Friday, January 7th 2022

AMD Explores Adding Ryzen 5000-series Support to 300-series Chipsets

One of the most debated questions surrounding AMD's AM4 platform has been the lack of support for AMD's Ryzen 5000-series CPUs on the company's 300-series chipsets. Now, in an interview with Tom's Hardware, AMD's Corporate VP and GM of the Client Channel business, David McAfee, has thrown some cautious words into the hellish debate on platform fragmentation (some even say artificial segmentation). "It's definitely something we're working through," David said. "And it's not lost on us at all that this would be a good thing to do for the community, and we're trying to figure out how to make it happen." It's not a promise, but it seems that AMD is indeed contemplating solutions that would enable first-generation AM4 chipsets to support AMD's latest Ryzen 5000 series CPUs.

The problem has mostly to do with storage space: there are only so much available bits to be used in AM4 motherboards' 16 MB SPI ROM, the read-only memory bank that stores BIOS configurations and the necessary instructions for processor support. As AM4 is one of the longest-lived consumer platforms ever, the number of CPUs has ballooned, which has led to difficult decisions as to which CPUs to support. However, some more creative board partners have resorted to interesting techniques that allowed them to free up space in the SPI ROM that could be used to add support for otherwise incompatible CPUs, such as simplifying the BIOS GUI and falling back on more traditional text-based UIs. That and other practices resulted in a number of vendors adding support for AMD's Ryzen 5000 chips on the most entry-level A320 motherboards, which left consumers that had opted for the more technically accomplished X370 motherboards high and dry - barring a few lucky, ASRock-toting exceptions.
"I know that this has been a topic that, honestly, gets a lot of attention and a lot of discussion within AMD," David McAffee continued. "I'm not joking when I say that - I've literally had three conversations on this very topic today. And I'm not talking about with members of the press; I'm talking about internal conversations within our engineering teams and planning teams to understand what options we have and what we can do, and how can we deliver the right experience for a 300-series motherboard user who wants to upgrade to a 5000-series processor."

That might be more complicated than expected, however, since power delivery requirements have also changed throughout generations. AMD has scaled its AM4 socket from eight Zen cores in a single CPU up to 16 with AMD's flagship Ryzen 9 5950X CPU, and you can be sure that power requirements are different between them. It's likely that any move in this area would require a per-motherboard validation, and again, AMD didn't promise anything: but there's at least a light at the end of the tunnel.
Source: Tom's Hardware
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48 Comments on AMD Explores Adding Ryzen 5000-series Support to 300-series Chipsets

#1
DeathtoGnomes
isnt there a limit which can be used according to power available? I dont know these boards so dont know what their VRMs can handle.
Posted on Reply
#2
mechtech
Just a bonus if they do.

No big deal to me, if I was to get a 5k series, I would also upgrade my x370 motherboard and ram with it and hand down my old stuff to a family member.

As for the rom size, I think mobo makers should always use removable bios dips, and the mobo should come with a spare one.


Not hard.
Posted on Reply
#3
xrror
Warning - wild speculation ahead - I fully could be full of BS. The following should be considered an opinion and no factual.

I was under the impression that at least some of the push-back against adding support to 3xx series boards came from some of the motherboard makers - namely that that they couldn't validate Ryzen 5xxx on some of the early boards because - to be blunt - they were junk. I know some specific examples like Asus B350 boards that even today can't even run right with 3xxx if you actually run them 24/7, stock speeds.

MSI whined and started the whole not enough ROM space cause they cheaped out on flash size (sorry for the negative tone, but MSI's CEO has said some other fun things over the years of that the customer can pretty much suck it when they get caught short on design decisions) and then then became cannon vs. what other companies did, like drop old pre-ryzen chip support or maybe not burning the entire flash budget on their uefi bios "eazy mode" that nobody ever uses (the targeted 'new to computers user' simply never changes anything - or they go straight to advanced mode [that doesn't have 200 full spead pictures of nothing with no real info] because that's what they read in all the online guides that they follow).

