AMDRyzen 4000

AMD finally decided to keep their promise. Will allow Zen3 to be compatible with X470 and B450 motherboards

Surprise twist after receiving thousands of tweets and responses on their disapproval over Zen3 working only on newer motherboards.

A while back, AMD had stated that there won’t be any zen3(Ryzen 4000) CPU support for boards older than X570. But in a surprising turn of events, they went back against their statement and decided to allow Zen3 support on X470 and B450 motherboards. This will literally be a “promise now, figure out the details later” type of arrangement. I believe they could enable support for majority of the 400 series motherboards which will be upgraded to Zen3 this year.

Promise kept

In the AMD blog post last year, they made a commitment to support AM4 until 2020. The statement reads

With the launch of the AM4 platform in 2016, weat AMD made a commitment to maintain and support socket AM4 through 2020. During that time, we have continued to evolve the platform to offer new features, more performance, and greater functionality. With a single socket ranging from entry level to enthusiast class motherboards, consumers have the flexibility to start with the hardware that meets their needs today, and upgrade to their growing performance demands tomorrow. 

AMD’s Socket AM4 has historic forwards and backwards compatibility. Where else can you upgrade your processor and be able to use your current motherboard? Even better, many current customers will see a BIOS update to support the Ryzen 3000 series processors. That’s the beauty of the stable, flexible AM4 ecosystem.

The previous technical blog post about flash BIOS capacity issues is still holds true, says AMD. But they also said that they’ll will work with motherboard partners, and implement some other measures to make sure Zen 3 is supported on 400 series boards.

 

The company has stated that users should shift to an X570 board regardless of this ease in limitations due to the better compatibility with the new processors. Here is AMD’s full statement:

Official AMD statement:

As we head into our upcoming “Zen 3” architecture, there are considerable technical challenges that face a CPU socket as long-lived as AMD Socket AM4. For example, we recently announced that we would not support “Zen 3” on AMD 400 Series motherboards due to serious constraints in SPI ROM capacities in most of the AMD 400 Series motherboards. This is not the first time a technical hurdle has come up with Socket AM4 given the longevity of this socket, but it is the first time our enthusiasts have faced such a hurdle.

Over the past week, we closely reviewed your feedback on that news: we watched every video, read every comment and saw every Tweet. We hear that many of you hoped for a longer upgrade path. We hear your hope that AMD B450 and X470 chipsets would carry you into the “Zen 3” era.

Our experience has been that large-scale BIOS upgrades can be difficult and confusing especially as processors come on and off the support lists. As the community of Socket AM4 customers has grown over the past three years, our intention was to take a path forward that provides the safest upgrade experience for the largest number of users. However, we hear you loud and clear when you tell us you would like to see B450 or X470 boards extended to the next generation “Zen 3” products.

As the team weighed your feedback against the technical challenges we face, we decided to change course. As a result, we will enable an upgrade path for B450 and X470 customers that adds support for next-gen AMD Ryzen™ Processors with the “Zen 3” architecture. This decision is very fresh, but here is a first look at how the upgrade path is expected to work for customers of these motherboards.

  1. 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.

  2. These optional BIOS updates will disable support for many existing AMD Ryzen™ Desktop Processor models to make the necessary ROM space available.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Timing and availability of the BIOS updates will vary and may not immediately coincide with the availability of the first “Zen 3”-based processors.

  6. 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.

  7. AMD continues to recommend that customers choose an AMD 500 Series motherboard for the best performance and features with our new CPUs.

There are still many details to iron out, but we’ve already started the necessary planning. As we get closer to the launch of this upgrade path, you should expect another blog just like this to provide the remaining details and a walkthrough of the specific process.

At CES 2017, AMD made a commitment: we would support AMD Socket AM4 until 2020. We’ve spent the next three years working very hard to fulfill that promise across four architectures, plus pioneering use of new technologies like chiplets and PCIe® Gen 4. Thanks to your feedback, we are now set to bring “Zen 3” to the AMD 400 Series chipsets. We’re grateful for your passion and support of AMD’s products and technologies.

We’ll talk again soon.

While AMD doesn’t officially support Zen 2 processors on 300 series motherboards, they did invest engineering time to make it work and provided motherboard makers with the necessary AGESA code for support. It was then optional for board markers to implement this update and support Zen 2 processors on their older 300 series boards. Because no AIB wanted to look inferior next to the competition and alienate their own customers, every maker implemented this “beta BIOS” as AMD calls it, and as a result the Ryzen 9 3950X will work on most B350 boards.

AMD’s previous Zen3 chart released earlier this month

MSI retains its position on next-gen Zen support on its X470 & B450 MAX line of motherboards. MSI has previously stated the following for its X470 & B450 MAX motherboards which holds true:

  • You just bought an AMD Ryzen 3rd Generation processor and need a value-oriented B450 motherboard that comes with out-of-the-box Ryzen 3000 series support.
  • You don’t want to deal with BIOS updates and other issues before being able to use the CPU you want.
  • You’d prefer having the option of using any AM4 processor that’s supported by the B450 chipset without worrying about compatibility.
  • You want access to the full-featured MSI UEFI BIOS without compromising support for any AM4 product.
  • You want a value-oriented motherboard that’ll support not only the latest AMD releases but will also have you covered for all future AM4 product releases.

 

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Kiran Fernandes

Kiran is your friendly neighbourhood tech enthusiast who's passionate about all kinds of tech, goes crazy over 4G and 5G networks, and has recently sparked an interest in sci-fi and cosmology.

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