoby started the ball rolling by flashing his (dual BIOS) XFX RX 480 8GB with a Sapphire RX 580 BIOS.
Everything seems to work as the TPU forum member wished. The stock clock of 1411MHz is "higher than most overclocks possible with the RX 480 cards, probably due to increased voltages on the BIOS level," reports TPU. Additionally, the card performed well under tests with both The Witcher and Furmark being put through their paces with increased performance and no issues.
It's notable that the XFX card modified is a dual BIOS model allowing easy roll back to a working BIOS if a flash goes awry for some reason. If you don't have such a facility on your RX 480 the minimum recommended system would have on-board graphics as a backup - should your RX 480 become unstable or unresponsive.
Please note that GPUZ 1.20.0 fixes the subvendor issue seen above
If you are considering BIOS flashing your perfectly working Radeon RX 480 to a RX 580 there are still other things to consider. Some users have seen stability problems so tweaks with MSI Afterburner, voltages, and fan profiles might be required to get your system rock-solid.
In similar news, Guru3D forum members have reported success in upgrading Radeon RX 470 cards into RX 570 ones.
HEXUS reviewed the Sapphire Radeon RX 580 Nitro+ Limited Edition and found that it was a worthy choice in its own right but it sacrificed energy efficiency for a few extra MHz compared to a RX 480.
Please be very careful if you are considering BIOS flashing to update your RX 400 series card into its RX 500 relative.