Sorry - I'm NOT trying to defend AMD having started this whole segmentation, but remember that when AM4 launched and especially when Ryzen 1st gen came in that it was a bit of a rush, and I remember some stories that mobo makers were caught a bit off guard. While Ryzen ended up being successful (in retrospect - remember they were just coming off of FX) AMD burned some good-will with mobo makers at that accellerated launch. I wonder if AMD then trying to regain some of that good-will is why they didn't push back against certain mobo makers balking at providing 5xxx support later on early boards vs. just mandating it. Shonky boards that don't ever run right, even worse on more modern procs lose face for the offending mobo maker.

Obviously there are other makers who were totally fine with providing support like AsRock, but then get the chain yanked on them cause it would make the other players angry (Asus?).

Again this is just wild speculation, i'm probably totally wrong as usual.
Posted on Reply
#4
Chrispy_
I don't think anyone has an issue with dropping BIOS support for old CPUs. Most vendors have already dumped some earlier AM4 models from their BIOSes anyway.

People generally don't update their BIOS if their CPU works with their motherboard. Sure, there are some security patches rolled into BIOSes but I highly doubt that even among enthusiasts people bother with BIOS updates unless they're changing hardware. Once it's stable and working as desired most people just leave the BIOS alone.

It's not like the release of a new AGESA version suddenly breaks old CPUs, people have to intentionally go to their board manufacturer's website, download the BIOS manually, and that usually involves reading a bunch of caveats in big red letters that explicitly say things like "THIS BIOS DOES NOT SUPPORT 7TH GEN BRISTOL RIDGE A-SERIES CPUS". It's your own fault if you update your BIOS for an unsupported CPU.
Posted on Reply
#5
Chomiq
DeathtoGnomesisnt there a limit which can be used according to power available? I dont know these boards so dont know what their VRMs can handle.
I think it's more about the select APUs.
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#6
Ferrum Master
mechtechJust a bonus if they do.

No big deal to me, if I was to get a 5k series, I would also upgrade my x370 motherboard and ram with it and hand down my old stuff to a family member.

As for the rom size, I think mobo makers should always use removable bios dips, and the mobo should come with a spare one.


Not hard.
Exactly...

But solution be special bios, if the board has recovery options from USB. Perfect.
Posted on Reply
#7
Dave65
This would be wonderful if AMD did this, but I think most have moved on from x370. At this point maybe focus energy someplace else..
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#8
Vya Domus
Chrispy_I don't think anyone has an issue with dropping BIOS support for old CPUs. Most vendors have already dumped some earlier AM4 models from their BIOSes anyway.

People generally don't update their BIOS if their CPU works with their motherboard. Sure, there are some security patches rolled into BIOSes but I highly doubt that even among enthusiasts people bother with BIOS updates unless they're changing hardware. Once it's stable and working as desired most people just leave the BIOS alone.

It's not like the release of a new AGESA version suddenly breaks old CPUs, people have to intentionally go to their board manufacturer's website, download the BIOS manually, and that usually involves reading a bunch of caveats in big red letters that explicitly say things like "THIS BIOS DOES NOT SUPPORT 7TH GEN BRISTOL RIDGE A-SERIES CPUS". It's your own fault if you update your BIOS for an unsupported CPU.
It's not that easy, they just don't want to deal with being sent motherboards back from users after updating the wrong kind of BIOS. And I am pretty sure that updates to AGESA are tied with updates that remove old CPUs, for example if I want the latest AGESA for my board I need to update to a version that will actually remove support for my current CPU.
Posted on Reply
#9
Dan R
mechtechJust a bonus if they do.

No big deal to me, if I was to get a 5k series, I would also upgrade my x370 motherboard and ram with it and hand down my old stuff to a family member.

As for the rom size, I think mobo makers should always use removable bios dips, and the mobo should come with a spare one.


