Overclocking the Red Devil RX 470

Unfortunately, PowerColor shipped us a Red Devil RX 470 with its clocks locked down by its Performance BIOS to reference RX 470 boost speeds (1206MHz).  They sent us a new BIOS which we simply did not have time to test after we flashed it yesterday, other than to note that the clocks were now set to PowerColor’s 1270MHz core clocks. The only clockspeed adjustment that we were originally able to make was to increase the memory clocks by 50MHz which did not have any positive impact on performance.

Here is the screenshot of the results of looping Heaven 3.0 continuously with the original BIOS at reference clocks.Stock finish warm

As you can see, the clocks are locked to 1206MHz or below and the temperature is 69C. Next we tried to overclock by 4%.Stock finish warm -3 percent

At the 4% overclock, nothing has changed.  The clock speed still is below 1206MHz and the temperature is unchanged.  And Heaven’s score is basically within 0.1 frame rate.  So we decided to increase the fan speed and the temperature target and return to a 4% overclock as below.Stock finish warm -4 wFanTemp UP

Well, with our 4% overclock and the temperature target and fan speeds increased, the temperatures dropped to 65C – so there was no throttling – but the Heaven score remained unchanged and clocks still stayed at 1206MHz instead of at PowerColor’s advertised 1270MHz.  Although we had increased the fan speed, the Red Devil RX 470 remained very quiet.

GPU Z reported 1270MHz, but we realized clearly that something was wrong – right about the time that PowerColor sent us a belated new BIOS which we flashed yesterday afternoon using ATI Flash.  Now we reran the same Heaven 3.0 benchmark with stock PowerColor settings after the BIOS flash as shown below.New BIOS finish warm

The temperature jumps up to 79C, Heaven’s score increases by about 3% (which may have been held back by the higher temperatures throttling performance) and now we have the correct core boost – PowerColor’s 1270MHz boost clock.  Unfortunately, PowerColor’s new BIOS came too late for us to run our 25 benchmark suite all over again and they will have to wait until a follow up evaluation.

Here is GPU Z that now matches what we see in practice.  Strangely the BIOS Version remained unchanged but now our mystery of the locked clocks was solved.GPU Z-new BIOSLet’s head to the performance chart to see how the PowerColor Red Devil at reference RX 470 speeds compares with its competing cards of Summer, 2016.


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