AMD Backtracks and Announces Zen 3 CPUs Will Be Compatible With B450 and X470 Motherboards

AMD announces support of Zen 3 CPUs on X470, B450 motherboards.

AMD has announced last week that the Zen 3 CPUs (probably named under the Ryzen 4000 brand) will not be compatible with X470 and B450 motherboards. The feedback from this announcement was so bad that AMD backtracked and decide to change course.

This takes us to the latest AMD update, as the company had just decided to make Zen 3 CPUs compatible with X470 and B450 motherboards. AMD reached out to the community on Reddit:

  • Over the past week, we closely reviewed your feedback on that news: we watched every video, read every comment and saw every Tweet. We hear that many of you hoped for a longer upgrade path. We hear your hope that AMD B450 and X470 chipsets would carry you into the “Zen 3” era.

Why did AMD decide not to support the upcoming CPUs on the previous motherboards?

One reason was that EUFI was not updated on some platforms since some AM4 CPUs can support only a 128Mb UEFI. This is why a great majority of AMD motherboards used to ship with this BIOS chip size. In the Reddit thread, AMD explained that they are working with other motherboard partners to develop BIOS versions that lets enable support for Zen 3 CPUs on X470 and B450 motherboards:

  • 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.

Finally, AMD confirms that this is the last upgrade possible for 400-series boards, and support will end with Zen 3. Anything that will go beyond Zen 3 CPUs will be supported by a 500-series and above. It’s obvious we’ll have to switch to newer generations of motherboards if we want to get our hands on new CPUs, and even the 500-series owners may need to switch to a newer motherboard to get a Zen 4 Ryzen 5000 in 2021, for instance.