Initially, AMD vaguely hinted enabling Ryzen 4000 series CPU support on the B450 and X470 motherboards. As days passed and the launch of the Ryzen 4000 series was inevitable, it doubled down the promised made. As you’d expect with anything backed by a dedicated enthusiast base, there was a backlash.
Criticism started with its fanbase subreddit, accusing the company slowly adopting the practices of Intel they initially made fun about. Some tech sites did post responses from motherboard manufacturers. They replied, saying that it is not easy to implement it without the base support. It also requires other factors not to be an obstacle. They’re not wrong. But just hours ago, AMD said it will provide an AGESA upgrade which will allow motherboard manufacturers to provide an option BIOS to extend the CPU support.
End-users were happy AMD did the needful and did the best they can.
Support with certain conditions
There are limitations and caveats. It is important to make a decision accordingly as this AGESA update will not provide a BIOS rollback. This is important as the BIOS supporting the upcoming processors require to strip many of its features and functions. They are as follows:
- We will develop and enable our motherboard partners with the code to support “Zen 3”-based processors in select beta BIOSes for AMD B450 and X470 motherboards.
- These optional BIOS updates will disable support for many existing AMD Ryzen™ Desktop Processor models to make the necessary ROM space available.
- The select beta BIOSes will enable a one-way upgrade path for AMD Ryzen Processors with “Zen 3,” coming later this year. Flashing back to an older BIOS version will not be supported.
- To reduce the potential for confusion, our intent is to offer BIOS download only to verified customers of 400 Series motherboards who have purchased a new desktop processor with “Zen 3” inside. This will help us ensure that customers have a bootable processor on-hand after the BIOS flash, minimizing the risk a user could get caught in a no-boot situation.
- Timing and availability of the BIOS updates will vary and may not immediately coincide with the availability of the first “Zen 3”-based processors.
- This is the final pathway AMD can enable for 400 Series motherboards to add new CPU support. CPU releases beyond “Zen 3” will require a newer motherboard.
Apart from that, it is natural for B450 and X470 chipsets not to support PCIe 4.0, a new standard supported by B550 and X570 motherboards.
The reasoning behind the initial response
The caveats exist because of the BIOS ROM size’s limitation. Along with these conditions, I suspect many motherboard makers will provide this optional BIOS with a very conservative interface. There are chances of removing certain added features, such as BIOS screenshots and others. I wouldn’t be shocked if motherboard manufacturers will take the trouble to implement this on some of its SKUs. We’ll just have to wait and watch when the respective manufacturers roll out these BIOS.
The last ride for AM4 sockets
AM4 sockets made its appearance in 2017. AMD did say it will support this socket until 2020, so it is safe to say the Ryzen 4000 series will be a last to use it. This is of course until AMD changes their minds. Chances are probably unlikely since AMD did take the trouble to say that CPUs beyond ZEN 3 will need newer motherboards. On the bright side, it fulfilled its promises, even though it needed that encouragement from its passionate userbase.
— Hardware BBQ (@HardwareBBQ) May 20, 2020