I should post here that Sapphire is letting me RMA my card as long as I return it to factory condition before I do so. Since the memory controller issue, shimmering digital snow, and distortion appear to be a hardware issue and not to do with the waterblock, they're going to allow me to RMA it. That's really nice of them. They don't have to do that since technically I voided the warranty when I took the factory cooler off. Kudos to Sapphire. Stand up company. (I didn't tell them I'd flashed the bios, but I'm running stock again anyway.)
However it's really hard to give up my rx480. My display died and I replaced it with a 50inch 4k Vizio D50u-D1. I must say, it handles gaming really well. Very little motion blur and much less input lag than my last display. At 30fps it looks smother than my old display at 60fps. Maybe it's the judder control. Text is clear. I'm going to have to deal with up-scaling for a few weeks and no hi-rez gaming to do the RMA.
I'm gaming mainly in 1440p on this card as 4k is just a little much for rx480 right now. 1440p upscaled to 4k looks really nice. I can't do the action motion smoothing with gaming. I can't stand the flicker. Also, I really wish it did higher than 60hz frame doubled or something. I can still notice a tiny bit of a flicker at 60hz. It bothers me reading more than gaming so a frame doubled physical 120 even with an actual input refresh of 60 would solve that problem for me. Too bad no TV in the world does that yet at 4k. If one does, I probably can't afford it. Gaming mode adds just a slight ever so slight amount of flicker it seems, but the fast response time and lack of motion blur make it really nice. I turn it off for working though. It'll be hard to give up 4k for a few weeks. Maybe I'll sell my replacement card and get Vega or if there's ever an affordable Nvidia flagship card or I'll get a 2nd rx480 but I'll have to wait a few months. The TV purchase was an unexpected expense.
I'm still not sure why i lost some overclocking headroom on the memory after doing the 1750 timings on 2000 for one and only one Valley run. The issues that have plagued my card from day one may have something to do with it. I think it's the memory controller. The digital shimmering snow I get in some textures and only in a couple of games with 0 memory errors is odd for bad gddr5. I'd say it's the controller but I don't know. It got worse and there were black flashes and flashing textures here and there in games that hadn't previously done it after the 1 valley run. I don't think it was persistent post-flash timings since I re-flashed the correct timings three times and it consistently dumps the correct settings. The issues with the card seemed to get worse after that. Browsers freeze if I leave hardware acceleration on about once every 12 hours. It doesn't occur on the integrated video in the same computer. It didn't occur until after the memory timing test. The RMA is necessary, I just most likely wont get as good of a overclocker in return. I guess I'd rather have a working card though. I'd much rather have both. The extra 14% performance from oc really helps in 1440p too bad the fault in my card was exacerbated by how hard I tired to push it. Thanks for your suggestions.
@rubio - thanks to lordkag on www.win-raid.com
, Gupsterg and the op of this thread there's a way to flash a custom bios on this card. Follow the link in Gupsterg's post and consider donating to win-raid if it works for you. http://www.overclock.net/t/1604567/polaris-bios-mod-rx480/430#post_25427078
. Worked for me.