Tuesday, July 9th 2019

MSI Scampers to Launch New AMD 400-series Motherboards with 256Mb BIOS Chips

Our Monday story chronicled how MSI inadvertently erred in giving many of its AMD 400-series chipset motherboards 128 Mbit (16-megabyte) SPI flash ROM chips instead of larger 256 Mbit (32-megabyte) ones, which nearly jeopardized the company's "Zen 2" support deployment, forcing it to greatly thin its motherboard firmware feature-set, and break SATA RAID support on many of its boards. To be fair to MSI, the company may not have anticipated the AGESA microcode growing tremendously in size with its latest ComboAM4 1.0.0.3-series. We are now hearing from Polish tech publication PurePC that MSI has scrambled to remedy this by re-releasing many of its AMD 400-series chipset motherboards with larger 256 Mbit SPI flash ROM chips.

The PurePC report states that MSI will brand the revised motherboards "MAX" in the product name (eg: B450 Gaming Pro Carbon AC MAX, B450M Bazooka MAX, etc.), although we don't know if the new model names will have the company's latest MEG/MPG/MAG prefixes. The 256 Mbit SPI flash ROM chip allows MSI to cram in AGESA 1.0.0.3a, which lets you use 3rd generation Ryzen processors to their full capabilities (barring PCIe gen 4.0 on these motherboards of course). More importantly, the larger ROM chip allows MSI to have AGESA 1.0.0.3a without sacrificing on its feature-rich Click BIOS 5 UEFI setup program, SATA RAID module, or losing support for any of the socket AM4 processors.
MSI is said to be working on variants of not just its B450 and X470 chipset motherboards, but also the entry-level A320 chipset. The company gambles that people may still try to pair "Picasso" APUs with the A320. Why AMD 400-series boards now, you ask? Because X570 motherboards start at $170, and enthusiasts may want to pair their brand new 3rd generation Ryzen processors with an AMD 400-series chipset motherboard, taking advantage of USB BIOS Flashback feature, instead. It won't be until early-2020 that AMD launches cheaper 500-series chipsets. Until then, sales of 400-series chipset motherboards are expected to rise, as more consumers pick up 3rd generation Ryzen processors. Source: PurePC.pl
Add your own comment

34 Comments on MSI Scampers to Launch New AMD 400-series Motherboards with 256Mb BIOS Chips

#1
john_
Is there an easy way to check if a motherboard comes with 16 or 32MB of ROM.
Posted on Reply
#3
Bitgod
Well BLEEP. Now, do I send back my B450 Carbon AC and wait for the Super, errrrrr, Max version?
Posted on Reply
#4
The Quim Reaper
Haha!...this has same whiff of 'you'll never need more than 640K' about it.
Posted on Reply
#5
lexluthermiester
The Quim Reaper
Haha!...this has same whiff of 'you'll never need more than 640K' about it.
It really does, doesn't it? LOL! Board makers needed to do this years ago. The difference in EEPROM prices are penny's in the volume they buy them in.
Posted on Reply
#6
silentbogo
john_
Is there an easy way to check if a motherboard comes with 16 or 32MB of ROM.
Just check the spec sheet for your motherboard on manufacturers website. Most OEMs have it listed.
Posted on Reply
#7
Markosz
Nice... I almost ordered the B450 Gaming Pro Carbon AC yesterday.

Back to waiting... more waiting.
Posted on Reply
#8
MiBe91
Bitgod
Well BLEEP. Now, do I send back my B450 Carbon AC and wait for the Super, errrrrr, Max version?
There will just be a more plain looking Click BIOS, removing support for Bristol Ridge (why would you still need that anyway), that supports 3rd Gen Ryzen without any problems. So you'll be perfectly fine with your current board, I wouldn't put in the effort just for a more fancy looking interface and support for outdated CPU's.
Posted on Reply
#9
Tsukiyomi91
bet to you others like ASUS, Gigabyte & ASRock are gonna do the same thing coz the number of folks who are buying the expensive-as-heck X570 boards are either very small or close to none, considering AMD has been the platform for reasonably-priced budget builds.
Posted on Reply
#10
Assimilator
john_
Is there an easy way to check if a motherboard comes with 16 or 32MB of ROM.
Look in the "Specifications" section of the board's product page on their website. If it says "16MB" or "128Mbit", avoid. If it says "32MB" or "256MBit", that's good.
Posted on Reply
#11
RH92
I really hope board manufacturers will propose a free exchange to those who have already purchased an affected model , my strix b450-i has an 256Mbit rom so im safe but it sucks for those who are affected .
Posted on Reply
#12
Assimilator
RH92
I really hope board manufacturers will propose a free exchange to those who have already purchased an affected model , my strix b450-i has an 256Mbit rom so im safe but it sucks for those who are affected .
Hahaha, good luck with that.
Posted on Reply
#13
tony359
RH92
I really hope board manufacturers will propose a free exchange to those who have already purchased an affected model
Maybe an upgrade kit?

