MSI RX580 Armor 8G Review and BIOS Mod Guide


AMD just released the new RX570 and RX580 series of Graphics cards to refresh their year old RX470/480 line. The new cards are basically a re-branding of the RX4xx series and expectations for mining performance were not all that great considering they are based on essentially the same architecture as their predecessor. Most people are expecting the new Vega series to offer substantial improvements, but for now we will take a look at the RX480’s replacement, the RX580.

I ordered 5 MSI Armor RX580 8G cards the day they were released and now have had a couple of days to play with them and thought I would share my first impressions. This article will serve as a review of this specific model, namely the MSI RX480 8G Armor, as well as offer a broader look at modifying the VBIOS of the new RX5xx series of cards for optimal performance when mining cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum and Zcash.

 

 

The overall look and layout of the RX580 is very similar to the RX4xx series cards, and as expected not much as changed from the basic design.The card comes in the standard MSI foam fitted packing, with an additional foam separator and a dual purpose cardboard top which contains an envelope with some stickers, installation instructions, and a driver CD,

I feel the Armor series has a slightly less robustness to it when compared with the Gaming line and the actual card feels a bit more flexible and less able to tolerate excessive physical stress than its more expensive counterpart. There also is no back-plate, which I find on the newer cards can often stiffen up the feel of the cards. These are by no means detriments, as most mining rigs will pretty much be set and forget as far as mounting the actual card, and if you are careful, as you should be anyway during installation, you should have no problems.

 

 

The MSI RX580 Armor features the 8-pin PCI-e auxiliary power connector so you will need to make sure you have plenty of 8-pin connections for multiple GPU rigs. This would give it the ability in theory to draw up to 225 watts from the system, but in practice my measurements indicated a draw closer to 150 watts even with the non-optimized (for mining) default settings.

 

 

For a bit of background, the 8-pin connector is specified to be able to deliver 150 watts of additional power to the card, while the 6-pin connector is specified to deliver an additional 75 watts. These figures are on top of the 75 watts that can be delivered through the actual PCIe slot, so in theory the maximum wattage’s would be 225W (75+150) for cards with the 8-pin connector, and 150W (75+75) for cards with the 6-pin connector. In practice the power draw is usually much less, especially that which flows through via the PCIe slot, so you will often see manufacturers opt for the 8-pin connector if there is even the slightest chance the card would exceed 150 watts.

 

Out of the Box

Out of the box performance as expected was less than ideal for mining. Using the AMD Crimson ReLive Edition 17.4.3 drivers for Windows 10 64-bit and Claymore’s 9.1 Ethereum Dual miner, each card was mining at roughly 25 Mhs and drawing close to 150 watts each in power. When mining Zcash with Claymore’s 12.4 Zcash miner,  I was getting around 320 sols per card and the power usage shot up to around 170 watts. I guess they did need that 8-pin connector after all! These results are not going to cut it so we will need to look at what we can do to increase the hashrate and decrease the power usage.

Below you can see the GPU-z readings while I was running with the default settings. Once good thing is these MSI cards use Samsung memory, which is usually a little more flexible when it comes to overclocking the memory. You can also see the default 2000 MHz memory clock and 1366 MHz core clock, which while a higher core may be good for Zcash, it can be set much lower for Ethereum mining and this reduction will also allow us to lower the core voltage to help get the excessive power consumption under control.

 

 

Continue to page 2.

56 Comments

    • I have posted a follow-up article and have linked a copy of the modified BIOS file that I used in this article. You are free to use the file, but you do any modifications to your system at your own risk!

  1. Thanks for the clear article, just got back into GPU mining and all this talk about straps and timings was mentioned a lot everywhere but yours finally made it easy to understand.

    I’ve had similar results to you with my MSI RX580 Gaming X 8Gb cards, an increase of 5MH so very happy. Would you be kind enough to share your settings for equihash also as they seem to be the main 2 that are profitable atm.

    • I am glad to hear it is working out for you. Yes, I do not know why some of the bad press on these RX5xx cards, other than maybe people were expecting too much out of this release. I accept it as basically a re-branding, with very slight improvements, for essentially the same price as the previous generation. So looking at it from this angle there really isn’t anything to complain about.