Not hard.
Until recently I had an ASRock x370 the ITX one. Some MB manufacturers (like MSI) kept saying that reason for not supporting new CPU is the bios chip, however, that ASRock had support for all Ryzen 1xxx up to 3xxx, and their latest bios has a little over 8MB. But I guess MSI (and others) love to load the bios with fancy logos, buttons and such, then offer support for the latest CPU.... Plus, if space would really be a concern, they could make bios version for let's say Ryzen 3xxx and 5xxx and erase support for the older ones... But I believe they just don't want that
Posted on Reply
#10
RedBear
xrrorI was under the impression that at least some of the push-back against adding support to 3xx series boards came from some of the motherboard makers - namely that that they couldn't validate Ryzen 5xxx on some of the early boards because - to be blunt - they were junk. I know some specific examples like Asus B350 boards that even today can't even run right with 3xxx if you actually run them 24/7, stock speeds.
The weird thing is that when they started releasing updates that added Vermeer support to the 3xx series they started doing it with the cheap A320 motherboards, while most X370 owners are still waiting (IIRC only MSI has already released support for B350 and X370, but I might be wrong), setting aside that famous ASRock bios update for the X370 Taichi. I would have expected support to come first, or even exclusively, to X370, if the issue was found mostly/exclusively on the lower end motherboards.
Posted on Reply
#11
TheGuruStud
mechtechJust a bonus if they do.

No big deal to me, if I was to get a 5k series, I would also upgrade my x370 motherboard and ram with it and hand down my old stuff to a family member.

As for the rom size, I think mobo makers should always use removable bios dips, and the mobo should come with a spare one.


Not hard.
or just dos flash back and forth like normal (and no one is gonna downgrade after popping in zen 3 anyway). This is all a ruse. If they release support, then it's to sell off remaining zen 3 chips before 4 arrives.
RedBearThe weird thing is that when they started releasing updates that added Vermeer support to the 3xx series they started doing it with the cheap A320 motherboards, while most X370 owners are still waiting (IIRC only MSI has already released support for B350 and X370, but I might be wrong), setting aside that famous ASRock bios update for the X370 Taichi. I would have expected support to come first, or even exclusively, to X370, if the issue was found mostly/exclusively on the lower end motherboards.
b/c they know those cheapskates aren't gonna upgrade double, again. It seems like AMD told them to do it. Meanwhile, you bought x370? Well, you can afford a new MB with that CPU.
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#12
mama
Okay, it's time to move on. 300 series boards are old and not fit for purpose for a 5000x processor.
Posted on Reply
#13
Fluffmeister
They have an AM4 socket, this is piss poor. The lesson here is don't get into AM5 too early, you might find your long living support will die with future CPU releases.
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#14
R0H1T
TheGuruStudto sell off remaining zen 3 chips before 4 arrives.
zen 3 will easily last beyond (initial) zen4 release.
Posted on Reply
#15
Chrispy_
Vya DomusIt's not that easy, they just don't want to deal with being sent motherboards back from users after updating the wrong kind of BIOS. And I am pretty sure that updates to AGESA are tied with updates that remove old CPUs, for example if I want the latest AGESA for my board I need to update to a version that will actually remove support for my current CPU.
We're talking about 300-series boards that are out of warranty and require you to manually download a BIOS that's behind a page full of warnings in big red letters that specifically state which CPUs that particular BIOS does not work with.

If you screw up your system through stupidity and wilful ignorance, that's called "the consequences of your actions". Neither AMD nor the motherboard vendor should be responsible for intentional damage.
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#16
TheLostSwede
mechtechJust a bonus if they do.

No big deal to me, if I was to get a 5k series, I would also upgrade my x370 motherboard and ram with it and hand down my old stuff to a family member.

As for the rom size, I think mobo makers should always use removable bios dips, and the mobo should come with a spare one.


Not hard.
No-one uses those chips for UEFI, they're not capacious enough.
This is what's being used now, which is still socketable.

xrrorWarning - wild speculation ahead - I fully could be full of BS. The following should be considered an opinion and no factual.

I was under the impression that at least some of the push-back against adding support to 3xx series boards came from some of the motherboard makers - namely that that they couldn't validate Ryzen 5xxx on some of the early boards because - to be blunt - they were junk. I know some specific examples like Asus B350 boards that even today can't even run right with 3xxx if you actually run them 24/7, stock speeds.

