There has been a big effort by AMD to offer something that has made a lot of PC gamer happy. Through microcode updates and BIOS tweaks, AMD has ensured that their current lot of Zen architecture CPUs had pretty good support for older motherboards. The Ryzen generations up to the current year with the 3000-series have been supported on the likes of B450 motherboards via manufacturers and AMD working together. The new Ryzen 4 chipsets won’t get microcode or hardware updates.
According to TechPowerUp’s article it looks like AMD’s next-gen ZEN 3 CPUs won’t be backwards-compatible with the older 400-series, as well as the 300-series of Motherboard chipsets. This means that after three full generations of support for the older revisions, it’s time to upgrade for users on these older platforms. So with the Ryzen 4000 series CPUs, things are changing.
As of now, the X570 and B550 stand as the frontrunners for support of the new 4th-gen Ryzen 4000 CPUs. These new CPUs have been given to motherboard manufacturers, ensuring support for the next generation of hardware. That does mean that older mobos will need microcode updates. Owners of the existing 500-series motherboards will need to check the relevant company website for details once the new CPUs release.
TPU took a look at the next suite of B550 chipsets, noting that the TDPs for the new processors and motherboard are not all that different from the 400-series hardware. This means that there should not be too much trouble for motherboard makers to adjust their code and physical changes. And according to this news, it looks like the B550 will be aimed at the mid-range market for pricing.
While it does suck that the likes of the X470 didn’t get support, as these premium motherboard lines are much pricier, there still remains a sliver of hope. It’s still possible that motherboard makers could deploy microcode patches that will support the new Ryxen 4 CPUs. AMD has been working on making AM4 sockets work with newer hardware, so it’s still possible that the software side could get similar changes.
AMD did highlight a major issue though that made such a change problematic. According to AMD, the company says that it ran into some ROM size limitations when trying to push the AGESA microcode for all the older CPUs. According to them, not all AM4-based motherboards have the ability to support the dual-BIOS chips and other elements found on higher-end mobos. This makes it harder to support the more advanced features within the new Ryzen 4 CPU architecture.
There is more bad news as well, as the next generation of Ryzen processors, ostensibly Ryzen 5000 series, will probably require a complete rework of the socket, invalidating all the AM4 motherboards. This could even necessitate widespread changes in other hardware components like RAM timings and the like, but we will have to wait for more news on that later on.