      To answer you other question, I am actually working on a part II of the article to include more results. Since this site is mainly a hobby of mine I update it when I can, but with all the recent price action in alt coins in general I have been spending most of my time trading, as I am sure you can understand. 😉

    • I just picked up the same msi rx580 gaming x 8gb cards and having problems getting improvements. They are default hashing at 22.5mh/s and have hynix memory, did you get your improvement by copying 2:1750 to 2:2000, or the 1:1750 to 1:2000?

      Thanks

      • For Samsung memory I used 1:1750 to 1:2000, for Micron (and I assume other non-Samsung memory) I would try the 2:1750 to 2:2000. If in doubt you could try copying both (try one and if that doesn’t work revert and try the other) as I believe the card will ignore the settings that do not apply to it. On my card with Samsung memory, I had to use the 1:xxxx settings, but I did try the 2:xxxx settings as an experiment and they had no effect, the card ran but at default speeds. My first hunch would be to work with the 2:xxx setting first in your case.

  2. Hey. I can never get the -cclock and -mclock commands to actually change the frequencies. What am i missing. Hwinfo says they are still running at 1300mhz on the core etc. The manual commands in claymore never actually change the clocks or volts.

    • Are you running any other utility that interfaces with the GPU in that same manner? Examples would include AMD Wattman, MSI Afterburner, Sapphire Trixx, etc.

      From what I have observed, it seems if you have anything else running, even if you do not use it to control the voltages or clocks, they can somehow put a “lock” on the GPU which doesn’t allow Claymore to function properly.

      When I install the AMD drivers on a mining rig, I install it as “Custom” and then only select the video driver and uncheck everything else including AMD Settings and the HDMI audio. Between this and not running another overclock utility, I have successfully been able to clock and adjust voltages on my cards using just Claymore. I use the latest GPU-Z to verify, which only reads information and does not have the capacity to modify it, so it does not put any sort of “lock” on the GPUs.

      • Yeah. Bummer. I’ve tried fresh install of windows. No installing of anything. Tried installing once by just pointing to driver folder. Nope. Reloaded to try your install way of doing custom and just driver. But something is still taking control of the clocks and won’t let go. I really want to fix this. As this is the only way to undervolt more than -100mv bc of afterburner limitation. And it’s so much nicer to control clocks with claymore commands. One 6gpu rigs works with commands. But not my 4gpu rig. Reloads windows 4 times now.

        • It could be either a hard-coded setting on your GPU’s voltage controller or it is set to ignore voltages below a certain point. I know different manufactures place limits on how far you can adjust certain settings (like voltages), presumably to prevent problems by too aggressive users.

  3. Yeah. I’ve tried reloads of windows. And I install the drivers by manually pointing the driver at the amd driver folder. With no afterburner no nothing. And still locks me up even with just like -cclock 1200. I’ll try by ddu. Then use the installer this time with custom. I have it working using just claymore on a 6gpu rx570 build.

  4. Hi,
    The process of modifying the bios is the same for the 4gb version of the msi armor rx580?

    The hashrate can be the same or will it be a bit low with respect to yours?
    Or the same with a rx 470?

    Regards

    • Yes, the process is basically the same as with the RX580. The hashrate for the RX570 will probably be slightly lower as the memory used if often a lower speed part that cannot be overclocked as much as the more premium chips used int he RX580 cards.

      However, this comes down to luck of the draw, as with the RX470/480 series of GPU’s, sometime I would get lucky and get 470’s that could perform as well as some of my 480 cards. I expect this to be the same with the RX570/580 cards.

  5. Hi, i have Sapphire RX 580 Nitro+ 8gb with Hynix memory. There is no available bios/oc modifier on web for it. At stock rates i get only 22.6 MH/s on ETH. Current values on afterburner are. Core voltage +-0 ; Power limit +0 ; Core Clock 1411 Mhz ; Memory Clock 2000 Mhz. Please help out if you can, or anyone because this is quite low MH/s for such a GPU. Thanks.

