Some AMD Fiji, Hawaii cards can be flashed for extra performance

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Rich Shibley/Digital Trends

One of the easiest ways for companies to flesh out a range of components is to simply downgrade their top-performing product and call it something else. While that might leave you feeling a bit cheated, it can actually turn out to be a blessing in disguise, as some owners of AMD’s new graphics cards have found. With a quick tweak and BIOS flash, they’ve have been able to unlock a few extra compute units (CU) to make their cards perform that little bit better.

It needs to be said that not every card from the Fiji, Hawaii, or Tonga family of GPUs can benefit from the unauthorized upgrade. While some had their compute units disabled to provide an alternative to the high end, others were relegated to the weaker range because the CUs were damaged during the manufacturing process.

However there is a very real chance that if you have an R9 Fury (non-X), R9 390, or 290, you can unlock some extra potential.

Related: Surface 3 and Surface Pro 3 updated with new Microsoft firmware

Of course, whenever it comes to flashing the BIOS of anything, you do run the risk of bricking your device, so we must give a fair warning that if you attempt to do so, it’s at your own risk. This point is heavily stressed by those who discovered the potential performance boosting method over at

To take a stab at it yourself, we’d recommend reading all of the documentation at the above link (preferably twice before proceeding) and taking all relevant safety precautions. Whether you achieve your goal or not, you are almost certainly voiding your warranty by attempting it, so be aware that no one will be there to hold your hand if something goes wrong.

That said, if you manage to boost your GPU’s performance, do let us know below. That’s pretty rad.