MSI whined and started the whole not enough ROM space cause they cheaped out on flash size (sorry for the negative tone, but MSI's CEO has said some other fun things over the years of that the customer can pretty much suck it when they get caught short on design decisions) and then then became cannon vs. what other companies did, like drop old pre-ryzen chip support or maybe not burning the entire flash budget on their uefi bios "eazy mode" that nobody ever uses (the targeted 'new to computers user' simply never changes anything - or they go straight to advanced mode [that doesn't have 200 full spead pictures of nothing with no real info] because that's what they read in all the online guides that they follow).

Sorry - I'm NOT trying to defend AMD having started this whole segmentation, but remember that when AM4 launched and especially when Ryzen 1st gen came in that it was a bit of a rush, and I remember some stories that mobo makers were caught a bit off guard. While Ryzen ended up being successful (in retrospect - remember they were just coming off of FX) AMD burned some good-will with mobo makers at that accellerated launch. I wonder if AMD then trying to regain some of that good-will is why they didn't push back against certain mobo makers balking at providing 5xxx support later on early boards vs. just mandating it. Shonky boards that don't ever run right, even worse on more modern procs lose face for the offending mobo maker.

Obviously there are other makers who were totally fine with providing support like AsRock, but then get the chain yanked on them cause it would make the other players angry (Asus?).

Again this is just wild speculation, i'm probably totally wrong as usual.
Junk might be going a bit too far, but some of the early boards lacked any kind of external clock control, which may or may not be an issue.
There were obviously some other issues with early boards too, simply based on the board makers inexperience with the platform and AMD not sending them reference designs.

The ROM space issue is real, as long as you want a fancy GUI in the UEFI and support for several generations of CPUs/APUs, but as we've seen, board makers have offered transitional UEFI updates that has allowed people to move to newer CPUs on boards with limited space. Some of these boards have had to revert to a simpler UEFI design as well.
On a side note, I loathe the MSI eazy mode, it's really not easy to navigate.

Another issue might be in terms of what interfaces you'll get, as the 300-series boards won't magically do 20Gbps USB 3.2 2x2 as an example, so people upgrading need to be aware of these things. PCIe 4.0 is obviously the major other one.

It's not fair to blame AMD alone on this, but it's also fair to blame them for rushing out the original Ryzen and 300-series chipsets, as things weren't exactly ready for primetime, but then again, they did it again with Ryzen 3000 and the X570 chipset, so it seems like they didn't learn their lesson. The board makers have been used to Intel's way of working, which means they're given reference boards, huge amounts of documentation and local FAE's, which AMD apparently didn't do. It's also likely that this is why a lot of boards were late and the board makers weren't all that enthusiastic about Ryzen to start with. Anyhow, it's a complex situation and hopefully Zen 4 will be less of a clusterfuck.
Chrispy_I don't think anyone has an issue with dropping BIOS support for old CPUs. Most vendors have already dumped some earlier AM4 models from their BIOSes anyway.

People generally don't update their BIOS if their CPU works with their motherboard. Sure, there are some security patches rolled into BIOSes but I highly doubt that even among enthusiasts people bother with BIOS updates unless they're changing hardware. Once it's stable and working as desired most people just leave the BIOS alone.

It's not like the release of a new AGESA version suddenly breaks old CPUs, people have to intentionally go to their board manufacturer's website, download the BIOS manually, and that usually involves reading a bunch of caveats in big red letters that explicitly say things like "THIS BIOS DOES NOT SUPPORT 7TH GEN BRISTOL RIDGE A-SERIES CPUS". It's your own fault if you update your BIOS for an unsupported CPU.
The only problem with this, is that most people have no idea what AMD's CPU/APU codenames are...
FluffmeisterThey have an AM4 socket, this is piss poor. The lesson here is don't get into AM5 too early, you might find your long living support will die with future CPU releases.
Lisa Su has already promised long support for it. Also, is Intel any better?
Posted on Reply
#17
lexluthermiester
DeathtoGnomesisnt there a limit which can be used according to power available? I dont know these boards so dont know what their VRMs can handle.
All of them are supposed to be rated for 95w at minimum. So they should be good for everything below the 5900X.
R0H1Tzen 3 will easily last beyond (initial) zen4 release.
This. AM5 CPUs will not instantly make AM4 irrelevant. The AM4 platform will continue to have something to offer and have value.
Posted on Reply
#18
tony359
mamaOkay, it's time to move on. 300 series boards are old and not fit for purpose for a 5000x processor.
I remember when, on this very forum, I was advocating that the choice to not include 3000 series with A320 boards was purely a marketing one but quite a few users here disagreed with me offering a bunch of technical reasons to explain why that would never happen.