  6. I have the exact same card i’m getting by 24 mhs even changing afterburner parameter, so now I’m trying to flashing the bios like here, but something weird happened, en polaris editor everything is same but the memory timing, there are different, I don’t see 1:2000 or 1:1750 , 1:1625 instead there are numbers like that 17964, 8987, 789, 7305, 6730, etc at the bottom, and at the top 23645423, 545329,7049078,1107,1764 So I have no clue what to do

  7. hey i was using the incorrect polaris editor, now I’m using the same as you, now i’m getting 27.7 mhs without change clamore bat file, with the rx480 I was getting the same changing msi after burner

    • Yes, for the newer RX5xx series cards, you need the version (which you now have) that detects the different memory types. As mentioned in the guide the 1:xxxx settings are for those with Samsung memory and the 2:xxxx are for other memory types.

  8. for some reason When I connect my rx480 and rx580 windows start normally but when I launch claymore, and start mining before that, windows10 shutdown, I test using a riser cable but happened the same, I don’t know if is the motherboard or the power supply which is 850wats

    • You may need to adjust the voltages too in order to make the rig stable, but yes first be sure your risers and and all connections are secure and properly sized. If you just have those two cards, 850 watts is plenty big power supply. I have some 5x GPU rigs running on 850 watts supplies, but I do need to tweak the power settings to keep them running at ~700 watt draw so as to not overtax the PSU.

  9. Hi, i have Gigabyte RX 580 XTR Aorus 8gb with Samsung memory, but my my timing value in polaris bios editor aren 0:250 – 0:2000..if 1:xxx is for Samsung and for 2:xxx Micron, what do i have here :)?
    Can i also copy 0:1750 value into the 0:2000 value?

    • If that is what the memory is displaying as, then yes you should be able to transfer the 0:1750 to the 0:2000 value. Even with the other cards, if you transfer the wrong prefix in that doesn’t match your memory, it seems that the card will ignore the setting and run as if nothing has changed. I would assume it would be the same behavior with your 0:xxxx card, but I admit I haven’t encounter one that displayed the 0 prefix yet.

      Out of the interest of curiosity, are you using the Polaris Editor mentioned in my post or another fork? Do you have any other values displayed other than the 0:xxxx ones?

      • I try with with Polaris Editor from post and with newer 1.4.1 version, its the same.
        All values are displayed in 0:xxxx format.

        I will transfer 0:1750 to the 0:2000 value and post a results.

  10. Hi guys,

    Im planning on getting my first rig together.

    At the moment I don’t know exactly which cards I should take. RX 480 in my country is more than $ 100 more expensive than the RX 580

    My watchlist:
    MSI RX 580 Gaming X 8G Price 299$
    MSI RX 580 ARMOR 8G OC Price 255$
    MSI RX 580 Gaming X 4G Price 241$
    MSI RX 570 Gaming X 4G Price 215$
    MSI RX 570 4GB ARMOR OC 190$

    MSI’s are the only available models in my country

    Now my questions:
    Is there a performance difference between 8G & 4G versions?
    Is 4G enough? What about DAG file size for Ethereum mining?
    Gaming or ARMOR version? What is the difference?

    Since I don’t pay for electricity, wattage is negligible.

    Thank’s guys for your feedback
    Swissminer

    • For Ethereum and most coins today 4 GB is plenty for the foreseeable future (18-24 months). So for performance 4GB cards will run about the same as 8GB cards with one minor caveat. That is in most cases manufacturers put their best memory in their top of the line 8GB cards, meaning not only do they have more memory than their 4GB counterparts, but that memory can be clocked a little bit higher.

      An example might be a 4GB card can only top out at 2000 MHz while its equivalent 8GB big brother can top out at 2200. For algorithms such as Ethereum that prefer a higher memory clock, this can result in a extra 1-2 Mh/s on each card. On a 6x rig this can equate to up to an extra 12 Mh/s total. Of course this comes at a cost of a higher up-front price when you purchase the card. If you can get the 8GB version of a card for $10-$20 premium than it may be worth it to upgrade. However this only goes so far, once the price difference becomes much more than $50 I think the gap is too big to make up over time with the slight increase you will get in hash-rate.

