AMD has thrown its weight behind recent upgrades to firmware on Radeon RX 5600 XT GPUs and is now recommending that owners upgrade to the latest version from home.
The new firmware from the likes of Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, and more see the Radeon RX 5600 XT's memory speed pushed from the stock 12 Gbps up to 14 Gbps.
The card was initially slated to offer a 12 Gbps memory speed, but shortly before they were launched, AMD published a firmware upgrade to partner manufacturers, which included a new vBIOS. The update specifically upped the Radeon RX 5600 XT's typical board power by 10 W from 150W to 160W and improved the memory speed by 2 Gbps. The changes are reported to offer a performance boost of 10 to 15% on most models.
At the time, AMD’s decision was seen as a direct reaction to counter NVIDIA cutting the prices of its GeForce RTX 2060 cards. NVIDIA's model was faster, while priced similarly. The move appears to have been a knee jerk reaction from AMD and raises questions as to why AMD didn't enable the 14 Gbps memory speed in the first place.
With the launch all lined up on the manufacturer side, many companies sold Radeon RX 5600 XT with the 12 Gbps. This has since changed, and they are now flogging update versions with the memory speed clocked up to 14 Gbps alongside the TBP improvements. Those that purchased a GPU from the initial launch stock are left with the 12 Gbps memory speed.
AMD is now recommending that owners of 12 Gbps models manually upgrade the firmware to unlock the cards to 14 Gbps with manufacturers offering detailed instructions on how to go about doing just that.
These guides can now be found on the websites of ASRock, Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, PowerColor, Sapphire, and XFX for those interested.
While a free performance upgrade is sure to lure in owners, it's unclear how well the update will fare given that the initial batch of GPUs wasn't tooled to handle a 14 Gbps memory speed. Not all manufacturers put in the necessary work and headroom to cater to a higher memory speed, which may see some cards struggle to handle the firmware upgrade.
It’s certainly an odd situation, and AMD seems intent on ensuring early adopters benefit from the upped specifications of the Radeon RX 5600 XT.