In an attempt to squeeze some extra performance out of its new mid-tier GPU, AMD released an eleventh-hour vBIOS update that increased the Radeon RX 5600 XT’s power limit. This not only allowed for higher clocks, but a boosted memory speed of 14 Gbps. ASUS and MSI opted to release new variants instead of providing the software update for certain models, and the latter has explained why in a new video.
According to MSI’s Pieter Arts, the vBIOS update wasn’t a great idea because the memory featured in these cards were specifically designed and validated for 12 Gbps speeds. While 14 Gbps is doable (as reviews and other board partners have shown), there’s a lack of a guarantee there, which could lead to an RMA headache for MSI. Arts equated this to a game of “Russian Roulette.”
Funny enough, MSI did purportedly send the vBIOS update to reviewers who received its 12 Gbps GAMING X model in advance. Apparently, they were told to flash these with the 14 Gbps GAMING Z BIOS and “rename their products in reviews.” That throws a wrench into MSI’s validation argument.
For the immediate future, ASUS and MSI fans who want a faster Radeon RX 5600 XT will need to turn to SKUs such as the ROG STRIX TOP and GAMING Z. MSI says that most of its GAMING X and MECH OC models should have the updated vBIOS by mid-February.