      So getting down to your question, from the list you provided, personally I would pick the MSI RX 570 4GB ARMOR OC 190$ as I own these cards and can get up to 28-29 Mh/s out of them if they come with Samsung memory. If they have Micron memory, they run a bit slower, but you can still push 27-28 Mh/s. If you are buying locally you could purchase one, take it home run GPU-Z on it and look at the memory manufacturer. If it is Samsung I would go back and buy the rest in a heartbeat as that is a very good deal at the moment.

      An example from my personal experience that might help you is I have a 6x MSI RX 570 4GB ARMOR rig that generates 165 Mh/s, and a 6x MSI RX 580 ARMOR 8G rig that gets 180 MHs. So that extra 25 Mh/s is almost like adding another card in the lower priced rig. So a simple math exercise is does once card cost more than the price premium of jumping up to a RX580 on 5 cards. So just counting the cards value from your list there is a $65 dollar premium going from the MSI 570 4GB Armor to the 580 8GB Armor, multipled by 5 is $325. This is quite a bit more than simply buying that additional performance by adding another card.

      Of course this was a very simplistic calculation and doesn’t consider factors such as how many rigs do you plan to run, do you have space for extra rigs, etc. You also mentioned electricity wasn’t an issue, so I didn’t take card wattage efficiencies into consideration, but in your case even if I did I think the MSI RX 570 4GB Armor is your best bet.

      • Wow, what a feedback! Thank you very much!!! I think i go for the MSI RX 570 4GB Armor. Maybe for the RX 580 8G in my second rig.

    • Yes, it runs pretty stable at 900 Vcore with ETH only mining, and 925 with ETH+DCR or ETH+SIA. I reduce memory voltage too, but it doesn’t have as big of an impact in reducing the power draw as does the core, so I don’t go too crazy. 950 would be the low end, but more like 975, all depends on how hard you are pushing the overclock. I have had luck at 2200 stable, can go 2250 for a little while but will need higher voltages again.

    • 22 mh/s sounds about right straight out of the box, you could maybe get a little bit more out of them by overclocking the memory, but it requires modding your cards BIOS (which can be risky) to push them much harder.

      • Hey could you please explain why moding BIOS is risky? I thoad if sumtn happens u can restore it from backup? Am newbie in all this stuff…

        I am IMer and ur website has really amazing info, u rank high for some keywords and have nice targeted traffic. Duude id suggest u to start monetizing ur website, u can make nice extra cash 🙂

        • Anytime you flash the BIOS of your PC or your GPU your run the risk of corruption int he files causing your PC or GPU to no longer function. This risk is compounded by the fact that you are modifying the GPU BIOS files yourself and can introduce errors. Now granted, a lot of people do this successfully, but as with anything there is always a risk that something could go wrong and leave you with a non-functioning component. So again, I need to emphasis to everyone that this website only offers information but it is your choice whether or not to act on it and anything you do is at your own risk.

          As far as your second comment, I am looking into adding some advertising to offset the web-hosting fees, but I mainly do this as a hobby and a way to give back to the community.

    • Thank you for the comment and the compliment. 🙂

      I try to write my articles with the beginner in mind, so while that may make them a little longer and detailed than need be, especially for the more experience miners, I do hope they are useful for newcomers such as yourself. Good luck in your mining!

  11. I really liked the explanation. But I wonder if the data shown is real. My ARMOR RX 580 8gb OC, is generating something around 30.5 MHs, consuming + – 90 w. This information was obtained through the GPU-z, are they correct?

    • Yes, all my data is correct as I record if off the mining rig during the testing. GPU-Z only records a portion of the power a GPU uses and not the total card draw, nor does it record any power usage from the rest of the system or the efficiency lost through a PSU. If you read part II of the guide, I go over how I derive all the power readings from actual at-the-wall measurements. If GPU-z is showing 90W, you are probably drawing closer to 120W-130W per card in reality.

