AMD Commits to a Longer Upgrade Path, Bringing Zen 3 Support to X470 and B450 Chipsets/Motherboards

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Are you one of the many Ryzen users who called out AMD for restricting its latest architecture to the X570 and B550 platforms? Well, it appears that your efforts weren’t in vain, as the company took to r/AMD this morning to announce that it would be bringing Zen 3 support to the 400 series as well.

This is a major win for enthusiasts who recently upgraded to an X470 or B450 motherboard and assumed that they’d work with Ryzen 4000 CPUs. It also opens up plenty of hardware options for Zen 3-based processors, alleviating worries of price gouging over a potential lack of X570 and/or B550 boards.

“As the team weighed your feedback against the technical challenges we face, we decided to change course,” wrote AMD. “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.

AMD stands firm on its original decision to make Zen 3 exclusive to the X570 and B550 platforms, however. The company points to the lack of necessary SPI ROM capacity in many 400-series motherboards.

“Our experience has been that large-scale BIOS upgrades can be difficult and confusing especially as processors come on and off the support lists,” it explained. “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.”

Tsing Mui
News poster at The FPS Review.

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