I find weird that this is happening as clearly it confirms it was not expected. I also find weird this is only happening with MSI? I see lots of other manufacturers using 16MB chips. What about them?
Posted on Reply
#14
iO
tony359
Maybe an upgrade kit?

I find weird that this is happening as clearly it confirms it was not expected. I also find weird this is only happening with MSI? I see lots of other manufacturers using 16MB chips. What about them?
Less bloated UEFI or maybe better compression. But with 16MB chips they'll face the same problems as the new microcode adds 2.9MB on top of the existing 4.6MB for the previous gens. Half the space occupied without even a line of code of the actual BIOS..
Posted on Reply
#15
tony359
It just feels weird that only MSI feel like they need to release a new HW revision?
Posted on Reply
#16
1stn00b
Well it just makes sense now :

Techpowerup : MSI Betrays AMD's Socket AM4 Longevity Promise: No Zen2 for 300-series?
[B]Techpowerup : MSI Issues Clarification on Next-Gen AMD CPU Support on 300-series Motherboards[/B]
MSI : Next-Gen AMD CPU & APU support on MSI 300- and 400-series AM4 motherboards

In may 2019 they indeed released a beta bios E7A31M1 that now is removed from download page but that bios didn't include Ryzen 3000 microcodes so was just a PR stunt.



Comparison between january 2019 7A31K0 bios and their fake Ryzen 3000 may 2019 bios :



The situation today : MSI : Are You Ready for Ryzen 3000 Series Processors? Get the Latest BIOS and Easy Upgrade with Your AMD 300 / 400 Series Motherboards. There is no X370 XPOWER GAMING TITANIUM bios listed there.

My bet is they will discontinue all 300/400 motherboards with 16MB bioses the moment this MAX motherboards get officially announced. This was their intention since they got cought in april.
Posted on Reply
#17
RH92
tony359
Maybe an upgrade kit?
That would only work for boards who have removable bios chips , very few do ......

Assimilator
Hahaha, good luck with that.
This entire situation is their fault so yeah .....
Posted on Reply
#18
lexluthermiester
RH92
That would only work for boards who have removable bios chips , very few do ......
What are you talking about? All of them are removable. The only question is whether or not you need a soldering gun.
Posted on Reply
#19
tony359
lexluthermiester
What are you talking about? All of them are removable. The only question is whether or not you need a soldering gun.
I guess a chip that can be removed by desoldering does not qualify as ‘removable’

I feel we both meant ‘socketed’. Too bad if it’s not.
Posted on Reply
#20
lexluthermiester
tony359
I guess a chip that can be removed by desoldering does not qualify as ‘removable’

I feel we both meant ‘socketed’. Too bad if it’s not.
I knew what he was saying, was simply highlighting that there is always an option.
Posted on Reply
#21
prtskg
Markosz
Nice... I almost ordered the B450 Gaming Pro Carbon AC yesterday.
Back to waiting... more waiting.
Bitgod
Well BLEEP. Now, do I send back my B450 Carbon AC and wait for the Super, errrrrr, Max version?
There's a beta bios for 3000 series. I don't know whether they'll provide further updates or not on that motherboard though.
Posted on Reply
#22
gasolina
prtskg
There's a beta bios for 3000 series. I don't know whether they'll provide further updates or not on that motherboard though.
seems to me msi will not release any bios for the x370 b350....i still have a x370 gaming pro carbon and x370 titanium .....guess i will not buy any msi anymore if they drop support while asus/asrock even biostar still strongly support. You can check on hwbot there guys using x370 asus overclock the 3700x.......
Posted on Reply
#23
RH92
lexluthermiester
What are you talking about? All of them are removable. The only question is whether or not you need a soldering gun.
Oh yeah how silly am i , i forgot that most average users and their grandmas are afraid to enter the bios , but , BUT , will happily run to replace the bios chip with their soldering guns .... yeah S U R E
:banghead: Thank you Sherlock :banghead:
Posted on Reply
#24
lexluthermiester
RH92
:banghead: Thank you Sherlock :banghead:
You're welcome, Watson.

(I think you're forgetting what kind of people visit this site generally...)
Posted on Reply
#25
Vayra86
It amazes me that this gets public in the first place, to be honest. This is one obvious kink AMD should have smoothed out with AIBs long ago. Its not like this is some minor, obscure feature.
Posted on Reply
Add your own comment