  12. I wanted to thank you for the explanation.
    I got these cards and you are answering to all my questions about setup.

    I am interested to see your part 2 when it will be available for more data.
    You are the best.

  13. Hi, i have a new Gigabyte RX 580 8gb with Hynix memory, and when I open my rom in Polaris Bios Editor I only see values startin with o (0:400, 0:800 … 0:1750, 0:2000, 0:2200). Can i also copy 0:1750 value into the 0:2000 value? Thank you for your help!

    • Yes, there was another earlier commenter who also had 0:xxxx prefixes and he successfully copied the values and they worked.

  14. I tried your setup as well which became success to me.

    I mining monero as usual with RX580 Armor 8GB which normal from factory can hit around 640 H/s.

    Now, I edited bios and it can throttled up to 700 H/s now.

    Thank you for your clear instruction and make mining better for me.

  15. Hi, i have a new Gigabyte RX 580 8gb with Hynix memory, and when I open my rom in Polaris Bios Editor I only see values starting with 0 (0:400, 0:800 … 0:1750, 0:2000, 0:2200).

    I copied the 0:1750 values to 2000 and 2200 and then patched the system. After the restart i got 25mh/s, before it was 22 mh/s. So it is progress 🙂 Any idea how to boost it to 27 or close to 30?

  16. Hi, I have ASUS RX580 Dual 4GB OC edition, not able find the ETH mining setting / correct driver for mining. If I set Memory Core to 2000 or above the card gets freezes. Appreciate your help/feedback.

  17. I did all your steps. It took me to speed of 28 MH on ETH-SIA dual mining, when I applied other setting in BAT file, it ended up shutting down GPU. I tried to remove setting on my one, i realized that speed is increased by -asm 1 -dcri 9 , but that result in system restart and once i removed it is is giving me 48+MH with 2 RX 580 MSI Armor 8GB OC.
    Any idea how to fix this issue. or any other setting that i can try in BAT file

    • When the miner is running you can use your “+” and “-” keys to increase or decrease the DCRI value while mining and fine tune your optimal values for both hashrate and stability. Once you find what works best for your system you can change the -dcri 9 in your batch (.bat) file to whatever value you found works best.

      With that said, I do not believe the DCRI value itself is what is causing your system to hang. GPU hanging is usually the result of overheating, too high of overclocking, or even possibly too much undervolting. Each system will run slightly different than others, so you will need to adjust the various settings on your rig up or down until you find a stable and optimal setup.

  18. What motherboard, RAM memory, PSU, and SDD would you recommend using? I just purchased 6 x MSI
    Radeon RX 580 ARMOR 8G OC (product code: V341-064) I’d appreciate any advice. Thanks for sharing your knowledge

  19. I have the same cards with hynix and got about 22.4 out the box. Once I updated the bios it took me to around 24.5. My current issue is that I couldn’t get the 6th gpu to work unless I installed driver version 11.5 but now my computer is glitchy and Im constantly getting the “Incorrect Hash…” Any ideas how to fix?

  20. Hello,

    First of all I would like to thank you for your article. It really helped a newb like me. I just started mining with my MSI RX 580 cards and had already ran into a world of trouble. After installing and uninstalling the drivers a few times, I was finally able to make the rig work!
    I current average around 22.5 MH/s, I hear the card has a lot more potential but it is seeming impossible for me to overclock or even check the temperature of the card. When I open the MSI Afterburner, I see my card is detected but I see no other settings and I have already enabled OSD and tried everything else.
    Like So: http://imgur.com/a/gtQBw

    And even my GPU-z refuses to show the temperature on my GPU.
    Like So: http://imgur.com/a/O9b6P and http://imgur.com/a/I5clT

    I would really like to get some insight as to why this could be happening, I have tried the latest RX580 driver so as the 16.9 and others but the afterburner refuses to be of any help!
    Is there anything I could do to fix this or any other way of overclocking the cards that I could try?
    Thanks in advance!! Also it was great reading the article as I could for once really understand and keep up! 🙂

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