AMD’s Radeon RX 5600 XT just hit shelves a few minutes back, and one of the most pressing issues pertains to the BIOS. While a few select cards got a performance upgrade (just four at the moment), the rest of the GPUs run at the prescribed official specs. We decided to do a benchmark comparing the performance of the GPU using both the BIOSes and here are the results:
Radeon RX 5600 XT Performance: Old BIOS vs New BIOS
Looking at the benchmarks, one thing is clear. All the new BIOS flash does is overclock the card in one click while increasing the voltage and power draw in the ROM. You can achieve the same config using Afterburner or Precision X, at least in case of the Sapphire Pulse model.
Furthermore, using the old BIOS, increasing the power draw has a nominal impact on performance. Therefore, you’re better off using the old BIOS with a mild overclock. Just set both the memory and core to 1750MHz in the Radeon Tuner or Afterburner, and you’re set. If you run into crashes, raise the voltage and power slider all the way all and that should fix it
Power Draw and Clock Scaling
One of the main advantages of flashing to the new BIOS is the nearly identical power draw and better temps. In other words, it’s more stable than the overclocked old BIOS. Upon overclocking the stock (unflashed) Sapphire Pulse 5600 XT, the thermals spike and the power draw also crosses 150W. However, it’s within acceptable parameters. Overclocking a flashed card, on the other hand, is a futile affair
The clock speeds show a similar trend. The old BIOS is approximately 100MHz slower. Maxing out the power slider overclocking it, however, puts it on par with the new vBIOS. Doing the same on the updated GPU has disappointing results.
As I said, even a 5600 XT that doesn’t get a BIOS update should perform nearly the same as one that does. The only difference is that you’ll have to perform the necessary tuning yourself. And if you ask no, the flashed cards have little to no overclocking headroom. Increasing the power draw just makes them choke. The thermals are worse off as well, and there is no tangible performance uplift.