Linux-Firmware Adds Updated Binary For Fixing Performance With RX 5600 XT vBIOS Update
Written by Michael Larabel in Radeon on 4 February 2020 at 02:34 PM EST. 2 Comments
RADEON --
With last month's release of the Radeon RX 5600 XT as quite a capable sub-$300 graphics card there was a new video BIOS at launch-day to significantly improve the performance even more. But that updated vBIOS was causing issues with the Linux driver. The necessary fix has now landed in linux-firmware.git as the necessary SMC firmware update for Navi.

As explained last month after release and when benchmarking the Radeon RX 5600 XT with the new vBIOS on Linux, updated firmware for the SMC was needed to jive with the updated vBIOS. Without that updated SMC firmware, the graphics card on Linux would be left running in a low-power performance state and lead to poor performance.

Fortunately, that updated navi10_smc binary has now passed AMD QA and is upstream within linux-firmware.git. In turn, Linux distributions should begin pulling this updated AMDGPU firmware shortly.

With this binary merged today, when dropping it in /lib/firmware/amdgpu and re-spinning the initramfs where relevant, the Radeon RX 5600 XT graphics cards with that updated performance BIOS will now be working out correctly.

On Linux we've found that updated vBIOS to deliver ~5% performance uplift overall but larger boosts for some games.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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