Motherboard maker ASRock has done what many say it can’t, including AMD, added support for the latest Ryzen processors to its older X370 motherboards. The company enabled this support through a new BIOS that will allow its four-year-old motherboards to run the latest and greatest AMD chips, which is a pretty impressive situation for those who have delayed the upgrade. Upgrade to the latest version of AMD’s AM4 socket motherboards. . It also flies in the face of what AMD has said is officially possible and / or allowed, raising the question of whether other motherboard makers such as Asus and Gigabyte will follow suit and whether they risk it. wrath of AMD if they do.
AMD’s position on this issue may change as AM4 nears end of life; company spokespersons admitted to investigating X370 support for Ryzen 5000 processors fairly recently.
The controversy stems from the fact that AMD announced in 2016 that its AM4 chipset would benefit from a long lifecycle of five years, and then somewhat reversed that decision two years ago when it realized that this was not feasible for various reasons. AM4 has still had a very long lifespan and continues to thrive even today in 2022, but AMD’s overthrow has caused some anger within the CPU enthusiast community, and that’s what ASRock tries to rectify with its BIOS update.
According to Tom’s gear, the first ASRock motherboard to receive the new BIOS is its X370 Pro, and the update also comes with a warning that its app will remove card support for Bristol Ridge APUs, which were released in 2017. It also recommends caution if you are currently using a Pinnacle processor. , Raven, Summit or Bristol Ridge.
As for the cause of limitations in the number of processors a chipset can support, it seems to boil down to storage space. Chips that contain BIOS information do not have enough capacity to continue to allow new lines of code. AM4 has lived so long and supported so many processors that its onboard 16MB SPI ROM which contains BIOS data is full. A workaround for this problem is that some BIOS manufacturers have actually removed features from their BIOS to make room for updated CPU compatibility. An example of how this works is to do away with the sophisticated GUI-based BIOS in favor of a text-based BIOS that requires less code.
ASRock’s reservation release announcement follows reports in late 2021 that Asus and Gigabyte had enabled support for Zen 3 processors on entry-level A320 motherboards, which returns. to put a Ferrari engine in a Toyota Yaris chassis. On a related note, people used to modify their 300 series motherboards with pirate BIOSes, which is a bad idea for a number of reasons.
Yet AMD has publicly stated that it is not totally opposed to the idea of officially allowing 300 series motherboards to run 5000 series processors. In an interview with Tom’s linked above, David McAfee, vice president of AMD and general manager of Client Channel business, said it was something they were very aware of, but needed time to figure out how to do it right, if at all. .
He also said the obvious, that taking a brand new $ 500+ processor and dropping it into a five-year-old motherboard isn’t the best combination of parts. McAfee said it like this: “So you’re going to drop it in there [Ryzen 5950X], and it will not provide the performance that the product is capable of. But at the same time, giving someone the opportunity to do it, if they wish, is not a question of whether the board is functionally capable of supporting that or not; is it really about getting the most performance? At this time, AMD’s official response would be that these 300 series motherboards are not a supported configuration in our technical validation coverage matrix. There could be potential issues that we are just not aware of at the moment. “
This is clearly a complicated situation, and not as straightforward as AMD just saying ‘make it happen’, as companies will still have to validate all those old cards on all the new processors that might suddenly get caught up. charged. While people were clearly bowled over by the reversal of AMD over the lifespan of AM4, it doesn’t appear that the company acted in bad faith, and AM4 has had an incredibly long lifespan compared to it. that Intel has offered over the past five years.