After receiving waves of backlash from its users, AMD announced support for its upcoming processors based on the Zen 3 microarchitecture for the X470 and B450 series motherboards, retracting an earlier decision to omit these platforms for these future products.
In a Reddit thread, AMD said that it’s working with motherboard partners to develop basic input-output systems (BIOS) versions that would enable support for Zen 3 processors on X470 and B450 motherboards.
Once flashed onto the motherboard, the new BIOS would disable support for older generation Ryzen processors to free up space for new BIOS codes. The upgrade is one-way, meaning that users cannot revert back to an older BIOS version once the upgrade is complete. To avoid a “no-boot” situation, users would need to provide proof that they’ve purchased a Zen 3 desktop processor and a 400 series motherboard before they can download the BIOS.
Earlier this month, AMD published a blog post announcing that the fourth generation Ryzen processors would not be compatible with 400 series motherboards despite using the same AM4 socket. The company had previously promised to support the AM4 socket “until 2020”, but never specified an exact date for its retirement.
In the initial blog post, AMD cited BIOS size constraints to be the limiting factor. The blogpost explained that at a maximum of 16MB, the read-only memory (ROM) used to store the BIOS is too small to hold the code necessary to support the new processors.
The hardware community immediately criticized the move. Users who had hoped to upgrade in the future were especially vocal. Because AMD delayed its affordable mainstream B550 motherboard chipset, many new entrants to AMD had to purchase 400 series motherboards as it’s the most affordable entry point to the platform. In addition, many blamed AMD for failing to communicate that new processor support would be a feature for 500 motherboards and that it would have affected their purchasing decision.
Furthermore, many dismissed AMD’s reasonings and argued that motherboard manufacturers could simply add more ROM. Others called for the company to trim support for older processors to make room for the new codes.
AMD noted that the availability of the new BIOS will vary and may not coincide with the Zen 3 processor launch.