image: MSI

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.

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10 Comments

  1. To me that sounds like these AIB partners are not using the memory that AMD specced in the design. Instead skimped to save a buck by pushing lower grade memory to 12 GB/s to meet the board spec. And now they’re caught up in a “well, shit” moment.

    1. I it the other way around.

      AMD essentially enhanced the BIOS at the last minute to respond to the price correction nvidia made to counter the

      5600 XT release. They overclocked the card. AIB partners are now faced with having to deal with this across the board

      when some models were not designed to handle these speeds.

      how would you like to be on the RMA end of that?

      BUT face it, just how many customers are going to flash a BIOS in the first place?

  2. [QUOTE=”magoo, post: 9615, member: 244″]
    I it the other way around.
    AMD essentially enhanced the BIOS at the last minute to respond to the price correction nvidia made to counter the
    5600 XT release. They overclocked the card. AIB partners are now faced with having to deal with this across the board
    when some models were not designed to handle these speeds.
    how would you like to be on the RMA end of that?
    BUT face it, just how many customers are going to flash a BIOS in the first place?
    [/QUOTE]

    Depends on how the specification was written honestly.

    If AMD specced out “Use 14G memory, clock at 12” and the AIBs cheaped out and put in only 12, that’s on the AIBs. If AMD specced out “12” and left it at that, then afterwards changed the spec with the BIOS, that’s on AMD. Honestly I have no idea which would be true.

    I’m sure v1.1 boards will all have a fix if there is a russian roulette scenario, but yeah, it does beg the question on the release date hardware who would bear the responsibility for RMAs.

  3. Well, the guy in the article didn’t mention AMD having anything to do with. Just that it would be an RMA nightmare for them. That’s what lead me to believe they deviated from spec with lower grade RAM that won’t do 14 gb/s since it was only intended to be clocked at 12 gb/s.

  4. Another possibility is that the memory traces on the pcb is not quite up to spec for handling the extra speed.

  5. I see a lot of negativity about this but honestly I like that they pushed specs to keep things interesting.

  6. It was a smart move by AMD but they should also be willing to back their AIB vendors… IF the AIB Vendors built out their cards to meet or exceed AMD’s spec. If they didn’t then that’s on them financially. Still a not fun situation to be in.

  7. Well, we don’t know who messed up. AMD in not providing the proper specs for 14 GB/s, or the AIB vendors for not meeting that spec since the reference clocks were only 12 GB/s.

    You’d think AMD wouldn’t be asking that of their vendors if they hadn’t designed the card to handle it. Which makes me think the vendors cut a few corners to squeeze a few extra dollars out of each unit. If that’s the case then it’s 100% on the vendors to make it right.

  8. [QUOTE=”Riccochet, post: 9740, member: 4″]
    Well, we don’t know who messed up. AMD in not providing the proper specs for 14 GB/s, or the AIB vendors for not meeting that spec since the reference clocks were only 12 GB/s.

    You’d think AMD wouldn’t be asking that of their vendors if they hadn’t designed the card to handle it. Which makes me think the vendors cut a few corners to squeeze a few extra dollars out of each unit. If that’s the case then it’s 100% on the vendors to make it right.
    [/QUOTE]

    This has been my thought from the beginning. It would seem extremely odd that AMD would push out a new BIOS for the cards which the cards couldn’t have handled in the stock configuration which means 14Gbps RAM would have been the spec. If that’s the case there should be no issues whatsoever with AIBs using the BIOS unless they used sub-standard spec components. I’m not saying AMD isn’t in the wrong but my money would be on at least some of the AIBs complaining because they used below spec components which don’t actually meet the stock specs outlined by AMD.

  9. In have had 2 MSI motherboards of late that I loved and my next was going to be MSI again….. now… I don’t know so much.

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