Radeon RX 5600 XT Gets Modified With 12GB of VRAM

YouTuber and graphics card modder Paulo Gomes has upgraded yet another graphics card with more video memory, this time using an AMD Power Color Radeon RX 5600 XT Red Dragon. The card was modified from 6GB of memory to 12GB of capacity with faster 2GB 16Gbps memory chips.

The memory mod for this card was more simple compared to the RTX 3060 8GB to 12GB mod we covered recently from the same modder. The mod itself involved swapping the original six memory modules for six new modules with double the capacity, as well as editing the BIOS of the AMD card to support the new modules.

To replace the memory modules, Gomes used a heat gun to warm up the connection points between the memory ICs and the PCB, so the memory modules could be safely removed without damaging the components. Afterward, he prepped the PCB for the new 2GB modules with a special glue that will keep the modules in place and then installed the new modules on the card.

(Image credit: AMD)

Since the RX 5600 XT does not ship with a 12GB configuration, a BIOS mod is required for support. The modder used a hex editor to manipulate the proper values that will allow the BIOS to recognize the faster 2GB ICs, then flashed the BIOS to the card. BIOS modding is still possible with some AMD GPUs, though it’s not something you can do on modern Nvidia GPUs.

The 5600 XT with the new modules exhibited a massive increase in performance, at least in specific tests. For example, the Unigine Superposition test Gomes used included a benchmark run at 10K resolution to fully saturate the 12GB memory config. The original 8GB config scored 191 points with this benchmarking configuration, while the modified card scored 412 points in the same config. Of course, most games won’t see this same performance increase, but the extra VRAM could still be helpful in games that use more than 6GB of video memory — assuming the GPU itself isn’t the bottleneck, which is becoming increasingly unlikely.

The implications of this mod are much more applicable to AMD GPUs since the BIOS can be modified in the way Gomes demonstrated. In theory, this allows all AMD Radeon graphics cards to be upgraded with more video memory since there are no editing restrictions on AMD BIOS’s as far as we’re aware. This is a far cry from modern Nvidia GPUs, which do not allow BIOS modding of any sort.

Of course, the tools and skill required to carry out this sort of mod are a different matter. Most of use can look on in appreciation, but if you want a card with 12GB or 24GB, it’s going to be far easier to simply put your money into one of the best graphics cards rather than trying to upgrade a three years old RX 5600 XT.