AMD’s Radeon RX 5600 XT is a fierce 1440p contender rivaling even Nvidia’s RTX 2060… so long as it’s been flashed with the latest vBIOS from the card’s manufacturer. In this RX 5600 XT update guide we’ll outline how to flash your vBIOS safely and simply for the best performance from your new graphics card.
A little pre-game juicing just moments prior to the RX 5600 XT’s release date has AMD’s “ultimate graphics card for 1080p gaming” pumped up to 1440p gaming standards. The red team claims this is due to “thermal and electrical headroom” built into its partners’ third-party designs, and nothing to do with Nvidia’s sudden RTX 2060 price drop – but I think we know what’s up.
“Based on ongoing testing with our board partners, we have raised the GPU core and memory frequencies for overclocked Radeon RX 5600 XT SKUs to take advantage of increased thermal and electrical headroom built into partner’s custom designs,” a statement PCGamesN received from AMD says. “The updated VBIOS has been made available to our board partners for inclusion in select OC SKUs at launch.
“AMD is dedicated to disrupting the market with industry-leading compute products, and the new VBIOS makes the Radeon RX 5600 XT an even more powerful contender for high-performance 1080p gaming. Previously announced product specs are unchanged, as they remain AMD’s recommended reference design specs.”
AMD went as far to name and shame Nvidia for “artificially gimping the product” during its RX 5600 XT pre-briefing. Yet later proceeded to prove without a doubt that it was artificially limiting both GPU and memory on the RX 5600 XT prior to the updated BIOS specification. Quite a turnaround.
The vBIOS updates pushed by AMD arrived so late in the day that some graphics cards shipped out to retailers before they could be updated. Hence there will be at least a handful unpatched cards out in the wild unbeknownst to their owners.
But hey, you’re here, and that means you may have noticed your shiny new graphics card isn’t delivering up to expectations. Below you’ll find simple steps on how to update an RX 5600 XT from most major manufacturers to unlock the fastest performance.
If you’re still shopping around for an RX 5600 XT, we recommend purchasing one with a Dual BIOS switch, such as models from Sapphire and XFX.
Sapphire released two new BIOS firmware updates, Performance and Silent. The Sapphire Pulse RX 5600 XT features Dual BIOS functionality, the BIOS switch located along from the power connector, enabling a quick and painless vBIOS update process.
|Sapphire Pulse RX 5600 XT||Game clock||Boost clock||TGP||Memory|
Only graphics cards with the following board part numbers are ready to update. Do not try this process with any card not specified below. Ye’ have been warned. The board part number is located on the sticker along the PCIe connector length of the graphics card.
To update your Sapphire RX 5600 XT vBIOS:
- Download the BIOS bat files from Sapphire’s official website
- Unzip PULSE 5600 XT BIOS_update_V1.01
- Toggle the BIOS switch to the left hand side (oriented to the ‘BIOS SWITCH’ label) to update the Silent profile, or the right hand side for the Performance Mode profile
- Select either the BIOS_update_SW_left.bat (Silent) or BIOS_update_SW_right.bat (Performance) file from within the PULSE 5600 XT BIOS_update_V1.01 folder
- Wait until the Command window closes before restarting your system
- Ensure your system boots on the updated BIOS before following the same process again for alternate BIOS
If you’re stuck with any of that, Sapphire tells us there’s technical support to hand here.
First, locate the product page for your ASRock RX 5600 XT graphics card. Three models are available with the BIOS at launch: the Radeon RX 5600 XT Phantom Gaming D2 6G OC, Radeon RX 5600 XT Challenger D 6G OC, Radeon RX 5600 XT Phantom Gaming D3 6G OC. You can follow the links below.
From there, select Support and vBIOS. ASRock “assumes no responsibility for any damages caused by improper operations of downloading or updating the vBIOS,” which seems a little unfair considering the circumstance, but it’s something to bear in mind before you proceed.
To update your ASRock RX 5600 XT vBIOS:
- Download the relevant vBIOS file from the links above
- Extract the folder to desktop
- Run the ‘Update’ file
- Wait until the Command window reads “Success: Restart to Complete VBIOS Update.”
- Press any key to restart your system
In order to update your Asus graphics card, you’ll need to head over to the Asus Support page. There will be two versions of the vBIOS update tools available shortly after launch: Default mode and Q mode.
We’re told Q mode will offer greater acoustic performance once installed, which we’d guess will be similar to the Sapphire Silent BIOS.
Asus also tells us that the new and improved BIOS firmware will unlock memory overclocking up to the aforementioned limits. As far as we know, only the GPU clock will be ramped up on installation of the updated BIOS.
We’ll update this guide once the exact details on how to update are live on the Asus website.
Gigabyte is yet to update the support page for the Radeon RX 5600 XT Gaming OC 6G with an updated BIOS, but we’re told one is on the way.
We’ll update this guide once all the relevant information is in place. So make sure to check back later.
Like Sapphire, XFX has a full support page ready and waiting for RX 5600 XT owners (favouritism perhaps?). Anyways, you’ll be wanting to flash your graphics card with the 5600 XT Pro Tuned BIOS, which sounds well rad.
Most XFX graphics cards feature a convenient Dual BIOS switch, one for Performance and one for Quiet BIOS modes. There’s less risk of GPU injury if anything were to go wrong mid-update. “The gods saw fit to grace me with a spare” as that guy from 300 says.
The following XFX RX 5600 XT graphics cards support the Pro Tuned BIOS:
|Model||SKU||UPC||Pro Tuned BIOS (MHz)|
|THICC III Ultra||RX-56XT638D8||778656079083||1660 / 1750|
|THICC III Ultra||RX-56XT6TBD8||778656079076||1660 / 1750|
|THICC III Pro||RX-56XT636D8||778656079090||1615 / 1750|
|THICC III Pro||RX-56XT6TFD8||778656079052||1615 / 1750|
|THICC II Pro||RX-56XT626D6||778656079069||1560 / 1620|
|THICC II Pro||RX-56XT6DFD6||778656079014||1560 / 1620|
|RAW II Pro||RX-56XT6OFFR||778656079106||1560 / 1620|
To update your ASRock RX 5600 XT vBIOS:
- Find the relevant vBIOS update files for your particular model from the XFX website. A directory of compatible cards can be found at the XFX download page
- Once on the specific product page, locate the Downloads section
From here you have the choice of both Performance (right BIOS switch position) and Quiet (left BIOS switch position). Select and download just one at first, we’ll come back to the other later
- Download the AMD Flash Utility (AMDVbFlash v3.04) software below
- Install the AMD Flash Utility
- Run amdvbflashWin within the installed Flash Utility folder (program files > AMD > AMDVbFlash)
- Select Load Image
- Choose the BIOS file you downloaded in step 3
- Click program
- Once successful, click OK and restart your system
- If all works correctly on restart, head back to step 3 and repeat for the alternate BIOS.
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