New firmware for Fury X and Nano cards could speed up boot times


— 10:14 AM on April 18, 2016

Owners of top-end Radeons looking for the fastest possible boot times may have been stymied by those cards' firmware. Although the majority of modern motherboards include UEFI firmwares, the R9 Fury X and R9 Nano still use the legacy VGA option BIOS for maximum compatibility. This choice means slower boot times, since UEFI motherboards have to load a "Compatibility Support Module" for legacy firmware. Video cards can now use the UEFI Graphics Output Protocol for initialization, but graphics cards with UEFI-compatible firmwares don't work with motherboards that rely on the good old BIOS.

Fiji owners who are also boot-time speed freaks can now rejoice, as AMD has released a UEFI-compatible firmware for the R9 Fury X and R9 Nano cards. Since R9 Nanos and R9 Fury Xes from board partners have to stick to AMD's reference design, the company says any Nano or Fury X can be flashed with the new firmware. R9 Fury cards unfortunately get left out, although add-in board vendors such as ASUS and Sapphire have provided their own UEFI firmware for graphics cards in the past. Firmware flashing could potentially render your $650 graphics card unusable, so unless you've noticed really lengthy boot times with a Fury X or Nano installed, it might be a good idea to leave well enough alone. 

   
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