There’s been an uproar in the community since AMD announced that the upcoming Zen 3 (Ryzen 4000 series) CPUs will not be supported on the older 400 series chipset motherboards. However, AMD decided to change its course to enable Zen 3 support on the 400 series chipset motherboards for one last time after reviewing the feedback from the community.
This is not going to be an easy task due to the limitation of some of the earlier AM4 CPUs that can only the first 16 megabytes of a BIOS chip. So even if the motherboard is fitted with a BIOS chip that is twice the size of the commonly used 16 megabytes BIOS chip, it’s very likely to end up with two forked BIOS, which can get really complicated.
According to the latest update from AMD, they currently working out on ways to support the upcoming Zen 3 CPUs on the 400 series chipset motherboards, which is most likely an optional BIOS to get the job done. Of course, the optional BIOS will not be available immediately and will probably take weeks or months after the official announcement of the new Zen 3 CPUs.
The official statement from AMD
- We will develop and enable our motherboard partners with the code to support “Zen 3”-based processors in select beta BIOSes for AMD B450 and X470 motherboards.
- These optional BIOS updates will disable support for many existing AMD Ryzen™ Desktop Processor models to make the necessary ROM space available.
- The select beta BIOSes will enable a one-way upgrade path for AMD Ryzen Processors with “Zen 3,” coming later this year. Flashing back to an older BIOS version will not be supported.
- To reduce the potential for confusion, our intent is to offer BIOS download only to verified customers of 400 Series motherboards who have purchased a new desktop processor with “Zen 3” inside. This will help us ensure that customers have a bootable processor on-hand after the BIOS flash, minimizing the risk a user could get caught in a no-boot situation.
- Timing and availability of the BIOS updates will vary and may not immediately coincide with the availability of the first “Zen 3”-based processors.
- This is the final pathway AMD can enable for 400 Series motherboards to add new CPU support. CPU releases beyond “Zen 3” will require a newer motherboard.
- AMD continues to recommend that customers choose an AMD 500 Series motherboard for the best performance and features with our new CPUs.
Based on the official statement from AMD, we can see that the optional BIOS update for the 400 series chipset motherboards will be a one-way kind of update. Once the update has been done, the motherboard will no longer be able to support ‘many existing’ AMD Ryzen desktop processors. This means that you will need to swap out the old Ryzen CPU used for the BIOS update with a new Zen 3 CPU once the update is completed because you will no longer be able to boot with the old Ryzen CPU. So, make sure you have both CPUs with you before performing the update.
With that being said, the Zen 3 is pretty much the end of the line for the AMD 400 series chipset and it’s best to go with the newer 500 series chipset if you really want to take full advantage of the features available on the Zen 3 CPUs and upcoming iterations in the future.