eventually the whole 3000 series was adopted and now we see 5000 series being adopted too.

besides that, I see this as a difficult exercise between the board manufacturers and AMD.
only AMD gains some profits from extending the support on older platforms. If my A320 can support series 5000, I will buy another Ryzen but NOT another motherboard.
On the other side, if the A320 was stuck with series 2000, I may decide to replace my whole system with an Intel one - and maybe with a different motherboard manufacturer.
It’s not an easy situation and I can understand the manufacturers reluctance in investing money to support older boards.
Posted on Reply
#19
Jeager
mamaOkay, it's time to move on. 300 series boards are old and not fit for purpose for a 5000x processor.
Why not ?

I dont want to spend more if I upgrade my 1600 to 5600 later this year (and entry level MB have shit audio chipset compared to my X370)
Posted on Reply
#20
seth1911
Chrispy_I don't think anyone has an issue with dropping BIOS support for old CPUs. Most vendors have already dumped some earlier AM4 models from their BIOSes anyway.
For u, but it will be bad for the second hand market. :laugh:
Posted on Reply
#21
tony359
JeagerWhy not ?
exactly! I honestly struggle to understand this "it's old so it cannot be good anymore".
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#22
DeathtoGnomes
lexluthermiesterAll of them are supposed to be rated for 95w at minimum. So they should be good for everything below the 5900X.
does that include overclocking?
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#23
rainzor
Oh, coz it would be good for a community lol. The CPUs are 1yr+ one the market and just recently you started to think about the community. Wonder why that is? What a guy.
DeathtoGnomesisnt there a limit which can be used according to power available? I dont know these boards so dont know what their VRMs can handle.
My dude, A320 boards support 5K series CPUs, are we really going to talk about the VRMs?
Vya DomusIt's not that easy, they just don't want to deal with being sent motherboards back from users after updating the wrong kind of BIOS. And I am pretty sure that updates to AGESA are tied with updates that remove old CPUs, for example if I want the latest AGESA for my board I need to update to a version that will actually remove support for my current CPU.
Send back my board that has been out of warranty for almost 2 years? To whom? Or are you suggesting vendors shouldn't offer BIOS updates at all coz user might flash the wrong one?
Usually when you download a BIOS file from a vendors page, it states what that particular version does. If it is inconvenient for you, then don't update. Doesn't mean the rest of us shouldn't have the option.
Asrock for example removed support only for Bristol Ridge APUs and Athlons to make room for 5K series on their A320 boards.
mamaOkay, it's time to move on. 300 series boards are old and not fit for purpose for a 5000x processor.
And somehow those 3 phase 400 series boards are perfectly fit haha. Stop with the excuses already.
It was a business decision and that's fine, but just say it, don't give us the BS.
Anyway, sure, i'll move on. ADL i5 seems mighty tempting rn.
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#24
mechtech
TheLostSwedeNo-one uses those chips for UEFI, they're not capacious enough.
This is what's being used now, which is still socketable.

Agreed, socketable/removable at least. Pretty much every motherboard (comsumer grade) are soldered on :| A lot easier to upgrade to a 32MB bios chip like this vs soldering.
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#25
tony359
it's a few pennies which will multiply for (hundreds of thousands?) boards, saving a big chunk of money in the end. As it's been said, 99% of people never ever update their BIOS so I can very much understand why consumer motherboards don't normally have those features - sadly.
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