Tuesday, May 19th 2020

AMD Backpedals, Zen 3 Support Coming to B450 and X470

AMD backpedaled on dropping support for its future "Zen 3" processors on AMD 400-series chipset motherboards. The company will work with its motherboard partners in integrating "Zen 3" processor support on certain beta versions of motherboard BIOSes. AMD also detailed how it plans to go about it. The said BIOS will be a one-way ticket to using "Zen 3" processors while losing support for all older microarchitectures.

The way it works is the motherboard manufacturer will integrate the Zen 3-only AGESA with a firmware that can squeeze into a 16 MB ROM. They may also choose to conserve ROM space in areas such as the UEFI setup program, which may not correspond with the motherboard's original feature-set. This is essentially similar to how MSI integrated "Zen 2" support on some of its older motherboards with 16 MB ROMs, by slimming down its UEFI setup program.

Since the BIOS will chop support for all older processors, to prevent motherboard RMA chaos for manufacturers, they will set up a system that issues BIOS updates only to customers upon verifying that they actually own a "Zen 3" processor. The way we imagine this works would be similar to game bundles (retailer issues a BIOS update token along with the processor, or a scratch card next to the case badge inside the PIB). Flashing a 400-series chipset motherboard will be a delicate process. You will have to use the USB BIOS flashback feature (which luckily is well proliferated on the AM4 motherboard ecosystem). Alternatively, you should be able to begin the BIOS flashing process with an older processor installed, and immediately switch over to the newer Zen 3 processor once the flashing process is complete.

Also, the beta BIOS updates won't be immediately available, but rather when "Zen 3" processors are readily available in all the markets AMD serves. AMD reiterates, that "Zen 3" will be the final microarchitecture 400-series chipsets support, recommending that the processors will work best with a 500-series chipset motherboard for best performance and support for the latest features.

Controversy erupted when AMD revealed in its B550 chipset slide deck that 400-series (and older) chipsets won't support "Zen 3," which users felt betrayed AMD's promise of platform support running into 2020. In the absence of B550, many value-conscious buyers paired their brand new 3rd generation Ryzen processors with some of the more premium B450 chipset motherboards, in hopes of an upgrade path to "Zen 3."
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93 Comments on AMD Backpedals, Zen 3 Support Coming to B450 and X470

#76
Mats
Amite
Given the slowdown AMD was about to shoot their selves in the foot
What slowdown?


A lot of things has slowed down the last months, AMD sales is not on of them, if Mindfactory sales are of any indication. I know, just one big store in one country.

More than three times as many CPU's sold in one month compared to a year ago, and nine months since the last Ryzen launch. Not bad.

Compare all the Intel CPU's sold last month with the 3600 alone, yeah that's less than half the amount..

Or have a look at Amazon, would like to see the numbers tho, this is less informative than the last one. I always thought USA were more pro Intel than Germany, but again, this doesn't tell us much.
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Posted on Reply
#77
R0H1T
Well you could argue that with a new launch, okay rebadged SKL, Intel would gain some market share but that's normal. If AMD were to launch their APU & zen3 for desktops in the near future their sales would skyrocket once again. In terms of DIY the sales fluctuate periodically between launches, though the momentum AMD has in this direction will not reverse any time soon, unless Intel pulls a Conroe & prices their best parts way lower than what AMD does currently ~ yes that was one of the main reasons why Core took off !
Posted on Reply
#78
Mats
R0H1T
unless Intel pulls a Conroe & prices their best parts way lower than what AMD does currently
That never happened with Conroe. Intels best C2D cost $1000 at launch.
R0H1T
yes that was one of the main reasons why Core took off !
Low power, overclockability and IPC uplift were the main reasons IMO. They weren't exactly cheap just because they were worth the money.
Posted on Reply
#79
R0H1T
Did it? I don't remember the timeline but I do recall the best AMD processors costing $1k just before their launch IIRC.
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#80
Chrispy_
R0H1T
Did it? I don't remember the timeline but I do recall the best AMD processors costing $1k just before their launch IIRC.
You're right. Socket 939's swansong (FX-60) was the hottest consumer chip you could buy when Conroe landed and it was selling at over $1k in quantities of 1000.
Posted on Reply
#82
Mats
Prices at the Conroe launch.

www.anandtech.com/show/2045/2
R0H1T
Did it? I don't remember the timeline but I do recall the best AMD processors costing $1k just before their launch IIRC.
The FX and the X6800 were more like halo products I guess. Like I said, Conroe wasn't cheap, but it was so worth the price it had.
Posted on Reply
#83
Chrispy_
bug
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conroe_(microprocessor)#Conroe
$316 for an E6600
Further 4c/4t i5 were just above $200 though (iirc)
I'm not sure how that answers his point. He clearly said "prices their best parts" so we're talking Core2 Extreme at $999.

If you want to link budget dual-core conroe, at $316 you need to compare to the competition at the time, which would have been the new (at the time) AM2 Athlon 64 X2 line - and back then you were getting similar IPC, core counts, clockspeeds, and pricing from both AMD and Intel.

This article acknowledges that Intel had to massively slash prices to "pull a conroe" as R0H1T called it:
www.anandtech.com/show/2045/2
Though I would say that they didn't massively undercut AMD, they massively undercut their previous product stack, obsoleting the entire Pentium D line overnight in order to match AMD.
Posted on Reply
#84
Mats
I think it's funny how some people payed $1000 for a bit better silicon, stock speed, overclockability and cache size. At least these ones had two cores lol.
Posted on Reply
#85
bug
Chrispy_
I'm not sure how that answers his point.
He said he doesn't remember the timeline. I liked to the prices at launch and used a mid-ranger for reference.
Like you @Mats said, Conroe wasn't cheap overall. It was about bang for the buck.
Posted on Reply
#86
Mats
If anyone lowered their prices it was AMD, because they had to.
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#88
crotach
What if you have a decent motherboard that has more than 16MB ROM?
Posted on Reply
#91
rvalencia
Mats
Do you even understand what I was talking about? Hint: It was offtopic..
AMD in 2006. They had to lower their prices because of Intels new CPU's at the time.

Too bad for your argument, AMD has Zen 2 refresh.
Posted on Reply
#92
Jayp
bug
With all that talk, AMD was about to do what their fans accuse Intel of: removing CPU support for no good reason.
At least they reversed their stance quickly. But not quick enough for people not to notice where their heart truly is ;)
The 16 MB limitation and the one way ticket to Zen 3 isn’t a good reason. They also said they had no plans but that didn’t mean it wouldn’t happen. At least Zen changes year after year. As it stands the X470 supports three generations of Zen. That’s more than Intel ever gives. Intel hasn’t actually changed their architecture since Skylake and Z170. Yet we have Z170, Z270, Z370, Z390 and a newly pinned Z490.
Posted on Reply
#93
Mats
rvalencia
Too bad for your argument, AMD has Zen 2 refresh.
What's that got to do with what I said lol.
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