News has surfaced that indicates how enthusiasts who bought some of the first 4GB AMD RX 480 cards can actually get a free upgrade to 8GB of memory. It turns out that certain batches of the 4GB cards sent to reviewers were actually loaded with a full 8GB compliment of GDDR5, a move from AMD that allowed tech reviewers to be able to test 4GB and 8GB configured cards without having to physically send two cards. Apparently certain review batches also ended up in the retail channel with some users now discovering that their cheaper 4GB card does in fact feature 8GB.
The story was broken by a user on a Dutch website Tweakers.net who noticed that his PowerColor RX 480 card actually had 8GB of Samsung memory on the AIB. To magically turn a 4GB card into an 8GB card, you would (in theory at least) need to flash the card’s BIOS and enable all the GDDR5 ICs – a tweak that would give users a cool discount seeing that the 8GB cards in fact cost $40 more. According to Myce.com:
“It should indeed be possible to flash a 4GB card to a 8GB card if the right hardware is present. In a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) an AMD employee has stated, “In the market you will see a version with 8GB of physical memory, and a version of 4GB of physical memory. We sent reviewers an 8GB model with a BIOS that allows them to flash between 4GB and 8GB available memory so they could perform testing on both hardware configurations.”